Still Mostly about Sexism: A Links Round-Up

I’m really tired this Friday. My week’s been fine, but I’m coming out of it feeling exhausted and discouraged, for no real reason I can identify. I wish my stupid period would start, as I guess that is maybe the reason I am feeling crummy. These are some links. Very good ones, I think!

“Every comment allowed to pass, every rapist defended by friends and family and strangers, every man afraid of being falsely accused, creates a culture saying, ‘We have your back when you harm women.'” Natalie Degraffinried on how badly we need men to take on accountability for rape culture.

“Let’s be dragons together”: Maureen Ryan on her sexual assault by a TV executive and the (lack of) fall-out.

And (last Harvey Weinstein thing) the typically brilliant Bim Adewunmi on sexual harassment, black women, and being in the room where it (movie, assault) happens.

Well, okay, one more tangentially Harvey Weinstein thing: Soraya Chemaly on what we teach girls when we enforce dress codes.

What time is it? VIDA COUNT TIME!

I’m really looking forward to Alexis Okeowo’s book A Moonless Starless Sky, which tells the stories of ordinary people fighting against extremism in Africa. Lithub has an adapted excerpt.

Do you read WIP fics? Caroline Crampton dives into the fraught problem of WIPs and what happens when your favorite story lacks an ending.

On the protection racket of sexism, and what leads women to blame the victim.

Dear universe, I don’t want to learn anything bad about Taika Waititi ever, so please see to that, thx. Here’s how he supported and incorporated indigenous New Zealand in Thor: Ragnarok.

“I enjoy full-sized toilets that flush into a municipal sewage system.” Roxane Gay on tiny houses and what they say about America.

Chaya Bhuvaneswar writes about her complex love for the bigoted, and talented, T.S. Eliot.

Have a safe and excellent weekend, friends!

  • J’eanne

    I love Roxane Gay. She so often says what no one else is saying yet; her words are weighty.

  • Loved the Roxane Gay article. People are very angry in the comments though.

    • Hahaha, are they? I never, ever read the comments, unless someone says “there’s a really good comment in there that you should read” which I gather is not the case here. :p

  • I read A Moonless, Starless Sky during the Readathon, and I really liked it. I thought of you while reading it, actually — it made me want to pick up books that dig deeper into the four countries that she wrote about, and I was going to go to you for some recommendations 🙂

    • YAYYYYY oh Kim you have come to the right place. Please allow me to assist you in this matter, with the caveat that Africa in general and modern Africa in particular is parlously understudied. You’ll have a country the size of Mauritania with virtually nothing published in English about its post-independence history. SOB.

      Mauritania: Peter Ruf has a book (from 1999, so a bit older) about slavery in Mauritania that I understand relies heavily on interviews with slaves and former slaves. So that would probably be relevant to what Okeowo is writing about. There’s also a 2009 book called “Movers and Shakers: Social Movements in Africa” with an article about political movements against slavery in the twentieth century.

      Uganda: Aili Mari Tripp has a 2010 book called Museveni’s Uganda that deals with the current regime and its strengths and weaknesses.Tim Allen and Koen Vlassenroot have an edited collection called The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and Reality, and Sverker Finnstrom has a book called Living with Bad Surroundings.

      Nigeria: Since Boko Haram is relatively new, a lot of what’s been published on it has been articles, and it’s hard to know as well what bits will stand the test of time. BUT: The US Institute of Peace has an overview,, ditto the Intl Crisis Group,, and there’s a book called Boko Haram: Islamism, Politics, Security, and the State in Nigeria.

      Somalia: Understanding the Somali Conflagration, by Afyare Abdi Elmi, and Al-Shabaab in Somalia by Stig Jarle Hansen.

      All of this is brought to you by Oxford Bibliographies, where I get all my academic nonfiction recs. :p

  • I loved the Roxane Gay article and agree with everything she has to say. Like Heather pointed out though, the commentators are NOT happy with her.

    The dress code article was interesting. I used to put Holly on a separate dress code because she has a difficult time understanding that dance clothes are not necessarily street clothes. I was always worried that others would think that her outfits give others permission to ogle her body. A few months ago, I realized that I too was forcing her to change her behavior because of other people. So no more. She can wear what she feels comfortable wearing, and if the school should ever call her out or shame her for wearing something Mama Bear is coming for them. It’s time to take back the streets for our girls and stand up to other’s bad behavior.

    • Aw, Michelle, that’s really sweet. And I completely understand both perspectives — I can’t imagine how hard it is to navigate the world as the mother of a girl. She’s lucky to have a wonderful advocate like you in her corner. <3

  • Thanks for the links. I hope that this time, after these revelations about Weinstein and others in Hollywood, we’ll finally start to see the culture shift. But it isn’t the first time women have spoken up, and every time we have in the past, there’s been a backlash. That’s what we’re dealing with in the Title IX context with our current Department of Education. We’re going backwards.