Thursday, November 15, 2018

Feminism Can Be Funny

Penguin/Plume was kind enough to send me a copy of New Erotica For Feminists, a funny little book that looks at popular culture, dating, parenting, literature, and history through a distinctly feminist (and satirical) lens. Penned by four authors (Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Witmer), this book has something for every reader who wants a good laugh, but the scenarios imagined within also give pause--why shouldn't a man offer a woman interesting conversation instead of a sexual proposition? Why DO we as readers tend to demonize Jordan Baker simply because we see her through the eyes of Nick Carraway?

My favorite passage was a re-imagining of the dialogue between Paris and Helen of Sparta as he prepares to whisk her off to Troy.

Helen tries to explain why this would be a bad decision, reminding him of some historical context around her beauty and things it has made men do, and the problems he would engender by angering Agamemnon, King of Mycenae:

Helen: How do you not know this? It's like you haven't even read Herodotus. You really need to brush up on the geopolitical history of this volatile region, tiger.
Paris: But you're so pretty!
Helen: (sigh) I wish I'd been born a centaur. 

A fun little book, small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking, weighty enough to engender many fine discussions, and funny enough to make you laugh out loud