Tales from the Nightstand: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Liberty60 says:

    I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be female.

    Knowing that the moment i set foot outside the house, every inch of my body and appearance are subject to inspection, scrutiny, evaluation, judgement and ridicule.

    My hair, my face, my lips, my breasts, my arms, legs, buttocks, thighs; my clothing, makeup, are all fair game to be used in assigning me a social rank.

    Even those areas of most personal intimacy- nipples, labia, anus- are given over to cosmetic treatments and the implicit criticism for not achieving the ideal of perfection demonstrated by porn stars.

    It isn’t a coincidence that the outer edges of the porn world and the cutting edge of the fundamentalist world touch, where they see women’s bodies as the battleground to be conquered, molded and sculpted.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I have to be honest, I do not think this is what/how most women feel, though I greatly appreciate the empathy.

      But it would be very close to my guess about how men think women might feel given how men seem to respond to women visually first. I don’t mean this as a a slight, so please don’t take it that way.

      Women, when they’re feeling beautiful, are proud of it. Most women who rejoice in their attractiveness; even women who are considered ‘ugly’ and ‘homely,’ usually find ways to bring their physical best forward, to shine. Else there would not be the fashion and beauty economic drivers there are. And most women do not dress to attract men’s attention, but for their own pride and the approval of other women; it can be both competitive and sisterly at the same time.

      What women mind, I find, is when their appearance forms their only measure. When they’re not given credit for their competence, their skill, their effort, their dedication and diligence, intelligence.

      Back in the day, when I was young and attractive by the terms you’re describing, I worked in a high-rise office building. A man a few years my senior often took lunch the same time I did, and we’d frequently share the elevator; we never spoke, he often stared, and I’d often hum Don’t stand, don’t stand, don’t stand too close to me under my breath. One day, out of the blue, he looked at me and said, “I’m looking for a new secretary, you should come apply for the job, it pays well.” Never even an inquiry into what my current job might actually have been.

      Compliment or insult?Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke says:

        You should reveal whether you were complimented or insulted, Zic. Fess up. Therein lies the truth, not all this blahblah.

        Meself, I find all women breathtaking except for bags like Madonna who trade on their sexual appeal instead of their personhood, and in her case long after the blush of youth is gone. Adele or Katy Perry?

        Crotcherific ’60s monster Tom Jones, now finally recognized as one of the greatest vocalists in all recorded human history, has been putting the voice out front instead of the crotch* for a good 25 years.


        Can you imagine him doing his ’60s act now, Kazzy? That’s what I mean. I used to teach voice, exchange notes with trained singers. Tom Jones was, is, and will always be a god. Annie Lennox. Adele, I suspect. Madonna, not so much. Katy Perry, I have no frigging idea.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Three out of Five stars seems high based on the last line in your skip it section.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Nah, there are lots of good reads that don’t rely on surprising outcomes.

      I knew before cracking them exactly how Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ and Gardner’s Grendel were going to end, and I would quickly give each five stars.Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

        A Christmas Carol is, even after watching dozens of adaptations, updates, and pastiches, a terrific read, and I doubt that even its original readers thought for a second that Scrooge wouldn’t reform.Report

  3. Avatar zic says:

    Nice review, Tod. Almost makes me want to read; love those everything’s gone wrong books.

    I’m still waiting fiction that deals that flips the roles, beyond the few Star Treks that did so and poorly. After all, women’s fertility remains. But according to research, it seems, men’s is declining. I can imagine the plots turning on every viable sperm as sacred and must be banked for the future.Report