ASK Musings

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Daily Archive: 19/11/2017



November 2017



What I’m Reading – November 19, 2017

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading


“Like many other avowed feminists, Reilly-Cooper is bent on “proving” the absurdity of trans identity. More than that, she seeks to reveal how cis, white women like herself are actively harmed by policies and laws which aim to protect transgender individuals from discrimination and ensure their equal access to services. Never mind that this view is completely ignorant of the facts. Never mind the damage this narrative does.” Anti-Trans ‘Feminists’ Are More Dangerous Than Religious Zealots (by Aaron Kappel for The Establishment)

Sexual Harassment and Assault

“There is a path forward, past denial and scandal and shame. There is a path to genuinely being the better person that you want to be. I’m writing this sincerely. I’m writing this because sexual abuse and assault is so very common in our society that chances are, someone I know and love and respect is reading this and knowing that they are guilty. I’m writing this because if we don’t find a way forward, this will keep happening. Even if you never harass or abuse or assault another human being again: If you don’t try to make this right, this will keep happening and you will have helped to enable it.” So You’ve Sexually Harassed Or Abused Someone: What Now? (by Ijeoma Oluo for The Establishment)

“The Democratic party’s failure to speak up for sexual violence victims when they are facing powerful liberal men occurs at all levels of government. Former Seattle mayor Ed Murray resigned in September following six months of accusations that he sexually assaulted five men over three decades ago. While it is surprising that Murray refused to step down for so long, more puzzling was the scarcity of Democratic and liberal leaders pressuring him to do so. Washington state politicians have generated national attention as beacons of liberal resistance since the 2016 election, championing progressive causes and fighting for vulnerable populations. Still, before Murray’s resignation, only two of nine Seattle City Council members called on Murray to resign. Four former mayors, all major state level officials, and mayor-elect Jenny Durkan also retained support for him.” Guest Editorial: The Reckoning Must Also Come for Democrats (by Meredith Logan for The Stranger)

“I felt sick, and then I felt furious. A 13-year-old girl is not all grown up. And even if she had been what we consider grown up, that is not newsworthy. I thought of the media outlets that posted countdown clocks until Emma Watson or Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were “legal”—that is to say, “safe” fantasy material. These websites also run scare pieces about kidnapped children, teen sex-trafficking, and pedophile predators. Young girls at risk, young girls objectified: It’s all titillation to them. These adults fetishize innocence, and the loss of innocence even more. They know what they’re selling.” Matilda Actress Mara Wilson: A 13-Year-Old Girl Is Not “All Grown Up” (by Mara Wilson for Elle)

Life Choices

“As a person in her late 30’s in a happy childless relationship, I’m in the vast minority. It’s a weird position to be in. Nothing has changed, but really everything has changed. I’m grown up. I’m making huge life decisions on how to live and give and be my best in the time we have on this planet. I’ve realised that I’d dearly love to find others who are trying to work through similar times in their lives. Lives that didn’t revert to permanent teenagehood at the same time as others had children. A place for women to talk positively about these lives in a society that wishes to quiet us down.” Why do we have such a big problem with childfree women? (by Nicole Hind)


“This speaks to a larger problem in activist communities: Too often, our overzealousness and undue willingness to take it upon ourselves to act as judge and jury online lends support and moral weight to virtual abuse. But this particular case merits examination because of the unaccountable credulousness with which too many leftists are still treating Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (the two being one-and-the-same these days). Though his descent into racist, conspiracist Jew-baiting has gone on for a while now, events this election year have drawn it into stark focus.” Are Progressives Being Played By WikiLeaks And Julian Assange? (by Katherine Cross for The Establishment)

Just for Fun

This is a three-year-old article from Lindy West that brought me joy today. Every Outfit Shelley Long Wears in Troop Beverly Hills, Ranked (by Lindy West for Jezebel)




November 2017



The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for: People who enjoy memoirs such as When Breath Becomes Air.

In a nutshell: Now-deceased writer Nina Riggs documents her illness from diagnosis onward.

Line that sticks with me: “These are the things we all say at the end of book club now: ‘I love you.’ Of course we do. Why haven’t we been saying that all along?”

Why I chose it: Memoir + death = An ASK Musings staple.

Review: Author Nina Riggs gives us a gift with this book, in that it isn’t filled with terror and it isn’t overly optimistic. I’d imagine that both of those styles of memoir are necessary for people depending on how they view life, but it seems necessary to also have a book that deals with illness and terminal diagnoses via a third path. I won’t say this is more ‘realistic’ that a book full of fear or of hope, because I know everyone experiences life differently.

Ms. Riggs has two sons, but this isn’t a book addressed directly to them (although in the acknowledgments her husband confirms that they hope their sons will better know their mother as they read and re-read it over the years). It isn’t directed to her husband. It doesn’t even feel as though it is directed at women facing similar life events. It’s just a book that explores life and death via the unexpected twists and the fully expected turns. And it is lovely.

Ms. Riggs is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, so there is a lot of discussion of nature and of him. She is also a very big fan of Montaigne, so he pops up frequently as well. But so do her best friends, and family, and neighbors. She takes her kids to school. She goes through radiation treatment. She buys a wig. She goes on vacation. She has moments of fear and panic, but even she acknowledges that the movie version of her life will likely have more dramatic scenes than her reality.

Her writing style is lovely. The chapters are often very short (sometimes only a paragraph), and while it could have ventured into overly flowery language, it straddles that line of near poetry and reality.