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WomanistBibliophile

WomanistBibliophile

Joined March 2018

Reading towards Healing. Studying for liberation 📚108 👩🏾‍🦱the Free Black Women‘s Library Reading challenge 25/25 🌬🌊🌾
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WomanistBibliophile
Career of Evil | Robert Galbraith

He knew the forms of words they were given to make sense of what, to a woman, was incomprehensible…
However, the drunken Robin read in Strike‘s silence the thing she had most feared: a shift in the way he saw her, from equal to victim.
‘It doesn‘t make any difference!‘ She repeated furiously. ‘I‘m still the same!‘
‘I know that,‘ he said, ‘but it‘s still one fucking horrible thing to have happened to you.‘

WomanistBibliophile You‘re the same & you‘re not, at once. You‘re injured, & you‘re still standing. You need a reckoning with what was done to you & you need recognition of the person you were, maybe you still are… 1mo
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Were it not oil for the Gulf War would not have been waged in 1991. Were it not for oil 31 armies led by the US would not have reduced Iraq to ruins & the Iraqi people to a nation dying of starvation. Were it not for oil British politicians & generals would not have planted Israel in the land of Palestine, nor would the world have turned against Mossadeq in Iran, nor would our region still be ruled by kings & emirs who can hardly read or write.

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WomanistBibliophile
The Silkworm | Robert Galbraith
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Currently checked out from the library 📚
I‘m hooked on the Cormoran Strike novels now! & awaiting Lethal White. Tho I hadn‘t meant to borrow a large print copy of Career of Evil, I‘m so short sighted it was rather easier on my eyes, which is nice 😊
Walking Through Fire is my first read of Nawal El Saadawi, her writing is brilliant & I‘ve got another of hers on hold too—have you read any?

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Science is not a system of beliefs. It‘s a method…works like this: gather evidence, study the evidence, come up with a hypothesis that could explain the evidence. The next step is to test your hypothesis. You might be tempted to try to prove it right. Many people only search for evidence to support their belief… The best way to find out whether a hypothesis is strong is to try to prove it wrong.

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Women‘s History is indispensable & essential to the emancipation of women.
Women are essential & central to creating society.
Women have made history, yet have been kept from knowing & interpreting history. Women have been systematically excluded from creating symbol systems, philosophies, science & law.
Because of these conditions unique to themselves, women have had a historical experience significantly different from that of men.

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WomanistBibliophile
Troubled Blood | Robert Galbraith
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Summer reading & a first venture into reading a crime novel for me. It‘s a long one but it flew by. I enjoyed it, especially the feminist themes, & will definitely read the rest of the series too

“Where there‘s no capacity for joy, there‘s no capacity for goodness.”

#IStandWithJKR

Bookwomble It's awful that Rowling was subjected to domestic violence. It's awful that she uses her platform to promote transphobia. ☹ 5mo
WomanistBibliophile @Bookwomble as a survivor of male violence against women she has every right to speak out for women‘s safety. women who advocate for the right of women to safe services & spaces are promoting women‘s rights. JKR is courageous to speak out knowing full-well the misogyny, abuse & harassment women are subjected to for doing so. 5mo
Bookwomble @WomanistBibliophile Agreed, and she also promotes transphobia. The danger is abusive cis men, not oppressed trans-men and trans-women. Much of my work is with survivors of abuse perpetrated by cis men, so I do see the horrendous results of that. Some of my work is with trans people, and public transphobic rhetoric is a clear danger to their mental and physical health. Rowling is a big part of that problem, sadly. 5mo
WomanistBibliophile @Bookwomble it‘s so telling that people see protecting women‘s rights as “transphobia” & are quick to condemn women who speak on behalf of our rights as deserving of abuse, ostracism & blame. Ie, to use the tactics of male pattern abuse & misogyny against us in the name of being virtuous! Women‘s freedom of speech in defence of our rights is not responsible for people‘s mental health issues. Women get to say what our needs are & to analyse our… 5mo
WomanistBibliophile …own oppression. 5mo
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Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism | Lynne Segal, Sheila Rowbotham, Hilary Wainwright
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The women‘s movement has had a great reticence about blowing trumpets. For a woman like me familiar with the left this was one of the strangest things I had to learn. There was no bluffing but a careful, scrupulous examination of the minutiae of behaviour, with much more exacting inner standards. Exemplary myths can substitute in the short term. I think the realism has been a long-term strength of the women‘s movement.

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The subsistence perspective: beyond the globalised economy | Maria Mies, Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen
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The first lesson is the view from below. This means when we look at reality, when we want to gain clarity about where to go & what to do, we start with the perspective of women, particularly rural women & urban poor women in the [Global] South. Further, we start with everyday life & its politics, the strategies of women to keep life going.

