Tag Archives: feminism
It’d been so long since we’d touched, you thought I must’ve found God. I caught you in the dark watching a video: a piano on the curb letting itself be touched and touched, singing for any finger that asked. It only survived one night before men with sledgehammers shattered it to tinder, took away each metal part that sang. Each time I caught you watching this–your face glowing in the darkness of our bedroom–you told me you were learning acceptance. After all, this is the world we live in: men can be broken and made whole again. Woman with all her faults remains dismembered: body and body parts forever being torn to pieces.
1. Go see The Last Five Years instead. It’s an unabashed romance starring the adorable Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan who can sing. Without having seen either, 10,000 times more romantic than Fifty Shades.
2. Gaze at your wife, girlfriend, or significant other, and ponder how you have not, in fact, ever slapped her, threatened her, or tied her down in order to have sex with her.
3. Go on a freaking picnic. Find a nice hill where you can talk to your significant other as if though she’s an emancipated human being who can walk upright and has a brain and a heart.
4. Read these Fifty Shades of Grey quotes – handily put on posters of the film by The 6th Siren for your amusement and edification – for all the E.L. James you’ll ever need.
5. Realize that the stars of Fifty Shades of Grey actually don’t like each other. “The most glaring problem with the press blitz—currently several months underway, though the film will not be released for another two weeks—is also the most damning for the upcoming film: Simply put, romantic leads Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan do not like each other. They dislike other things as well—the press; sex; the film in which they are starring—but it is clear their distaste for each other is the most keenly felt of all.” The Disastrous Fifty Shades of Grey Press Tour
Be the woman you’re destined to be in this life;
graceful in motion, dance free in this life.
Buy tickets for any train, bus, plane or cab.
So much to hear, do, think and see in this life.
Speak up with body and voice, flowing hands—
you don’t always have to agree in this life.
Lay burdens down on altars, by lakes,
places to which you can flee in this life.
Eyes to the heavens, fingers to the sky,
hands up to feel the glee in this life.
All numbers on the scale act shady—
not everyone’s size three in this life.
Beads and bracelets, bridges and bayous.
Don’t have to be one she in this life.
A book, a pen, a solemn afternoon.
Savor your cups of green tea in this life.
Poems should be courted like a bride.
Get down on one knee in this life.
Come up for air beneath the glamour;
listen for your own plea in this life.
Every taste and flavor, every grain—
so glad you’ve come to me in this life.
-Allison Joseph, Valparaiso Poetry Review
Airhead, Meg Cabot
HATED this book. One of the most sexist narratives I’ve ever read, and from a woman, to boot.
Emerson Watts is comfortable in her own skin. She loves video games, medical documentaries, and hanging out with her equally nerdy best friend Christopher, whom she only wishes would see her as a girl instead of his asexual buddy. Until a bizarre accident makes her a participant in a brain transplant meant to save her life, in which she’s given the body – and forced to take over the identity – of a world-famous teen supermodel.
Leaving the sheer bloody ludicrousness of the plot aside, the message this book is sending – to teen girls no less – is that it’s not okay or enough to just have interests and be yourself and have nerdy interests (interests which in real life would make you totally hot to a lot of guys, something the book was conspicuously silent on – do you know how many guys would love a woman who plays video games? A LOT). You can’t *just* be smart and have hobbies and your own personality – you must ALSO have the body of a supermodel and a smile that turns virtually every guy who sees into jelly.
Because at the end of the day, why settle for being yourself? When you can be smart, nerdy, AND hot? Thus fulfilling every male fantasy ever??? Seriously if Cabot had created a female character with men in mind she couldn’t have done a better job. Em in this novel becomes the teenage epitome of Gillian Flynn’s accurately-sketched, terrible Cool Girl in Gone Girl. The representation of Male Desire and its supremacy in culture and in narrative.
I HATED this novel with every fiber of my literature-loving, chick-lit-loving, feminist body. Excuse me while I go read some Kafka, *anything,* to get this taste out of my mouth.
P.S. Emerson – or rather her body – expires when a TV falls on her. I’m not making this stuff up, folks.
P.P.S. The fact that there are two more books in this series makes me want to enlist The Bride (see Kill Bill if you haven’t seen it yet y’all) to track Cabot down and put the fear of woman into her so she never writes such a book again. I’ve read and liked/loved a lot of Cabot. This, is unworthy of her.
I started my first Jo Nesbø, who is probably the greatest Nordic crime fiction writer alive now that Mankkell is no longer writing and Stieg Larsson is dead. Thus far it is very broody and suffused with a tone of depression that matches what the main character Harry Hole is experiencing, but the prose is slowly drawing me in, particularly this gem.
“A young woman in the front row stood up unbidden, but without offering a smile. She was very attractive. Attractive without trying, thought Harry. Thin, almost wispy hair hung lifelessly down both sides of her face, which was finely chiseled and pale and wore the same serious, weary features Harry had seen on other stunning women who had become so used to being observed that they had stopped liking or disliking it. Katrine Bratt was dressed in a blue suit that underlined her feminity, but the thick black tights below the hem of her skirt and her practical winter boots invalidated any possible suspicions that she was playing it. She let her eyes run over the gathering, as if she had risen to see them and not vice versa.”
–The Snowman, Jo Nesbø
Bring on the chills.
Comic by Julia Lepetit and Andrew Bridgman, read the rest of it here
What do you see, a bird or a fish? Fascinating Atlantic article on how the brain works and image illusions- “According to University of Edinburgh philosopher Andy Clark’s masterful 2013 summary of the state of cognitive science, this emerging idea about the brain is called the “bidirectional hierarchical network model.” It holds that every level of the brain is engaged in making predictions, so the expectation of seeing a house feeds down through the cortex to the eyes, which are then more likely to perceive a sloping roof instead of something else. But if something is amiss with the prediction, that information gets transmitted and the brain tries to find a better organizational paradigm for the visual input. Knowledge feeds perception and back again. There are loops everywhere strengthening and weakening according to how well they seem to reflect exterior reality” RT
Glorious read from the NYT about a meeting of two brilliant minds. “If you read the poems Akhmatova wrote about that night, you get the impression that they slept together, but, according to Ignatieff, they barely touched. Their communion was primarily intellectual, emotional and spiritual, creating a combination of friendship and love. If friends famously confront the world side by side and lovers live face to face, Berlin and Akhmatova seemed to somehow enact both postures at once. They shared and also augmented each other’s understanding.” RT
Chris Messina talks to Glamour about the future of the Danny/Mindy relationship. “That’s a good question. I’m excited. I think what we can do is, I hope it has kind of a Lucy and Ricky feel to it, where there’s such love, but they still don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. They still get completely annoyed with one another—bickering and fighting—but [have] constant love [for one another]. I think we have an opportunity to show our audience some really fun stuff about couples. It has been a show about dating, and I think the other characters will go on to date and have girlfriends and stuff like that, but I think it’d be fun to show a season of how [a relationship] looks for Mindy and Danny and the silly and crazy things they do together. I think we’ll pick up with seeing them in a good place, but still wrestling with being Mindy and Danny.” RT