Archive for August, 2011

August 31st, 2011

Recommended Reading #62: (United States) Public Policy



      “GOP Nominees Asked to Pledge Marital Fidelity…And More” by Dr. Marty Klein (Sex and Culture, Politics, Marriage, Religion, Sexual Hysteria) 7/11/11

I really appreciate someone publicly pointing out that a candidate’s or politician’s personal life is largely irrelevant to her/his/their appropriateness and capacity to hold public office. The bizarre obsession we have with such figures’ private lives and the idea that the publicly apparent aspects of such are somehow relevant to or correlative with their political propensities, capacities, and reliability seems ludicrous to me. Thanks to Marty Klein for outlining the jaw-dropping asininity of a pledge that seems actually perceived as something serious from some perspectives in American politics.

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      “The road out of serfdom: gender roles and social democracy” by Hugo Schwyzer (Gender Socialization, Public Policy, Anthropology, Sociology) 3/17/09

This post addresses public policy in the context of gender socialization (and/or vice versa), and I find what it says brilliant. Mr. Schwyzer’s points about the social context of a governmental system/capacity and its correlation to traditional family and gender roles struck me as highly illuminating, and indeed he articulated things that had not quite occurred to me, at least not consciously, before.

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      “Failing Forward” by Charles M. Blow (Reproductive Rights, Public Policy, Youth) 8/26/11

I find this so brilliant reading it nearly took my breath away. Across the board he makes points I find fiercely incisive and that I personally wish would be recognized by all. There’s little more I want to say about this piece besides that I found it one of the most fabulous things I’d read in recent memory.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

August 24th, 2011

Recommended Reading #61: Writing, Pt. II



      “Be a ‘Real’ Writer: Slowing Down, Seeing Anew, and a Fresh Take on America’s Favorite Entree” by Donna George Storey (Writing, Self-Awareness) 8/2011

I especially love the self-awareness I see woven throughout this considered piece by Donna on revision and editing. “[S]tepping back and challenging every element of your story,” as she recommends, to me involves considerable self-awareness and the elements inherent in it such as courage, compassion, and presence–at least if the writing is authentic. To me, this column reflects the very attention, care, and authenticity I have consistently seen in Donna’s writing (fiction and non)–here it is offered in the form of a generous sharing of her experiences and perspective about the process of writing (revision specifically) itself.

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      “What Erotica Isn’t” by Lisabet Sarai (Writing, Sex and Culture, Erotica) June 2011

I appreciate and find provocative this perspective offered by Lisabet about erotica and what she sees it to mean and encompass. What I perhaps most see in her description is the variety of ways the term “erotica” may be perceived and the wide berth of what it may offer, an illumination I much appreciate. This seems summed up to me in her nuanced offering about a story of hers: “The story, however, is about how Doa and Che get drawn into a sexual relationship, how it changes them, what they learn about themselves and each other – not about the sex itself.”

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      “DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #48: Write Like a Motherfucker” at The Rumpus (Writing, Non-Sex-Related, Sociology, Psychology) 8/19/10

I had heard this piece referenced before and had it on my reading list. I now have read it, and it more or less left me speechless. I imagine writers/artists may especially appreciate it, but it seems to me on some level it is universal as well. I recommend it indiscriminately.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

August 22nd, 2011

Joint Book Party for Obsessed and The Lost This Thursday!

Amongst moving, traveling, and a cold that I feel is quite close to outlasting its welcome (…which I guess it perhaps never had!), I am late in posting this, but I am very excited to be attending the joint book party for Obsessed and The Lost later this week! Specifically, the party is on Thursday, August 25 at Fontana’s in New York City. See the Facebook invite here!

The party, organized by Obsessed editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and Tied Up Events, is celebrating the release of the Obsessed anthology and The Lost by Caridad Pineiro (who wrote the foreward to Obsessed). I and fellow authors Logan Belle and Jennifer Peters will all be reading from our stories in Obsessed, and Rachel will be giving away a number of prizes and bringing, of course, free cupcakes!

I am really looking forward to attending and seeing friends from New York in just a few days! If you find yourself in the area on Thursday, we would love to see you there! :)

Love,
Emerald

“Here I am on the road again, there I am up on the stage, here I go playing star again…”
-Bob Seger “Turn the Page”

August 17th, 2011

Recommended Reading #60: Sex and (Mainstream) Media, Pt. II



      “Men Who ‘Buy Sex’ Commit More Crimes; Newsweek, Trafficking, and the Lie of Fabricated Sex Studies” by Thomas Roche (Sex Work, Sex and Culture, Sociology, Feminism) 7/20/11

Once again I appreciate a piece by Thomas Roche in which he, as I interpret it, calls out the mainstream media for glaringly uninformed reportagae on the subject of sexuality. In addition, I find what he says comprehensive, incisive, and perhaps most of all, vitally important to an understanding and consideration of the issues—and the presentation thereof—in question.

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      “A Dirty Smutter Writes to the New York Times Sunday Magazine” by Donna George Storey (Sex and Culture, Writing, Sex and Art) 8/15/11

This beautiful letter arose from the article I mentioned last week on my blog (first brought to my attention by Shanna Germain) by Charles McGrath about the author Nicholson Baker. I feel such resonance with and so deeply appreciate this thoughtful, articulate, eloquent response from Donna. Her point, to me, is deeply well taken.

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      Letter to the Editor in response to “Ladies, We Have a Problem” by Ruth R. Miller (Sex and Culture, Feminism) 8/5/11

The letter I really want to bring attention to here is the second one, but there is no way to separate it out into its own link. I am including it here because it says exactly what I thought when I read Rebecca Traister’s article a few weeks ago (Lana Fox also supplied a lovely response at the Boston Daily)—the last two sentences in particular strike me as incisive articulations of what seem to me some of the most profound truths about current society and feminism.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

August 10th, 2011

Recommended Reading #59: Poetry, Pt. III



      “The Gift” by Jacque Zyon (Erotic Poetry) 3/1/11

As with so much of Jacque‘s poetry, I find this simply beautiful.

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      “Touching” by Celeste P. Stiles (Erotic Poetry) 9/2010

This has a poignant feel to me, and coupled with some of its descriptions, which struck me, it’s a poem that’s stayed with me.

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      “Little Breaths” by C. Sanchez-Garcia (Poetry, Writing) 3/2/11

I adore this poem that I interpret to be about writing and love and life. Original, real, precise, is how it struck by it the first time I read it, and it still does. Beautiful.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday