Are you in need of a good laugh? I’m sure most of us are seeking humor more than usual during this difficult time and one of my favorite ways to be heartened is cozying up with a hilarious book. I just finished Shit, Actually by Lindy West, a collection of scathing and laugh out loud funny reviews of popular films, which was exactly what I needed this past week.
If you are interested in women’s comedy, which has long been a prime spot for women to talk back and break taboos in mainstream popular culture, join us tonight on Zoom for Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics at 7 pm Eastern. This sure to be engaging virtual program with Linda Mizejewski, Ph.D, Distinguished Professor in Ohio State University’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Department, is an overview of women’s comedy beginning with Mae West and ending with the new generation of women comedians such as Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, and Ellen DeGeneres who flout the pretty-versus-funny dynamic, targeting glamour and in some cases making it clear that in popular culture, “pretty” almost always means “white.” Click here to register!
There are a plethora of fabulous titles out there by my favorite funny women, and I’ve selected ten of my top choices for you below.
Hop on over to our Overdrive catalog to snag one of these fabulous titles now, or request a print copy, and let the laughter begin! Happy reading all.
March is Women’s History Month! Did you know that Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981? Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. You can read more about Women’s History Month here.
To celebrate, I’m sharing some great graphic novels that highlight women authors, illustrators, women’s stories, and more! Take a look below to see my ten picks for graphic novels you should read this month to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Click here jump to our online catalog! All titles are available in our print collection or digitally in Hoopla.
For our third week of the virtual book club on difficult topics, we want to focus on women and feminism. Why is that? Partly because of this statistic from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“In 2018, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings that were 81 percent of the earnings of male fulltime wage and salary workers.” – from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Highlights of Women’s Earnings 2018”
Even in 2020, women’s work isn’t valued as much as men’s – and the disparity is even worse for women of color.
Below are books that we thought would shine a light on the experience of women in the United States. Every one is available right now from Hoopla – no holds, no waiting. All you need is your library card number and PIN. We’re also including local women-focused organizations here in Cleveland, as well as a ‘privilege checklist’ to get you thinking.
Every Sunday in June, we’ll be sharing curated book lists on difficult topics, organizations in the area to support, and more resources to explore.
Books to start the conversation:
Local organizations to support:
The City Mission
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
League of Women Voters Ohio
Renee Jones Empowerment Center
Women’s Recovery Center
YWCA Greater Cleveland
Male Privilege Checklist:
- My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favour. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed. [However, men who appear to come from poverty or the working class are much more likely to be turned away from a prestigious job than a middle class or wealthier-appearing man.]
- I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. [This is far more true for white men than for many men of color.]
- If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex. [But may well be due to my race or ethnicity, if I’m not white.]
- If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities. [“Black mark” is part of racist speech. Black Monday, black mark, black sheep of the family: all generate negative associations with blackness and Blackness. See Dreaming The Dark, by Starhawk, for more on this.]
- The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible. [This is much more likely to be the case for men perceived to be heterosexual.]
The list continues here, in the Male Privilege Checklist from Arizona State University.