This is going to be my last ‘traditional’ post about what I’ve been reading lately, because as of now I am starting the Orange Prize list (if you don’t know what it is, it’s a literature prize just for women!) and will be trying to read a book a week from the list in chronological order! Check out my next post for more info 😉
Anyways, I got both of these books on my last trip while I was in Slovenia. Nothing like reading books as soon as you buy them instead of leaving them in a pile for years and years on the waiting list!
“Choice,” Renata Salecl
Salecl’s book about choice was taking on the patriarchal, capitalistic structure of society before it was cool. She starts out by dividing her quest to explain choice and its consequences into the different kinds of choices we make, and even dives into our avoidance to make choices as a choice of its own. Calling out capitalism—“But when the masses become truly happy, capitalism is shaken to its foundations”—and highlighting the need for anger in today’s society—“Attempts to rid people of anger can thus be taken as another way of pacifying them and directing their attention away from social problems and towards individual ones”—Salecl was asking the questions a decade ago that have become so popular in current day society. Although she leans heavily on Freud to make some of her most important points, (which YES I consider a flaw because Freud was a sexist bigot), Salecl confronts vital arguments central to living in today’s fucked up society, which are imperative not only to introspection, but also to helping make the world a better place for each and every single one of us to live in.
“Con Brio,” Brina Svit
Brit’s book is based on one of the most basic tropes in history—a woman with daddy issues seeking a man to fill that role for her—and doesn’t get better from there. It’s really unfortunate for me when I read a book written by a woman and think, “this is trash, filled with gender stereotypes and harmful ideas about gender”. Was that too blunt? Sorry not sorry. The main character is a 60-year-old man who on an impulse proposes to a 28-year-old woman and then is angry and desperate each time she denies his advances. And she repeatedly denies his advances, again and again, saying “NO” loudly enough for everyone around him to hear but him. This is a book that is cringe-worthy especially with the #MeToo movement and people’s raised awareness about the need for consent, and needless to say, I will be hiding this book behind a stack of worthy ones so that no one will ever read it again. And P.S., you might be asking, so why write this if you didn’t like it? And the answer is, so that if you see it in a bookstore one day, you can say hard pass with confidence.