FBC ep33 Lucy Recommends What to Add to Your Intersectional Bookshelf - 7:22:19, 9.44 AM.mp3
2:53PM Jul 22, 2019
Welcome back to the feminist book club podcast, a show for dangerous well read women. Each week we explore literature and media through a feminist lens as one small way to reclaim our time, our books and our stories. Let's get started.
Well, hello there everyone. It's Lucy back here again for another episode, killing the game out here reading some really kick ass books. But before I'm jumping into any of my books, I wanted to let you all know, July 28. That's coming up soon. What's happening July 28, feminist book club is hosting our first meetup. In celebration of our first birthday, we're going to be hanging out at Minneapolis, his newest women owned bookstore, the irreverent bookworm from 11am to 1pm. We're going to have gourmet cupcakes from Penny cakes and coffee from peace, coffee, and some other surprises for you as well along the way, the details on Facebook and we've linked those in the show notes as well. We're also hosting giveaways on our Instagram. And this week's giveaway features a signed copy of the YA novel squad by Mariah McCarthy plus over $150 worth of feminist goodies. Who doesn't want that it's our final giveaway for our grand birthday month extravaganza. And it ends on Sunday, so make sure you click the link in our show notes as well to enter to win. So today I'm going to be diving into talking about intersection ality and I have a few books to add to your intersection bookshelf for this month. So not only do I want to recommend some really solid reads that are good on informing you about issues you might not be aware of like people of color issues, Trans and Queer issues, immigrant issues, etc. But I also want to speak a bit about on the importance of being an ally in general, like outside of your reading selections. Being an ally, when we're all in a place of privilege is the least we can do me included since I'm white as hell. But what does being an ally actually look like? How can we learn how to be one, I'm going to be having a little teaching moment in the midst of some book recommendations. So I'm just going to jump right into my first book, because this could get long if I chat her on about why it's important to be an ally, when instead I could use some kick ass examples. The first book I read was reclaiming our space how black feminists are changing the world from the tweets to the streets by feminist Jones. feminist Jones is like the most inspiring woman. Most of her work centers around the black American experience and intersection ality and I see learning about black feminism from a self identifying black female feminist as the only and best way to learn the focus of this book is fairly self explanatory based on the title. It breaks open the work black women have been doing for decades and how they're fighting the fight in the media and society. You learn about how black women have been using social media to build up these really strong networks and communities they're a part of, and how they've also been the start of enormous movements that we still talk about today. Like the hashtag Black Lives Matter. Hashtag, say her name and hashtag black girl magic that are really popular on social media and especially Twitter, highlighting the impact of black women have had on social media is really cool, because it shows how accessible it's becoming for younger generations and people like myself to see this essential point of view. And to be exposed to a community with struggles different than there's not going to lie, it was kind of hard for me to connect with this book. But I think that was the point. I can't empathize because I'll never go through the hardships of being a black woman. But that was exactly why it's necessary for me to read this. And I think that's why it's necessary for other white women and other self identifying feminists who aren't black women to read this book. How can we ever learn about this fight without learning firsthand from the women experiencing it and the women talking about what they've gone through? Jones also brings so many different names into her book that show how you can continue to learn beyond her book. They give great resources that I was reading and I'd be like, I don't know who this is. I'm going to go look this up. She talks about Angela Davis and her activism, Sojourner Truth and her speech to the American equal rights Association. And in her chapter on black feminism, one on one, she says at jack Garvey, Dorothy Height, Mary church Terrelle and Anna Julia Cooper are among names that should immediately come to mind when thinking of the earliest black feminist women in the US. Now I did not know most of these names. And like I said I had to look most of them up. And I was absolutely blown away by these women's achievements and dedication to black liberation. And how are we not talking about these women more this is why we read accounts of these people so we can learn their stories and how they fought harder than anyone for their communities. Amy jack Garvey a prominent face for women in the universal Negro Improvement Association. Dorothy Height president for 40 years of the National Council of Negro women Mary church Terrelle one of the first black women to get a college degree and she taught at the first black public high school in America and a Julia Cooper born into slavery yet became the fourth black women to earn a PhD in America. This book gives these women and their accomplishments a chance to be seen and acknowledged and anyone self identifying as a feminist and needs to put this book at the very top of their list. To truly understand that black feminism must be included in all feminism, period. No questions about it. So on to my second book, The most challenging book I've actually read to date is hunger by Roxane Gay. And we've talked about Roxane Gay before on this podcast. We had one of her books in a previous box of the month. But I will give a trigger warning for this book. It deals with salt and talks a lot about food and her struggles with eating. And I know that is a sensitive topic for many, including myself. And that is why I say that this is the most challenging book I've ever read. And it's also because it is so honest, she overlaps her action experiences growing up patient American along with her sexual assault and how that resulted in her gaining weight and the mental journey that it took her on, you definitely go through all the motions in this book, there were times I laughed. There were times I was furiously highlighting sections that I could relate to. And many, many times I had to set the book down because I couldn't breathe and it was so heavy. A recurring theme throughout the book is her relationship with her parents and how food was a big part of her childhood because of the ties it had to her Haitian heritage and bringing cooking into the home. She also speaks on how her father would take her to doctors appointments. But you can feel the discomfort because she writes in such a blunt fashion that you feel how her dad feels about her weight and how she feels about his feelings. There's a lot of feeling in this a sentence I highlighted while reading the first time around is a section in what she's talking about getting fashion advice and dressing and finding clothing for herself. And the line reads to be that girl in a clothing store is to be the loneliest girl in the world. Yeah, that is the heavy shit I'm talking about. As far as heavy shit goes in this book that's on the lighter and her honesty about her weight. And her thoughts about her weight make this a raw read for anyone who struggled with their body and their feelings towards themselves in general. And that's why I see this as a good reader allies in two ways. One, we're reading the story of a woman of color and we see insights into her family life and how that's impacted her. But also, it's the story that we are all just afraid to tell. We're all afraid to talk about weight. And it's the story of an overweight woman who will bluntly tell you that she's overweight and what she does and don't want to hear from any of us about the topic. It's angry. It's accepting in some way. And it's an insight into a perspective we really never get to hear and are often too afraid to listen to. Our culture is very afraid to talk about body image and weight. And it is so refreshing that she just completely cracks it open and says we can see the word fat we can talk about this. But if this book sounds too heavy for you, then I completely understand I almost did not get through it. But then you need to check out one of her other books because you'll hear her raw voice and absolutely any of her readings, and you'll get a feel for her take no bullshit attitude, which again, so refreshing we love Roxane Gay here. Finally I'm recommending one day we'll all be dead. And none of this will matter by Sachi cool. Yeah, imagine asking for that title from the Barnes and Noble attendant. She kind of looked at me and she goes, that's an interesting title and then led me to where I can find the book cool is Indian Canadian. Having grown up in Alberta, Canada and her parents being from the Kashmir region of India, you'll have to look up a picture for the cover of this book. Since it gives an entire new context to the content of the book. Several of the words of the title are crossed out. So when you read just the uncross outwards, the title reads, one day This will matter. So take that Barnes and Noble attendant, this is actually a really kick ass book. This is a collection of short essays that she's written. Ranging from her intense fear of flying to the death of her grandparents. She covers her mother's illness, and then later things like explaining what Twitter is to her dad. I'm really drawn to reading essay collections from people who write very open and honestly, if my coverage on Roxane Gay didn't make that pretty clear, but cool does it ridiculously? Well, seriously. It's like reading how I speak in my head. But on the page, she curses, she calls people idiots, she makes blunt observations, and occasionally writes in all caps, which is definitely how I think my brain is in all caps mode all the time. Her humor is evident within the first few pages of the book. But she does an incredible job of weaving her experiences with the humor that has a darker tone to it. But at the same time, she's talking about the cultural impact her parents and their upbringing have had on her. And she weaves all of these different fibers into tell one very coherent story. Even if it does jump around. The first story of the book was so raw in her sharing how her parents have slowly become intensely fearful of literally anything and everything in this world that could bring harm to them in their children. Even things that can't bring harm they weren't her against this is how she came to have her own deep fear of flying after her mother's mother passed away. Her own mother became paranoid and demanded that her daughter to call me the second you land, and she would tell her things, like who knows what could kill you out there in the world. So this is a very overprotective mother who has become this way through some very traumatic experiences in her life. But it's interesting to read about how intensely her parents ideals have woven their way into her own life and changed her experiences over the years. My favorite thing about her stories is how casually she intertwines her culture and experiences as a woman of color into the stories. Not only am I reading a funny story about traveling with her partner, but she also mentioned things that only she as a woman of color is going to experience and therefore get to make jokes about like when she mentions in a story that quote 911 hadn't happened. So our family wasn't yet deemed suspicious at Calgary's airport. I once loudly asked my brother while standing in a security queue, how exactly people made bombs out of batteries. So yeah, there's a taste of her blunt honesty. But as you continue to read, you also get to see her contemplate her culture. There's a scene where she watches her sick mother cooking traditional Indian dishes. And my favorite line from one story is mom's arthritis got worse, but she kept cooking Rogan Josh show spicy, it ripped the roof of your mouth clean of whipping a wooden spoon around and a pressure cooker with her aching wrist. So overall, you really get a pretty deep look into her life, her fears her relationships and her heritage and how her parents have made impressions on her in her life, or oftentimes in a bubble of our own culture. And when we look outside of our immediate world, we don't even see a fraction of other communities out in the world. With this book, you're not only getting some moving stories, but also look into a culture you may understand nothing about, which is kind of the point of reading stories from people in backgrounds different from yours. Well, those were my pics for this episode. I know there were only three books, but they're all so valuable. And I hope you could see the point on why it's important to read. Like an ally if you want to put it that way. Books are the easiest place to make an effort and learning about perspectives different from our own. These women of color authors mentioned in today's episode all have worldviews that are important to hear, learn from and understand so we can integrate knowledge of all backgrounds into our own. Now, like I said, reading to broaden your worldview is only the beginning step it is a small step. But there are countless other ways to show ally ship in person and make bigger gestures in supporting people of color if you follow the feminist book club Instagram, which you totally should, if you don't, you know we talked about white privilege, and I cannot recommend you enough to that post. If you'd like to learn further about being a good ally. It has some really good places to start has some good things to contemplate. And your ally ship can only go further from there. Well, that is all I have for you then thanks for sticking with me for yet another episode here in my Wisconsin accent babble at you for all these stories I'm reading and I'll be back in August with even more books to share from my constantly growing bookshelf. Sorry to my wallet for that one.
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