I am wary when I walk into bookstores these days, because I don't need to dip into the horror section to find books that scare me. I take a look around at the white faces on the covers and think about how I'm not encountering books about people like me. Except, given how popular the whitewashing of covers is just at present, maybe I am and just don't know it.
Whitewashing book covers, representing non-white characters as white* on covers, is a publishing practice which has become disturbingly common.
Between high school English and having spent half my life treading one set of boards or another, a large chunk of my brain is devoted to Shakespeare. For whom isn't that the case, really? There's the deep horror of Macbeth, the lovely gender mix-ups of Twelfth Night, the… no, I really didn't like The Taming of the Shrew. But the thing is that Shakespeare's plays are largely about the men. My having gone to drama school has to be good for something, so let me take you through the theatrical manipulations rendering so many Shakespearian women more silent than they could be (and, arguably, more silent than the stories could do with).
Romance novels: generally not the sort of thing we might discuss as a vehicle for feminist literary icons. Many are the faces I have pulled at the quality of some of the novels supposedly aimed at me. I think, however, that writing romance novels off entirely is leaving a lot outside in the cold. Romance is, after all, the most popular literary genre in all the world. More than that, it's a genre dominated by women writers and readers, and you've got to put down some of the contempt for romance to misogyny. Accusations of silliness and inconsequentiality are, of course, some of the most insidious tools in the patriarchy's toolbox. Let's share some love for the love story, shall we?
The astronomically high pregnancy rate in majority black Shelby County, which includes Memphis, has sparked public outcry as well as an initiative called "No Baby!" run by Girls Inc. For decades, Girls Inc. has aimed to help Memphis girls improve their self-esteem. But its "No Baby!" campaign—slated to kick off Jan. 20—may do little to curb the high teen pregnancy in the Memphis area. Why? Because the campaign promotes abstinence only, according to AOL's Black Voices.
Baby drama, first year medical students, marriage equality, and tough medical decisions on this week's Grey's Anatomy! After a winter hiatus, the show is trying to reconnect us with the characters and their storylines. Is it working? All this and more, after the jump!
This week was a big one for those of us interested in recently published young adult literature (especially the feminist and queer kind). Since it's the beginning of yet another year, lots of task forces and round tables have been meeting to decide which of the books published in 2010 deserve to be must-reads. Let's take a look at two of the awards and book lists that we were super excited to see released this week. It's time to start our impossibly long lists of books to read in 2011.