This month’s journey begins with Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth, a seminal feminist text that I assume (because I’ve not read it) gives page space to how women are fixated with the idea that being slim with killer curves is beautiful to the point of tormenting themselves in a variety of ways to achieve it; calorie counting and corset wearing just two of the most popular. Which is no doubt the reason why Louise Foxcroft titled her history of dieting Calories and Corsets.
Now I don’t know how you feel about dieting, but my favourite quote ever is along the lines of Diet = Die with a t on the end. Food for Thought from my favourite cat, the food-loving, lasagne-scoffing, irrepressible Garfield. Poor Odie, the hapless, dumb dog who has to endure the barrage of Garfield’s cynical harassment and abuse …
…. could use some assertiveness training from Dogbert, the downright evil canine HR manager in the Dilbert comic strip; an extremely well-informed comic in the world of IT. I kept Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook in my desk at all times, to restore some sanity (!) when modern-day management practices became just too .absurd.
Life in IT was much more satisfying when I was developing software, even if it was not without its frustrations. Thankfully I never met The Bug in Ellen Ullman’s novel; one that proved so elusive that it took a year and lots of stress and anxiety to track down and eliminate.
The bug – or rather virus – in Joe Treasure’s The Book of Air is of the airborne and very deadly kind. The havoc unleashed decimates not only the human population but also the libraries of the world. Only a handful – if that – of books remain. Amongst them Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
There is a debate to be had, as to whether Jane is a C19th feminist icon, but as a plain Jane, she did at least prove that you don’t need to be traditionally beautiful to have an interesting life. In that respect I’m sure Naomi Wolf would have approved.
Six Degrees of Separation is hosted by Kate at Books are My Favourite and Best.