I’m literally sitting writing this reading list in a Hugo Boss jacket that’s a bit too large for my small feminine frame. I found it barely worn in freshly dry cleaned in a “giveaway” box in my neighborhood. Everyone in the neighborhood leaves books, clothes and appliances out to share and trade. Some neighbors are a bit more well off than others. It’s not uncommon to find a wealthy student’s small collection of hand-me-downs that are clean, expensive and barely a year old. I almost like men’s jackets more than I like books, but as the season begins to change, and Fall makes chills the air crisp and chill, I can enjoy both at the same time. No need to choose.
These books are a combination of favorites, like my friend China Martens epic zine anthology, Future Generation and the enthralling Womanist literary effort, Hope is in the Holler: A Womanist Theory and a collection of books I’ve compiled while preparing for my feminist lectures and writing workshops like “Masculinity Studies & Feminist Theory: New Directions.” I rummage through libraries and independent books stores like Red Emma’s Books to find just what I need for my never ending literary pursuits.
The fall season is perfect for learning new things and growing our minds and perspectives, especially since school is now in session.
Future Generation: The Zine-Book for Subculture Parents, Kids, Friends & Others
By China Martens
One Dimensional Woman
By Nina Power
By John Waters
Listen Up: Voices From the Next Generation
By: Barbara Findlen
The Concept and Measurement of Violence Against Women and Men
By: Sylvia Walby, Jude Towers, Susan Balderston, Brian Francis
Eros and Ethics: Reading Jacques Lacan’s Seminar VII
By: Marc De Kesel
A Brighter Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Reader
Edited By: Frances Smith Foster
Listen Little Man
By: Wilhelm Reich
New Black Man
By: Mark Anthony Neal
Masculinity Studies & Feminist Theory: New Directions
By: Judith Kegan Gardiner
Sex, Drag, and Male Roles: Investigating Gender as Performance
By: Diane Torr and Stephen J. Bottoms
Hope in the Holler: A Womanist Theology
By: A. Elaine Brown Crawford
The Violence of Care: Rape Victims, Forensic Nurses, and Sexual Assault Intervention
By: Sameena Mulla
By: Audre Lorde
On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950-1970
By Elizabeth Siegel Watkins
High Lonesome: New & Selected Stories, 1966–2006
By Joyce Carol Oates
Shotgun Seamstress Zine Collection: Six Zine by and for Black Punks
By: Osa Atoe
Freedom Challenge: African American Homeschoolers
By: Grace Llewellyn
It’s only early August and there’s a briskness to the air on the East Coast. Last year, there was blistering heat, and I craved the cool, foggy days of San Francisco, but this season has changed, and so have I. I mean, on a fundamental level I have not. I was talking to my mother about love, and I told her ever since I was a little girl, I never felt the need to prioritize love. I didn’t have the capacity to put friends before a pet, or lovers before colleagues or acquaintances before old friends.
It took me 30 years to learn the term “non hierarchical” in terms of relationships until I was 30 years old, but I immediately connected to the idea, because I’d been living it my entire life. I have always loved people, I’ve always loved life and books, writing and traveling but have never been able to say that I loved something more than the other. I understand that there are times in my life when I may be more comfortable writing a book than a music album, or when I’d rather teach than perform. There are times when I’d like to be alone, and other times when I’d like to be very social, but the emphasis of my feelings towards the phases of my life was never anything that caused me anxiety. Outside of earning a living, and work to keep social and relational conflict to a minimal, I never felt like there was something I needed to be doing that I was not doing because something came first.
A large reason for this is because I have chosen to not have children yet. I think a child is the only human being that I absolutely know would not fit into a non hierarchical structure. With this said, in my teaching career, I believe I have been successful because I treat adults and children as if they are equal beings. No, I don’t use inappropriate language, but I do not value children’s thoughts, presence and even advice over adults. I think kids give the best life advice. I think they are observant, and wise and enjoy spending time with them.
The seasons are changing and maybe I am on some levels, or maybe I am just refining what I’ve always known about myself. The weather and the Earth don’t function by the construct of hierarchy. All things are equal. I believe life and love should be fluid.