In Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, you’re either difficult or you’re dead

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-01-10 01:36Z by Steven

In Roxane Gay’s Difficult Women, you’re either difficult or you’re dead

Vox
2017-01-03

Constance Grady, Culture Writer

When Roxane Gay picks up a label, she’ll play with it, rip it apart a little, break it down, and finally embrace it. She did it in 2014 with her essay collection, Bad Feminist, which explored what it means to be a committed feminist who also likes to dance to “Blurred Lines,” who is not beholden to an ideological purity. And now she’s doing it again in her new short story collection, Difficult Women.

A difficult woman, in these stories, is usually a woman who has been hurt, typically by living under the patriarchy and under white supremacy. The injuries vary, ranging in scope from the blunt force of unimaginable trauma to the death-by-a-thousand-papercuts of daily microaggressions.

In “I Will Follow You,” the difficult woman was kidnapped by a child molester when she was 10 years old. In “La Negra Blanca,” she’s a mixed-race med student who moonlights as a stripper and is constantly fetishized by men who think of her as a white girl with a black girl’s ass. In “Best Features,” she’s a fat woman who is quietly furious at how worthless the world considers her to be…

Read the entire review here.

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What Jefferson did to Hemings was rape.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-04-12 22:26Z by Steven

By all accounts, [Thomas] Jefferson’s sexual relationship with [Sally] Hemings spanned several decades, beginning when Hemings was a teenager and Jefferson was in his 40s. It was not, in any sense of the word, consensual: Hemings was a child, and Jefferson literally owned her; she was not in any position to give or withhold consent. What Jefferson did to Hemings was rape.

Constance Grady, “Thomas Jefferson spent years raping his slave Sally Hemings. A new novel treats their relationship as a love story.Vox, April 8, 2016. http://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11389556/thomas-jefferson-sally-hemings-book.

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Thomas Jefferson spent years raping his slave Sally Hemings. A new novel treats their relationship as a love story.

Posted in Articles, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-04-11 02:25Z by Steven

Thomas Jefferson spent years raping his slave Sally Hemings. A new novel treats their relationship as a love story.

Vox
2016-04-08

Constance Grady

A new historical novel about Thomas Jefferson is raising eyebrows.

Stephen O’Connor’s Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, which came out on Tuesday, is about our third president’s relationship with Sally Hemings, his slave. DNA evidence has proved that Jefferson and Hemings had six children together while Jefferson kept Hemings enslaved — and Jefferson also enslaved their children, freeing them one by one as they came of age. To further complicate matters, Sally Hemings was a half-sister to Jefferson’s late wife, the product of a relationship between Jefferson’s father-in-law and one of his slaves.

By all accounts, Jefferson’s sexual relationship with Hemings spanned several decades, beginning when Hemings was a teenager and Jefferson was in his 40s. It was not, in any sense of the word, consensual: Hemings was a child, and Jefferson literally owned her; she was not in any position to give or withhold consent. What Jefferson did to Hemings was rape.

But Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, judging from early reviews, is most interested in exploring potential ambiguities of their relationship. The book wonders: Did Hemings perhaps enjoy it? To what extent was she complicit?…

Read the entire article here.

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