[Trigger warning for sexual violence and emotional abuse]
Valentine’s Day is coming up! That day of romance, of togetherness, of coupledom, of… domestic abuse… Valentine’s Day is the release date of 50 Shades of Grey, that sensationalistic movie based on the “How to Spot an Abuser” pamphlet in your college guidance counselor’s office. Women and men who have read the book and know perfectly well what the story is about will flock to theatres, either a) dreaming of the day that they’ll be stalked and violated by someone as dreamy as Christian, or b) hoping to score on Valentine’s night with the person they took to the movie. And while people are free to get their rocks off to whatever they want (within certain limits), it’s important to acknowledge that what may (for some reason) come across as sultry and sexy on the page would, in real life, be a Razorbacks halftime show’s worth of red flags....read more
Reasons you weren’t promoted that have nothing to do with gender....read more
It’s Friday, and it’s been a rough week, and it’s been an even rougher two weeks, and more or less the entire world deserves better than it’s been getting, and here’s what the Harry Potter series would look like if Hermione were the main character....read more
Barbie is one educated and versatile woman. She’s been, among dozens of other jobs, a dentist, a doctor, a sign language teacher, a special education teacher, a surgeon, a paratrooper, a jet pilot, an ambassador, a firefighter, an architect, an astronaut, a ballerina, a chef, an Olympic gymnast, an unspecified business executive, a news anchor, a cat burglar, a magazine editor, and the president of the United States. And now, per the book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, she’s a computer engineer (or at least can be one)....read more
A little while ago, I mentioned that I was reading Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, on an open thread, a really interesting retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by a Nigerian-British novelist that engages issues of race in a way that very few fairy-tale retellings do (“The Glass Bottle Trick” by Nalo Hopkinson is […]...read more
It’s Banned Books Week, celebrating books that are absolutely, objectively horrible and mustn’t be read by anyone. They’re books that need to be blocked from school libraries, ejected from public libraries, struck from publisher’s lists and set on damn fire every time they’re encountered. Which means that most of them (although by no means all of them) are worth reading, particularly when it comes to books for school-age kids who shan’t be exposed to naughty language or mentions of sex. Because if there’s one thing that abstinence-only education has taught us is that if you never, ever mention it, kids will never do it.
So here are six banned and/or challenged children’s and young adult books to read to a kid this week in honor of Banned Books Week....read more
Dr. Maya Angelou has passed away at age 86. As posts and tributes become available, I’ll link them here. Feel free to add your own links and comments below....read more
[Trigger warning for rape]
[Potential spoilers for Game of Thrones S04 E03, as well as for A Storm of Swords]
I mean, I got what was happening — most reasonable people watched that scene and were, like, “I get what’s happening here.” But I just don’t, like… get it. So if you have insight on what’s going on there, jump on in....read more
I am a serious fan of Jane Austen’s books and of her ironic observers’ take on women and Regency society. She did not describe her characters very much, and was far more interested in their personalities and interactions than their looks....read more
I recently tried once again to read George Orwell’s 1984.
As always, I got a few chapters in and had to stop because it was so depressing that I couldn’t live in Orwell’s evocation of mind-controlled totalitarian world for a minute longer. One thing I did get out of the experience was adding one more time reading the early chapters including the Two Minutes Hate scene. Early in the book the hero, Winston Smith takes part in his office’s mandatory daily group hate ritual, an exercise in bonding and mind control....read more
Journalist Eric Pape is raising funds to create the graphic novel The Beauty Curse, about gendered attacks in Cambodia. Details of the project are here. The inspiration for the book:...read more