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A moving & insightful memoir by an advocate against FGM, Hibo Wardere. She has been maligned by some on the “Left” for her important advocacy & her analysis of female genital mutilation as an oppressive act that targets females. There is no way to combat this debilitating abuse without recognition that it is exclusively an abuse of females as a sex-class. Much gratitude & support to Hibo for her courageous activism protecting women & girls.

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The Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain | Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, Suzanne Scafe
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Undoing Gender | Judith Butler
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One of the very worst books I‘ve ever read. Claims include: incest can be good, challenging workplace sexual harassment reinforces women‘s oppression, there is no class category of women, nor a biological category of women. We‘re all just individuals individually performing a personal interpretation of gender in a free-floating power matrix where anyone could be anything & that has nothing at all to do with sex-class-based oppression!

Prairiegirl_reading Good lord!! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 7mo
SamAnne 😒🤯🤯 7mo
Lesliereads Whuu?? 7mo
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Recent acquisitions for my collection. I was surprised the public library had no copies of the Engels in their catalogue. But that provided a solid reason for buying a copy myself! The Creation of Patriarchy has been on my want to read list for well over a decade! It‘s a classic and such a gap in my reading, I‘m keen to read it at last!

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You‘re brave. Most people, when something scars us, we hide it.

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Empath‘s often have special needs that must be respected & these needs are okay. We‘re not failing or copping out by finding ways to be kind to ourselves. The softer & easier solution to a problem can be a merciful way to resolve anxiety.

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So much current feminist discourse is riddled with misinformation about the 2nd wave & radical feminism. Adrienne, a 2nd wave radical feminist herself, wrote groundbreaking pieces on compulsory heterosexuality, the institutionalisation of motherhood & the oppression of women in the family & the harms of gender. Yet radical feminists today are maligned as right-wing even as radical feminist ideas are basically plagiarised tho often in twisted forms

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This essay on allies (written in the 70s!) is brilliant and one of the most exciting pieces I‘ve read this year 💜

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I‘ve enjoyed the nostalgia of revisiting Harry Potter with the Gryffindor House editions & keenly awaiting Deathly Hallows next month!
❤️JKR

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To the Lighthouse | Virginia Woolf
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I Am Change | Suzy Zail Suzy
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My name is Namukasa Nusula Sarah. I‘m not old but my story is long & sad. Not sadder or longer than the stories of other girls. There are thousands of girls like us, chased from school because our mothers can‘t afford to pay the fees. All the books I opened as a child had girls with light skin who married princes. I wanted to read a book about a girl who was hungry to learn. A girl scared to become a woman because everything changes once you bleed

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“revaluation” of womanhood should be very closely examined. It can go in 2 opposite directions. A new version of the dominant ideology can be camouflaged under the guise of “liberation”. The term “self-acceptance” is also suspect because of the problem of what it is to “accept oneself”. What is the “self” one accepts? Insofar as the self is taken without question, is equated with the historical person, this is an ahistoric & reactionary notion.

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A great danger lying in wait for the women‘s struggle today is that the before of the feminist question can be presented as its after—thus sparing us the trouble of fighting. An ideology which oppresses women—or rather the entire system of which ideology is a part—may be presented as new invention & as a means to women‘s liberation. Protofeminism promoted as post-feminism & becoming militant is antifeminism.

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Sexual difference precisely is biological difference. Materialist analysis must take account of the relationship between the natural & the social. Sex differences form part of the raw material on which social relations are constructed.
The roles of men & women in the reproduction of the species clearly constitute the most decisive difference between them. We must insist biological difference simply cannot explain the social arrangements of gender.

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History is not in the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history. If we pretend otherwise, we are criminals.

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The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
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It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is themselves & what they identify with themselves that they are guarding & keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding & keeping is their system of reality & what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself—that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving.

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The ruling class saw the social & political implications of female militancy at work more clearly than most workers. The attempt by the Glasgow Spinners Association to negotiate equal rates of pay for men and women was quite exceptional—an important early recognition of the need for solidarity in the working class to overcome the divisions capital had created between the family & work, home & the factory, male & female.

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Women historically been weavers of memory—those who keep alive the voices of the past & histories of communities, who transmit them to future generations & create a collective identity & profound sense of cohesion. They also hand down acquired knowledges & wisdoms—concerning medical remedies & the understanding of human behaviour, starting with that of men.

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If we want to change the world we can‘t just ignore it, acting as if it didn‘t exist. The real world means patriarchy. In real life we don‘t choose our battlefield. It‘s not easy to accept this constraint: we worry we‘ve lost before the struggle begins. But this constraint is the condition of all struggles against any kind of oppressive system. Refusing it is simply to evade reality itself & the cost of that is to renounce any ability to affect it

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‘Socialism alone is not the answer. Feminism alone is not the answer. There won‘t be a socialist revolution without feminists in the lead & there won‘t be true emancipation of women without a socialist overthrow of capitalism. Socialism without feminism is a contradiction in terms.‘
Nellie Wong, Socialist Feminism: Our Bridge to Freedom

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Read this last year on scribd. Surprising, poignant, brave telling of her life story, shared for the purpose of consciousness raising. This passage reminds me of Kwame Ture‘s words in Stokely Speaks: every sister should be safe walking in public whatever time of night. That‘s a responsibility men have. Reminds me also of Pearl Cleage‘s writing, where she explores what it would take for men to uphold their responsibility towards women this way.

