kelsium
For many of these women, the reading experience begins from a place of seething rage. Take Sara Marcus’ initial impression of Jack Kerouac: “I remember putting On the Road down the first time a woman was mentioned. I was just like: ‘Fuck. You.’ I was probably 15 or 16. And over the coming years I realized that it was this canonical work, so I tried to return to it, but every time I was just like, ‘Fuck you.’” Tortorici had a similarly visceral reaction to Charles Bukowski: “I will never forget reading Bukowski’s Post Office and feeling so horrible, the way that the narrator describes the thickness of ugly women’s legs. I think it was the first time I felt like a book that I was trying to identify with rejected me. Though I did absorb it, and of course it made me hate my body or whatever.” Emily Witt turned to masculine texts to access a sexual language that was absent from books about women, but found herself turned off by their take: “many of the great classic coming-of-age novels about the female experience don’t openly discuss sex,” she says in No Regrets. “I read the ones by men instead, until I was like, ‘I cannot read another passage about masturbation. I can’t. It was like a pile of Kleenex.”

This isn’t just about the books. When young women read the hyper-masculine literary canon—what Emily Gould calls the “midcentury misogynists,” staffed with the likes of Roth, Mailer, and Miller—their discomfort is punctuated by the knowledge that their male peers are reading these books, identifying with them, and acting out their perspectives and narratives. These writers are celebrated by the society that we live in, even the one who stabbed his wife. In No Regrets, Elif Bautman talks about reading Henry Miller for the first time because she had a “serious crush” on a guy who said his were “the best books ever,” and that guy’s real-life recommendation exacerbated her distaste for the fictional. When she read Miller, “I felt so alienated by the books, and then thinking about this guy, and it was so hot and summertime … I just wanted to kill myself. … He compared women to soup.”

In No Regrets, women writers talk about what it was like to read literature’s “midcentury misogynists.” (via becauseiamawoman)

Here’s a fun thing you learn when you study literature: the western canon is not universally beloved. Those books are not the Truth any more than the New York Post is skilled journalism. The main reason they’re held in such high esteem is because they were written by boring white dudes with rage fantasies and boring white dudes with rage fantasies also happen to be largely in charge of deciding which books are deemed classics and taught forever in the American school system.
So if your boyfriend tells you he loves Kerouac then you tell your boyfriend Kerouac was a fucking second rate hack who wrote Beat style because he didn’t have the skill or talent to write any other way, which is probably also why he just copied every adolescent male wanderlust story since the beginning of time. That shit’s derivative and boring.

(via saintthecla)

Everyone go read this immediately. As I decided last week, my life motto has been expanded from “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it” to include “If all your favorite books are by white men, I probably don’t think you’re a very interesting person.”

(via velocipedestrienne)

leahbee
We were discussing homosexuality because of an allusion to it in the book we were reading, and several boys made comments such as, “That’s disgusting.” We got into the debate and eventually a boy admitted that he was terrified/disgusted when he was once sharing a taxi and the other male passenger made a pass at him. The lightbulb went off. “Oh,” I said. “I get it. See, you are afraid, because for the first time in your life you have found yourself a victim of unwanted sexual advances by someone who has the physical ability to use force against you.” The boy nodded and shuddered visibly.“But,” I continued. “As a woman, you learn to live with that from the time you are fourteen, and it never stops. We live with that fear every day of our lives. Every man walking through the parking garage the same time you are is either just a harmless stranger or a potential rapist. Every time.” The girls in the room nodded, agreeing. The boys seemed genuinely shocked. “So think about that the next time you hit on a girl. Maybe, like you in the taxi, she doesn’t actually want you to.”

Andrew Sullivan, Homophobia: The fear that another man will treat you like you treat women. 

(via perfect)

I don’t know how true anything people write about the music people play for babies is. But I do know that there’s something about the music my mom played for me when I was a kid that’s subconsciously made me realize how I became the person I am. There’s something about what these women had to say that almost twenty years later, she successfully imprinted onto my brain. My mother listened to women who were musicians first, musicians before and musicians after the men in their lives. Women who not only wrote their own songs, but who wrote the songs the men in their lives sang. These women weren’t muses. These women stood alone.

