Story of the Week: The great American writer, poet, activist, and icon Maya Angelou has passed away. Heina Dadabhoy writes a very touching article about her feelings towards her. This is a great New York Times obituary. New Yorker has a great collection of photos of her throughout her life. HuffingonPost provides a good collection of links to her poems, also a listicle of some great quotes. Toni Morrison, another literary giant, talks about her. Here is a great article protesting why her sex work career is erased from the records.
Other story of the week: Elliot Rodger. Miri explains the role of misogyny and violence and with a follow-up. It is about Elliot Roger case, but I think her points are true in general, they are not about this case only. Eliot’s Rodger’s friends are scary misogynists. Of course I think (I hope?) such extreme people are really rare, but it’s still scary to read about them. Thankfully some of them change and here is a brave man with an enlightening account of his misogyny and growing out of it. And of course like always turn to Dan Fincke for a great authentic and complete account. Alex Gabriel comes up with the best analogy, he calls Rodgers a jihadist. Now these are the articles I agree with, but for the sake of clarity I link to two people I disagree with on this issue. JT Eberhard writes an article arguing mental illness is more important than ideology in his case, and Jaclyn Glenn video is embedded in the same link.
My own opinion: I am not a psychologist and I don’t know if Rodger was mentally ill or not, and I don’t care. Rodger was one killer and one case, but he could be an excuse to talk about much bigger things. What matters is that misogyny is an authoritarian ideology which has the potential to lead to violence, and we need to discuss it as such. What Miri, Dan, and Alex argue is true, even if there was no Elliot Rodger. They say important things that need to be said.
So I recommend we move beyond this one incident, and try to look at the bigger picture. If mental health is a factor, so is misogyny, and people who believe it’s illness cannot forbid others to talk about misogyny. I agree that sometimes the reactions on our side of the debate was too harsh and excessive, I don’t agree with dismissing people like Glenn completely because she was wrong on only one single issue, which is something I’ve seen some people do on Facebook and Twitter. But this is clearly a hot-button issue for most people on both sides of the debate, and the other side shares the same sin. Hank Fox blocked me for arguing with him on this. I suggest everyone to read the articles I linked to without anger and reach a general conclusion.
Click for more links.
Short answers to ten famous paradoxes. So that your Facebook friends can’t blow your mind anymore.
Pope Francis Compares Sexual Abuse of Children to a Harmless Satirical Ritual. Come on, Frank, you’re supposed to be the balanced one.
Alex writes a thought-provoking article about the media and their approach towards queer people. I don’t 100% agree with him myself, but I agree with the overall message found it a very enlightening read nevertheless.
Nirmukta on India vs. Hinduphobia.
JT Eberhard sleeps with a married woman.
An awesome article about Black Mask magazine.
Yet another New Yorker article about Philip Roth and Jewish people, but it’s a good one.
Thanks to this New Yorker article I learned of new awesome poet: Patricia Lockwood.
Stop Looking For ‘Hardwired’ Differences In Male And Female Brains. Sometimes I’m still shocked that some things need to be said to you westerners as well.