I have something up at Global Comment about the international media response to the floods happening around the world right now: Floods in Australia… but what about the others?

At Bitch Magazine:

Iconography: Romancing Women: ‘Romance novels: generally not the sort of thing we might discuss as a vehicle for feminist literary icons. Many are the faces I have pulled at the quality of some of the novels supposedly aimed at me. I think, however, that writing romance novels off entirely is leaving a lot outside in the cold. Romance is, after all, the most popular literary genre in all the world. More than that, it’s a genre dominated by women writers and readers, and you’ve got to put down some of the contempt for romance to misogyny. Accusations of silliness and inconsequentiality are, of course, some of the most insidious tools in the patriarchy’s toolbox. Let’s share some love for the love story, shall we?’

Iconography: Shakespeare and Silence: ‘Between high school English and having spent half my life treading one set of boards or another, a large chunk of my brain is devoted to Shakespeare. For whom isn’t that the case, really? There’s the deep horror of Macbeth, the lovely gender mix-ups of Twelfth Night, the… no, I really didn’t like The Taming of the Shrew. But the thing is that Shakespeare’s plays are largely about the men. My having gone to drama school has to be good for something, so let me take you through the theatrical manipulations rendering so many Shakespearian women more silent than they could be (and, arguably, more silent than the stories could do with).’

Iconography: Covering Up Race: ‘Whitewashing book covers, representing non-white characters as white* on covers, is a publishing practice which has become disturbingly common. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, and Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon are the most famous examples of the last couple of years.’

At Feministe:

Not social justice from where I’m standing : ‘I’ve been having a bit of a think about how asexuality is addressed in a social justice context. Well, to the extent to which it is addressed. I’ve been particularly troubled by how it gets manipulated as a politicised tool by sexual people at the expense of asexual people.’

Can’t We Just Be Friends?: ‘There’s nothing wrong or weird about being queer, and there’s nothing wrong or weird about having meaningful friendships. Who people are, and the kinds of relationships – friendly or otherwise – in which we engage, are just fine.’