This amazing book tells the history of The Civil Rights Movement in first person accounts by the women of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating CommiThis amazing book tells the history of The Civil Rights Movement in first person accounts by the women of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee), the more radical wing of the movement made up of youth that often worked alongside MLK's SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference). It's super inspiring to explore this historical document that was created by the particpants of the movement working together all these years later Not only do you get a multi-racial, multi-class perspective from 52 different women writing about their own experiences as organizers, workers and activists, you also get their analysis, which often reflects on how this history has been previously documented by those with more power. Especially interesting to read varying perspectives and diverse voices on gender/power within SNCC and on the burgeoning Women's Liberation Movement as I've read that stuff before and these voices are really adding to my understanding of this important historical moment in U.S. history #blackhistorymonth...more
Funny, existential stoner comic about a witch and a cat and their fraught owl friend. Sometimes they hang out with a party animal named Werewolf JonesFunny, existential stoner comic about a witch and a cat and their fraught owl friend. Sometimes they hang out with a party animal named Werewolf Jones. Mostly they sit on the couch and watch TV or stay in bed....more
I pretty much hated the narrator - who works at "The Women's Magazine" (based on Cosmo, where the author worked) but ended up rooting for her anyway aI pretty much hated the narrator - who works at "The Women's Magazine" (based on Cosmo, where the author worked) but ended up rooting for her anyway and maybe that was the point. Which is to say, I would put this into the post-Gone Girl category of "chick-lit thriller". Not that GG was either and in this case the narrator isn't as unreliable - but a definite genre/marketing category was created in its wake and this book is definitely a part of that whole thing. Let's see - it has a sort of Stepford Wives vibe at first, in its particular representation of privileged catty femme status-obsessed ruthless career women - it's hard to tell if this is satire or to gage the author's intention here - but it feels like there is an undercurrent of critique behind this books' portrayal of toxic femininity - how much of that is conscious or effective feminism is hard to say. On the other hand, it does seem kind of like a LifeTime movie. So yeah, i sorta rides this weird line between feminist fiction and melodramatic sentimentality...its themes are topical - mass killings, date rape, consent -but it's basically a revenge story set against the back drop of a vacuous hetero-normative relationship with some BDSM references thrown in to make it seem "edgy" - or maybe to tap into the Fifty Shades of Grey market as well? It seems like the author's goal is probably to turn the book into a Hollywood movie. Ultimately, I would file this under "a little cheesy but enjoyable if you are in the mood" - kind of like the LifeTime channel. I did like the ending....more
Michelle Tea is a working class, feminist, queer writer whose work I respect and treasure. Valencia and Rose of No Man's Land are two of my favorite nMichelle Tea is a working class, feminist, queer writer whose work I respect and treasure. Valencia and Rose of No Man's Land are two of my favorite novel/memoirs about growing up as a girl in the United States, period. She founded Sister Spit and has worked with City Lights Publisher to publish queer/feminist writers. More recently, I was enthralled by her column Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea and, although I'm not a parent, I have been following her most recent publishing project Mutha Magazine with genuine interest. So I came to her new book, a self-help memoir, not only with high expectations; I wanted it to be radical.
It turns out it's not for me. While I did find some of her stories relatable and amusing - particularly the part about not wanting to live in a punk house anymore after everyone got scabies - reading this book felt more like watching that Sex and the City episode where Carrie tries to date a 20 year old than something written by a feminist radical peer who wants to change society and resist patriarchal oppression. Don't get me wrong, I saw that Sex in the City episode when I was in my mid 30's and still dating a 23 year olds and I could totally relate and was quite entertained! But as a middle age punk rocker without a solid "career path" who doesn't own a car or a house or want to get married or have kids or get rich - I don't think I'm the intended audience for this book, which is more like a self-help manual for people who do want a more normal, middle class life and dream of having enough money to buy fancy clothes and go to fashion shows where celebrities hang out. On that level, it's kind of my worst nightmare. Does 'growing up' mean replacing the radical punk idealism of our youth with a vapid, materialist version of The American Dream? I hope not. For one thing, most of us will likely stay poor and working class. By not having an "adult job" making an "adult income" or being able to afford to live in an "adult living situation" are we simply immature children? I reject the idea that this means we are failures! ] I also reject this idea of "adult relationships" as traditional, partnered, long term monogamy...plus, there's something to be said for dating 23 year olds!
But I am concerned about our future... what will happen to us as we continue to "grow up" and by this I mean, get old and start to die? I'm still dreaming of building an inclusive, sustainable alternative to capitalism and patriarchy - a site of radical adulthood - a place where we can work and live and co-exist without having to compromise the core-values of community, independence and integrity we got from our punk youth. In this place there is room for people of all ages, including children and old folks, and we aren't all stunted, party animals trying to recreate our youth forever. We don't all work terrible, exploitative jobs and pay too much money in rent. We don't waste away in bars. We can go on tour without quitting our jobs and we put out radical newspapers and make movies and share information and resources and help each other out. There are worker owned co-ops and feminist housing collectives and rent control exists and harm reduction thrives and homeless shelters don't get shut down because the city wants to build ugly condos no one can afford- how do we get there?
So even though this is not so much the book for me, I should say that I did really like the chapter "How To Break Up" - it has some good tips and it's pretty funny. Which is to say, check this book out for yourself, you might get something out of it even if you reject its basic premise. But I'm still looking for a book on how to "grow up"--In the meantime, I'll be reading about the history of radicalism in the United States, searching for clues on how to build an alternative to capitalist, mainstream adulthood. This week I have been reading about The Chicago Surrealists - like Franklin and Penelope Rosemont - who put out a radical, working class newspaper in Chicago called The Rebel Worker in the late 60's and continue to do radical writing and publishing work......more