Posts Tagged: gender
This column has been on hiatus since the springtime and I’m happy to be back. I’ve been reading so much—mostly books by women—this summer. While I’ve been away, I’ve been thinking about gender more than ever, if you can believe that....more
Over at the New York Review of Books, Zoë Heller writes about American Girls by Nancy Jo Sales and Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein: how each book deals with the concepts of female “hotness” and body positivity in the social media age—as well as her own critiques of books that may fall within the genre of “middle-aged people complaining about the mores of the young.”...more
I wonder about this in terms of genre. Just as I don’t want to identify as non-binary, regardless of the potential room for accuracy, I don’t want to identify as a “writer of neither genres.” But how much does want matter when perception is what labels us in the mainstream?
In a powerful essay at The Establishment, Evelyn Deshane discusses rejecting the medical narrative around transitioning, and how tattoos allowed them to reclaim their own body:
When the physicality of my gender—that “place” that could be home—feels out of reach, tattoos are my way to be present in my body, and to control what happens to it.
For Notches, Kristy L. Slominski writes about the Reverend Anna Garlin Spencer, an early 20th century Unitarian minister who worked with scientists to educate the public on sexual health. Spencer’s efforts greatly influenced the modern connection between sexuality, sexual behavior, and the family structure....more
She made it clear that the body is not a stable foundation for gender expression.
For New York Magazine, Molly Fischer profiles gender theorist and philosopher Judith Butler, focusing on how Butler’s theory of performativity has disseminated into pop culture in the thirty-six years since its inception in Gender Trouble, and how the conversations around gender and identity politics have grown since then....more
In a darkly humorous new story at n+1, Jen George questions the qualifications of being “adult,” gives thirty-somethings across the world nightmares, and packs in plenty of social criticism while she’s at it. The story, “Guidance/The Party,” follows a single, childless, career-less, 33-year-old woman who is visited by a mysterious Guide....more
For Lenny Letter, Alexis Coe writes on the gendered politics behind book acknowledgements, including acknowledgment of emotional labor, research, and the expectations behind praise for female and male partners....more
For Electric Literature, Tabitha Blankenbiller offers a critique of the recent New York Times article about “Man Book Clubs,” and analyzes how gendered book covers influence readers’ choices and experience:
We can debate the levels of hubris and/or drunkenness in the NYT editorial room all we want, but what we have is an article claiming real estate and resources in The New York Times’ Books section.
Using Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, as a springboard, Stephanie Hayes explores the superpowers of gender-blank characters for the Atlantic. Sphinx’s recent translator, Emma Ramadan, describes how what began as an Oulipan constraint to avoid gender became a freedom from preconceived notions of male and female, and sometimes, a guessing game....more
An essay by Daniel Harris in the most recent issue of The Antioch Review has sparked a backlash from the transgender community, with many members of the trans community feeling Harris missed the point completely, and worse—wishes they would just accept themselves as they are, in their “true” gender....more
For Motherboard at VICE, John R. Platt examines the gender disparity in journalism sources and the consequences in his own work when addressing and correcting that disparity. Platt’s piece ran as part of Motherboard’s Silicon Divide series that looked at gender inequality in the tech industry....more
Emily Dickinson continues to appeal to literary critics fascinated by her poetry’s terse and alarming emotional breadth. Many biographies attribute her emotional poetry to a sense of agoraphobia, but at Lit Hub, Jerome Charyn makes the case for Emily Dickinson as a more complicated and clever character who was very aware of how the emotion in her poetry would be interpreted through the lens of gender....more
Over at The Toast, Naomi Gordon-Loebl recounts the particularly fraught experience of being gender-nonconforming while in the locker room:
My parents raised me to believe that my boy-girl self was beautiful and natural. I got a crewcut and began to wear men’s clothes when I was 15 years old.
In 1983 six Hollywood filmmakers sued Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures for practices that discriminated against women. Their story was recently profiled in Pacific Standard by Rachel Syme and these six women, known as the Original Six, will be hosting an AMA on Reddit today from 1-3pm ET....more
I had considered envying men before—I pretend to envy things like their higher incidence of ungrounded confidence and monomania, but I don’t really envy those things, and I’m not sure I even believe in them…
In an excerpt published in the New Yorker from her forthcoming book, Rivka Galchen writes about her first experience of real gender envy....more
Susan Burton profiles Dana Spiotta for the New York Times. Burton praises Spiotta’s work for its “ambitious” subject matter that explores the way we are “shaped” by the material world. In addition, the article discusses how Spiotta’s work has been gendered, and “cited in discussions about whether culture properly values the work of female novelists.”...more