I don't know why the title is wrong on this one and why there is no picture. But this is one of my favorite books ever. Recently read aloud to SolomonI don't know why the title is wrong on this one and why there is no picture. But this is one of my favorite books ever. Recently read aloud to Solomon for bedtime story....more
I really, really, really loved Lawson's first book, so of course I was excited when I saw that she had a second one coming out. Still, I stubbornly maI really, really, really loved Lawson's first book, so of course I was excited when I saw that she had a second one coming out. Still, I stubbornly made myself hold out for the paperback. (I only have so much shelf space, okay? Every millimeter counts!) When my husband handed me a gift card to spend at the bookstore for Valentine's Day, I spent ages wandering around trying to figure out how to best maximize its value, but when I saw this in paperback, part of my decision was instantly made.
Those coming to this book expecting a repeat of Let's Pretend This Never Happened may be surprised by this volume, which definitely includes lots of Lawson's wacky and hilarious stories, but also gets really real about her struggles with mental illness. This honesty definitely gives a different feel to her zany adventures. But in a good way. It will probably also give you a new appreciation for therapists, twitter, and taxidermy.
The kind of book you'll want to read aloud to everyone around you, but makes it very difficult because you'll be laughing too hard.
I have been deeply curious about this book since I first heard that Jessa was writing it. I've usually enjoyed Jessa's cultural commentary, especiallyI have been deeply curious about this book since I first heard that Jessa was writing it. I've usually enjoyed Jessa's cultural commentary, especially in her tarot writings, and her digs at feminism here and there have often made me wonder about her stance. Well, here, at last, it is.
This book offers a stinging rebuke to white feminism. She doesn't call it that here, and in interviews she has sad that she deliberately did not label it such. She is either aiming her blows at feminism in general, or sometimes at the specific stance of universal feminism - the idea that all people should believe that men and women should be equal and thus call themselves feminist. This, of course, does to feminism what it's done to every movement that has focused on universal approval - it dilutes it to the point that it is no longer a threat to anyone. Defanged, it is co-opted by the mainstream and its history is simplified. Like how MLK day has become a holiday for white people to use King quotes about peace out of context to beat modern black activists with.
Anyway, the reason I say this is mostly a critique of white feminism is that is spends a good chunk of its time skewering a feminism built on "choice" and "empowerment" and capitalism. You know the one. The one that insists that because someone is "choosing" to wear high heels, or lipstick, or stay at home and homeschool, or to watch the Bachelor, that makes it a feminist act. See also "lean in" feminism, that is all about accruing money and status and power. That says I am a feminist because I am a female CEO, never examining the way that money and power is used -- whether their workers are paid fairly, have family leave, or they depend (personally or corporately) on exploiting undocumented workers, etc.
Jessa calls bullshit on all of this weak sauce and makes an impassioned plea for the return of radicalism to feminist thought. She wants feminism to be a threat, to make people uncomfortable, to overthrow our patriarchal capitalist structures instead of just making room for a few more women in them.
That said, this book is short on suggestions. She lauds a few second wave feminists who get swept under the rug these days, but while she mentions a list of writers in her author's note at the end, I wish she'd spent just a bit of time in the text acknowledging that there are anti-capitalist feminists out there right now, and given them a tiny bit of her platform.
It's a small criticism. I need to start plugging some of these names into Google now.
(full disclosure: I am the author's sister.)...more