Sunday Long(ish) Reads

Throughout the week I read a lot of pieces and sometimes they’re good enough that I want to share them. Sometimes I post links on my Facebook page but those that go on Facebook end up here on a Sunday list. Links are broken into categories based on my main subject areas.

This is (hopefully) a new regular thing I’m going to do (I’m also going to try and start up #SaferHumpDay again). Theoretically it’s go up on Sunday morning for a kind of read over your coffee sort of thing but yesterday I was visiting family and today I was on a train without wifi so here it is. I also need a catchier title so leave a comment or message me or email me or call me or whatever if you have a suggestion.

Sex

  • The Erasure of Maya Angelou’s Sex Work History“by Peechington Marie, Tits and Sass: “She is hailed as a national best selling author, a genius, a spiritual God-, Grand-, and mother. She is lauded as everything Black women should aspire to emulate in life. So why is it very few of us know she was a sex worker in her youth? Why is it, even in her death, as in her life, it’s such a guarded secret? Why was this secret kept by seemingly everyone except Dr. Angelou herself?” [bold mine]
  • The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy” by Melissa Gira Grant, The New York Times: “The International Labor Organization estimates that more than three times as many people are trafficked into work like domestic, garment and agricultural labor than those trafficked for sex. I’ve interviewed human-rights advocates in Phnom Penh since 2007, and they raised concerns about Ms. Mam’s distortion of this reality. Her portrayal of all sex workers as victims in need of saving encouraged raids and rescue operations that only hurt the sex workers themselves.” [This op-ed goes beyond Newsweek’s poking out the holes in Ms. Mam’s mythology. I adore Melissa Gira Grant, seriously I think so highly of her.]

Books

  • Trigger Warnings Are Flawed” by “7 Humanities Professors”, Inside Higher Ed: “Most faculty are not trained to handle traumatic reactions. Although many of us include analyses of the cultural logics and legacies of trauma and/or perpetration in our courses, this expertise does not qualify faculty to offer the professional responses traumatized students may need. Institutions seriously committed to caring for traumatized students ought to be directing students, from their first days on campus, to a rich array of mental health resources. Trigger warnings are not an adequate substitute for these resources or for the information students need to get help. “
  • We Thought We Had the Voice Forever: In Memoriam of May Angelou” by Carolyn Wysinger, Autostraddle: “‘“I just thought she would live forever. I don’t know why but I thought she would.’” [Five days before I was born my parents sat in a restaurant watching Maya Angelou recite at President Clinton’s inauguration when they decided that if I was assigned female at my birth I would be named for her. Dr Angelou had a place in my life from before I was born, a connection that existed before I did and that opening sentence of Carolyn Wysinger’s article resonates with my deeply.]
  • Fairy Tales Are Women’s Tales” by Anne Thériault, The Toast: “Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm credit such women as Dorothea Wild, Dorothea Viehmann, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, and their brother-in-law Ludwig Hassenplug’s three sisters… Scottish folklorist Andrew Lang, who produced the Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Rose Fairy Books, relied heavily on his wife Leonora Alleyne and a team of female editors for his content. And Charles Perrault wrote in an introduction to his 1697 work Mother Goose Tales that these stories fell within long tradition of old wives’ tales… So, initially at least, the idea that fairy tales came from the domain of women was commonly acknowledged, and even used to give credibility to some stories. And yet these days, we think of them as being for children only. So what happened?” [If the name Anne Thériault is familiar it’s because you know of her popular, intelligent, thoughtful and sometimes humorous blog The Belle Jar. Full disclosure: she’s a dear friend of mine.]
  • The Cartographer Who Mapped Out Gotham City” by Jimmy Stamp, Smithsonian: “Brown has no formal training in cartography, but he did study architecture and had previously worked as a technical artist for Marvel Comics, where, as he told me, he was the closest thing they had to an ‘in-house architect and architectural renderer (and weapons designer and aerospace engineer).'”

Baking

Yeah I didn’t read anything about baking this week but it’s been a slow week for reading in general. Any recent pieces about baking (or food in general) that you’d recommend?

Came across this picture on Tits and Sass’ new “Ask Ms. Harm Reduction!” column and I relate to it on a really fucking personal level.

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