Posts Tagged: feminism
A rash of confessional memoirs by middle- and upper-class white women (think Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl) has repositioned feminism not as a political movement, but as a validation for extreme self-exposure. These books have some feminists wondering if they’re doing more harm than good:
What we are seeing now is feminism used as a brand; dislocated and disconnected from any collective political project.
At The Establishment, Sara Century outlines the social and political power of zines throughout history, the state of the zine in the digital age, and the connection between zines and feminism today:
Zines run the gamut in both quality and subject matter, but they all share a common and salient thread—they speak for their time, they are unedited, they are personal, and they deal with things you would never read about in major publications, from the personal to the political and beyond.
Porn performers consent to have sex on-camera, but Stoya objects to the idea that she — or any other performer — is just a collection of orifices to which she’s signed away unrestricted penetration rights. The number of times you’ve said “yes” does not in any way disempower you to say “no” at any point, for any reason.
Rufi Thorpe writes for Vela on the responsibilities of writing and motherhood, and the transformation of a woman writer into an “art monster”:
But any soldier will tell you that much of the Army is similarly boring and routine. Yet we do not ask a war poet, Do you ever worry your work will become clouded with bureaucratic detail?
For Catapult, Kashana Cauley writes on the divide between feminist action and feminist discourse, and the deep class divisions that shape each permutation of feminism....more
At Bustle, Lindsay Merbaum writes about her experiences reading books at bars and how some men feel threatened by the presence of a single woman reading:
Perhaps what is so subversive is not just the aloneness of a woman at a bar reading a book, but the combination of her aloneness with her lack of interest in the men nearby.
For Full Stop, Emma Schneider reviews a recently republished book: Amber Reeves’s 1914 novel A Lady and Her Husband, which Schneider aligns with “American pre-war feminist classics such as The Awakening and The Yellow Wallpaper.” Reeves’s novel offers a comparatively more practical look at the emergence of pre-feminist concerns at the turn of the 20th century....more
Over at Lit Hub, Anne Boyd Rioux discusses the literary genius of the 19-century novelist Constance Fenimore Woolson, and the American tradition of “the diminution of women writers” that continues today:
Woolson’s literary star faded quickly after her death in 1894, a time of shifting literary tastes.
Taking a different stance on the men-only book clubs that have everyone rolling their eyes, Slate’s L.V. Anderson argues that feminists should applaud men embracing an activity that has been so coded as feminine—and eagerly await the day when men do not feel like they have to declare their masculinity in order to do so:
Men who deliberately take time to discuss literature with other men are subverting and challenging gender norms, no matter how jokily macho their book club names might be.
In the wake of Jane Eyre’s 200th birthday and Claire Vaye Watkins’s essay “On Pandering,” Bridget Read looks at the proto-feminism in Jane Eyre as eventually improved upon in the postcolonial update Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (now celebrating its 50th birthday)....more
Bitch is where many of today’s feminist internet denizens (yours truly included) got our start reading and writing about culture with a critical eye. In many ways, Zeisler’s book is a call to arms, asking us to return to a rigorous, systemic analysis.
To write is to be liberate oneself. Untrue. To write is to change nothing.
Writing for the Guardian, Rafia Zakaria tells us about Violette Leduc: discovered by Simone de Beauvoir and published by Albert Camus, Leduc, the sexually explicit lesbian feminist, was largely unread even in her prime though has always been critically hailed, and her situation today is not much different....more
If this sounds like a Women’s Lib rap, baby, it is.
For The New Republic, Michelle Dean writes a lovely and winding essay on the life and feminism of Adrienne Rich: its origins in breaking meter, discovery through therapy, her correspondence with Hayden Carruth, the suicide of her husband, and culminating in her National Book Award for Diving into the Wreck....more