A review of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion by Michelle Dean (Grove Atlantic).
This critical history is a rogues’ gallery of literary femaleness – even though most of the women in it rightly bristled at being defined as “woman writers.” Dean’s exemplars are, in chapter if not birth order, Dorothy Parker; Rebecca West; Hannah Arendt; Mary McCarthy; Susan Sontag; Pauline Kael; Joan Didion; Nora Ephron; Renata Adler; and Janet Malcolm. Most have at least a few things in common. While some doubled as novelists, all are distinguished for their non-fiction, with fully half reaching eminence via The New Yorker.
The depth to which the level of political and social discourse has sunk in the U.S. has prompted both sides to call for a return to civility. Here’s one writer’s opinion on the topic.
Here are some suggestions on how to deal with the problem of civility in public discourse.
A former Clinton administration official studied how to facilitate more constructive arguments among Americans. These are his conclusions.
For scientists, pain has long presented an intractable problem: it is a physiological process, just like breathing or digestion, and yet it is inherently, stubbornly subjective—only you feel your pain. It is also a notoriously hard experience to convey accurately to others.
A report on scientists’ efforts to find “ways to capture the experience [of pain] in quantifiable, objective data.”
© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown
Here are the articles from around the internet that piqued my interest last week.
Some new information and new interpretations of one of psychology’s most infamous studies, the 1971 Stanford prison experiment.
A look at the frightening disorder “depersonalisation disorder (DPD) – a condition that typically manifests as a profound and distressing feeling of estrangement from one’s own self and body, including one’s experiences, memories and thoughts.”
There’s something wrong, on a visceral level, about the very idea of children murderers. It flips all the tropes and common beliefs about the world on their heads. Children are supposed to be innocent and pure, even though everyone who remembers their childhood and teenage years knows they can be anything but.
How the Brothers Grimm went hunting for fairytales and accidentally changed the course of historical linguistics and kickstarted a new field of scholarship in folklore.
© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest I’ve become more aware of Native American history and culture.
November is Native American Heritage Month. Native Americans began working toward recognition of American Indian Day as a national holiday in the U.S. as early as 1915. Although a few individual states sporadically pass resolutions to establish American Indian Day, the movement did not receive national recognition until President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution naming November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month.
Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.
The following institutions and organizations sponsor Native American Heritage Month and contribute to the web site:
The Native American Heritage Month’s main web site offers links to a large amount of related material presented by the several sponsoring institutions and organizations. There are links to exhibits and collections, images, and audio/video material.
There’s also a link from the main page to a page of resource links for teachers. But don’t let the designation “for teachers” keep you away. There’s a lot of information here appropriate for anyone looking to learn more about Native American contributions to the history and culture of the U. S.
Another important web site for information is the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), which describes Native American Heritage Month as follows:
November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
Other areas of this web site focus on policy issues, news, native youth, and partnerships and initiatives.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 35.6% of women and 28.5% of men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by in intimate partner in their lifetime. Moreover, nearly half of all women and men in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Such intimate partner violence (IPV) had led to the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This observance, begun in 1995, is sponsored by the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, a division of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence:
Do you think you’re being abused? Do you often feel ashamed or scared? Has being with this person lowered your self-esteem? Do they try to stop you seeing family or friends? All of these signs and more suggest that you’re being unfairly abused by your partner.
An abuser’s manipulation may be so subtle at first that you don’t even realize it’s happening until you’re deeply into a potentially dangerous situation. Learn the red flags of abuse from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Review these safety tips if you think you might be in danger. There is a lot of advice here, including how to use technology to try to get help. Remember that your home computer is probably not a good tool to use when searching for help, since your abuser may be able to see what you’ve been doing. There are also phone numbers here for contacting a local domestic violence help line.
You can find more information about DVAM here.