Day 343: Essential reading

Today, I’m found myself at that painful point again. With three different browser windows open, way too many tabs to keep track of, and nothing read to completion. Every time things get “crowded” on a particular window, I open a fresh one, to ease the claustrophobia. And then the tabs pile up, inevitably. On and on.

So I sorted through them of course, and here are some things I wanted to share.

I have an essay about Indian women and their choice to remain child-free coming out soon next week, so it’s been on my radar for a while. Probably why I bookmarked these three essays. Entirely different matter that I only read them in a rushed manner yesterday! This is probably going to be my last essay on the topic, for a while (phew!) because between the last one and this, I’m wiped dry.

Disproving the myth that all women must want children has been an ongoing century-long effort. A whole goddamned century. When are we going to get over this?

An essay, and a whole new book called Why Have Kids? about the need to normalise the choice not to have kids.

I’m now the person who received links to a story from multiple sources because they read something on the topic and instantly think of me. Heh. This BBC story, with a mildly sensationalised title, Changing the world is more important than changing nappies, was sent to me by four different people.

Every year I come across at least three pieces that make a pretty compelling case to quit social media. I’m too far in now, and will probably take a lot to get out, but it always makes for good reading. Especially stories like this about improving your career by getting off social media, that come at a time when I’m making over 95% of my income through social media.

This brilliant Rolling Stone interview with President Obama the day after the election. I’d love to see someone do something similar in India, with as much candour and a sense of humour even in grim times.

Soeaking of things I’d like to see happen on Indian news/media, how about our version of this?

Research for an interesting story I’m working on led me here, to this story about a delightful book about bookstores.

And I’m saving the absolute best for last. Currently reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. And it is slowly creeping into top spot in the list of best books I read this year. It’s a collection of essays about a great variety of themes and topics related to feminism, but this essay really hit home. Gay, on safety, fear, the illusion of safety, and trigger warnings, is an essay every woman needs to read. Some quotes from the essay;

I used to think that I didn’t have triggers because I told myself I was tough. I was steel. I was broken beneath the surface but my skin was forged, impenetrable. Then I realised I had all kinds of triggers. I simply had buried them deep until there was no more room inside me. When the dam burst, I had to learn how to stare those triggers down. I had a lot of help, years and years of help. I have writing.

It’s an impossible debate. There is too much history lurking beneath the skin of too many people. Few are willing to consider the possibility that trigger warning might be ineffective, impractical, and necessary for creating safe spaces all at once.

…there is value in learning, where possible, how to deal with and respond to the triggers that cut you open, the triggers that put you back in terrible places, that remind you of painful history.

Find it here on The Rumpus. For more such compelling, relevant, important writing that raises important questions, questions the status quo even in an established space, takes the difficult route to arrive at a whole new stance and constantly questions our privilege while doing so, read the book.



4 thoughts on “Day 343: Essential reading

  1. Pingback: Sun, set – haathi time

  2. Pingback: Day 343: Take all my world and shake it

  3. Pingback: Day 90: Slow change may pull us apart

  4. Pingback: Day 348: The last of the books for 2016 | hAAthi Time

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