When I listen to this song, or really anything by Joni Mitchell, or Stevie Nicks or Carole King, I know: My mother was showing me how to be a woman.

And it’s eerie, it’s really almost haunting, the way I’ve grown up to parrot these phrases back to myself in my head. The way I fight my feelings the way these women did in song.  It’s like you hear it in your head, I hate you, I hate you so…oh I love you, when I forget about me. I wanna be strong, I wanna to laugh along, I wanna belong to the living. Maybe subconsciously, that’s how I learned what it meant to be a woman on my own. Because that’s where I inevitably look again, to find the balance that Joni’s fighting for here, between being strong and laughing along, between letting herself love and forgetting herself, between making someone else feel better and allowing them to feel free. It’s the balance I always quietly knew I’d be seeking. So when I find myself fighting for it too, as an uncertain woman who isn’t used to feeling her mind see-saw, I’m not the least bit surprised. Because Joni told me, if I grew up like she told me to, that’s what would happen.

Your mother isn’t telling you anything, because when you’re in your teens, you aren’t trying to believe that the advice she’s giving is advice you’ll cling to when you’re a woman. So she plays for you, over and over, the words she wants you to hear. And when, over and over during your adolescent years, you hear Joni Mitchell tell you, like she’s proposing the idea to herself, that all she really, really wants her love to do is to bring out the best in me and in you, too, eventually you start to add whatever that means to your ever-growing definition of love and relationships.

So what, then, when you hear her crooning, can you see can you see can you see how you’re hurting me, baby? Like she’s trying to figure it out – the extent of her hurt –  for herself, for the first time, too, you realize that maybe when she wonders how she’s being hurt it isn’t anything anyone else is really doing, but it’s in this forgetting and this remembering and this trying so hard to be strong where the effort starts to ache. It’s in this fighting so hard to remember, to remember to be strong, strong enough to be ever-present in the face of something that threatens to steal you from yourself.

Because how could you ever know that as you wonder how someone could possibly wanna make you feel free, how someone could even be able to help another person feel that way, that one day you’re going to know just how important it is to work so hard to always

feel

free

itsfrantastic

itsfrantastic:

queerpotters:

Kristen Stewart in ‘Just One Of The Guys’ by Jenny Lewis (x)

At roughly 2:35, Kristen Stewart waggles her eyebrows in suggestive delight at the viewer, then beckons to herself as if to say “Me? You? You? Me? Is this happening? Let’s make this happen.” Kristen Stewart contains more drollery in the crook of her little finger than you have in your entire miserable carcass.

I’ve seen four out of five of the Twilight movies and haven’t thought twice about Kristen Stewart until I saw this video and now she’s ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT???

Maybe Kristen Stewart should just keep playing dudes? And that’s not meant as an insult, that’s just meant as like, find your niche, bb.

explore-blog

Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?

You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.

You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate… Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul.

[…]

It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference. They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them.

Beautiful read on why readers are, “scientifically,” the best people to date

Perhaps Kafka’s timeless contention that books are "the axe for the frozen sea inside us" applies equally to the frozen sea between us. 

(via explore-blog)

fatmanatee
Let’s all try to write better, more nuanced and multi-dimensional female characters: women with rich inner lives and complicated emotions and total autonomy, who might strum ukuleles or dance in the rain even when there are no men around to marvel at their free-spiritedness. But in the meantime, Manic Pixies, it’s time to put you to rest.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

LEBRON JAMES: WHY I’M COMING HOME TO CLEVELAND

Oh sorry, just have a ton of dust in my eyes after reading LeBron’s homecoming letter

Nothing like a good old Midwestern homecoming coupled with an inspirational story of hometown hero doing right by his city to make me bawl like a baby. Just leaving this here in case any of you were due for a good emotional outpouring on this Friday afternoon.