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Reading and Discussing Feminist Literature

A place to make you think.

A Feminist Book Club
Posting Access:
All Members
Hello! Welcome to readingfeminism, a community devoted to reading feminist literature, theory, history, and anything else that's in print and relevant. The goal of this community is to broaden its member's feminist horizons through reading and discussion. Please read all of the userinfo before you join, post, or comment!

The Plan

I. The Overview: Each month, the community will choose three books to read and discuss. The categories are as follows: literature, theory, and miscellaneous non-fiction. Members are responsible for proposing reading material and leading discussions on the material they have proposed.

II. Selection Criteria: As of now, I have not come up with any hard and fast criteria for book selection. Obviously, each work must be relevant to feminism and/or the feminist movement, but, other than that, I'd like to give members as much latitude as possible in book selection. For reasons of equal participation, I strongly encourage you to submit works that are available online for free.

III. The Selection Process: If you find a book you'd like to see discussed, e-mail me a proposal. This proposal should contain information about the book (title, author, publisher, means of procurement), a summary of its contents, why you feel it should be read, ideas for discussion, and any "problems" that may arise from it (e.g., trigger warnings, possibly sexist/racist/classist/other bad-ist or -ic content, etc.). I'll review all proposals personally and assign months accordingly.

IV. Discussion: Whoever submits a book for discussion is responsible for leading the discussion. This includes making lead posts as well as participating in the comments. If you're not up for the investment of time/energy in leading and maintaining discussion, don't make any submissions. Anyone may make lead posts about a book even if they are not repsonsible for it; however, I do ask that everyone read previous posts in order to avoid reptitive topics.

V. Timetable: Books will be assigned a month in advance, in order to allow members time to procure and read them. We're all busy people, so I don't expect everyone to be able to read a 200+ page book in a single weekend. Longer books may be given an additional month for reading/discussion as the occasion warrants. Books may be discussed before the beginning of the new month, but I'd like to ask that all discussions take place behind an lj-cut so as to avoid the dreaded Spoiler Wars. New discussions may be made after the month has ended, but, once again, I urge members to make sure that this topic has not already been addressed by members.

The Book List

Please refer to this entry for a list of books that we have already read and discussed.

We are currently discussing:

1. Fiction: "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti. Discussion leader: wednesdayxadams Available free of cost here.
2. Theory: Undoing Gender by Judith Butler. Discussion leader: petitpoussin.
3. Non-Fiction Cult of Power by Martha Burk. Discussion leader: angrybeaverclub

The Upcoming Month:

1. Fiction:
2. Theory:
3. Non-Fiction: Body Outlaws edited by Ophira Edut. Discussion leader: miripanda.

Open Spots: Make a proposal!

1. Fiction:
2. Theory:
3. Non-Fiction: The Honest Courtesan by Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice. Discussion leader: scorpi084

1. Fiction:
2. Theory:
3. Non-Fiction:

1. Fiction:
2. Theory:
3. Non-Fiction:

Future Discussions:

The Rules

I. Rules for Joining: I'm keeping this community moderated because there are few communities that attract more trolls than those involving feminism and abortion. Since this community will have discussions of both, I am therefore moderating membership.
A. You must be a professed feminist. A feminist, if you don't know, is someone who not only desires the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, but whose opinions and actions reflect this desire.
B. Your feminism must be evident in your posts/userinfo: I need to have something to go off of. If you've been accepted into other feminist communities with moderated membership, I'll probably let you in. If I can't tell one way or the other with you, I'll send you an email and have you explain your experiences with feminism and your reasons for wanting to be a part of this community.

II. Rules for Posting/Commenting
A. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the Name of the Game: Be respectful towards other members, and treat them the way you'd like to be treated. Unnecessary rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated.
B. Calling Out: If someone makes an inappropriate statement, calling them out for it is encouraged. However, it is important to remember that this community will be populated by feminists of all learning levels, and many people will make inappropriate comments out of ignorance. Give someone the benefit of the doubt before you chew them out for something. Try not to be excessively rude or sarcastic; it's better to teach someone why they're wrong than to alienate them with unkind words.
C. Comment/Post Deletion and Freezing: Only moderators may delete comments, posts, or freeze threads. The only cases in which a member may delete comments is to fix spelling/grammatical errors or broken html. Deleting comments/posts in order to hide mod warnings or pull yourself out of a whole you've dug will not be tolerated.

