books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things that got me thinking this week:

Not Off the Hook: The White Myth of Black Forgiveness (The Toast)

This is a really great transcript of a conversation between Mallory Ortberg and Carvell Wallace, and it’s well worth a read.  I mean, it’s not an easy read:

Mallory:  It seems this idea of forgiveness is 1. an act that is about keeping one’s own soul free from bitterness and destruction and 2. as a process. But more often white people or just society at large tends to think of it as a final act that lets the offender feel unburdened from guilt. Does that seem roughly accurate?

Carvell: Again, I don’t know what white people actually think. But it seems like there is not nearly enough urgency about getting this racist shit under control and it doesn’t seem like the “endlessly forgiving Negro” story is helping that at all. This is why I cringe when I hear white people sharing stories of black folks who were royally fucked over six ways till Sunday saying “I forgive you,” like “isn’t this beautiful.”

America has a long history of raping, robbing, enslaving and killing people and then urging those same people to find and express forgiveness and peace. So when I hear “pray for peace” from a white person in the hours after Charleston, it lands very, very wrong.

But it’s very, very worth it.  I’m going to be sitting with this one for a long time.

Let’s Stop Calling Weight Loss a “Journey” (Refinery 29)

I hate-follow a couple of bloggers/instagram “fitness” people who talk about their weight loss as being this epic “journey.”  This piece stood out to me because of that, and also because I’ve lost some weight lately and have never once thought of it as being a “journey” so much as an attempt to stop eating seven pieces of pizza in a sitting and pretending that I could out-train a bad diet.  So Kate Harding (who is awesome) and her piece about her own experience with weight loss and body acceptance is really interesting:

Beginning to blog about body acceptance was my toe across the first threshold. My new road of trials involved trolls, self-doubt, lingering self-loathing, more trolls, lots and lots of well-meaning dieters begging me to tell them that their reasons for losing weight were pure and noble, and somehow, this meant they were more likely to keep it off. Eventually, a community developed around the blog, which radiated the support I needed to keep going, but temptation was always there, in the form of a culture that hates happy fat people, not to mention my memories of how kind and supportive loved ones, acquaintances, and perfect strangers were when I was losing weight.

She’s awesome, and it’s not a long article.  Go read it.

The Best New Books Released This Summer: A Guide (Gawker)

This is mostly for me.  I love book lists, and I love perusing books that are about to be released.  My to-be-read list is out of control, and this list won’t help things.

What got you reading and thinking this week?

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