So, it’s Friday, and I’m running out of time to post anything today. Here is a round-up of sorts, in which I digress into ranting, fangirl, and reflect. I am nothing if not varied in my interests and my moods.
Libba Bray rules. She is a brilliant public speaker, funny as hell, and her writing is both totally accessible and mind-blowingly intimidating. There is nothing in YA she can’t write, to my knowledge, and I think if you told her she couldn’t write it, she’d see that as a challenge. Here is a post from her blog about getting over slumps in writing, or the depths of despair to quote Anne Shirley: On Writing Despair.
Judy Blume broke boundaries with her books. To this day, you can sit down with a Blume book and be schooled in awesomeness and the art of writing transparently. The controversy that followed many of her books around after their pub date also makes her a super badass. Books should be a reflection of the hidden places, not the easily seen, and what Judy Blume touches on again and again, is that which we all want hidden. From Judy Blume: 13 Things We Learned from Judy Blume
Rarely do I soapbox. Here, for a moment, I will. Rape culture is bullshit, and by bullshit I do not mean untrue. I mean dangerous and foolish. The conversation about rape in our society is painful, a weapon, and built often on prejudice or misrepresentation. It doesn’t matter how it happens, a man or woman forcing someone to have sexual intercourse or any other form of sexual act is a crime and should be viewed that way. Please, stop trying to make a case for sexual assault. Stop justifying it. Stop taking it lightly. Stop turning a blind eye. Stop making the victim feel like trash. Shame leads many to live with their assault in silence. Stop. And for that matter, stop under-educating teenagers about their bodies, what is and is not acceptable, and when or how to say no. There is such a skewed view of sex in the media, such a lack of education in our schools, such a head-in-the-sand approach for most parents, that many who end up assaulting do it from a place of ignorance and a false perception of power, dominance, and expectation.
Rape, as a word, covers a broad spectrum. Many believe it’s too broad, but I am not one of those people. Rape, whether violent or because you both got wasted and stuff got out of control, is still rape. Whether you’re a twenty five year old grad student, or a teenage boy in the locker room. Here are two, very different articles on this subject. First, how serial rapists on college campuses are evading punishment. The other is about Patton Oswalt, a well-known comedian, and his thoughts and apologies about former statements regarding the right to make rape jokes. A quote from him:
“Just because I find rape disgusting, and have never had that impulse, doesn’t mean I can make a leap into the minds of women and dismiss how they feel day to day, moment to moment, in ways both blatant and subtle, from other men, and the way the media represents the world they live in, and from what they hear in songs, see in movies, and witness on stage in a comedy club.”
Note: There are hundreds of valid articles and blog posts about rape, which should tell you, we have problem here.
In case that makes you question the state of the world (and you weren’t already with the Snowden thing and our powerlessness, or the revolts in Brazil and Turkey, or everything happening all the time in the Middle East) here is a picture of my son dressed as Wolverine and his cousin, an Angry Bird, making pizza’s.
There is hope for the future.
Friday’s my family celebrates Shabbat. Now, if you’re wondering why we gentiles would take part in a Jewish tradition, I assure you we do Shabbat light. We honor the Jewish people, and the concept of Shabbat rest that was part of creation from the beginning, but we do it by coming together and consciously resting, listening, and reflecting. And wine. Wine is a must, for reals. Food and candles, too.
If you would like to change up your Friday routine, here is a Shabbat prayer you can use to welcome rest. (FYI this needs to be said by a woman if you happen to have one. If not, I guess you may use your discretion.)
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Shabbat. (Amen)
Happy Friday evening!