Rae’s Rules to Remember #77: Stop Slut Shaming

*I apologize in advance that language here is very binary, but keep reading and you’ll see why*


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (and almost every other dictionary) the definition of a slut is “a promiscuous woman.”

Ironically there’s no set word for a promiscuous man. Instead it’s believed that sleeping with multiple people is okay if a man does it because “men have needs” and “boys will be boys.”

Even from a young age, girls are given lectures about “keeping their legs closed” when they hit puberty, while boys are given condoms. Boys are expected to lose their virginity during their teenage years while girls are told that we should save ourselves for marriage. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it should be your choice to do so and not someone else’s.

Even still, it actually doesn’t matter what we do because we will be judged and called names no matter what. If we have sex we’re sluts but if we don’t we’re prudes. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if a woman decides to never have sex or have it every single day with a different person. You don’t get to judge her, call her names, or tell her what she can and cannot do. Especially if you praise men for doing the same damn thing.

This word is so ingrained in our vocabulary that girls call other girls sluts for pretty much any reason possible. She lost her virginity? What a slut.She’s dating a new guy? Such a slut. She wore that short dress to homecoming? She’s so slutty. Congratulations to the patriarchy for embedding internalized sexism into the brains of young girls everywhere and shame on you for not taking a stance against it.

The first time that I was called a slut was in the second grade. No, I was not having sex in the second grade or doing any other sexual activity but that doesn’t matter. One of the other girls called me a slut because I was friends with a guy that she had a crush on. The kid was friendly, nice to everyone. She could’ve been friends with him too but she was too scared to talk to him.But I’m a slut right? Somehow that was my fault.

Women can like sex too. Women should be proud of their bodies. Women are allowed to own their sexuality. Mind your own business and let them do what they want.

Stop slut shaming.


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Author Review | Veronica Roth

Image result for veronica roth


A lot of you are wondering why I no longer support Veronica Roth and I will explain all of that shortly.

Let me start of by saying that I enjoyed the Divergent Series….for the most part anyway. I found Insurgent a little boring and I hated the ending of Allegiant. With that series, I liked the world that she created, the factions were interesting, and I like that she didn’t give in to the overdone love triangle trope. Apparently she’s releasing a conclusion to the series but as you know, I won’t be reading it.

Don’t get me wrong, she is a good author. Her writing style and world building are good, I just don’t agree with someone of the choices that she’s made and it makes me question her as a person.

Her latest novel Carve the Mark has been stirring up some controversy. The first issue is with the portrayal of chronic pain. Apparently she was inspired by her friends who have chronic illnesses but some readers feel that her using it was a bad decision. While I have a chronic illness, I have very little pain associated with it, so I’ve been reading responses from people who do experience chronic pain. The issue arises with the fact that she chose to refer to this pain as a “gift.” It’s actually sort of ironic because she talked about how it’s often hard to find a doctor who takes the pain seriously, which is something that a lot of people can attest too. So I’m a little confused as to how she felt that she was doing any better by giving a false portrayal. Fantasizing someone else’s pain doesn’t help raise awareness, nor is it the kind of representation that is needed.

The other issue, is that she’s been called out for racism. In the novel she has a “light-skinned, straight-haired race of peaceful people (Thuvhe) warring against a dark-skinned, curly-or-thick-haired race of warriors (Shotet).Those are her words so you can already see where the issue comes in.

In an extremely long Tumblr response (link below) she starts by saying that she is aware that she must listen to marginalized groups. She then goes on to say,

“The harmful trope that has specifically been brought up in connection with Carve the Mark is that of a dark-skinned, aggressive, savage fantasy race.”

You can see here that even she is acknowledging that this is harmful. Then she talks about how the same trope appears in Lord of the Rings although I don’t see why the hell that matters. Just because other people do it, doesn’t make it right.

Anyway, she goes on to explain that while these stereotypes are seen in works of fiction, they do have very real affects,

“These real world stereotypes in many ways contribute to actual harm, historically with colonialism, enslavement, and the dehumanization and murder of dark-skinned people; and currently, in microaggressions, racial profiling, and police brutality, among other things.”

She hit the nail on the head. These things are absolutely true and still have an effect on people whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. She even goes on to provide links to more information on this trope and the one surrounding white saviors (another huge issue).

Anyway, she then goes on to say that she made the distinction between the two groups that way so that she could blend them and show how the groups were connected.

Clearly she is very aware of race relations in the world today and the historical context of them. In her post she says all of that. She also has done a lot of research to create these two groups of people. She also acknowledges that she is a white person portraying a harmful trope, which a lot of people probably wouldn’t bother to do.

My issue with this whole thing is that checking your privilege and doing research won’t mean a damn thing if you still choose to promote problematic stereotypes. What she didn’t explain was how or why she still thought that it was acceptable to write what she did, knowing that it would be upsetting for people who actually care about and are affected by these things.

Yes, she is an author. Yes, she can write whatever she wants. But don’t sit there and try to claim that you understand your privilege and that you’re an ally if you’re going to use hurtful portrayals of people who aren’t like you to make money.

The worst part about it all is that someone actually recommended this book to me and probably didn’t even”notice” that it was problematic or would upset me.

You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to like it, but you are more than welcome to start a discussion.

Typically authors that I DNF would get 1 star but she gets 2 out of 5 because I actually did enjoy her previous work.


