Hi friends! At the time of writing this newsletter, I am still riding the high of my last weekend at FIYAHCON, the first convention put on by Fiyah Literary Magazine, partially in response to the trashfire that was the 2020 Hugo Awards (see here and here) but mostly because the team behind Fiyah is phenomenal. Fiyah is a literary magazine that focuses on Black speculative fiction. An unexpected result of this con is that it now has me wanting to get back into writing fiction. I have a whole-ass degree in writing fiction that I haven’t really used so maybe that will finally get dusted off. I don’t know. All I know is that there every single panel was diverse and it was so full of joy and intelligence and inspiration. It was worth being chained to my computer the whole weekend.
Last week I wrote about being in spaces where I am not the only Black person and feeling like I can breathe. FIYAHCON allowed me to breathe.
Today’s issue is for resources, so let’s get to it!
Resource #1: Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy
<image is the book cover of Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy. The book cover is red with the title in yellow. A purple arm is reaching upward and giving the middle finger. The fingernail is painted yellow.>
I’m going to give you a little cheat if you want to skip ahead to the next resource: You can listen to my 8-minute podcast where I talk about this book at this link here.
This book is a phenomenal feminist manifesto. If you don’t like cussing, then this is not for you because “fuck the patriarchy” is practically on every other page. She starts this book by writing, “I wrote this book with enough rage to fuel a rocket.” She wants women and girls to harness all the things that have been denied us. Like anger. She wants to terrify the patriarchy. She wants our anthem to be “FUCKING FEAR ME” and now “woe is me.” If you are a person that doesn’t think violence is a viable answer then also maybe this book is not for you. One of the things that the author is well-known for saying is, “How many rapists must we kill to get men to stop raping us?” The seven necessary sins she goes through are:
This is not nice-white-lady-feminism. This is feminism that actually wants change. This book is amazing and a must-read.
Find it at a library near you (also great)
Resource #2: How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion (article)
This article on How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion might be useful for some of you. The author uses self-compassion and self-love synonymously (I actually think there’s a nuanced difference) but at the core, this is about being kind to yourself and “being able to recognize the difference between making a bad decision and being a bad person.” Cultivating self-compassion can lower some things like anxiety and depression. It’s also very important in building resilience.
The article gives five suggested tips, one of which is, of course, therapy, but others are more accessible, like trying to remember you’re not alone.
That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, feel free to subscribe, share it with a friend, and/or give me a tip!