Review: The History of White People

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

As I’ve mentioned here before, I enjoy volunteering at my local library in my hometown. (Even if other volunteers keep scheduling themselves over my hours, exactly how our supervisor asked us not to. Ahem.) Over the summer, I came across The History of White People, which I was putting on hold for a patron. After encountering the antiquated concept of “white races” in Kathy Peiss’ Hope in a Jar, I was intrigued by the construction of race. On top of that, my school is offering a class on constructions of race in antiquity, which I cant’ take because it conflicts with another class. But it sounds so interesting! I’ve realized how important it is to see your own culture and experiences through someone else’s lens, and this seemed like a fantastic place to start.

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The Literary Horizon: Whipping Girl, Dude, You’re a Fag

Traditional masculinity and the policing of it thereof—it’s weird, toxic, misogynistic, and homophobic. No wonder queer lady me has a hard time grokking it. Redefining (or, rather, broadening the scope of) masculinity in the same way it redefined femininity, I think, is feminism’s next greatest challenge. And that’s where today’s features fit in—a transwoman examines how women and femininity are dismissed by our society as a whole, and an academic examines gender roles and views towards sexuality in high school.

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