Wednesday News: Best American Poetry?, Sci-Fi by women of color, women & marriage, and celebrity parody on Istagram
Yi-Fen Chou and the Man Who Wore Her – You may be following the fallout from the revelation that one of the poets whose work is included in the Sherman Alexie edited volume of the Best American Poetry 2015 is a white man who assumed the pseudonym of a fictitious Chinese woman, believing he would have a better chance of getting his work published. The story is twisted on so many levels, not the least of which is the vilification Alexie is facing for his inclusion of the poem, which he continues to stand by in a very candid and complicated explanation. Alexie admits that he was happy to give another writer of color the chance to be included in the anthology, but insists that first and foremost he loved the poem. Alexie’s position is ironic given the fact that he recently resigned from the advisory board of Red Hen Press following Kate Gale’s horrific comments in the Huffington Post. And this piece from Weird Sister does a great job of examining the many layers of the Orientalist offense of Michael Derrick Hudson’s appropriative use of a Chinese pseudonym (and maybe it’s time for everyone to brush up on Edward Said’s work).
I suppose it could be that easy to wear one of us like a mask, as long as all the tedious aspects of our identities and politics were stripped away. Cut out the background, the body, the pain, and the pleasure that all come with being human and you have the perfect cipher. Yi-Fen’s captor has achieved the ultimate in separating the political from the personal, which happens to be the poetic endgame that he professed in a letter to Poetry in 2010. In reducing a racialized identity to a mere alias, he seems to be making a subtextual argument for racial colorblindness: we are all humans under our cultural baggage, right? But if that were true, why would he even think to use Yi-Fen to bolster his career? How cynical can you get? –Weird Sister
10 Sci-Fi Stories Created by Women of Color – So here is a list of ten women science fiction writers of color (after all, yesterday was International Literacy Day). There is a good discussion in the comments about all of the authors left off the list, and whether they would fall into the science fiction or fantasy category, which reflects, in part, the different ways people define science fiction and its relationship to fantasy (Teresa Jusino explains her rationale below). Still, there are some great authors on the Mary Sue’s list (Alyssa Cole, the legendary Octavia Butler, Malinda Lo, etc.), and in the comments. Definitely lots of recommendations, regardless of where you like to read on the SFF spectrum.
I was specifically looking for ten 1) female writer/creators 2) of color who specifically 3) write about sci-fi/dystopia. Women and stories that fit that criteria are out there, but they’re hard to find. In part, because patriarchy and racism; but also because there are seemingly more female authors of color on the fantasy side of speculative fiction, as many of their cultures tell stories using magical realism and supernatural elements that don’t quite fit in the sci-fi sphere.–The Mary Sue
Why College-Educated Women Can’t Find Love -Every time I have to re-read a section of this article I get mad all over again. So of course I decided to share it with you all. First of all, the whole ‘woman want to get married and men don’t’ narrative is ridiculous and it’s been used to scare women and make them feel unworthy for eons. The benefits that accrue to men via marriage are well documented. Then there’s the “wisdom” of the dude who wrote this book, Date Onomics, who points to the higher representation of women in college right now as diminishing women’s chances of marriage. And the solution is obvious: more men should go to college, because why should more women get educated, despite the historic overrepresentation of men in most professional and graduate degree programs (and never mind that persistent gender-related wage gap). The only thing I found somewhat persuasive here was the idea that as long as people seek out partners who have the same level of education as they do, they are limiting their chances of finding a suitable life partner. I do see an anxiety among some of my own female friends who make substantially more than their husbands around traditional perceptions of “bread-winning” and gender. Yes, we definitely need to smash those old stereotypes, perhaps starting with the illusion that marriage is every woman’s goal and every man’s nightmare.
At the same time, men and women should both be less resistant to what Birger refers to as “mixed-collar marriages,” i.e, doctors, lawyers, and bankers marrying people without college degrees who work in blue-collar professions.
“It’s a problem that we, as a society, are not more open-minded about who we are willing to date and marry. I was trading emails recently with a dating book author, and he made this comment that classism is a bigger problem in dating than racism. I agree,” Birger says.
By confining themselves to degree-holders, Birger argues that women are “limiting their options and giving those college grad men too much leverage.”–The Daily Beast
1 Woman’s Re-Creations of Celebrity Instagrams Will Make You Laugh Till It Hurts – This is the kind of thing Instagram was made for. #winning
When celebs Instagram themselves in sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on, their posts usually turn out slightly
betterdifferent than ours. Now, one Australian comedian named Celeste Barber is turning this unfortunate reality into a hilarious photo series on Instagram by posting snaps of celebs next to her re-creations — all under the hashtag #celestechallengeaccepted. –POPSUGAR