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This past week I've read about the #metoo campaign. It's depressing reading. Today I found out that one of our most famous singers is in fact a rapist and also a person who takes advantage of his position to silence his victims. I don't know who it is, and that's really unsettling. It might be one of my favorites. The victim said (anonymously) that every time a friend sings along to one of his songs or even just plays it, she gets a flashback to that night and she can't say anything about it.
What I really wanted to mention was the fact that my mom, sister and I have never (or at least almost never) been targeted. My mom has lived a relatively fun and varied life. She's travelled a bit, worked in different professions and had lots of friends. Back in those days people were clearly better brought up. Or she's been lucky and met only decent people.
My sister and I didn't grow up in such a time. Girls we went to school with were probably targeted like these women that I've read about in the media over this past week. But not my sister and I. And - it may not come as much of a surprise to my readers - we've lived very sheltered lives. Most of the time we just sat at home and read our beloved books. We're simply not very outgoing.
After reading all this depressing stuff, it hit me. Does it really have to be this way? Do you have to stay inside the safety of your own home to be respected as a human being?
Today I'm going to attempt to form some coherent thoughts about my experience reading Roxane Gay's newest book entitled Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Some of you might have already had this book on your radar because of the huge amount of press that it got right after its release. This is an extremely personal account of Roxane's experiences as an obese woman in our society (which is obsessed with being skinny as you know). However, it's less a commentary on that than a self-exploration of her relationship with food and her body. You might recognize Gay's name from my review of her frank assessment of feminism and how she identifies herself (not just as a feminist but all-around human). I thought that she had pushed the envelope with her openness and willingness to 'go there' with that book but reading Hunger was a whole new experience. For one thing, this isn't a book about the trials and tribulations of being overweight in America and how she's planning on using this book as a tool to get her life back on track. No, this is a cathartic exercise in purging some of the darkness that she has had buried inside for too long. (I'm trying to not give away too much because her writing of the events of her life is kinda the whole point of the book.) This book will make you rethink the way that you look at your own body and how you make assumptions about other people based on their bodies. It is not meant to be preachy or shaming. It's one woman opening up about a horrific experience in her life and how that changed her forever. I think this is the kind of book that everyone should read because it opens your eyes to yourself, to others, and makes you think. 9/10 definitely recommend
What's Up Next: The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation by Randall Fuller
What I'm Currently Reading: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
“He understood why she did it. She had lost her own baby – one conceived by the unwanted advances of a sexual predator – and hated thinking of them out there in the cemetery, alone and cold. She had to bring them into the warm. She had to give them the life they’d otherwise never live. It was her mission. But with each new doll brought home, her yearning for a living child of her own continued to grow. Yes, he knew why she did it but – even so – he wasn’t able to stand by her and he knew she was going to get a lot worse before she got better. But how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped? And how do you turn your back on your own sister?”
IDK what stopped me from reading this title earlier, (published 02.02.16), but I’m happy that I finally did! DOLLS feels like one of Matt Shaw‘s older titles – it’s not a black cover, not an extreme extreme horror, and the core story totally sucked me in. I was 100% invested right from Jump Street. Now, as embarrassing as this might be, I gotta tell ya… I didn’t see the ‘oh holy shit’ moment until about 5 words before it was revealed to us! I love that Matt can still do that after all these years, and all these books.
Another 5 Stars For THE Matt Shaw