BYGONE BROTHELS AND THE WOMEN WHO RAN THEM
If you hear the term ‘Elizabethan brothel’ and think of luxurious manors and salacious sin dressed up in jewels, you can thank Elizabeth Holland. This determined and glamorous madam helped transform London’s underground prostitution into an industry that entertained royalty.
My own ace experience includes feeling like I’m constantly out of step with what the rest society thinks. To see if others felt the same incongruence as I did, I ran a small survey. It went to anonymous, mostly asexual respondents, ranging from 16 to 26 years old. Most said that feminists, whether in casual conversation or organized groups, just don’t understand asexuals—or even know that they exist. Feminism as a whole has not outgrown society’s discomfort with aces and in turn, asexuality risks being uncomfortable with feminism.
Intersectionality acknowledges that no one is any one thing, and various facets of identity can combine to change how someone sees and interacts with the world. And they’re worth reading for reasons beyond being able to slap a label—BIPOC, gay, disabled, all of the above—on the author or characters, and worth more than serving as a tool for readers to congratulate themselves for reading “diversely.” Read these books because they are great stories that expand your understanding of the human experience.