After putting it off for years I'm gradually working my way through the Dykes to Watch Out for Series. This one is my favorite so far. In "Hot, ThrobbAfter putting it off for years I'm gradually working my way through the Dykes to Watch Out for Series. This one is my favorite so far. In "Hot, Throbbing Dykes to Watch Out For", Madwimmin Books, the feminist book shop that several of the comic's characters work at is having trouble making ends meet and is threatened with closure. When the whole community rallies around the bookstore to help it raise money to keep it's doors open it's like a big liberal fairy tale. It's a story I've experienced with both a happy ending and a sad one many times before and it's captured realistically and poignantly. This volume also deals with the themes of gay adoption and coming out to Catholic parents. Not sure why I waited so long to read this comic. I am loving it so much. On to the next issue! ...more
I adored this book. It might very well knock off one of the books currently on my favorites list. I had to read it with a notepad handy to take notesI adored this book. It might very well knock off one of the books currently on my favorites list. I had to read it with a notepad handy to take notes on all the biographies, novels, and poetry books she mentioned that I hadn't heard that will now be trickling onto my too read list.
Plus, I love the voice of the author. When a book can be extremely academic and yet highly entertaining that's a rare feat in my eyes.
Simply stated, the book is about women's biographies and how they've been historically framed in terms of patriarchal narratives. Great women authors who failed to marry became great authors as a consolation prize to comfort themselves about their failure as women. Women authors who married were either good women in that they were able to run households and be authors at the same time or they were bad women in that they neglected the duties that were assigned to their sex.
In 'Writing a Woman's Life' Heilbrum is trying to construct a new narrative. She looks at several prominent women's biographies and asks what was left out and what other interpretation based on letters the woman had written and other primary sources might the biographer have come to were he (and sometimes she) to have stepped outside the traditional frame of the woman's role to interpret the author's life on its own terms for its own merits.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough! ...more
Loved the concept, would have liked a slightly less chatty writing style and also felt like the book was a little too padded with individual QuirkyaloLoved the concept, would have liked a slightly less chatty writing style and also felt like the book was a little too padded with individual Quirkyalone profiles.
Still, in terms of the whole single vs. coupled debate this book kind of has the final word. If you're in a relationship it should be because you love the person for who they are, not because you need to find Mr. or Ms. Right before you pass into decrepit spinsterhood/ grumpy-old-maniness, and also not because you think the person you're with has potential if you could just mold them a little more forcefully. People who pair off in bonds that are based on shared respect for one another's eccentricities are called QuirkyTogethers. Couples who lose their individual personalities to create a vacuous third identity known as THE Relationship are called PerkyTogethers. The stereotype is the matching sweater couples.
Part of me feels like the concept of not pretending to be someone else for a relationship because you'll just end of miserable is an incredibly mainstream concept for my generation, but then I look at the marketing being blasted at my age bracket and I'm not so certain that everyone has gotten the message. Watching Sarah Haskin's "Target Women" makes me think that maybe this whole idea that it's OK to be alone, that often that's what you need to be happy, and that other people should augment your already fulfilling life rather than complete it could use a little more evangelism.
Long live the QuirkyAlone movement!
If you're single and feeling awkward about it or if you're in a relationship that doesn't fit the hallmark card image of what a relationship is supposed to look like, this is a very quick read that will help you get on with the delightful business of living your life in a way that works for you....more
There aren't a lot of books out there on the topic of bisexuality so I had pretty high hopes for this one.
The good: It brought up a lot of interestingThere aren't a lot of books out there on the topic of bisexuality so I had pretty high hopes for this one.
The good: It brought up a lot of interesting points which I hadn't considered. Baumgardner talks about bi women coming into hetero relationships with queer expectations and thus being able to obtain a more egalitarian relationship structure. She also makes an intriguing point about how greater recognition of bisexuality in society might have a positive impact on LGBT rights because what was once thought to be 10 percent of the population experiencing same sex attraction would drastically increase. I'm also going to be pondering her assertion of how people with privilege can have a beneficial affect on a civil rights struggle because people who feel entitled to certain rights (in the case of a bisexual, heterosexual privilege) are more likely to brazenly demand the same treatment for everyone.
The bad: So many gender essentialist assumptions. She asserts again and again that all lesbian relationships are nurturing and rich in communication and that even bisexual women cannot expect to find the same qualities in a male partner. Her assumptions simultaneously idealize lesbian relationships and caricature heterosexual relationships. There is a lot more personality variation within the broad categories 'man' and 'woman' than reading this book would lead you to you believe. It's as if Baumgardner doesn't see butch women as real women or sensitive men as real men. Very irritating. I also thought there was a nasty vain of classism running through the whole work.
Final verdict: It was a difficult subject to tackle and I admire Baumgardner for fearlessly tackling it. The book is nevertheless a bit uneven and leaves a lot more to be said on the topic of bisexuality, biphobia, and bisexual privilege. ...more