Tag Archives: reading

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

jane austen banknote

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!

Keep reading »

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]

“The Bachelor”‘s Courtney Robertson Writing Memoir

  • Courtney Robertson, season 16 winner of “The Bachelor” with Ben Flajnik, landed a book deal for a memoir called I Didn’t Come Here To Make Friends: Confessions Of A Reality Show Villain. [US Weekly]
  • “Glee” star Heather Morris gave birth this weekend to a baby boy named Elijah. Mazel tov!  [US Weekly]
  • Lindsay Lohan’s parents have been banned by Oprah’s network from appearances on LiLo’s reality show. [TMZ]
  • Rachel Leigh Cook has welcomed her first daughter with “Vampire Diaries” actor Daniel Gillies. Congrats! [People]
  • Is “Breaking Bad” a critique of U.S. healthcare (or lack thereof)? [Feministing]
  • “Modern Family” might be getting a spinoff. [Hollywood Reporter] Keep reading »

Literature Bro David Gilmour Isn’t Sexist, He Was Just Busy Speaking French When He Said Women Writers Suck

“I was having a conversation, in French, with a colleague while this young woman was doing this interview. So these were very much tossed-off remarks. … [T]his is a young woman who kind of wanted to make a little name for herself, or something, because when I said ‘real heterosexual guys’ I’m talking about Scott Fitzgerald [and] Scott Fitzgerald was not what you’d call a real guy’s guy, a real heterosexual guy. Part of Scott Fitzgerald’s charm is in his feminine sensibility. But then this noise happened. … Quite frankly, I was speaking to a Frenchman, so I was more concerned with my French than I was with what I was saying to this young woman.”

Are you following this? Professor David Gilmour of the University of Toronto isn’t sexist for refusing to teach women writers in his classes (except for one short story by Virginia Woolf) — you see,  he was just busy speaking in French to someone else. It’s so hard to not be sexist and speak French at the same time. Also, the female journalist who printed the words that came out of his mouth is just trying to “make a little name” for herself. Also-also, women writers still aren’t very good at writing, but F. Scott Fitzgerald has a “feminine sensibility” so he’s still OK as the type of “serious heterosexual guys” that Gilmour will only teach. Cool story, bro. [National Post]

Literature Bro David Gilmour Doesn’t Teach Books Written By Women: “If You Want Women Writers Go Down The Hall”

“I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.”

This is Professor David Gilmour of the University of Toronto, who is interviewed today in a column called “Shelf Esteem” by Random House Canada. No foofy lady writers with their weight gain battles, dying children and Red Rooms Of Pain on these esteemed shelves! Gilmour is only interested teaching his students in the greats, who of course, have a big dick swinging between their legs, which helps them write.  The only “woman writer” who even approaches the dickitude David Gilmour needs in his writers is Virginia Woolf. And if you’ve got a problem that, you can go cry about it in the women’s studies department down the hall. (Also, no Chinese???)

[Random House CA] [Image via Random House]

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