Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Book Reviews!

In case you need something to read in the new year.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The premise of the KonMari tidying method is to pull everything, all of your possessions, onto one spot (starting with clothes and then moving onto to subsequent categories) and while holding each item, decide whether is sparks joy. The idea behind starting with everything in one place, rather than room by room, means it will be less likely that you forgot about that box in the closet in that room.

There are such simple stanzas, but the lines force the reader to linger and digest more than what lies on the page. Some other lines included:

"Generation./Strange word: both making and passing"

The book does include some very thoughtful and important points, like specifically calling out the fact that "the components of a slut's sluttiness include: displaying agency, being active rather than passive, choosing her actions....Agency is a critical element of the sexual double standard, in which only girls, never boys, are called to tasks for their real or presumed sexual aggression."Women who don't toe the party line or play the game have been called aggressive or slutty since the beginning of time. Calling a woman a slut "convinces girls and women who have been victimized that they are the ones who have done something wrong," when in fact it is a tool to subjugate women. Young women "[recognize] that sexual equality does not in fact yet exist in practice. When a girl and boy are identically sexually active, only the girl is treated punitively."

Advising women how to stave off rapists does not work. Nor does policing women's lifestyle choices. The idea of putting the problem squarely on women's shoulders rather than the men who rape also didn't sit well with Zerlina Maxwell, who stated in March of 2013, "I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there." Many people lost their collective shit over such a statement and when the surrounding culture has given free passes to men regardless of what they do, it's not a big surprise.

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