III. Unacceptable "-isms": Even though we're all professed feminists here, not everyone has the same definition of feminism, nor are many newbies to the movement aware of the full scope of its ideals. As such, here is a list of "-isms" that are anti-feminist and will not be tolerated in this community. I reserve the right to modify these definitions at any time.
A. Sexism: This is obvious, but there are many who have not fully divested themselves of sexist cultural baggage. Sexism is pervasive and frequently invisible to the untrained eye. Examples of sexist ideals that will not be tolerated include biological determinism, arbitrary gendering, sex/gender-role stereotyping.
B. Racism:
C. Classism:
D. Queerphobia:
E. Trans/any other variety of genderqueer-phobia
F. A Note on "Reverse -isms" and Why They Do Not Exist: This community uses academic definitions of "-isms," which consists of a given prejudice + institutional power backing it. For example, racism is racial prejudice combined with institutional power against a specific race or races. Members of privileged groups cannot experience racism, sexism, or any other -ism on the list because members of non-privileged groups do not have the institutional power it takes to create widespread oppression. There is no such thing, therefore, as "reverse racism" or "reverse sexism." That said, any kind of prejudice, be it on the part of privileged or non-privileged people, is not cool and will be dealt with harshly.

IV. That Whole Reproductive Rights Thing. This is a pro-choice community. The following will not be tolerated:
A. Anti-abortion comments, but especially those that cast any kind of negative judgment upon a person (or character in a book) who has had one.
B. Negative statements concerning women who have chosen to give birth.
C. Comments supporting involuntary abortions/birth control/sterilizations, breeding licenses, etc.
D. Anything else that does not support a woman's right to reproductive self-determination.

V. If You're Anti-Abortion and Want to Join Anyway:
A. You are expected to abide the above rule.
B. You must e-mail me with an explanation as to why you wish to join this community and a promise that you will follow the rules. I reserve the right to deny you membership based on past behavior/statements elsewhere.
C. You will not whine that anti-choicers are marginalized by the feminist movement. Nor will you complain about being persecuted for being anti-choice, online or offline.
D. If you express anti-abortion sentiments that do not break the above rule, expect to be called out. When you are called out, do not come crying to me about it unless the person who has done it has broken one of the rules under section II or III.

VI. E-Drama, Snarking, and Linking, Oh My!
A. A Word on Membership and Past Disputes: I know there's a lot of overlap in memberships of various feminism-related communities, and a lot of members have histories with one another. I have a few things to say on this subject: First, please don't hesitate to join this community if there is a member here that you have argued with before or dislike. If they make you uncomfortable for whatever reason, feel free to e-mail me with your concerns. Second, please do not reinvigorate old arguments or flamewars here. Third, please bring all conflicts with other members to me instead of allowing them to erupt across the community.
B. On Snarking: Like it or not, snarking is a part of internet life. I only ask this: if you are going to snark someone or something from this community, only snark material from public posts. Anyone caught copying-and-pasting anything (including comments) from a friendslocked post will be removed.
C. Drama: Try to keep it to a minimum. It's like my mama always said: "If you don't start none, there won't be none," and if I catch you instigating drama, you will be removed.
D. What's Said Elsewhere: Generally, I frown on digging through a member's journal, myspace, or posts on other communities in an effort to discredit them. However, I'm not a big fan of people being Nice Feminists here and being racist, sexist, or whateverist in other places. Therefore: anything you say publicly elsewhere on LJ or other forums can be used against you here. Dragging things from friendslocked entries, be they from a personal journal or a community, is absolutely unacceptable.

VII: Violations: I plan on dealing with violations of the rules on a case-by-case basis. Minor infractions, such as making an inappropriate "-ist" comment, will recieve a mod note or warning. Major infractions, such as leaking locked posts or openly flouting one of the rules, will result in removal. I will try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, though, and not be unnecessarily harsh.