“Lesbian for a Year”? 5 books I’d rather read

September 22, 2014 § 2 Comments

So, another day, another writer plumps for the popular-yet-still-somehow-considered-edgy strategy of pretending to be something for a certain length of time and then writing about it. You know the drill – the Daily Mail certainly does. “What I learnt on my summer holidays” + “isn’t life harder for some people, oh dear” + “now I am a better person because of others’ suffering”.


If there are any publishers/editors/journalists reading this – does that formula actually still work? Are people buying this? Really? Because I wrote you some suggestions of books I’d rather read, and you can have them for free – so long as I never have to read about a clueless hack wearing a burqa ever again.


1.  Straight cis woman realises that her understanding of her own self and desire for others has been horribly skewed by mass media, advertising and a general culture of misogyny and heterosexism. She immerses herself in alternative, queer writings and art – cultural studies, documentary, poetry, novels – and, after much thought, writes a book about social conditioning, internal authenticity and what we can learn from challenging ourselves. Never once does she use the phrase “dating women made me a better straight person”.


2. Fat women who write brilliantly on fat, fashion, culture and prejudice write a book about the very same! ‘Fat suits’ are not brought up – not even once.


3. Homeless people speak directly to the reader through their own words – nobody pretends to be anything.


4. Bigendered person writes about being both a man and a woman (or, indeed, any two categories of gender) without resorting to shock and awe ‘deception’ tactics.


5. Person from a group underrepresented by the mainstream press writes a memoir. It is perfect.


§ 2 Responses to “Lesbian for a Year”? 5 books I’d rather read

  • Jamie Ray says:

    The media (which force-feeds it to the readers) loves the titillating and yucky stories that make people think “thank god I’m not like that and I live in the USA/UK where I have the freedom to conform to our mores” – they want people to un-identify with what they are reading, not to seek the common ground.

  • PlainT says:

    I don’t normally like cake, so I was thinking to be edgy I’d write about my year eating cake for 3 meals a day. It made me a better salad eater.

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