Elevate Difference

Hey, Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets

Difficulties concentrating in school, shame, depression, guilt, fear, low self-esteem, poor body image, and powerlessness are just some of the repercussions that victims of sexual harassment at school experience, according to research conducted by Girls for Gender Equity (GGE). This Brooklyn-based nonprofit organization works to “improve gender and race relations and socioeconomic conditions for [the] most vulnerable youth and communities of color.” Joanne N. Smith, Mandy Van Deven, and Megan Huppuch of GGE have collaboratively written Hey, Shorty!, which tells GGE’s story, while providing a model for teens to teach their peers what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it. The book also gives activists, educators, parents and students a hands-on guide to combat sexual harassment and violence in their schools and neighborhoods.

Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics

Showcasing twelve articles by noted linguist Sally McConnell-Ginet, Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning weaves together some of her most provocative and influential work on language, gender, and sexual meaning-making from the last three decades. In her many fruitful collaborations with colleagues, students, and friends, McConnell-Ginet argues that language is not a passive craft, but rather, an active process of meaning-making that has its roots in the social identities, contexts, and statuses of the speakers and listeners.

Reading Lips: A Memoir of Kisses

Let the whole world put on a pair of rubber gloves and plunder and pillage. We have no secrets any longer. We have become public property. Women who write about their lives face challenges that male writers do not. Not only are women charged with writing about their own lives, with creating selfhood on paper, they are somehow additionally responsible for upholding the idea of womanhood. In this way, they bear the responsibility for representing, and in a sense, for creating the lives of all women. (Considering the diversity of possible identities which women take on for themselves, this is at the very least, a difficult task.)

A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet

“But if the tradition would not admit me, could I change its rules of admission?” Eavan Boland asks in her new book, A Journey with Two Maps. This volume honors the accumulated change wrought by earlier woman poets, the self-claimed permission for women to write identities outside of the feminine, and the female victory of bringing the ordinary into the canon. She also proselytizes for a transcendence of the binary: that the writer can perceive the contradictory aspects of poetry’s history and practice and reconcile them through her work, and then use these two maps to reach a poetic destination.

Challenging the Prison-Industrial Complex: Activism, Arts, and Educational Alternatives

As a feminist concerned with social justice, in the past year or so I’ve become convinced that dismantling the prison-industrial complex should be a top priority amongst feminists.

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With the Spoon review, short version: If you have children, know children, or were ever a child yourself, you need this new coloring book by Jacinta Bunnell and Nathaniel Kusinitz.

Elizabeth Packard: A Noble Fight

In 1860, it was legal for a man to send his wife to an insane asylum against her will, based on his word and that of one or two witnesses. The asylum could deny patients the right to legal representation as well as visits and uncensored correspondence with friends. And a man could sell his property and take his children across the country without consulting his wife, because the property and children were considered his, even if her inheritance and income had contributed to that property. This was the world in which Elizabeth Parsons Packard lived.

Georgic Stories

Mariko Nagai’s Georgic Stories is a book worthy of its acclaim, but that does not necessarily imply that I want to read it again. When I recounted it to a friend once I finished reading it, I did not feel as if I was describing the stories or engaging in critique as much as I was repeating a terrible testimony. The stories demand retelling: they are compelling views of a world where the pinnacle of joy is a child’s possible, but not guaranteed, escape from starvation.

These Open Roads

When I received Haroula Rose’s album These Open Roads in the mail, I couldn’t help but judge it immediately based on the cover. It’s yellow with 70s fonts and on the back, you’ll see Rose dressed in a hippie-styled shirt, standing amongst a field of tall grass. My immediate assumption was a pretty girl who probably has a pretty voice and nothing beyond that. I had hoped to be wrong after listening to the album. Unfortunately, I was far from it. These Open Roads, while a very conventional indie-folk album, isn’t without meaning.

Herizons Magazine (Winter 2011)

When I first moved to Canada, Herizons was virtually the only magazine I came across that dealt with feminism and issues concerning women. My understanding of the women’s movement before that point was primarily focused on within the U.S., and it’s not exactly the same. The laws are different in Canada. Thus, they affect women in a different way and Herizons helped me understand that.

The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure (2nd Edition)

The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus is described by the author as a sex-positive, no-nonsense explanation of cunnilingus. The book includes information Violet Blue acquired from guidebooks, the internet, and surveys she sent to people from diverse backgrounds in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism

Jessica Yee and I have a lot in common, personally and politically. For one, last year we were both curating collective published works that simultaneously construct and deconstruct contemporary feminist theory while broadening the scope of who is seen as legitimate enough to be a theory-maker. I wasn't aware of her work, and so far as I know, she wasn't aware of mine either. Despite being topically similar, the results of both projects are strikingly different. And I have a few theories about why.

Gladdy’s Wake

It took me a while to really sink my teeth into Gladdy’s Wake. The book weaves in and out of three generations, each tying together through family, hints of religion, and the story of Nawal Habib, a devout Muslim. Nawal (once Janie Kelly) is suspected of terrorism, an act that reunites her with her estranged brother, Frank (now a priest) and hospitalized father, Daniel (a once devout Catholic); both of whom she left to eventually reinvent herself as Nawal Habib. The story runs through Nawal’s family tragedy, her rebellion, the birth of her son, and eventual religious transformation, all the while introducing the reader to her grandfather, James Kelly, a womanizing Irish immigrant interested in fast cash with no real ethical principles, lest it regard his passion: Gladdy Sage.


What things come from Australia? Lots of bitey poisonous things. The fabulous and flamboyant movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. AC/DC. Australian Toaster Biscuits (do you remember Australian Toaster Biscuits? I do. They were amazing.) The On Fires also come from Australia. Are The On Fires as amazing as Australian Toaster Biscuits? Do they wear shorts all of the time like Angus Young?