Links: Thursday, November 21st

November 21, 2013 Links 0

A painting from 1890 of a black man in a military uniform being embraced by his wife, a white woman with reddish hair in a floral gown.People of Color in European Art History

  • Love in Colour: Multicultural and Interracial Romance Novels – Mindy Hung is over at The Toast talking about multicultural romance. She offers some quick reviews of a handful of titles, then asks for recommendations in the comments.

    The lack of crossover, however, often garners absurd results: Take, for example, Harlequin Medical’s NYC Angels series, a multi-authored group of novels set in a Manhattan hospital. There is one protagonist of colour named—unfortunately/hilariously—Alex Rodriguez. I have a lot of sympathy for the poor writer who actually made an effort to include a Latino character, but what a mess. Imagine staffing a large North American hospital without African-Americans, East or South Asians (and no Jews, either). Even with A-Rod on the team, this would never work.

    In any case, this is not a space for taunting or bitterness—this is a space of love. So, let’s look at a handful of excellent romance novels set in this world in the present day which feature characters of many colours, by writers of colour.

  • “Strong Women” Can Still Experience Violence – How much of the “alpha hero tamed by the love of a strong heroine” fantasy is an extension of this idea that women can prevent themselves from being victimized? Food for thought.

    Violence perpetrated against women is insidious and by nature initiates a cycle where the victim is silenced by the shame and psychological abuse. In any society that perpetuates – even by benign acceptance – the myth of the strong woman, these victims are further muffled by all false notion that all feminists, all women who are strong, or fiesty are free from violence.

  • Beyond the So-Called First Thanksgiving: 5 Children’s Books That Set the Record Straight – With Thanksgiving coming up in the US, the charming national creation myth gets dusted off and retold. Here’s a short list of children’s fiction that tells the other side of the story.

    But there is an antidote to these books, and it goes beyond volumes that merely counter the feel-good tale. There are a multitude of works by Native writers who tell stories from their experience and history. While Thanksgiving is a good time to grab people’s attention about Wampanoag-European interactions, it does not need to frame the story. These books give a far more nuanced, and accurate, account of Indigenous Peoples. They will set children and adults alike straight on what really happened around the time of the so-called First Thanksgiving, and what Native life is like today.

  • Wrongful Birth: Not Just the Stuff of Jody Picoult Novels – Blogger/writer s.e. smith wrote about “wrongful birth” and it says so many interesting/horrifying things about the US. Often we appear “sue happy” and heartless when we’re just doing what we have to do to survive in a system with limited social services. Smith’s also written a blog post on the topic.

    Here in the United States, Olmstead is supposed to protect people with disabilities from forced institutionalisation, with a mandate that community-based care be the preferred approach for people with disabilities. For many parents of disabled children, this is not an option, because they aren’t offered respite care and relief caregivers, so they are forced to institutionalise their children, unless they have enough money to pay for caregivers and to cover the associated costs of disability, like medications that can cost thousands of dollars per month. Many families face the unenviable choice of being full time caregivers indefinitely, or surrendering children to foster care, because there is no middle ground. We are still suing, and protesting, for the right to live in our communities, and wrongful birth suits are an example of one way families can make it possible for their children stay at home, since they don’t get the support they need.

  • Transgender Day of Remembrance – Finally, yesterday was Transgender Day of Remembrance.

    Today marks the 15th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is “set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the ‘Remembering Our Dead’ web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.”

    71 trans* people are being memorialized this year. 71 people known to have been killed as a result of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice resulting from fear and ignorance.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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