This is a great book, all about the work of spinning and weaving, how it developed, and how and why it was women’s work. It makes the great point that women’s work is ephemeral - food, cloth, it’s all things that don’t survive archaeologically, so that it’s something that gets overlooked. The author also knows how to weave herself, and has tried out weaving some ancient cloths, pointing out that it’s only by doing something like that that you can work out practical issues.
One of the things that was really great was the author pointing out that the most plausible reconstruction for the Venus de Milo is of her spinning:
Even better, is that since the book has been written, an artist who makes 3D printed sculpture has made a 3D model of what she would have looked like - and you can buy one for yourself:
“Which brings me to three questions I am often asked.
First, is “The Handmaid’s Tale” a “feminist” novel? If you mean an ideological tract in which all women are angels and/or so victimized they are incapable of moral choice, no. If you mean a novel in which women are human beings - with all the variety of character and behavior that implies - and are also interesting and important, and what happens to them is crucial to the theme, structure and plot of the book, then yes. In that sense, many books are “feminist.”
Why interesting and important? Because women are interesting and important in real life. They are not an afterthought of nature, they are not secondary players in human destiny, and every society has always known that. Without women capable of giving birth, human populations would die out. That is why the mass rape and murder of women, girls and children has long been a feature of genocidal wars, and of other campaigns meant to subdue and exploit a population. Kill their babies and replace their babies with yours, as cats do; make women have babies they can’t afford to raise, or babies you will then remove from them for your own purposes, steal babies - it’s been a widespread, age-old motif. The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet. Napoleon and his “cannon fodder,” slavery and its ever-renewed human merchandise — they both fit in here. Of those promoting enforced childbirth, it should be asked: Cui bono? Who profits by it? Sometimes this sector, sometimes that. Never no one.”
You know, somewhere, elsewhere, way off, in an alternative universe, they have President Bernie Sanders. And those people think from time to time: “Oh, but what if things had turned out the other way? What poor bastards we’d have been.”
Happy international women’s day! Just a small reminder that the science fiction genre was invented by a teenage girl, and that you wouldn’t have your apocalyptic sci-fi, your Batman or your Han Solo, if it weren’t for women. Take that misogynistic geek boys!
Back in 1905, in fact. Including the trope of “foppish playboy” by day, and mysterious masked figure by night, which was later used for Zorro, Batman, and innumerable other costumed heroes and villains since.
(Whether the Scarlet Pimpernel is a superhero or supervillain depends on which side of the French Revolution you sympathize with, but Emma Orczy clearly intended him to be read as
a heroic figure.)
Tbh I hate it when someone writes Ambw fan fiction and says shit like 'his words made you blush' when black girls don't blush.
Black women can and do blush, all it is is blood rush to your cheeks and you get warm in the face from crushing/embarrassment or what ever it may be, it happens, but with some people of darker skin tone you can’t see it but yes they’re still blushing so yes they can write that a Black girl is blushing in their stories 😗