Monday, January 25, 2016

Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

4 Stars
“Girl meets boy, I said. In so many more ways than one.”

While I’m admittedly someone who is not afraid to share my opinion, I am also not a person who actively seeks out things to rage about. Especially on a social media site. Yes, there are injustices in the world and yes sometimes a book makes me think about political/religious/whatever controversial topics, but my goal on this site is to discuss those things as little as possible. It’s my opinion there are better outlets for that to be done than with a couple hundred acquaintances, but 30,000,000 strangers potentially looking on as well. That being said, if you’ll allow me a minute . . . .

Girl Meets Boy is a book I never would have read were it not for the Winter Reading Challenge. I was looking for retellings of classics and thought what could possibly be more “classic” than a retelling of something written in EIGHT A.D.?

(In case you aren’t familiar with the original, the Cliff’s Notes version is that it is the story is of a poor family who cannot afford to have a female and therefore will kill their child upon birth should it be a girl. An intervention by the goddess Isis convinces the mother to sort of “go with the flow” and raise the female baby as a boy named Iphis. The deceit continues through adolescence and is only feared to be discovered upon the marriage of Iphis to Ianthe. But with the help of divine intervention once again, Iphis is turned into a man and he and Ianthe live happily ever after.)

The modern version is potentially one of the most important little books I’ve ever come across. Be forewarned, the writing style is something that may turn many off – it’s simple, abrupt, doesn’t use quotation marks, etc. The message, however. Whew! I’ll allow the book to speak for itself a moment:

“It’s easy to think it’s a mistake, or you’re a mistake. It’s easy, when everything and everyone you know tells you you’re the wrong shape, to believe you’re the wrong shape.”

And while you may think this story is that of love . . . .

“She had the swagger of a girl. She blushed like a boy. She had a girl’s toughness. She had a boy’s gentleness. She was meaty as a girl. She was graceful as a boy. She was as brave and handsome and tough as a girl. She was as pretty and delicate and dainty as a boy. She turned boys’ heads like a girl. She turned girls’ heads like a boy. She made love like a boy. She made love like a girl. She was so boyish it was girlish, so girlish it was boyish., she made me want to rove the world writing our names on every tree. I had simply never found anyone so right.”

It morphs into a powerful message about the state of the population filled with sheeple and of idiotic consumerism and how selling basic needs (in this case water) has become a despicable “human right” – the right to make the almighty dollar and tough shit for anyone who can’t afford it. It’s also a story of REAL feminism. Not the whinybaby crap generally seen when people use social media as their platform but the scary real shit that goes on in the world every day. Like female infanticide and the fact that women STILL get paid 30%-40% less than a man for the same damn job and that only 2% of senior management positions are held by women and that over 90 countries in the world don’t even have a woman in a ministerial position.


Palm Springs commercial photography

This book was read as part of the library Winter Reading Challenge. Only TWO more books and the coffee mug will be MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!

Palm Springs commercial photography

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