Here are two books that I’ve either tried and failed to make into Fashion Friday posts, or just had no hope in the first place. Because it’s Friday and things aren’t always perfect (especially not in fashion), here are a couple Fashion Friday Fails for your viewing pleasure…
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
Quirk Books (2013)
288 pages, 3.5 stars
Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story. –Goodreads.com
I’m not a huge history buff or even a big non-fiction reader, but I enjoyed this book for some obvious reasons (feminism), and other reasons like the sheer amount of information this book squeezes into its 288 pages. Many people could have made a book like this hundreds more pages, and yet I appreciate your brevity McRobbie.
Each chapter takes us to a different point in history where a woman is doing something she isn’t supposed to (those pesky females), and in between each chapter is a collection of extremely short stories about women whose history is less easy to come by. All of the stories are extremely interesting and I like McRobbie’s modern day feminist voice peaking through every now and then. I wish her writing had been a little more story-like, but I think I wish that about all non-fiction.
Check out my attempt to create a fashion friday for this book. It didn’t go so well…
A deeply moving story by a survivor of the commercial sex industry who has devoted her career to activism and helping other young girls escape “the life”—Goodreads.com
As you can probably surmise, this book is really depressing. However, it’s eye-opening and a very necessary book for people to read. It changed the way I think about the commercial sex industry (not that I had a ton of thoughts on it to begin with) and the women in it. Lloyd’s big take-away in this book is that women and girls in the commercial sex industry are not only being exploited, but are conditioned from an early age to accept and think they deserve abuse/to work in the industry. A 12-year-old girl is not a sex-worker. She is a commercially sexually exploited youth—a mouthful, I know.
Nonetheless, people tend to blame the victim, especially if the victim is a woman (or girl) of color. I think this is particularly interesting and distressing, because women of color (specifically black women in the US) are more sexualized than white women and thus bear the brunt of a much slut-shaming and victim-blaming. Add on top of that the discrimination in the legal system against people of color and there’s just a ton of shit for these women to wade through.
The one thing about this book that I thought could have been dialed back was the sensationalism. The stories Lloyd tells are horrific and rightfully so, but I didn’t see the utility in having so MANY personal stories of abuse. That could also just be my weak stomach. FYI this isn’t really for those with a weak stomach. This was a fascinating read on sexual politics and race relations in the US, but the cover just didn’t cut it for a fashion Friday. Can you imagine? The nineties is one decade no one wants to make a comeback!
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