This Siberian husky “helping” his human rake the autumn leaves features for this month’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the next four weeks.
* with a few netiquette exceptions
I teach children’s literature, specifically Golden Age children’s literature (1865-1926), aka Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh), and you might notice that those dates in the parentheses coincide with the height of the power of the British Empire. So while…
On Saturday, I sat on a panel in the American Sci-fi Classics track at Dragon Con, talking about female heroes in classic sci-fi. One question from the audience stuck out to me as being insufficiently addressed in the time we had available, so: Young woman in the front row, stage left, ’bout three seats from the end, if you’ve followed me here (which is totally cool and appreciated), here’s the answer you deserve.
Question: Seeing as how “femininity” is really just a social construct, don’t we need to see more heroines who eschew traditional signifiers of femininity?
On the one hand: Several Duke University students have publicly announced their unwillingness to do the suggested freshman summer reading. They refused to read Fun Home, Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her experiences with her father and her relationship with her sexual identity, because it offends their Christian values. On the other hand: Other students, not locked into a fearful, fundamentalist view of the world around them, are excited to read Fun Home and gratified to see it on the reading list.
On this day in history, 95 years ago, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee a woman’s right to vote — after a fashion — with the signing of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. But let’s not forget that Alice Paul’s statement that “all women must feel a great sense of triumph” wasn’t necessarily accurate.
In a bid to wring every last cent out of the “Fifty Shades” phenomenon, author E.L. James has released Grey, the story of Fifty Shades of Grey as told from Christian Grey’s perspective. Some readers, both fans of the series and critics, were curious about Christian’s thought process during the original books, since the story we see from Ana’s point of view was so deeply creepy that dear God, there had to be something, something, something redeeming in the backstory to make it more of an edgy, kinky romance and less of an episode of Law & Order: SVU with a private helicopter.
Ballerina Misty Copeland (she who was too old and had the wrong feet, legs, turnout, torso, and bust to even start training as a ballet dancer at age 13) has been named a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre — the first African-American woman to rise to that position in the company’s nearly 80-year history.
[Trigger warning for rape and sadistic violence]
SPOILER ALERT for Game of Thrones S5, E6, to the extent that it hasn’t been spoiled already.
And for current purposes, I think that’s about as much information as is necessary for a front-page post preview.