VEXY THING by Imani Perry

I love this book because Imani Perry doesn’t seem to care about genre constraints or if you read the book she’s talking about or anything–she’s just explaining herself as she sees fit and hoping you’ll keep up. If that means summarizing an entire novel, she’ll do that. If it means citing entire poems, she’ll do that. It’s all in an effort to thoughtfully sift through the concept of the patriarchy.

Perry explains that the patriarchy as we know it was built around law and the concept of personhood and was then extended into individual homes and so forth, but she’s careful not to put so much weight on legality when looking for solutions. She turns to how we can curate what we consume and how we consume it rather than hoping for more people to count as people in the eye of the law.

So instead of hoping to become (or seem like) a patriarch or lady or lady patriarch, she urges people to be more conscious of everyday domination. Even if we work jobs where we feel dominated, we still want to be able to clock out and go dominate someone else at their job, like when we go to a restaurant and want to be treated a certain way just because. The logic of the patriarchy puts us in a hierarchy of varying levels of social vulnerability, but instead of needing more people at the table, we need to wrestle with the very concept of the table.

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