books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Week

These are the articles that got me thinking this week.

White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard to Talk to White People About Race (Ravishly)

Hat tip to Caroline for sending me this one this week.  It’s a good, thoughtful read, and I encourage everyone to check it out.  It’s a great primer on white privilege, racial inequalities, and the state of race relations in America today, so it’s good for background information in that regard.  But it also talks about how hard it is to talk about this stuff with us white people:

Not often encountering these challenges, we withdraw, defend, cry, argue, minimize, ignore, and in other ways push back to regain our racial position and equilibrium. I term that pushback white fragility…It became clear over time that white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldviews.

The post also lays out why we have such a hard time with these topics.  It’s a great, accessible read.

Jon Ronson is Getting Publicly Shamed Over a Line Cut From His Book (Buzzfeed)

So Jon Ronson is the dude who wrote the book about people who have gotten publicly shamed for doing dumb, insensitive, racist things on the internet and suffered real-life consequences.  There was a piece in the NYT a while back about this, and it caused a ripple on the Twittersphere, and now I guess there are advanced reading copies of his book out there, and some people took issue with a line in his book in which he compared a woman’s fear of getting raped to a man’s fear of being fired.

The line has since been taken out of the final draft of the book, but some early readers Tweeted about the line, and Ronson flipped out like any mature grown up should.  He went on a Twitter rant about how people aren’t supposed to quote from ARCs, etc etc.  He basically acted like a giant diaper baby.

Twitter would have none of it.  My favorite part of the article is when they link to an interview Ronson did with The Frisky a while back, explaining the whole thing with the line about rape:

“Somebody wrote me a very long e-mail that said, ‘Does he not realize that there’s a line in this book that would get him publicly shamed?’” he said. “And people I really respect said I was wrong to have that line in there, so I have to assume that they’re right.”

You go right on ahead “assuming” that they’re right, Ronson, and I’ll go on ahead assuming you’re a piece of garbage.

Finally a Summer Movie Season for Women (Vulture)

I mean, there isn’t a lot of new stuff here:

If you want to hear numbers about women in Hollywood, they’re still terrible: Females comprised 12 percent of protagonists in the 100 top-grossing films of 2014, according to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at SDSU.

But it does offer a list of female-driven movies that will be hitting theaters this summer, which always makes me marginally more happy.

What got you reading and thinking this week?

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