Further Reading:


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This or That? #83

For anyone who needs a reminder or is new to the Bookmark Chronicles, here are the rules: Every Monday I will post a This or That Challenge where we will choose between two characters or scenarios. On Friday we will see which scenario/character wins. Feel free to either comment your choice below or make your own post and link it back here! :)

By no means do you have to feel obligated to do every single challenge, but I would love to hear all of your opinions! If you can only really talk about one scenario then go for it. Also, if you have any suggestions or would like to write a guest post about any of the This or That? topics let me know!


This week I want to know…..

Where do you get most of your books from?

Physical bookstores – Online – Secondhand book sales – Gifts – Book subscription boxes

(Can only give one answer!)


If you have another option I may or may not accept it depending on what it is. (You all know how this goes lol)

For me, it’s definitely secondhand book sales. Why pay $10-$15 when I can pay $2 AND it’s in really good condition, I’m talking practically new!

The way I see it, the cheaper the books are, the more I can buy. Who passes up on MORE BOOKS? I mean really people. My parents are starting to complain about how many I have. All those times that I said I was building a personal library……I was being serious!

What about you? Where do you get your books from (ones that you own)? Let me know!

~Rae


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Syria’s Mental Health: Children of War

Alycia's Mind

2017 marks the sixth year since the Syrian civil war and with nearly half a million civilians  killed since the war began, it is not surprising that UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein describes the Syrian conflict as ‘the worst man – made disaster since World War II.’

The atrocious crimes that have been committed against Syria have not helped the situation with attacks on hospitals being normalised as a weapon of war, despite breaching human right laws.

However,2016 is said to be the most devastating year for the children of Syria with 652 child deaths in 2016 alone according to UNICEF’s new March 2017 report.  It is estimated that around 3 million Syrian children since the conflict began know nothing but war.

And as child death toll rises, we also see the long-term effects of war on Syrian children. On-going trauma throughout a child’s life can often lead…

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Series Review: Matched by Ally Condie

Overall……I was not impressed 😦 I was really hoping that this would be good. I liked the world that was created and I enjoyed the first book, expecting that the series would get better from there…. but it didn’t. The second book fell flat for me and while the finale was better, it wasn’t enough.

Here are the individual reviews for each book:

That brings the series total to 2.5 stars. I would not recommend it but I also would not discourage others from reading on their own to form their own opinion.


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Book Review: Reached (Matched #3)

Reached by Ally Condie

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Synopsis:

Conclusion to the New York Times Bestselling Matched Trilogy!

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.


~SPOILER ALERT~


 So of course I love having all three perspectives, I love multiple perspectives. Unfortunately, for the first half the only narrative that I cared about was Xander’s. His was the only one that was interesting. I was bored to tears with Cassia and Ky was just kind of there.

Usually in books like this the government is incredibly messed up and this one is no exception. I mean, it’s not Hunger Games cruel, but giving the Plague to people is still cruel.

I do not like Indie. Honestly, she was kind of an irrelevant character. And then it’s pretty ridiculous that she “falls in love” with Xander (despite the fact that she never knew him) and then kisses Ky. It’s also really annoying how often Ky thought about how beautiful she was. Like, I don’t care that he thought it but it happened so often that it was shady for someone who was so in love with another person.

I also felt that there were a lot of things left unresolved at the end, which isn’t good for the conclusion of a series…. Sure Ky and Cassia are back together. Xander falls in love with someone else (who just so happens to be Vick’s fiancee…kinda weird). Cool, but why mention that Matthew Markham was never killed if we don’t know where he is? What the hell happened to Patrick and Aida? What about Em? She was constantly mentioned in the first book as one of Cassia’s best friends so what happened to her after the transition of power?

Aside from the story being boring, I had some issues with Condie’s writing style. I hate the way that in the beginning she’ll mention a snippet of a memory and then when we finally get to the rest of it she runs through the first part again. I get that it’s important for the sake of refreshing the reader’s memory but it’s all the same book and they were long memories.

I also hate the amount of metaphors that she uses, especially the pilot one. The Pilot is the leader of the Rising but Oker is Xander’s personal pilot, Anna is Cassia’s pilot, Anna calls Ky the pilot and the plague is the pilot too. Seriously? That’s so freaking excessive.

As I mentioned in my last review, I also found the constant repetition of poetry to be annoying.

So, once again, I’m not totally satisfied. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

A full series review will be posted soon.


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FB30: Week 8

I’ve completed the program!!!!

Workout Structure:

  • Monday – lower body strength training
    • This was brutal
  • Tuesday – upper body strength training
  • Wednesday – cardio kickboxing
  • Thursday – 1000 calorie workout (Hour and a half workout)
    • 30 minutes of HIIT (this is no joke)
    • total body strength training
    • abs
  • Friday – yoga

So I added the 1000 calorie workout just for fun and let me tell you….it was brutal and painful. 30 mins of HIIT is a lot and I was exhausted by the time I started the strength training. But it was worth it. I probably won’t do one again until I finish the next two programs but it was nice to try.

So the next program is FBAbs. So it schedule’s workouts 5 days a week, 3 of those days are core intensive. There will still be HIIT and strength training and all that and I will continue to post updates weekly. I start this one tomorrow!

~Rae


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