Barnes and Noble Infuriates my Uterus

No Links Out Sunday today. The only thing I really feel a need to link, I have a long rant about, so … just expect that link tomorrow?

Also, you may notice my writing style change – hopefully for the better – in the following months. Fate has landed me in a class geared for Publication writing, which I am very excited for and think will help me loads and lots. I want to be able to communicate more clearly in my writing, stop blurring that line between what I know and what others know, and ultimately become skilled enough to be a published writer. So, hope y’all are excited for a better blog to come!

So I’m unsure that I discussed it in this blog, but the resignation of Anthony Weiner – and the disgusting behavior around it, by the watching public – inspired me like nothing else to have my own feminist book collection to research from. That day, I got right on the bus and went over to the nearest bookstore, B&N, to gather some books on the topics of feminism and sex.

It wasn’t an easy search, my instinct was to look in sexuality and found a lot of books like the Kama Sutra. Eventually, I got smart to ask for the section where Jessica Valenti lives and found two bookshelves of Women’s Studies – shoved literally all the way to the back corner. Miffed me a little at the time, but hey, look at all these book options! It took much self control to not walk out of that store with well over a hundred dollars worth of books in my arms, and I barely whittled myself down to three.

So Friday night, I’m hanging out with a couple friends, both guys, both into metal work and blacksmithing, both boring the crap out of me. So I decide, hey, I’m gonna refind that Women’s Studies section and consider what books to get when I’m done with the three I bought (as a book nerd, I feel the need to note that I’m usually a fast reader, but I live in a place where it gets so hot so regularly that the energy is all but literally sucked out of me. I’ve been baffled at the fact that it’s taken me months to get through Slut!). I go back to the section … to find three bookshelves on Sports. Yes, you may have a second to let that irony sink in.

I search the shelves, but all I can find is Cultural Studies. I’m sure Women’s Studies is near here … so I go to the front desk and ask for help in finding the section.

I get led back to Cultural Studies, to a single shelf on the case. Very few of the books have doubles. I am offended.

Oh, but it gets better. Then, amidst Women’s Studies, I find this gem: The Flipside of Feminism. Let me summarize this book for you. “Feminism has made women sad, even if they are powerful and successful; because we are REALLY suppose to be successful as housewives and inferiors to our husbands. Don’t ask feminists about womanhood, ask conservative women!”

Seriously, Barnes and Noble? You get one shelf to pack all of feminism on, and you don’t choose, I don’t know, Gloria Steinem, but THIS JOKE? I literally threw the book off the shelf, placing it face down on an abandoned shelf.

It’s frustrating for me, because I’m not in a financial state to buy books off the internet; and why would I want to? There’s something about going in a section, and being free to pick up a book and look in it based on title, cover design, size. It forces me to be more open-minded about my choices; and in fact, had I been able to find books my first time in B&N that were solely about sex and feminism, I would have missed some great reads that were perhaps more relevant than my “desired” search would have obtained me.

But what is there to take from one shelf? How many questions can that list of books ask, if crap like Flipside is being included? To be fair, they did also have two by Valenti, but they STILL didn’t have Purity Myth – the very book I was looking for the first time I went in, the one that spells out how damaging virginity approaches can be in cultures.

Then I get mad because I know that choices like that aren’t just made by the stores; in fact, they’re probably mostly made by sales. Meaning I’m probably one of the ONLY people in Sacramento who decides to go into a Barnes and Noble and barely refrains from cleaning them out of feminist reads.

It shows up in my own friends. Just last night, as my friend said on facebook “I applaud that this woman thinks – weird statement for discussing a porn star” I debated to myself, do I correct her? It all came to me to say, hey, that’s a myth, a very unkind one at that, that plays on the fact that we feel once a woman is sexualized she can never be unsexualized which HEY IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE DAMN ARTICLE I JUST POSTED (you’ll see tomorrow). I want it to be my literal job as an adult to correct people’s thoughts on things like this – I desire having an education to back up the claims that porn stars are often educated people, or using it to become educated. Is it my job now, though, to correct my friends? At what point do I stop being Stefani the Sexy Feminist and start being Stefani the Naggy Feminist? Am I to accept that these things go hand in hand and be willing to piss a few friends off?

Somebody needs to make a guide or something. How To Be An Angry Feminist Without Scaring All Your Friends.


~ by Stefani Vonne on 08/21/2011.

One Response to “Barnes and Noble Infuriates my Uterus”

  1. So I think that real friends shouldnt be scared of your opinions or even pissed. They should be like ‘hey if that’s your opinion that’s cool, im not going to judge you for it.’ If a friend tells you to fuck yourself over an opinion you’re entitled to then they aren’t your real friends. And sorry for boring you in the store lol

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