Feminist Literary Criticism: The First Hundred Years

Feminist literary theory posits that gender is socially constructed rather than biologically determined. For example, why in Western cultures do we associate pink with femininity and blue with masculinity? Why do we assume that men have an instinct to protect and defend while women have instincts to nurture and “mother” children (there is no biologicalContinue reading “Feminist Literary Criticism: The First Hundred Years”

Writing the Impact Statement

Pine needles drop from branches out my window. First, they grow brittle, fading from green to ochre. Then, all it takes is a breeze, and they let go. They swirl up into the air and settle into gutters. They pepper the shingles with orange. I used to think the only way to heal from theContinue reading “Writing the Impact Statement”

Misunderstanding Feminism

We need some nuance here. We need to talk about the distinction between systemic, socialized misogyny and individuals who simply annoy us. That white man in his sixties who constantly talks at me—is he assuming that he’s entitled to my attention because I look female? Or is he a socially anxious extrovert who can’t shutContinue reading “Misunderstanding Feminism”

Literary Journals Need a #MeToo Moment

Lately, I’ve been reading through elite literary journals, and I have to say I’m disappointed. Thanks to #MeToo, Hollywood had a reckoning, and now viewers and producers alike cringe at male characters pursuing women who have directly asked them to stop (Parks and Rec, The Office, all Star Trek before the exceptional Discovery, The Big Bang Theory, etc.).Continue reading “Literary Journals Need a #MeToo Moment”

How the LGBTQ Community Helped a Straight Girl Heal

I’m not saying that’s the point of the LGBTQ community. Hardly. But it’s a fact that throughout history, rights movements driven by one group inadvertently benefit others. The Civil Rights Movement empowered more than just blacks. The ADA improved accessibility for more than just the differently abled. So yes, even as a privileged straight whiteContinue reading “How the LGBTQ Community Helped a Straight Girl Heal”