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7 obres 104 Membres 1 crítiques

Obres de Leigh Gilmore

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Coneixement comú

Gènere
female

Membres

Ressenyes

Rating: 4.5* of five, rounded up because the author's case is tight

THE PUBLISHER SENT ME A REVIEW COPY OF THE BOOK AT MY REQUEST. THANK YOU.

This is an academic work of depth and authority on the ever-vexing topic of what leads Society (my capital) to treat a woman's word as suspect, especially about her own experiences and her own life.

Essentially, women are treated with contempt and rage by men in general. Their words, therefore, when spoken about men and to other men, must be considered in that context...why would she lie, versus when she speaks, she lies. I am *grossly* oversimplifying the latter, and the author does not present her facts about the former, but this is a formulation that gets to the heart of my take-away from the book.

The additional "defect" of Blackness mars a woman's credibility within the white patriarchal systems of "justice" and "fact-finding" because "you know how they are," the loudly quiet evocation of all the slurs, lies, and oppressions used to discredit Black people. Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas are delved into with some depth. Thirty years later, I still boil when I think of Dr. Hill's vile treatment by the conservative Old Boys' Club in the Senate. (I assert most, if not quite all, Senators are conservative, or were in 1991 anyway.)

Perhaps the most cogent argument Author Gilmore presents in service of her case against social attitudes towards women's bearing witness is the case that neoliberal culture has privileged stories of Overcoming, of Beating the Odds, the System, as opposed to the more realistic way of viewing the System as flawed, broken, unfair, all by design. That design is put in place to keep the powerful protected, and the powerful are white and male. Narratives examining the system's failures are downplayed where they can't be dismissed or vilified. It's that women/the disadvantaged aren't trying hard enough! Look at {insert neoliberal here, eg JD Vance or James Frey}! They overcame their obstacles! Try harder, Jamaica Kincaid, Rigoberta Menchú!

This is balderdash, of course, and the author briskly defangs the "arguments" for it. A pair of examples of this, as well as the author's academic writing style:
A tainted witness is not who someone is but who someone can become in the process of bringing an account into the public sphere.
–and–
Tying the evolution of #BlackLivesMatter primarily to its responses to a series of killings of African-American men and boys by police officers, as some articles have, obscures the feminist focus on {B}lack lives broadly. By refusing a presentist framing of the event, #BlackLivesMatter is not, as its founders make clear, only about what happened but about how to frame it, how to bear witness to histories of the present, and how to look at images of death, grief, and protest as a form of ethical engagement.

These are not unclear or grammatically flawed statements; neither are they elegant, nor rhetorically exciting. They are true, unsparingly honest, and effective in making their cases.

I longed for more than that. It wasn't an easy read, it was in many ways an unpleasant book to read due to its trenchant indictment of privileged peoples and people's cynical, lazy, and cruel means of disempowering and devaluing The Others to maintain their privilege. I'm seeking a rousing call to arms, though, and while I wasn't promised this when I chose this book to read and review, I had set my hopes on it.
… (més)
½
 
Marcat
richardderus | Jan 21, 2021 |

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Estadístiques

Obres
7
Membres
104
Popularitat
#184,481
Valoració
½ 4.3
Ressenyes
1
ISBN
17

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