Our collection of thought-provoking, discussion-sparking reads.
How ‘Empowerment’ Became Something for Women to Buy: “[Sheryl] Sandberg and [Kim] Kardashian are perceived by most to be opposites, two aesthetically distinct brands fighting for our allegiance, when each has pioneered a similar, punishingly individualistic, market-driven understanding of women’s worth, responsibility and strength. In the world of women’s empowerment, they say the same thing differently: that our radical capability is mainly our ability to put money in the bank.”
What ‘white folks who teach in the hood’ get wrong about education: “There’s a teacher right now in urban America who’s going to teach for exactly two years and he’s going to leave believing that these young people can’t be saved,” says Dr. Chris Emdin, associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “So he’s going to find another career as a lawyer, get a job in the Department of Education or start a charter school network, all based on a notion about these urban youth that is flawed. And we’re going to end up in the same cycle of dysfunction that we have right now. Something’s got to give.”
Teaching Men to be Emotionally Honest: “As men continue to fall behind women in college, while outpacing them four to one in the suicide rate, some colleges are waking up to the fact that men may need to be taught to think beyond their own stereotypes.”
More Than One Medical Student at UVA Believes Black People Don’t Feel Pain: “The researchers found that half of the sample endorsed at least one of the false [medical] beliefs [about black patients], and those who endorsed these beliefs were more likely to report lower pain ratings for the black vs. white patient, and were less accurate in their treatment recommendations for the black vs. white patient.”
This post is part of a mini-series by I.C. on female characters, both heroes and villains. Find the rest of the series here and here.
Those Acro Collective readers who incline toward the bookish will agree with me that there’s nothing better than a complex heroine in whose struggles you can become invested.Victorian novels are particularly rich with such characters, coming as they do from an era in which women were beginning to call their society’s strict gender roles into question.Below are five heroines of Victorian fiction whom you’ve hopefully already met.(If not, do!).Based on which one you prefer, I’ve suggested other novels, either other Victorian novels or contemporary novels set in the Victorian era (or both), with similarly engaging female protagonists.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in libraries lately. As a grad student and inveterate skimmer of books, this is not rare. But for the past six months, I’ve been working as a project intern for Book Traces, where I systematically inspect my university’s circulating book collection for evidence of how past handlers have used, modified, and engaged with their books.
In recent months I have seen a specific article return repeatedly to my Facebook newsfeed: Esquire’s now rather infamous list of “80 Best Books Every Man Should Read”—a list full of macho (and occasionally misogynistic) novels by authors ranging from Ernest Hemingway to Charles Bukowski. Flannery O’Connor is the only woman author featured in the list (with her collection of short stories A Good Man is Hard to Find), a fact that rightly spurred indignation in feminist quarters. Flannery O’Connor was thus still very much on my mind as I spent this past Thanksgiving in Savannah, Georgia, her birthplace, an elegant Southern city with charming squares and venerable oak trees dripping with moss and mystery. While there, I visited O’Connor’s childhood home. I am a great admirer of her short stories, and O’Connor is widely considered one of the greatest American writers, as well as perhaps America’s greatest Christian writer. Touring the house in which she spent the first thirteen years of her life, I discovered some of the influences that shaped O’Connor’s work. But I also found my mind returning to that Esquire list, and thinking about the larger question it implied: which books by women will men read, and why?
Editor’s Note: Hey friends! I’m pleased to bring you our new feature, Bookshelf. Each month we’ll hear from Acro Collective creators on what they’re reading. For November, our creators delve into a diverse mix of texts. As we all head off into holiday season, remember to set aside some time for yourself—perhaps with one of these good reads?Continue reading “Acro Collective Bookshelf : November”