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September Happy Links: I’m a bad feminist, too.

{This month: Feminism, embracing boredom, living a good life, Patreon, and more.}

Photo by Tammy Strobel

Hi all,

I love reading good books, and I hope this roundup inspires you to buy a book or explore your local library.

Enjoy!

1.  My friends Sarah and Katie started a digital book club, and last month we read Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. I resonated with so many of Gay’s stories, especially her take on feminism.

Gay said,

“I openly embrace the label of bad feminist. I do so because I am flawed and human. I am not terribly well versed in feminist history. I am not as well read in key feminist texts as I would like to be. I have certain . . . interests and personality traits and opinions that may not fall in line with mainstream feminism, but I am still a feminist. I cannot tell you how freeing it has been to accept this about myself.

I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself . . . ”

When I read her words, I wanted to shout, “Me, too!”

2. A few months ago, I pre-ordered Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. As of this writing, it is the best book I’ve read in 2017. Brown’s research is impactful, and it’s essential to incorporate her ideas into conversations around race, class, gender, and politics. Like Brown, I believe we must move away from dehumanizing language and move toward civility, courage, and empathy.

As Brown said:

“There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.

When we engage in dehumanizing rhetoric or promote dehumanizing images, we diminish our own humanity in the process. When we reduce Muslim people to terrorists or Mexicans to ‘illegals’ or police officers to pigs, it says nothing at all about the people we’re attacking. It does, however, say volumes about who we are and the degree to which we’re operating in our integrity.”

There’s so much I want to say about Brown’s work, and there’s not enough space to say it here. I’m going to read Braving the Wilderness again and write a post about how it impacted me. If you don’t have time to read the book, watch this conversation.

2. In 2015, I listened to the Bored and Brilliant podcast series, and it helped me rethink how I use my iPhone. When I found out Manoush Zomorodi wrote a book by the same name, I was pumped! I devoured the book in three days, and it helped me revamp my work days and evenings. If you struggle with the amount of time you spend on your phone or computer, read Bored and Brilliant.

4. Before leaving for The Netherlands, and during my vacation, Mark Manson’s book—The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck—kept catching my eye. I saw it in airports, bookstores, and a few stationery shops. When I got back home and wandered into my favorite coffee/bookshop—there it was, sitting on the shelf. I felt like the universe was trying to tell me something, so I bought the damn book.

I wrongly assumed Manon’s book was about being indifferent to life problems, but that’s not the case. Instead, Manson unpacks our culture’s obsessive focus on happiness, success, and freedom, and offers readers a guide “to suffering and how to do it better, more meaningfully, with more compassion and more humility. It’s a book about moving lightly despite your heavy burdens, resting easier with your greatest fears, laughing at your tears as you cry them.”

It is seriously awesome!

5. I’m slowly working my way through How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. The book is big, dense, and practical. In short, it’s about healing your body by eating whole foods.

6. Want to write more? Find an accountability buddy.

7. Non-traditional, creative, and inspiring: “A London author who secretly wrote her debut novel on her phone while commuting has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.”

8. Brazilian photographer Luisa Dörr recently photographed a series for Time Magazine called “Firsts.” The series featured women who have “broken a major barrier in their field.” Also, Dörr shot the portraits on her iPhone. The camera in my iPhone is my primary camera, and I was inspired by Dörr’s work.

9. On my nightstand: You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt, What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the latest edition of Flow Magazine, and a galley copy of my friend Cait’s new book—The Year of Less.

10. If you like my essays, photos, and curated happy links, please support my work on Patreon. Patreon is a membership platform where you can contribute to RowdyKittens.com and get cool rewards in return. I’d be grateful if you checked out my Patreon page!

Thanks for reading!

With gratitude,
Tammy

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sandra September 25, 2017, 11:17 pm

    I like this blog article very much and I’m going to order a couple of books you mention here, including the one written by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am not American, but I followed the election last year with much consternation.

    • Tammy Strobel September 26, 2017, 5:33 am

      Thank you! Last night, I finished Clinton’s book and it’s really good. 🙂 I’ll blog about it soon.

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