Tag Archives: reading

Frisky Q&A: Emily Matchar, Author of Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing The New Domesticity

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QA Emily Matchar Homeward Bound

One upon a time, the phrase “domestic diva” referred to Martha Stewart and stereotypes of 1950′s housewives. But you may have noticed recently that all your friends are knitting and growing their own kale. Your cousin is raising chickens in her backyard. Your mom is making her own pickles and selling them on Etsy. And everyone is wondering why you aren’t baking your own bread yet.  (“It’s so easy!”)  Congratulations, you have been hit by New Domesticity, an aughties phenomenon in which traditional homemaking tasks experience a revival in the hopes of saving money, eating fresher, improving health, and cutting the government out of your personal life.

Journalist Emily Matchar always loved reading blogs, especially the do-it-yourself (DIY) and homesteading genres. She was surprised to see a lot of middle-class professionals, including Third and Forth Wave feminists (not the likeliest group to embrace washing their laundry by hand), taking on pioneer woman-style chores and calling it a feminist choice. Matchar got curious what was going on. Why would people milk their own cows if they could just buy milk at the store?  Why would parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Were women who quit their jobs to devote themselves full-time to growing nearly all their family’s food could really be serious? Quickly Matchar fell down a rabbit hole where answers only lead to more questions.  There are liberal Earth mamas, conservative Mormon housewives and even some pioneering dudes who read the same blogs about DIY homemaking tips — and they are everywhere. In her new book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing The New Domesticity speaks to a bunch of these folks and paints a fascinating portrait of this new twisty-turn in feminism.

I spoke with Matchar over the phone in Hong Kong, where she is currently living about New Domesticity, traditional gender roles, and the pleasures of breaking your bed. (Apparently, it really is so easy.)  Our conversation, after the jump:

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Professors Tested Fifty Shades Of Grey Library Book & Discovered It Has Herpes

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Everyone makes fun of me at the office for being a germophobe. But read this story and tell me I’m wrong: professors in Belgium ran toxicology and bacteriology tests on library books and found that Fifty Shades Of Grey had the herpes virus. Oh, yes. The two profs checked out the 10 most borrowed books in the Antwerp library to test them for germs and drugs. Not only did the E..L. James BDSM erotica have traces of herpes, but they also found traces of cocaine on every single other book. Relax, though: you won’t get a contact high or a persistent vaginal itch from any of these books because the concentrations of both were so minimal. (Just to be safe, Belgians, you could always wear condoms on your hands while reading!) Let’s talk about the appropriate way to use library books, people. Tip #1: DON’T GIVE YOUR LIBRARY BOOKS STDS.  [TIME]

Contain Your Excitement: “What Does The Fox Say” Is Going To Be A Book!

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Contain Your Excitement: "What Does The Fox Say" Is Going To Be A Book!
What Does The Fox Say?

If you haven’t seen Ylvis’s “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say)” music video yet, stop what you’re doing right now and watch it. I’ll wait. You could call it weird or overplayed, but I still happen to think it’s hilarious. Apparently, so do the folks at Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing because the song is coming to book form! On December 10, a picture book based on the song will be released for curious kids everywhere who are still wondering what in fact the fox actually says. (The verdict is still out on that one). Brothers Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker are behind Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo with a whole repertoire of laugh-worthy performances under their belts. This latest quirky creation has been viewed over 200 million times and counting on YouTube. Maybe with the money they’re getting from this book deal, they can put some towards researching what the fox actually does say. [ABC News]

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, A Jane Austen Victorian Airbrushing Scandal!

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Jane Austen is the newest face on Britain’s 10 pound note.  Yay feminism, right?  Well, hold your horses, sister suffragette, because now Austen’s biographer is howling about an airbrushing scandal. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Anna Holmes, Editor Of The Book Of Jezebel

anna holmes book of jezebel

If you are a lady of a certain age with an Internet connection, chances are you read Jezebel.com. In fact, you might be on it right now.  The blog launched in 2007 and truly proved — to the mainstream media, to our feminist foremothers who complain that women today are apathetic, to men — that there is an appetite for smart, sassy, feminist commentary on the Internet. The site inspires intense feelings amongst feminists and Reddit-trolling men’s rights activists alike — the former critiquing the site for its coverage of hot-button issues and the latter for encouraging women “to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

OK, that last one was Pat Roberston, but I am betting he would not like Jezebel either. Which is precisely why I love it.

So you can imagine how thrilling it is that Anna Holmes, founder and original editor of Jezebel, has published The Book Of Jezebel, a coffee table encyclopedia of modern womanhood.  The contributors’ page reads like a who’s who of the smartest women writers today, who have written entries ranging from “Roseanne” to abortion to Alice Walker to vulvas. No wonder the conservative web site The Daily Caller already had an apoplectic fit about The Book Of Jezebel, accusing its “angry women” authors and fans of having widespread daddy issues.

I called up Anna Holmes to discuss the book’s release and her thoughts on the feminist media ecosystem today.  Here’s our conversation, after the jump!

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Kickass Woman Of The Day: Warsan Shire Is London’s First Ever Young Poet Laureate

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Kickass Woman Of The Day: Warsan Shire Is London's First Ever Young Poet Laureate

Warsan Shire, 24, has just become London’s first ever Young Poet Laureate. The Kenyan-born Somali poet writes about both English and African culture, exploring war, sex, culture, love, and everything in between with a great depth and sensitivity. She expresses her worldview with an honest vulnerability that most would shy away from. Her first book of poems, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, was published in 2011. She has a BA in creative writing and even teaches workshops on using poetry to heal trauma – and she’s not even halfway through her 20s yet. Warsan was chosen from six young finalists, and she will now undertake a residency at the Houses of Parliament and spend the next year creating work that reflects on London. Carol Ann Duffy, London’s current poet laureate, announced Warsan as the winner as part of National Poetry Day. Her willingness to be candid and speak her truth in her work is something we could all stand to learn from. ”It is our vision for east London to be a thriving cultural district,” said chief executive Dennis Hone, “and Warsan as the first Young Poet Laureate for London will play a key part in that transformation.” Congratulations! [BBC; Well & OftenWarsan Shire]

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