harpy week: introductions, parenting, and politics

This past week kicked off my tenure as a regular blogger at The Pursuit of Harpyness. I admit to some measure of anxiety going in ("will they like me?" "will my blog posts make sense and be interesting?") and want to extend a heartfelt thanks to my fellow bloggers and the readers/commenters who made the experience a positive and truly energizing one. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what next week brings!

So as not to leave all you lovely folks who follow my personal blog in the dust, I plan to provide an (ideally) weekly round-up of the posts I write over at Harpyness, as well as some highlights from fellow contributors. Look for the post to go up on Sundays.

And as a reminder, I have replaced the Sunday Smut links list with a tumblr blog that I post to all week long. The ten most recent posts from that blog can be found here at the feminist librarian at the dedicated feminist librarian reads page. Folks who prefer to get those links and posts directly through their blog reader of choice, you can pick up the RSS feed directly at the feminist librarian reads (feministlibrarian.tumblr.com).

Without further ado, here's the week at Harpyness.
  • On Monday, I put up an introductory post in which I interviewed myself about my background in blogging and my reasons for applying to be a blogger at Harpyness. Folks were so warm and welcoming, curious about my history work and eager to see more book reviews posted to the blog. I'm definitely going to take my cues from them moving forward as I pick and choose from my ever-expanding store of blog post seeds.
  • On Wednesday, I offered the first in what I hope will be a series of posts on reasons why the 1970s deserve a second (and more positive) look than the mainstream generally affords them. This post was a quasi-book review of a children's story called Baby X about a child whose parents raised hir in a gender-neutral way. Commenters drew connections between this story and a real-life family in Sweden who are currently trying to raise their child Pop without indicating the child's sex or gender.
  • Friday, I delved into the alternate world of fundamentalist history, reviewing historian Jill Lepore's recent account of how the Tea Party utilizes the history of the American Revolution in aid of its political agenda (The Whites of Their Eyes) and sharing historian Sean Wilentz's research into Cold- War-era conservatism's use of history and how it has influenced present-day pundits such as Glenn Beck.
In addition to my posts, there were other great submissions by newbies foureleven and Marie Anelle.
  • Marie wrote about the frustration of having relatives who give her children toys that reinforce stereotypical gender roles (in addition to crapping fake poop and looking like something out of a bad Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie) and also posted a much-trafficked post on the social policing of, and judgment heaped upon, women who do not breastfeed ... and those who do.
  • foureleven wrote a fascinating post about how one of her friends stopped speaking to her when ... foureleven (gasp!) dared to travel without her husband. Discussion in comments revolved around the difference between choosing to travel in ways that bring the most happiness to you and your partner, or which are most practical given your economic and other obligations (vacation time, business travel, etc.) .... and feeling compelled to always travel together because a married woman alone is on some level viewed as a shameless hussy. File this one under, "and you thought feminism was dead!"
Looking forward to an equally stimulating week two and hope that some of you will join us there.

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