Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

June 13 is the publication date for Roxane Gay’s latest book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Among other issues, the book focuses on fat shaming, trauma, and the lasting impact of being raped. This week’s first article contains a review of Gay’s book. It’s a concise and thought-provoking introduction into the memoir’s main themes. Andrea Constand’s criminal case against Bill Cosby began this week. Jezebel reports that in opening arguments Cosby’s lawyer asked the jury to consider the men in their lives and how such a conviction would ruin them forever. As the articles states, the lawyer neglected to ask the jury to remember the women in their lives. We’ll keep you updated on the trial’s progress.

In climate news, a town in Alaska must be relocated due to global warming; the twelfth homicide this year in the transgender community is discussed in a Colorlines piece; and an article from Huffington Post reminds us how to be respectful when attempting to “help” people in the disabled community. An ACLU article contains an interview with one of the only abortion doctors left in Alabama, and a New York Times piece holds out hope that interracial love might “save America.”

Several articles this week revolve around race and gender. Congresswoman Harris persisted as she was being silenced by male peers. A critique of Wonder Woman exposes the lack of intersectional feminism in the film. Last week, this column included an article questioning the role of gender in the Manchester terror attacks. I have followed that up this week with a piece from VOX that makes clear the consideration of gender in acts of terrorism So, for these stories and more, please Read On! Your comments are always welcome.

1.This is her refrain; underneath it is the core wound of the rape. This is where Gay’s life trajectory was split in two, so brutal that you want to look away. You will remember the times you fat-shamed someone, or were fat-shamed yourself. You will feel implicated.
“In ‘Hunger,’ Roxane Gay Unravels the Repercussions of a Rape”/ by Leilani Clark/ KQED/ June 6, 2017

 


2. “Try to be the juror you would want if it was your father or grandfather or your son or you [on trial]. No distractions. No distractions. Be that juror and that’ll be good enough for me, and it will be good enough for him.” He did not ask jurors to think about the women in their lives.
“As Trial Opens, Bill Cosby’s Attorney Says the Only Thing Worse Than Sexual Assault ‘Is the False Accusation of Sexual Assault’” / by Diana Moskovitz/ Jezebel/ June 5, 2017

3. McFadden was misgendered in early police reports, which is why it’s taken two months for trans rights activists and organizations to learn of her death. She is the 12th trans person of color murdered this year in the United States; almost all of those murders have taken the lives of Black trans women.
“Kenne McFadden Is the 12th Trans Person of Color Murdered in the U.S. This Year”/ by Heather Hogan/ Autostraddle/ June 6, 2017

 


4. Harris being shut down only highlights the glaring inequality that still exists between men and women in the Senate and in the larger workforce. Recall how women resonated, at least a little bit, with Elizabeth Warren after Mitch McConnell silenced her? What woman doesn’t completely understand how Kamala Harris felt after being told to stop talking not once, but twice?
“GOP Chairman Cuts Off Kamala Harris During Senate Hearing For Doing the Same Thing as Her Male Counterparts”/ by Katie Serena/ Salon/ June 7, 2017

 


5. Whether your goal is to understand the world or protect against security threats, it’s crucial to grasp the ways in which extremist groups manipulate gender norms and gender dynamics.
“We Need to Think Harder About Terrorism and Gender. ISIS Already Is”/ by Heather Hurlburt and Jacqueline O’Neill/ VOX/ June 1, 2017

 


6. Today, the “ardent integrators” who pursue interracial relationships are motivated by love and are our greatest hope for racial understanding. Although America is in a state of toxic polarity, I am optimistic. Through intimacy across racial lines, a growing class of whites has come to value and empathize with African-Americans and other minorities. They are not dismantling white supremacy so much as chipping away at it.
“How Interracial Love is Saving America”/ by Sheryll Cashin/ New York Times/ June 3, 2017

 


7. Overwhelmingly, residents don’t want to move. Their cultural ties to the place run deep. Hunting sites are passed down by generation, yet many residents also understand that they have no choice at this point.
“An Alaska Native Village Faces Relocation Due to Climate Change”/ by Yessenia Funes/ Colorlines/ June 5, 2017

 


8. When I think about it, once I’ve decided to do something, I go back to what my mom told me, “If you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” I think that offering a portion of women’s health care and taking out some parts of it because some people have a problem with it — that would be against everything that I’ve been taught.
“We Spoke With One of the Only Abortion Providers Left in the State of Alabama. Here’s What She Had to Say”/ by Jennifer Dalven/ ACLU/ June 6, 2017

 


9. “When people say ‘but you don’t look autistic’ when I bring up that I have Aspergers. Like, I’m sorry, should I just wear a rubber helmet everywhere I go? It’s called a spectrum for a reason folks.”
“Disabled People Reveal The Things Others Do That Really Don’t Help”/ by Rachel Moss/ Huffington Post/ May 6, 2017

10. Wonder Woman wasn’t a great victory for all women. And we’re doing all women a disservice by pretending that it was.
“ ‘Wonder Woman’s Feminism is Strong as Hell, But it’s Not Intersectional”/ by Kadeen Griffiths/ Bustle/ June 7, 2017

 


11. The last time I made the more than twenty-four hour journey to Thailand with my mother, I took note of the fact that when she saw her siblings for the first time, they didn’t hug. Instead, they stood a respectful distance from each other and brought their hands to their face in a prayer position, bending towards each other at the waist. I did the same thing, saying some of the only Thai words I’ve known for as long as I can remember. I’ve never touched any of my mother’s family, and watching them, I realized that maybe my mother hasn’t either.
“A Brief History of Touch”/ by Alyssa Songsiridej/ The Offing/ June 8, 2017

 

 


Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website joycehayden.com. Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.

 

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