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Search tags: gender-equality
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review 2018-03-14 01:00
This is a DENSE book, ya'll
The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers (Penguin Classics) - Hollis Robbins,Hollis Robbins,Henry Louis Gates Jr.,Henry Louis Gates Jr.,Various

If you're looking for a book that you can dip in and out of over the course of several days (or weeks if you're me) then I recommend you check out The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers. Organized by theme, this book features many writers of different genres. There are poets, essayists, lecturers, novelists, ministers, and teachers to name just a few. The common theme (besides their gender and race) is that they are advocates for equality of the races and sexes. I found that this book was an excellent conversation starter especially if you want to talk about tough topics like economic and social equality coupled with the history of the Americas. It's also an excellent way to discover writers that you may have never heard of as many of them are quite niche. As you might surmise, the topics covered in this collection are quite deep and therefore as a whole it's an emotionally and mentally exhausting enterprise. It's well worth the effort though. It's astonishing to me just how many of these women I had never heard of but when they were originally writing their voices were strong, no-holds-barred, and topical (most are relevant even today). The truths spoken are hard to accept because the topics are still so ingrained and fresh in the memory of our country. It's another reminder that we should continually be expanding our minds and looking beyond what we already 'know'. Embrace learning about new things! 9/10 and only lost that point because by 1/2 way through I was having to hype myself up to pick it back up again.

 

What's Up Next: Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything by E. Lockhart

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-06-28 16:56
Shock value
The Argonauts - Maggie Nelson

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson was the May book from the feminist book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf started by Emma Watson. This book was written in a style that I was completely unfamiliar with and which at first really threw me off. It's written almost as a stream of consciousness where there are broken paragraphs that at first seem as if they have no connection to one another. In fact, the first paragraph is a detailed description of the author engaging in anal sex. I guess she likes to shock the reader and/or pull them immediately into her narrative. (Hint: It worked.) This is the story of the author as she begins a relationship with her gender fluid partner (now spouse) and the navigating of that relationship while deciding to have a child together. She also becomes a stepparent to Harry's son from a prior relationship which is completely new territory in and of itself. Since reading The Argonauts, I have embarked on a campaign of knowledge about Nelson because this book is simply a snapshot of a few years of hers and Harry's lives. At the time that she was experiencing the struggles of trying to get pregnant Harry was undergoing changes as well (I don't want to give this away because it's such a powerful part of the book). Her description of her internalized experience as well as the observations of those around her are unique and frankly thrilling to read. Her writing is brash, dynamic, and surprising. She hits back against stereotypes of what it means to be gendered, queer, and in touch with oneself. In short, it's a powerful book that seeks to wake the slumbering activist in all of us. I highly recommend this one.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-05-31 17:25
An entire chapter devoted to competitive Scrabble
Bad Feminist: Essays - Roxane Gay

I've recently delved into the world of feminist literature and so it was bound to happen that I would read Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. Ya'll, this book will slap you in your face with its brutal honesty. It's a collection of essays about everything from what it's like to be a black female professor (or what the teaching profession is like at all really) to the pressures of being the 'right' weight in our society. It's a no holds barred look at how we place everyone into categories and what it's like when you're one of those people that defy this categorization. This is a look into what it means to be a flawed human (or a bad feminist to use Gay's terminology) who recognizes that it's impossible to get everything right. One can only try to be their best self and do their best to stay true to their beliefs. She talks about her struggles with the label of 'feminist' and how she has always chafed against being lumped in with this group as she doesn't fit all of the supposed parameters. However, there is no one definition of feminist. (Am I ranting? It feels like I'm ranting. And even this worry right here is a part of the problem because I have been conditioned to feel that expressing my opinions/feelings is something I should apologize for.) She covers a lot of sensitive topics such as rape and in particular gang rape. The discussion of whether or not the term 'rape culture' has helped or hindered our society in terms of making this a known issue but at the same time desensitizing us to its effects (mention of Law & Order: SVU may have been made). This book is real. If you only read one book labeled as 'feminist literature' then I hope this is the one that you pick up. 10/10 highly recommend. :-)

 

Note: More books on feminism coming up soon.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-01-26 19:18
My first feminist novel OR Why I love Gloria Steinem now
My Life on the Road - Gloria Steinem

I can't believe that I haven't read any feminist novels before now. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem has truly been an eye-opening experience. It's about her travels around the world and how she helped to fight injustice in multiple arenas such as gender inequality and racism just to name a few. It's packed with short stories about the people she's met, the obstacles she's conquered, and the continued optimism she has for the future. There was a lot that resonated with me. Certain snippets such as "making puns instead of plans, choosing spontaneity over certainty" made me think of my mom. Mentions of Gloria's relationship with her father and his understanding and acceptance of her also reminded me of my mom. There were poignant passages about the nature of humanity that filled me with hope. Such gems as "ordinary people are smart, smart people are ordinary, decisions are best made by the people affected by them, and human beings have an almost infinite capacity for adapting to the expectations around us" are sprinkled throughout.  I felt somewhat ashamed that such simple concepts hadn't occurred to me before. For example, "White people should have sued for being culturally deprived in a white ghetto. When humans are ranked instead of linked, everyone loses." Reading that, it seems obvious. I have many more passages I'd like to quote (I marked seven in total) but I really think everyone should read this one themselves. If you want to feel inspired and/or learn more about the humanist movement this is most definitely the book for you. Bonus: Pictures from Gloria's past at the start of each new section which I really appreciated. :-)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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url 2015-07-19 19:28
The Guardian: Italian authors ask Venice to ban their books after gay children's stories pulled

 

After picture books about same-sex families are pulled from city’s schools, 267 writers ask for their work to be taken off shelves.

 

The text of the letter and the names of all signatories can be found here: http://www.traparentesi.eu/

 

 

Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/16/italian-authors-venice-mayor-ban-books-children-same-sex-family?CMP=fb_culture-gdnculture
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