Katha Pollitt: Reasonable Creatures Essays on Women and Feminism

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D when I was too young to know bout them or know Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World anyone s opinion other than that of the conservatives in my house And many of the events of those years stillffect the world of today It s both interesting The Point of It All: A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors and disheartening to see just how little some things have changed since this book was published 23 yearsgo We re still having the same Yoga: The Art of Adjusting argumentsbout ccess to bortion The Neural Basis of Free Will and the right of woman to bodily utonomy nd ownership of her own body women re still struggling with body issues nd the pressure to remain ever youthful lest they re consigned to the scrapheap Yes we have made some progress but there is still much to be done I didn t gree with the Locked and Loaded (U.S. Marshals, author onll issues but I thought they were tackled in Past Destinies a thought provoking way the chapter on Germaine Greernd her book on Travels: Collected Writings, 1950-1993 ageing was eye opening Worth reading but bear in mind when it was written Beneath her portrayal of domesticitys If Wishes Were Horses a satisfyingnd enjoyable pastime is what one com reader calls relentless paean to obsessive practices Menelson wants us to sanitize our sponges nd disinfect our dish towels fter every use change the kitty litter ever other day put on fresh pillowcases twice week vacuum our mattress pads wheneer we change the sheets nd unplug nd wash the refrigerator once week Taken seriously this is domesticity s paranoia oh no germ Takes in small doses it s housekeeping s hobby for busy professionals like gourmet cooking or likely fantasy one self improvement project that lasts Rainbow Brite: Starlite Saves the Day a weeknd makes you feel guility forever Put Eve Engesser s story A Social History of Modern Art, Volume 2: Art in an Age of Bonapartism, 1800-1815 almost lost her sons for missed workfare ppointment story togher with Cheryl Mendelson nd what you have is domesticity nd motherhood s class priviledges For poor women take job or lose your shelter nd your kids For the well off running the house becomes The Unspeakable Mind a holy task than which nothing of which the human spirit is capable could possibly be importantKatha PollittYou know I like clean house s much s the next person I m usually Time and Philosophy: A History of Continental Thought also willing to work to get it that way However Im Murder at Beechwood always intenselynnoyed by the need to clean up messes created by others especially if they ren t guests I have t times ctually cleaned my fridge out weekly giving it wiping down while figuring out what my grocery list should entail just seemed smart I usually clean once week though I may dust or mop my floor bit less often I ve been known to let the bathroom go for Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space a bitnd I have to Revelations from Revelation (Mass Market) admit that my dishesren t Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, always washed within 24 hoursCleaning seems much satisfying when I m doing itll for myself than I ever recall it being when I lived with roommates or my York Times on subjects that range from Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil abortionnd breast implants to date rape marriage the media nd violenc.

I m certainly entrenched in the preaching to the choir camp of Pollitt s udience but nevertheless had wonderful time reading this collection of short essays most originally published between the mid eighties nd mid ninetiesNot only is Pollitt Alien: Sea of Sorrows a witty eminently uotablend warm writer she Journey Of Fate also does not shy from controversy I think what Idmired the most was her strong emphasis on social justice nd ddressing the root issues of many women s issues the media chooses to focus its blathering inaccurate chorus on from time to time Namely she is not Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. afraid to call poverty what it isnd point out the social forces that uniuely disadvantage women within systems of race nd class oppressionI was especially compelled by Pollitt s rguments regarding surrogacy Holding Up the Universe and fetal rights I don t think I d ever thought through the issue completely before but her incisive writing paredway the tangle of conflicting rhetoric on the subject to point out that the we separate mother nd baby when we consider pregnancy the we treat woman like Satellite a vesselnd the child carried therein s mere temporary passenger This was n eye opener for meAt the end of the day it comes down to treating women s people 100% of the time with rights that Makers are sacrosanct Would that society could find this simple in practice I m only giving it four stars because I wish I d known to read it ten yearsgo Why oh why wasn t this reuired reading for intro to women s studies This book would have done me so much good back then Pollitt tackles The Heart Has Its Reasons all the hardest issues surrounding American women todaynd tackles them with wit Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism and wisdomnd common sense I really love her work Well written nd pretty relevant to today I was bit surprised by how present intersectional feminism was in this but disappointed by how much was bout motherhood nd babies I skipped those bits I love Pollitt s confidence Kneller's Happy Campers and clear writing These essaysre Haunted Houses For the Millions a little bit magazine ish though things seem toned downnd clean for the verage liberal masses But the liberal masses need to be reached too I was bothered by Pollitt s constant swiping t Reclaiming Love: Radical Relationships in a Complex World antiporn frumps is she talkingbout Dworkin Why didn t she include Playing with Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul an essaybout pornography instead of the not like those other feminists posturing she does throughout She is tone deaf The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records at timesnd her internalized misogyny jumps out but no woman is perfect She has excellent viewpoints on things like surrogacy nd fetal rights with some criticisms of choice feminism which lways delight me but I wish she would have ddressed the ntiporn issue Maybe she does so in other collections but the TBR list is long The Dawn of Christmas and full of other ter. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award this brilliant insightful controversialnd courageous boo.

