Librarians Saved Gloria Steinem's Life (And She's Not Alone)

Anyone who knows me is aware that both Gloria Steinem and public libraries are two of my absolute favorite thing/people on the planet, so it was awesome to hear that she spoke at the American Library Association's Annual Conference this weekend. Steinem wasn’t only there because she’s an acclaimed author (with a new book coming out soon!)— She also loves libraries and librarians.

“I think your profession is the greatest profession on earth," she said in her speech, according to Publishers Weekly. "I really do want to emphasize, in case you’re feeling unappreciated, how important your role is. I’m here to make you not humble. You democratize knowledge. Nothing on earth is more important.”

I couldn’t agree more. Libraries are so central to all communities and provide so many resources for the people in them. When someone claims libraries are going to go obsolete because people don’t read paper books, they obviously haven’t stopped by their local library in a while. PSA: At libraries, you can borrow basically any book, CD, or DVD you want FOR FREE. With a (free) card, you can attend (free) educational or entertainment programs, use (free) wi-fi, computers, and often Kindles. You can also often bring the kids in your life to a (free) place to play. Libraries are one of the few places that accept anyone. They “democratize knowledge”—Steinem couldn’t have said it better.

Libraries fed my ravenous appetite for all kinds of books and provided me with both my first volunteering opportunities and my first paying job. When my best friend Cate and I served as the liaisons between our high school and the library, we learned community organizing tools that I’ve applied in countless other situations. This would be impossible without the women (and in my library, it was always all women) that served as teachers, mentors, colleagues, and friends for my budding mind.

“It is true for me, as for so many countless others, that librarians saved my life, my internal life,” Steinem said. Truer words are seldom spoken.

Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!  

Image via ALA Cognotes, Video via PBS

Read more on Bust.com

It's Happening: Gloria Steinem is Releasing a New Book

15 Books That Should Definitely Make Your Summer Reading List

Chloe Sevigny's New Zine Features Snapshots Of Her Exes

It’ll be easier than ever to pretend that Chloe Sevigny is your real life BFF with her new 'zine, “No Time For Love.” A collection of photos of the men in her life, “No Time For Love” features Polaroids and photo booth snapshots (and lots of stickers, to protect the boys’ anonymity, and because stickers are great). “We wanted it to be more like me in my real life, who I really am… we wanted it to be something more real,” Sevigny said of the book in an interview with Style.

Sevigny, now 40, sees the 'zine as as a compilation of images that represent her work through time, stating “[It is] me as a person and a career that I’ve honed and developed over the years through fashion, film, and art.” As far as careers go, Sevigny’s has been—and will continue to be—unfailingly, unflappably cool. We can’t wait to get our hands on her book!

“No Time For Love” will be released June 17 (tomorrow!) through Innen Zines. Check out the preview below.

 

 

 

Images via Dazed

 

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Chloe Sevigny Taking A Trip To Portlandia

'Women Don't Count': Novelist Breaks Down WHY Men Win More Writing Awards Than Women

“Women seem to have literary cooties,” novelist and badass Nicola Griffith writes in her study of women in the world of literary fiction prizes. The analysis examines the last fifteen years’ results for six book-length fiction awards: the Pulitzer, the Man Booker Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the Hugo Award, and the Newbery Medal.

Griffith’s conclusion? “When women win literary awards for fiction it’s usually for writing from a male perspective and/or about men. The more prestigious the award, the more likely the subject of the narrative will be male.” While not exactly surprising, this information is disheartening.

The prestigious Pulitzer prize recognizes “the most distinguished fiction by an American author.” In the last fifteen years, the Pulitzer was not awarded to a single book written by a woman wholly from the point of view of a woman or girl. The Newbery, a prize for children’s literature, has been awarded to five female-penned, girl-fronted books and three novels written by girls about men. (And anyway, the Newbery falls “at the bottom of the prestige ladder,” according to Griffith.)

