Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Shoutouts: Another Great Week!

I feel like this is a good time to mention I've been super-busy. I know that most of the time I'm an open book about personal topics, but for now, I have some stuff going on in my life that I'm not willing to share with the anon half of my life. It's good stuff, but it takes up most of my free time. 

But I still had time to read some awesome articles this week, which I can't wait to share with my beloved readers.

Most Eye-Opening: On tumblr, I came across this great piece on privilege. ' "Privilege" doesn't mean "easy" ' examines the resistance to the concept of privilege and very simply explains the most basic aspects of privilege.

Best Post on Modesty: My friend Emily Maynard wrote another wonderful article on the harmful effects of modesty, "My Eyes Are Up Here."

Best Binge Read: Sometimes I binge read blogs. That is, I won't check one of my favorite blogs--usually the Christian feminist blogs--for a few weeks, and then I'll just spend hours reading their latest work, plus whatever is linked from their older posts. I most recently read several posts all at once by Samantha at Defeating the Dragons. I love this piece on benevolent sexism, "Chivalry is dead, but civility is very much alive." I bookmarked an incredible piece called "Standing up for women in public" that I plan to reference in a future blog post of my own. Finally, Samantha wrote a wonderful post on on rape culture that is my most successful tumblr post so far. In "Let's talk about drunk women and sex," she asks this brilliant question: Men, why do you so vehemently defend your desire to have sex with unresponsive women?

What did you read this week?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday Shoutouts: A Busy Busy Week of Internet Excellence

I'm starting this at 11:43pm Sunday night, but by the time I'm done, it will probably be Monday. But I read so many amazing articles this past week that I couldn't skip my third week of Sunday Shoutouts!

Most Intersectional: NinjaKate over at BattyMamzelle wrote an incredible article on the racism in Lily Allen's new music video. Ironic racism is still racist, guys.

Most Engaging: Rachel Held Evans asked a great question. Can we teach our children modesty without guilt?

Most Virginal: I hope to write a response to this article later this week, if I find the time. It's an oped from a 35-year-old virgin

Best Parenting: I hope to be this awesome when I have kids.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Club Friday: Rebecca, Aka the First Wife of Gothic Fiction

I am starting this post at 12:30am, Saturday morning. Yes, it was technically supposed to go up on Friday, but I've been busy, okay?

The latest book my book club has read is the gothic classic Rebecca
by Daphne du Maurier.

As usual, I read the assigned book at the last minute. We met Sunday morning via Google Hangouts. I started the book Saturday evening, and I finished it about three minutes before my friends and I were supposed to meet. Beau was very sweet and encouraging and understanding of my need to speed-read. 

The summary on Goodreads: Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamourous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers...

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print,
Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Y'all, this book was SO good and SO creepy. There is a reason classics are classic--they are still amazing to read decades after the fact. 

Me being me, I obviously read this book with a feminist lens. I noticed two primary literary devices.

1) The reader never learns the narrator's first name. She is always referred to as Mrs. de Winter, or the second Mrs. de Winter. Her own identity is completely erased. Even her personality is erased, as she spends most of the book deferring to everyone around her and trying not to change anything.

Highlight the text between the stars, since my second point is also a major spoiler if you haven't read the book.

*2) The character Rebecca is written in a completely evil, unsympathetic light, to the extent that my immediate reaction to finding out her husband killed her was to blame her. Yes, I briefly victim-blamed a murder victim in a work of literature. And I think it was written that way intentionally. Domestic violence wasn't really talked about in the 1930s, certainly not like it is today. It's just disturbing to read about this murder and sympathize with the murderer. *

Overall, Rebecca was truly an awesome book, and I highly recommend it.

Y'all know the drill. Book Club Friday!

*This post contains a single affiliate link, just in case you're dying to order Rebecca off Amazon immediately.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Shoutouts: Week Two of Lovely Links

Last week was my inaugural post of Sunday Shoutouts. Who wants to take bets on how many Sundays I manage in a row before I skip one?

This past week I've been even busier than usual, so I didn't stalk the Internet quite as much as I normally do. But I still have some great posts and articles to share with y'all!

Best Thanksgiving post: 30 Days of Thanks, But No Thanks is a reasoned plea not to humblebrag for each day in November.

Most Inspiring: I love this post about depending on God, even when we're at our lowest. It reminds me of how I felt about a year ago, when everything seemed to go wrong. 

Best Historical Look at Virginity: I love everything at the blog for the documentary How to Lose Your Virginity, but this recent post on chastity belts is especially great.

This is also a good time to point out that the American premiere of How to Lose Your Virginity is next Sunday, November 17th in New York City! Sadly Beau and I will not be there, but we are the stars of the film! 

Did you read anything inspiring or thought-provoking this week? Share your links in the comments!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Shoutouts: Inaugural Post

I am starting a completely unoriginal blog series. Just like Rachel Held Evans writes Sunday Superlatives every week, I will occasionally (weekly if I don't get busy/lazy) share the best of what I've read each week.

I already routinely tweet or share to facebook articles/blog posts on virginity, feminism, rape culture, etc. But I know not all of my blog readers have liked my facebook page or followed me on twitter. Plus I sometimes get really excited and share a dozen links all at once, and I know that can be overwhelming! So this weekly summary will be a shortlist of the very best, according to MOI, that you can easily bookmark for later and read at your leisure. 

I should also add that sometimes I discover content well after it's been posted, so just because I share it as the best I've read this week doesn't mean it was written in the last week.

Without any further ado, here are my inaugural Sunday Shoutouts!

Most Entertaining: Hands down, the "Spell Block Tango" is the best video I've watched all week. My love of Disney combined with my love of Broadway means Todrick Hall's Disney version of the "Cell Block Tango" is perfect for me.

Most Educational: Confused about hymens? Me too! There's so much misinformation out there about women's bodies and first sexual experiences. This blog post covers ten common hymen myths.

Best Scary Halloween Post: Jezebel asked readers to submit their scariest true stories and then picked the best ten. I'm glad I read these stories in the middle of the afternoon and not at night!

Best Historical Halloween Post: One of my all-time favorite feminist writers is Soraya Chemaly. In her article "What witches have to do with women's health," she ties together historical and modern misogyny in the field of medicine. 

What are the best posts you've read this week? Leave your favorite links in the comments!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Book Club Friday: Strong Women and Sexist Men in Historical Fiction

Remember all the way back in September when I went on vacation with Beau and his family for ten days? Well, I read three books during that trip, and I'm finally reviewing the final two. (You can find my thoughts on Deerskin by Robin McKinley HERE).

I love historical fiction almost as much as I love fantasy fiction. I was thrilled to find two new novels at my local secondhand bookstore. The first is Stealing Athena by Karen Essex, a novel that parallels two stories of powerful women in history. The other is Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory, a novel that recounts the story of a sexist asshole troubled veteran after World War I.



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