I snapped this photo waiting on the doorstep of Charlotte’s daycare. It’s a picture of the sun setting over Boston, and I realized we’re starting to get daylight for just a bit longer. We’re coming out of the dark days of winter, and I’m trying to be present in the moments with my work and family. There’s a lot to get weighed down by this week in the news, and I’m trying to continue to listen to and amplify the voices of women and writers of color.
One of the more remarkable pieces of news I’ve read this week is author Roxane Gay’s response to the book deal by an anti-feminist, racist Breitbart editor by pulling her own book with the publisher. Literally putting her money where her mouth is, she’s demonstrating amazing strength and self-assurance in doing what’s right. She’s an amazing author, and her novel Hunger is one of the books scheduled to be released this year that I’m most looking forward to reading. I also really enjoyed this piece in the New York Times book review section.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a slim little volume, perhaps 50 pages in total. A quick, electric read that is balm for the soul following the troubling changes that are churning out of our capitol this week. It was helpful to read following the Women’s March on Washington last week. There is so much there that is worth repeating or excerpting into quotes. Because it’s so short, I tried to limit the passages I pulled (to not represent the entire thing on this page) to those passages that really resonated with me. Not surprisingly, some of the messages that struck a chord with me either had to do with parenting or how we handle cooking culturally and within family systems. Here are some of my favorite passages:
“A young woman told me that a friend had told her not to listen to my ‘feminist talk’; otherwise she would absorb ideas that would destroy her marriage. This is a threat – the destruction of a marriage, the possibility of not having a marriage at all – that in our society is much more likely to be used against a woman than against a man.”
“Gender matters everywhere in the world. I would like to ask that we should begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how we start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside that cage.”
“Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”
On teaching sons to cook, as well as our daughters: “Cooking, by the way, is a useful and practical life skill for a boy to have. I’ve never thought it made much sense to leave such a crucial thing – the ability to nourish oneself – in the hands of others.”
And here’s what I (and we – David’s involved here cooking on some nights, and cleaning the dishes afterwards on all nights, not to mention the smoothies he makes for breakfast) have been cooking this week:
Monday: Flavorful rice with scallions, garlic, and chicken
Tuesday: Brassicas bowl with eggs (broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts), baguette, and steak tips
Friday: Dinner out with friends – arugula and beet salad with bucatini pasta
Saturday: Broccoli and kale ramen with crispy tofu
Sunday: Sweet potato soup with pork chops