2013 has been a pretty big year, for both me and the blog. Not only I have I graduated college, completed a publishing program, gotten my first job, and moved across the country, but I’ve also tinkered with my writing style, format, and various features here at the Literary Omnivore to build a leaner, meaner bookish machine. So, for the first time in the Literary Omnivore’s history as my live reading journal, I present to you this year in review on the last Saturday of the year.
Yes Means Yes! edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti
This week makes it a month since I decided to forsake Atlanta for Denver. And in those four weeks, I’ve been harassed on the street more than I ever have been in my life so far. (Not that I think Atlanta is particularly superior in that regard, only that being at a women’s college was a very different context. Although I will say that there is a Hollaback Atlanta and not a Hollaback Denver.) There’s nothing like waiting to cross the street after a long day at work and getting honked at, whistled at, or have someone grab their crotch at you to remind you that, by daring to be female and in public, your very corpse is considered public domain by an alarming amount of men. Between that and the success of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (which I am not linking to), this summer has given me a fresh handle on the concept of rape culture.
The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti
I’ve been reading Feministing ever since I first ventured onto the Internet—okay, perhaps not at the exact age of nine, when I unleashed myself upon the Internet (and before the website even existed), but in late middle school and high school? Most definitely. Founder Jessica Valenti started the website in 2004 to create a space for young feminists and stepped away in 2011 because she wanted it to remain so. Part of Valenti’s activism consists of the books she writes, which include The Purity Myth. I’d been meaning to read it, but the production of a documentary based on the book made me actually pick it up.
Today’s selections from the reading list focus on how toxic masculinity has changed American political discourse and on how the American focus on virginity in young women is just another way to reduce them to their sexuality. Let’s hop to it.