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‘These contemptible french have behaved like pigs with all the refugees; they‘re just bastards, of the worst sort I‘ve ever known. I‘m disgusted with all these rotten people in europe, these goddamned “democracies” aren‘t worth a dime.‘
Frida Kahlo, letter sent from Paris to the Wolfes, March 1939

Glimpses of pre-WWII europe, the complacency and complicity—parallels to now.

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Have you read any of these? Thinking I‘ll probably start with Separate and Dominate—seems timely

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To Be Young, Gifted and Black | Lorraine Hansberry
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‘the basic organisation of American society is the thing that has Negroes in the situation they are in & never let us lose sight of it!‘

Lorraine Hansberry, speaking at a town hall forum: The Black Revolution and the White Backlash, 1964

Book 18 for The Free Black Women‘s Library reading challenge, memoir

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Blacks | Gwendolyn Brooks
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Sisters,
where there is cold silence—
no hallelujahs, no hurrahs at all, no handshakes,
no neon red or blue, no smiling faces—
prevail.

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Black women writers whom I have met in different countries write out of the sheer desire for self-articulation, or for personal healing and renewal, & for the specific purpose of historicising a series of events which they or others experienced. In relation to major canons, most black women writers exist/ed in a multiplied marginality. Or, these various marginalities may combine to recognise the writers without a proper reading of the content...

WomanistBibliophile ‘... of their works, which in turn dilutes the radical propensities of their contributions. The politics of selective hearing comes into play.‘ 9mo
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‘For the daughter, discovering a relationship of words with her mother corresponds to discovering the path of her incarnation as a woman: the path of the relationship inside herself between body and words. So, the woman is no longer the nature-body for which man will be words, she is no longer the flesh for which man will be the word: both woman and man are a different body and different words.‘

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“Americans are brainwashed from an early age to believe that they are blessèd children of god with total sovereign autonomy & unlimited individual control over their destinies no matter what systemic prejudices or disadvantages they might have been born into, which in turn allows their government to forsake all social responsibility & focus on grovelling to let the amoral capitalist parasites slither through the streets of the nation‘s corpus...”

rockpools Wow! 10mo
she.epeolatry This! 9mo
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Another book repeating the phrase “black bodies” in place of black people, eg, “restriction of black bodies” in a context that clearly demonstrates more than black people‘s bodies were restricted, their minds, voices, cultures, etc. So where does this craze for “black bodies” originate? It‘s easy to see why a dehumanising, depersonalising, death invoking (the body synonymous with corpse) phrase is popular but Idk where it was used first.

Come-read-with-me Great review! It‘s stacked! 10mo
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Patriarchy keeps us compliant by pitting us against each other, exploiting our guilt & making us fear & mistrust each other. Pornography, cosmetic surgery & the “wellbeing” space are threatened by powerful women. These industries do whatever they can to make us question ourselves & feel guilty for how we look & feel, despite whatever self-help/care bow they tie it in, their aim is to keep us feeling broken & thinking that we need to be fixed.

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‘If the structure that structures the scenario is itself racist, are the questions trick questions?‘

Book 14 for The Free Black Women‘s Library reading challenge. There‘s a lot of hype on this one & for me... it fell short of Rankine‘s previous work, which I have loved. I do like the structure of mixed materials.

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I write because writing is my way of participating in the world & in the struggle for keeping the human spirit alive, including my own. It‘s a way of sharing a vision that‘s life-giving... In writing I feel I have some control... I don‘t have to accept a world that says the black woman is invisible or a world that tries to deny not only black women but women on the whole the right to participate in the decision-making necessary for change.

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To Be Young, Gifted and Black | Lorraine Hansberry
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TBR 📚stacking up...
If I can read even half of these this month I‘ll be happy

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Aimed at a younger audience & I can see some of the info being useful there. Elman refers to other books I found more useful, those by Harriet Lerner.
The disappointing parts of the book are where she mentions sexual consent & coercion & she doesn‘t do a good job of articulating these, & when she uses Biden‘s statement on his inappropriate behaviour, taking it at face value as a good example of someone taking accountability.

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In the course of history, women observed the changes in their own bodies & acquired through observation & experiment a vast body of experiential knowledge about the functions of their bodies, the rhythms of menstruation, pregnancy & childbirth. This appropriation of their own bodily nature was closely related to the acquisition of knowledge about the generative forces of external nature, plants, animals, the earth, water & air.

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