A memoir has been chasing me for years and I’ve kept running. Recently, like the last three years or so, it keeps popping up in writing assignments or conversations with mentors and teachers.
Today’s revelation by Billy Porter that he’s been living with HIV for 14 years wasn’t stunning. The things he had to say about shame, and hiding his status because of that shame was stunning. Little electric thrills ran around my brain.
Then things really clicked for me when he spoke about figuring out why he was still alive to tell the story. I was brought to tears at the bravery and vulnerability he showed.
My journey for several years has been to understand myself and what feminism means for me. You might recall I wrote about Kameron Hurley‘s book The Geek Feminist Revolution making me ugly cry and having a profound affect on me. After realizing I can only look at a book through the lens of Feminist theory made me decide to go all in and declare I specialize in SF/F feminism.
There’s a gaping hole in the SF/F community where good critical theory would fit nicely. There’s an even bigger hole where equal rights should go. I want to be a part of the fight to make things better for everyone in the community.
Every day, there are little revelations and realizations about the gaping holes in my emotional structure. The trauma and dysfunction that I somehow survived, and managed to come through. Healing and understanding is a lifetime process. It is slow, frustrating, and terrifying.
Given the state of women’s rights around the world, the not so creeping misogyny and sexism, I realized I can’t run anymore. My memoir insists on being written, and so it shall. Slowly, frustratingly, and very terrifyingly.
I have much to be grateful for, and today I give a big chunk of it to Billy Porter for being the light.
Publisher’s Blurb: A dystopian tale of a power struggle between the sexes in the post-nuclear future, perfect for readers of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.
After a nuclear holocaust, women rule the world. Using advanced technology, they’ve expelled men from their vast walled cities to roam the countryside in primitive bands, bringing them back only for the purpose of loveless reproduction under the guise of powerful goddesses.
When one young woman, Birana, questions her society’s deception, she finds herself exiled among the very men she has been taught to scorn. She crosses paths with a hunter, Arvil, and the two grow close as they evade the ever-threatening female forces and the savage wilderness men. Their love just might mend their fractured world—if they manage to survive.
Hailed as “one of the genre’s best writers” by the Washington Post Book World, Pamela Sargent is the author of numerous novels, including Earthseed and Venus of Dreams. The winner of the Nebula and Locus awards, she has also coauthored several Star Trek novels with George Zebrowski.
A dear friend knowing my proclivity for all things feminist in SF/F took some of his hard got by money and bought the ebook for me.
Things in 1986, when it was written, were much different than 2020, when I read it. But I’m still appalled The Shore of Women would be considered feminist. My review is part of a larger project I have in mind considering the treatment of women in books I’ve recently read, both in LitFic and SF/F.
Publisher’s Blurb: Who Cooked the Last Supper? overturns the phallusy of history and gives voice to the untold history of the world: the contributions of millions of unsung women.
Men dominate history because men write history. There have been many heroes, but no heroines. Here, in Who Cooked the Last Supper?, is the history you never learned–but should have!
Without politics or polemics, this brilliant and witty book overturns centuries of preconceptions to restore women to their rightful place at the center of culture, revolution, empire, war, and peace. Spiced with tales of individual women who have shaped civilization, celebrating the work and lives of women around the world, and distinguished by a wealth of research, Who Cooked the Last Supper? redefines our concept of historical reality.
Ugh, I really hate the play on words using phallusy in this blurb. Let’s not make light of the topic at hand.
Rosalind Miles’ Who Cooked the Last Supper? is dense to read at times. It is well-researched, which does not mean it’s an easy read. A review will come when I’ve had more time to mull over what she has to say.
Publisher’s Blurb: This collection of feminist writings has theory and praxis as its focus. The theoretical underpinnings of feminism, as well as the social action that it fuelled, are given full attention. Feminisms and Womanisms includes writings about First, Second and Third Wave Feminism, the voices of First Nations feminists, and those of feminists of colour. The reader includes chapters by feminist theorists such as Bell Hooks, Linda Briskin, Christine Bruckert, Angela Davis, Patricia Hill-Collins, Tammy Landau, Audre Ldrde, Inga Muscio, Viviane Namaste, Makeda Silvera, Dorothy Smith, Alice Walker, and Naomi Wolfe.
True story. In the pre-plague times when we were still required to work at the office, I’d befriended a lunch-time buddy because I thought he was a fellow reader. Turns out his actions showed him to be the sort of man who thinks himself a staunch feminist but really isn’t. He loved to tell me how I should do things and what I was allowed to talk about. One day, I’d had enough and told a fib.
“I have deadlines so I can’t eat with you anymore.” The next day, I sat at a different table reading Feminisms and Womanisms, taking notes. As he walked past, lunch buddy said, “I hope that pays off for you some day.” I let all sarcastic comments stay in my head.
Feminisms and Womanisms is a heady collection of excerpts from seminal feminist texts. It helped me on my journey to my own feminism, and gave me much to think about.