There are two ways to read this information, Griffith says. “Either this means that women writers are self-censoring, or those who judge literary worthiness find women frightening, distasteful, or boring.” I find the lack of women in book prizes to be all three of those things. Such a narrow lens edges out so much of our culture, and as Griffith says, “Humanity is only half what we could be.”

Images via nicolagriffith.com.

 

It's Happening: Gloria Steinem is Releasing a New Book

Image courtesy of Random House

I once sat on Gloria Steinem’s floor (more specifically, on one of her floor pillows). I won’t tell you the circumstances under which this happened because I have been sworn to secrecy, but rest assured: Her apartment is everything you’d imagine to be. The walls are lined with books, many of them memoirs of those luminaries she calls friends.

But enough small talk. Stop everything else you’re doing. We need to chat about Steinem’s forthcoming book, My Life on the Road, the first she’s published in two decades. My Life, which drops October 27th (mark those calendars!), is going to tell you all about befriending those iconic heroes, the unlikely lessons they taught her, and the travels Steinem had along the way.

We're panting with excitement. Can you hear it?

In celebration of this delightful piece of news, let’s reflect on some of Steinem’s earlier books ­– nearly all of them landmark works in their own right. There’s her biography of Marilyn Monroe (aka Norma Jean). 

Image Courtesy of Open Road Media

Then there's “Moving Beyond Words,” her insightful collection of personal essays and the quintessential feminist manifesto that is “Revolution from Within." 

Image courtesy of Open Road Media

And of course, her tome on activism “Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions” in which she notably discussed the enlightening experience that was working as a Playboy bunny. And don’t forget all the issues of Ms. Magazine she’s overseen. The woman is a publishing mogul, in addition to a historic activist/all-around fabulous lady.

Image courtesy of Open Road Media 

 Needless to say, this new release stands to be another instant favorite. So, really, why not pre-order?

6 Coming Of Age Books That Taught Us About The Female Body

Image c/o: Library Of Congress

A woman’s body is complicated. There’s a whole lot to learn and it doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Thankfully, these books exist to do the job. They’ve helped us embrace being a woman, from puberty to menopause (and everything in-between!)

1. Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women's Health Collective and Judy Norsigian

Image c/o: Our Bodies, Ourselves

Originally called Women and Their Bodies (available to read in all it’s glory here), it accompanied Women’s Liberation movement as the bible about our bodies. It provided more information about women’s health and sexuality than ever before. Since then, it’s expanded throughout the years with more information. The most recent edition was published in 2011.

2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume

Image c/o: Amazon

Margaret Simon may be fictional but any girl who read this book felt like they knew her. It’s a story about a sixth-grader trying to find a religion  while dealing with all that comes with growing up. Talking about everything from crushes to first periods, it’s a relatable classic.

3. Twelve by Lauren Myracle

Image c/o: ReadWriteThink

A modernized Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, Myracle's book tackles what it's like to be a twelve year old girl, month to month. It's part of a series called The Winnie Years, including such adventures as Winnie losing a tampon in the pool. (Slightly more relevant than Margaret sleeping with a sanitary-belt on...)

4. & 5. The Care and Keeping of You 1 and 2 by American Girl

Image c/o: Retail Me Not

We’re sure many girls remember their parent’s handing them this body handbook in middle school. It covers all the basics of puberty, physical and emotional. The second edition (published in 2013) delves into the same topics as the first with even more detail.

6. It’s a Girl Thing: How to Stay Healthy, Safe and in Charge by Mavis Jukes

Image c/o: Amazon

This book is like the witty, more adult sister of The Care and Keeping of You. It answered all those questions we feel too awkward to ask a family member, such as information about birth control and STDs. It’s also jam packed with body positive messages. “Take good care of your body;” writes Jukes, “it contains something miraculous – you.”

Not a coming of age read, but certainly an important book about the female body:

7. The Wisdom of Menopause by Christine Northup, M.D.

Image c/o: Amazon

Perhaps the most difficult, confusing thing a woman’s body endures, menopause is not fun. This book, however, does help to make it a little easier. It’s a textbook-sized guide for understanding the changes your body is going through and how to help navigate them the best way possible.

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