Today’s top book news item:
Children’s and Young Adult books have long been thought to be a sphere especially friendly to women, in contrast with the staggering gender bias found in the world of grown-up literature. It turns out that, nope, women don’t dominate children’s publishing. New figures released by the literary organization VIDA show that there is approximate gender parity among the winners of children’s book awards — which would be great if there were equal numbers of men and women writing kids’ books.
"For a relatively small percentage of our authors, men are very well represented among our award winners and list-mentions," VIDA’s Kekla Magoon writes in a blog post. She adds, "[I]t’s true that being female is not nearly the barrier to initial publication for us that it often is in the adult literary landscape, but as this year’s pie charts demonstrate, being male still seems to carry some particular advantages when it comes to recognition, prestige, and awards for literary merit."
Weird is good, I say. And this spring, we’re going full-tilt weird (at least botanically speaking). On April 19, we’re throwing open the doors on a brand new art exhibition that embodies the stranger side of plants. Through a partnership with the American Society of Botanical Artists, Weird, Wild, & Wonderful showcases the results of a challenge made to a global community of painters, illustrators, and more: look beyond the simple flower.
The result is both visceral and beautiful. Head through for more info on this bizarrely enticing exhibition. —MN
(Contributing artists, clockwise from top left: Ann S. Hoffenberg, Akiko Enokido, Nancy Gehrig, and Asuka Hishiki)
so that’s cool.
this is my imperfect not-a-fluent-signer understanding but:
(based on a presentation by a deaf trans guy i was at in 2005 where he was promoting that sign)
it seems like that sign was invented and implemented by trans people over the last 10-ish years. before that the predominant vocabulary was “sex change” and then some deaf trans people were like “yo fuck that” and came up with the current sign, which starts off with the sign for “myself,” then motion that indicates both change and coming together, and ends with the closed hand held against the sternum.
and in the process it also mimics the sign for “beautiful”
and because of spatial grammar, things closer to the front of your body in ASL are generally more vital, more emphatic, more immediate, more present.
so it’s actually a case where the word coherently indicates “beauty” and “self transformation” and contains hints of the complete thought of “my self transforming, through a coming together of disparate factors, into something more real, immediate, and vital than I was before.”
so yeah. that’s just fuckin’ awesome.
and that’s just the way to express that concept now.