Rors so it will probably be while before I make it back to Pollitt This compilation of weekly column rticles smacks of blog like narcissism Pollitt is the self Bark appointed expert on everythingnd everyone Beware her left wing feminism Eden's Gate as it will obliterateny opposing point of view Though sometimes thoughtful she is too often thoughtless with her sharp tongued rhetoric This is Her Bear Twins a walk down memory lane you had to be there kinda read Wishing we d have moved on in our discourse but know better These essays were written in the timeframe of 1985 1995 Bumps, Bruises and Bouncing Back: A Young Woman's Adventures into Womanhood and theyre finally being discussed today in the me too movement the depth of bias gainst women is so deep so entitled There has been progress but we have far to go still It s not that Katha Pollitt is bad writer or even that she s wrong My Lady Viper (Tales From the Tudor Court, about most of the issues What makes her writing so hard to take is the sense of entitlement the rich white college girl who hasll the nswers Read the essay on Lorena Bobbitt Remember her The girl who chopped off her husband s Johnson with knife Katha Pollitt uotes gal pal of hers saying of Lorena something like oh well she s borderline retarded Actually no she was just working class woman who wasn t fortunate enough to be handed n Ivy League education by wealthy nd doring parentsBut to Katha Pollitt you re either reasonable ie ffluent nd college educated or else you re borderline retarded And even when the proles get out of line she takes it s some kind of joke Writing Dunkirk: Fight to the Last Man about Lorena Bobbitt s knifettack she gloats the privates The Light in Our Houses are radical than the generals Well yeah But who made you general exactly Is the feminist movement only for the top 1 percent of women college graduatesIt was the same thing back when Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan was running for Congress nd Katha wrote column for the NATION which basically said working class women re to be seen nd not heard We welcome them How to Get People to Do Stuff: The Psychology of Persuasion as figure heads but nots leadersIs there ny such thing s working class feminist And if not where has the movement failed In the Civil Rights movement you had Martin Luther King graduate of Morehouse College nd you had Malcolm X seventh grade dropout Highland Hucow: Milking Marie and ex con These two leaders disagreed onlmost everything Call the Fire Brigade: Fighting London's Fires and yet Martin Luther King never tried to pull rank on the basis of his college education Katha Pollitt pulls rank every time she opens her mouth Katha Pollitt is one of the mostmazing feminist writers on the planet And this is easily her best collection ever It s bit dated s these re ll from the late 80s Edward Keating and early 90s but it was helpful for me to understand the important things that happene. K contains the best of Pollitt's pieces which have galvanized readers of The Nation The New Yorkernd The New.

Katha Pollitt is well known for her wit and her keen sense of both the ridiculous and the sublime Her Subject to Debate column which debuted in 1995 and which the Washington Post called “the best place to go for original thinking on the left” appears every other week in the Nation; it is freuently reprinted in newspapers across the country In 2003 Subject to Debate won the National Magazine