stuff and things to read

Been a slow couple of weeks for the blog; I've realizes that the energy of the semester bleeds over into my blog posts and then post-semester I somehow can't gather the momentum to write original content very coherently for a while. But here are some 'net links for stuff I've been reading in the meantime.

Once more, with feeling: the sexist world of Twilight from the pages of Ms. Magazine. (And 'cause I used the title, Hanna will now absolutely require me to watch the Buffy episode).

My friend mk, a fellow fledgling librarian, wrote a nice post over on the YALSA blog about the fuzzy line between business and pleasure reading for those of us in the words and ideas business.

If you know any women age 60-75 who might be interested in participating in a survey on women's sexuality, point them toward this post on Our Bodies, Our Blog.

I've been thinking a lot about language and the way it creates insider/outsider groups, whether it's the language of a particular academic discipline (say library science) or the language of a political movement (say feminism). I might be blogging my own thoughts later on, but in the meantime Questioning Transphobia (here followed by here) and canonball at Feministing Community have thoughtful posts on the subject.

When Hanna sent me the link to this article at the Guardian last week, I took one look at the headline and knew I didn't have enough energy to enumerate its faults and logical fallacies as they should properly be enumerated: "Sex, drink and fashion. Is this the new face of American feminism?" Luckily, Jessica at Feministing offers a concise smackdown.

Meanwhile, as if blogging while at work weren't proof enough of my adult-onset inability to pay meaningful attention to any one thing for long periods of time, Hanna has instructed me to bone up on my multitasking skills and forwarded this helpful article on the art as homework.

The latest addition to my expansive reading list (thanks to Hanna for the link) is The Philosophical Baby, by Alison Gopnik. From an interview with the author:

One of the ideas in the book is that children are like the R&D department of the human species. They’re the ones who are always learning about the world. But if you’re always learning, imagining, and finding out, you need a kind of freedom that you don’t have if you’re actually making things happen in the world. And when you’re making things happen, it helps if those actions are based on all of the things you have learned and imagined. The way that evolution seems to have solved this problem is by giving us this period of childhood where we don’t have to do anything, where we are completely useless. We’re free to explore the physical world, as well as possible worlds through imaginative play. And when we’re adults, we can use that information to actually change the world.

I suggested to Hanna that, actually, this sounded an awful lot like the two of us, and that perhaps one of the unheralded qualities of the graduate student mind was our ability to access the learning and imagining skills we used so tirelessly as small units.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting set of links, Anna.

    Oddly, Jessica's main complaint about the media's treatment of feminism applies equally well - if not far better - to her treatment of conservatives, libertarians, pro-lifers, and politicians like Sarah Palin.