I love reading books, or listening to books, anything bookish and lovely is amazing. Instead of deciding to make a stupid new years resolution (in fact I don’t believe in NYR’s), I thought maybe I should attempt to do something I love, more!
I would have loved to make it 100 books in a year, but frankly I don’t think I can do that. Classes get ahead of me (though it’ll be a reason to read books for classes?) and frankly, most of what I read is non-fiction, which takes me longer to get through. So every book I finish I must report back. I know this is supposed to be a political rantings blog, but I don’t always have things to say, or most of the time others say it better. So aside from political posts I’ll try and do mini-reviews of books.
I figured I might give myself an incentive. So, maybe I’ll do a two-fer NYR.
I am a makeup addict. It’s a little bit obscene. So, because I have more than enough to last me at least a few years, I’m not buying anymore makeup. Except when I finish a book, I put £1 into a jar for it. In order to buy makeup I must have finished enough books to buy it.
This will be very difficult You have no idea. But it’ll help curb my ridiculous spending on it all, plus since I mostly read non-fiction I get to learn new things
So let’s hope that in the next day or two I make sure anything I really really need makeup wise is bought xD I think I’m more than good right now though.
Most of us feminists have seen the quotes, or paragraphs. Many of us may have used it on friends, family, maybe on our blogs. It’s stuff like this:
If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. Period.
Now, I am a feminist. But I can understand why some people would not define themselves as one. There are, of course, the nobs who don’t believe in men and women being equal, and those who just simply aren’t educated enough on what feminism actually is. There are other types also which need to be educated and really wittled down to come to a feminist friendly perspective.
However, these are not the ones I’m speaking of. These are the ones who have real reasons not to identify as a feminist.
Some of the early feminists were incredibly prejudiced. The first wave of feminism consisted of middle class white women, some who believed that they needed the right to vote in order to out-vote Black people. They were cissexist, ableist, and racist, among other horrible ‘ist’s. Margaret Sanger, champion of birth control, favoured eugenics, fighting for forced sterilisation of those who she deemed were ‘unfit’ (i.e. those with disabilities) to reproduce. Even just recently there was a situation where, on an event page from London Feminist Network, some self-proclaimed feminists were claiming that transwomen could not be feminists, were not ‘real women’ and are part of the problem. WOC still have to fight in order to get their ‘specialty’ concerns heard.
These are huge problems which must be addressed. They are valid reasons to reject a feminist identity in favour of a more inclusive one. Many feminists (I’d like to think I’m included in this) do try to fight against the prejudices in feminism, and those feminists should be supported. Until prejudice in feminism is eradicated, however, the movement will always have conscientious objectors. And I sympathise with them.
No, it wasn’t the year I *found myself* or *the one* or any crap like that. This isn’t about me.
It’s about you.
No, not specifically you the reader. It’s about the world in general. This year was amazing. I’m sure we all know the reasons, but I wanted to make a post about it to convey how happy I am about this year.
The obvious first step to this little talk is the Arab Spring. To hear about so many uprisings which arose from oppression and corruption. From one count it seems 12 countries had at least major protests in the Middle East and North Africa. People are mad as hell, and they aren’t taking it anymore!
Social media has taken off and has become something more than just talking to friends about last night’s party. It has become the medium of civil unrest and organisation. I’ve learned so much about the world simply through social media alone. Twitter and Tumblr jump out to me the most, but Facebook has had its heyday this year too, with the organisation of the Egyptian protests and subsequent revolution.
Never in my life did I think that the United States would rise up and protest the corruption going on in the world. Occupy Wall Street and its successors have been a godsend for me, because it gave me a renewed hope that, with work, things can change.
I read some amazing books this year such as Michael Moore’s memoir Here Comes Trouble, Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, and Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth. These books and more have shaped me into a more well-rounded and more knowledgeable person (along with a few fiction books that I immensely enjoyed). Tumblr taught me about privilege and intersectionality, and it taught me to always question why, and it gave me a lot of answers.
I did find myself, or part of myself that I was missing this entire time. In the same way that all the protesters found their voices, they found their causes, I found my causes and my own voice. Although the next coming years seem laden with pessimism, I will aim to be optimistic, because so much good has happened this year. So much that can carry over to the next ones. I hope that somehow I can have a part in these things in the future.
But for now, happy new year
- The Economist, 16 December 2011 Issue
- Time magazine honors ‘the protester’ as 2011 Person of the Year (thehill.com)
- 2012 could be even wilder global ride than 2011 (windsorstar.com)
- Top Trends of 2011: Political Unrest and the Web (readwriteweb.com)
Christopher Hitchens is not right about everything. He boiled down humour differences in the genders to biological determinism, which is vastly flawed. This statement has angered many a feminist. I admit this also angered me. We cannot reduce the complexities of personality, and most importantly humour, simply to biology. He was too arrogant in his views, and the most annoying part was, he argued his views quite well, however flawed.
I hate jumping on the band wagon of RIP Hitchens-dom so I’d rather simply talk about him as if he’s still around. To be honest his views are so entrenched in academic society that he really is still around.
I recently went to an event at Royal Albert Hall in honour of Hitchens. It was hosted by Stephen Fry and Richard Dawkins, and was a very interesting event, though it seemed a bit too much like hero worship. Of course this isn’t for no reason. Hitchens was immensely well read, a scholar of sorts. He didn’t fit into one category and therefore could appeal to a vast amount of people.
Just seems like he doesn’t appeal to most feminists. I hold contempt for Hitchens’ arrogance, but I admire him for his mastery of language. We all have something to learn from that. Hitchens was deeply unapologetic, and very combative. We try our best to be militant; we try not to say sorry (women apologize much more than men do, we try to fight against it I hope!). Maybe we could all do with more arrogance. Hitchens was an expert in many fields. We are experts in our daily lives (this goes without saying, we’re experts in many different fields also).
There needs to be less suggestion and more imposition in the community. And, when labeled militant, stupid, man-hating, etc, we can point to Hitchens as our model.
I admire him in his search for truth. He got many things wrong, but at least he was searching.