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Rosie-the-Riveter

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it went downhill from January.

Books bought: none

Books read: For The Glory by Duncan Hamilton – All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister – The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins – Morning Star by Pierce Brown – Algorithms To Live By by Brian Christian & Thomas Griffiths.

Despite February having a whole extra day this year, note that I’m only getting to this post in March. While my daughter naps. And STILL only read ninety-five pages of my Gibbon Challenge. And apart from Morning Star, there wasn’t anything particularly brilliant. Interesting, sure. But brilliant…

Although I did manage to start a minor goodreads fight.

I’ve been reading, over the past few years, an increasing amount of pop-feminist literature. I call it pop, because it’s not Judith Butler. There’s been no commercially viable monograph on feminism constructed through post-colonial discursive subalterity. But still  these authors often have an incredible – almost innate – grasp of current feminist theory and the intellectual chops necessary to wrestle with it.

This wasn’t a reading program. Or a conscious attempt to read in the area. But, instead, these books are eminently readable for a general audience and there are simply more and more of them. It feels like we’re about to tip into a new golden age of feminist writing. The books range from the brilliant (Bolick’s Spinster) to the terrifying (Eltahawy’s Hymens & Headscarves) to the pithy (Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists) to the cautionary (Sales’s American Girls and Johnston’s Drink). And this year I can’t wait for Roxane Gay’s new book, Hunger.

It’s encouraging that this writing is increasingly breaking into the mainstream commercial market. And that there exists a growing pool of readers. There is really no downside at all here. These writers are grappling with new and old issues for new generations. And they’re doing it in ways that enlist men as allies. Although it’s a little discouraging not to see more men’s profile pics reviewing them or marking them ‘to-read’ on goodreads.

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C’mon guys! Train’s leaving the station…get on board. I’m certain men ARE reading these books, or at least some of the guys at work are, because we talk about them. But it would be nice to see more men participate in this trend. Let’s not witness all these great books publish only to have them languish in some gendered ghetto. This really is something we’re all in together. So next time you’re looking for a gift for your boyfriend, husband, office colleague, random-guy-in-your-life…or you want to have your daughter give Dad a birthday or Father’s Day gift, make it one of these books.

He’ll thank you for it.

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