What’s a “feminist” read? The answer is probably supposed to involve Margaret Atwood, but for me, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart sets the standard.
Frankie is called “bunny rabbit” by her parents, which tells you a lot. She goes to the school where her dad went, but can’t join the secret society he belonged to because she’s a girl, so she finds a great way to prove that she can out-alpha their top alpha dog.
At the same time, she struggles with a relationship where the role she’s supposed to play is too small and confining for her. Great lines from the book:
“Don’t let him erase you.”
“When I act the way I acted, Matthew doesn’t like me as much as he does when I fall off my bicycle.”
“Matthew had called her harmless. Harmless. And being with him made Frankie feel squashed into a box – a box where she was expected to be sweet and sensitive (but not oversensitive); a box for young and pretty girls who were not as bright or powerful as their boyfriends. A box for people who were not forces to be reckoned with.”
If you haven’t read it yet, you really should. Then you can look for more fantastic feminist reads by joining the Feminist Reads Challenge hosted by The Hiding Spot. I signed up for the challenge, and I opted for the “hard” level of 10+ books.
Let me know if you sign up for the challenge, and which books you recommend. I’m mainly interested in contemporaries – YA or adult.
I’m managing my TBR list for this challenge in Goodreads:
I’m keeping an eye on the Goodreads lists of Feminist Reads and 2013 YA/MG Feminist Reads, so when you find something good, please add it to the list!
My boss, who used to be easygoing and reasonable suddenly turned into a complete ogre, insisting that I work 12-hour days, eat at my desk, never go out, neglect friends and family, keep working though weekends, not get enough sleep, and give up exercise. Normally, in any other situation I would have set my boundaries, drawn the line and refused, but this time I couldn’t—I was trapped. Why? My boss from hell was me.
I wanted to make a lot of progress on my book and I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. The script running in my head was completely ridiculous, even abusive. What do you mean you need to slow down? If you can’t churn out 4 books a year you may as well not bother! You want a break? I guess you just aren’t serious. This must be a hobby for you. If you were serious you would neglect everything in your life and sacrifice it all for your “art.”
Luckily I had a big vacation planned that forced me to take a break, and when I got back I had enough distance to see what had been happening. I had to re-evaluate my goals and the big picture of what I wanted in life. Did I want to be the most successful, most productive writer who ever lived? Or did I want to be happy and not exhausted all the time? There’s a huge difference between being lazy and genuinely needing some balance in life.
Being your own boss isn’t easy. If the only time you wear your yoga pants is when you don’t have any other clean pants because you never have time to do laundry, then you need to re-evaluate. Look at your to-do list. Would you ever ask someone else to do that much work in a day? If it’s too much for someone else, it’s too much for you. Be the kind of boss who motivates employees to work smarter and helps them get everything done in a reasonable work day.
Now my boss wears her yoga pants to yoga class, and guess what? Productivity has not suffered. I did a quick survey of her employees, and they all say they’re much happier.