The Persephone Project
rose 1
kay_baird
The fantasy:  not quite rape… but on the edge.  Pain, degradation, humiliation, depersonalization:  No.  But the feeling of being swept away, Yes.  The edge makes me nervous. 

Seldom can I arrive at orgasm without this element of force.  At the same time, I hate being treated like that.

O Persephone, Victim Goddess, can you show me...

• The antidote to FearCollapse )

• What is this thing, Sex?Collapse )

Besides my LJ, I’m writing about this quest in two other forms:  a book, titled Persephone’s Choice, and a website, Raising Persephone. In addition, at Goodreads you can see an annotated bibliography.




Top Priority
rose 1
kay_baird
Clone 1: Finish the essay on compassion for the book.
 
Clone 2: Review Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence and Thomas Moore’s Dark Nights of the Soul, contrasting their approaches to dealing with depression.
 
Clone 3: Read Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls because witchbabyblue quoted this from it: 
 
"He couldn't stand me being sick. Nobody can. They only want to hear that you're healing, you're in recovery, taking it one day at a time. If you're locked into sick, you should stop wasting their time and just get dead."
 
Clone 4: Finish reading Dorothy Dinnerstein’s The Mermaid and the Minotaur.  Take notes.  Digest them. Write about how difficult it is for me to read this book, because it challenges so much of my deepest conditioning.
 
Clone 5:  Finish the Creative Brief for my website, Raising Persephone, and send it off to my Web designer.
 
Clone 6:  Learn Dreamweaver, since GoLive has stopped working.
 
Clone 7: Write up the agreement I want for a Literary Executor.
 
Clone 8:  Get Goodreads to fix their link that’s supposed to look up a book at Amazon.com and instead it’s now going to Amazon.co.uk. Get Amazon.co.uk to fix several errors on their entry for Margaret Reynolds’ Erotica:Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood.
 
Clone 9:  From Tsultrim Allione’s Feeding your Demons, use her method for good things you want but the drive for them is bedeviling you, on my need to get Persephone published.
 
… And, … and .… What?  There’s only one me?
 
AARGGHhhhhh…..
 

The annotated bibliography is up!
rose 1
kay_baird
Ta-Da!  Finally I've figured out how to get the huge list of books I've collected for the Persephone project, out of the FileMaker Pro database on my computer, and into Goodreads.

Eventually on Raising Persephone there will be a list of resources including other media as well as books:  movies, articles and essays, websites, music.... But for the time being, the bibliography at Goodreads will give you something to chew on.
Tags:

A difficult but satisfying read
rose 1
kay_baird
The nameless narrator of Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing struggles with the oppressive behavior of the men in the group who have traveled together to her childhood home. But she doesn’t hate men, she hates domination, and the false, unnatural and deadening culture of domination, that values only power.  Turns people into robots. Uses victims only as food, slave or trophy. Read more...Collapse )

Anne Carolyn Klein on essentialism
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kay_baird
“Essentialism is a trap,” I said in my review of Aphrodite’s Daughters.  According to Anne Carolyn Klein, actually the trap is our habit of polarized thinking.  We get fixated on one mental concept, and on its difference from what we think of as its opposite — to the point where we don’t see them as interconnected parts of a larger reality.

If a woman is not defined by her essential femininity, how does she arrive at a sense of self?  Postmodern theorists understand “self” as a construction, created from a variety of influences, experiences and understandings.  

Klein examines the conflict between feminists polarized on this subject, in Meeting the Great Bliss Queen; Buddhists, Feminists, and the Art of the Self. Read more...Collapse )

The meaning of "erotica"
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kay_baird
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood, edited by Margaret Reynolds. This book expanded my definition of “erotic.” It’s not just about sexuality. It’s about our relationship to pleasure, about the pleasure of interaction — interaction with others, with the world, with our interior world. Read more...Collapse )

Boring Horror
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kay_baird
Waking the Moon, by Elizabeth Hand, made me realize why I hate most horror stories.  (Or I think it’s most, anyway -- only recently have I begun to purposefully read anything labeled horror, because I stumbled on a few that were different.)  I have no patience with a tale in which Evil is a force or being more powerful than human beings.  Avoiding responsibility by projecting human faults into some demonic Other — I think that’s a recipe for delusion and infantilism.Read more...Collapse )

Male essentialism
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kay_baird
Ever since I objected to the essentialism in Aphrodite’s Daughters, the subject keeps popping up. For example...Collapse )

Aphrodite's Daughters
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kay_baird
Aphrodite's Daughters: Women's Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul, by Jalaja Bonheim

Sexuality as a sacred dance, as magic, as "our body's way of opening to the life force." With the testimony of the women she quotes, Bonheim encourages all women to regain our heritage of the spiritual energy of sex. Drawing on thorough research, Bonheim’s detailed descriptions of pre-patriarchal myth and practices glow with this joyful energy. In considering the dark side of sexuality, her compassion and insight offer the best descriptions I have read of how to grow from pain. Read more...Collapse )

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Sex
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kay_baird
Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Sex: Releasing the Passion Within
by Sandra Scantling and Sue Browder

This is a wonderful book — with flaws.  Scantling and Browder researched experiences like those Tantra cultivates — but in ordinary women, with no special discipline or unusual preparation.  They do identify conditions that contribute, but in language that's down-to-earth.  They make "supersex" accessible.... Collapse )

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