“Always remember, Facebook is not a source”

We asked Dutch writer Meredith Greer what to indulge in this summer.

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With her delightful cynicism having appeared in De Volkskrant and HP/De Tijd, amongst others, and a series of witty columns on the punchy women’s platform Vileine, writer Meredith Greer is currently claiming an important spot out there—and deservedly so, because she tells it like it is. Her writing comes as a breath of fresh air, protesting the cloying ideas pronounced by middle-aged white men. As Greer gets to grips with the pressing topics du jour, her sense of wit and enthusiasm leaps from every (web)page.

For her poignant, blunt and salient feminist voice as well as her substantiated articulation on pressing matters, Glamcult couldn’t help but wonder what inspires and urges this great mind to jot down all that bothers her. So, we went ahead and asked the critical storyteller to disclose some of her own inspiration and the things she believes anyone should be soaking up right now.

The News

“Boring at best, infuriating and depressing at worst, sometimes fascinating. But the one thing everybody should start doing, if they’re not already, is start following the news. Take yourself seriously, even if condescending people who read think pieces about millennials don’t. Inform yourself, educate yourself and don’t just read about issues that already interest you. This way, the next time some old white dude interrupts you to say ‘well, actually…’ you can tell him the exact reason why he’s wrong before telling him to fuck off. Always remember, Facebook is not a source: read the facts before you read the opinions.”

Jennifer Egan, A Visit From The Goon Squad

“This book has been around for a while, but it profoundly changed the way I read. A visit from the goon squad is so much more vivid and compelling than a film; it’s bold, it’s fearless and it even has a chapter made up of PowerPoint graphs that made me cry my eyes out. Every page is humming with music, its characters are infuriatingly human and the story aches with beauty. I’ve reread it several times to try and find out exactly how Egan manages to make time fold over itself in a plot that is a work of art. I still haven’t figured it out.”

Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

“Rebecca Solnit wrote the famed novel Men Explain Things To Me, through which she gives a voice to women tired of men merely viewing them as an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with their wisdom and knowledge. The essay went viral, the term ‘mansplaining’ got coined, and people have been pissed off ever since.

I recently bought one of her books that got published in 2004, titled Hope in the darkThe Never-Surrender Guide to How the World Get’s Changed. I’m really looking forward to reading it. The novel allows readers to ponder over questions everyone involved in politics or activism is most probably familiar with, namely: is it making a difference?

It’s easy to be discouraged in the era of Trump, Wilders, Baudet, and all the other populists trying to score points by spreading hate and fear. That’s why I think we can all use a little pep talk to motivate us and make us realise that speaking up and showing up does make the difference. Especially, if it’s a pep talk from Rebecca Solnit.”

Fleabag, a TV series by Phoebe Waller-Bridge 

“I’m having a hard time explaining this series. It’s so good. It’s dark, really funny, and most probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The protagonist is filthy, unapologetic and foul-mouthed, has some serious character flaws and would be your most beloved friend if it weren’t for her selfish, horrible fuck ups. In short, she’s everything male protagonists have always been allowed to be.

It’s strange to think that portraying a female character in an angry way on television feels like a revelation. But it is, and it’s a glory to behold. Besides that, the series is beautifully written and acted out. And it has the awards and accolades to showcase for it. I would highly recommend watching it.”

Jessa Crispin, Why I’m not a feminist, a feminist manifesto

“Let me start of by saying that this is not a beginner’s book, and it’s also not for the faint of heart. If you’re new to feminism, start with something from Caitlyn Moran, who will tell you that if you have a vagina, and you’d like to be in charge of it, you’re a feminist. There’s nothing more to it.

Feminism has grown more popular in the last decade, which has given rise to other, important questions: should feminism be toothless, non-threatening, and one-size–fits-all? Why are we writing articles about ‘how you can have a bikini wax, give blowjobs, and still be a feminist’ instead of getting angry and doing something about, I don’t know, the goddamn fucking patriarchy?

Answers to these questions, and more, are given in this seething, scorched earth, take-no-prisoners book by Jessa Crispin. It’s a ruthless critique of current feminist activism that is as hard on feminists as it is on sexism, inequality and hypocrisy. It contradicts itself in certain places, and I don’t agree with all of it, but it did get me thinking. For everybody who would like to challenge themselves and the glittery McFeminism you’ve been seeing around you, read it and engage with it.”

Words by Meredith Greer

Photography: Piet Oosterbeek

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