O! what Man will do fore a Rime!

Self-proclaimed bibliophile, culture nut and nerdfighter. English lit. and linguistics geek. Future career in publishing.

SPOILER ALERT!

Various Positions by Martha Schabas

Various Positions - Martha Schabas

Note: The review below was taken directly from my Goodreads account.

 

First, I want to say that Georgia is probably one of the stupidest protagonist I've ever read. She is thicker than bricks and denser than the water pressure in the Mariana Trench. Besides being completely air-headed, I'm so displeased with how she acts and reacts. While I don't doubt that her emotions do seem kind of realistic given someone just coming into puberty and realizing that they and others are sexual beings, but come on! She purposefully reads more into Roderick's actions than there ever is, and she forces an unhealthy lifestyle onto a nice girl. And does she ever learn her lesson or get an appropriate punishment? No, she gets off scot-free. Georgia doesn't have to take responsibility for anything. Not only that, but she doesn't even learn that ballet and its pressures are damaging her mental health. I also don't like her slut-shaming/sex-shaming or her refusal to call her friend Laura by her real name--she only calls her Sixty and it wasn't like it was the name Laura said she could use. Laura is more than a number from the audition.

Second, I don't like the parallels that were made between the romantic/sexual relationship of a professor and PhD student and that of a high school teacher and his 14-year-old student. Those are not the same and Georgia is stupid for even remotely thinking they are.

Third, I don't like that Georgia is portrayed as a life-ruiner (which, she kind of was because her actions were a result of her stupidity), but it gives women more flack than they need and paints them as slutty seductresses. Women were also shown as overly emotional creatures--prone to emotional fits and psychosis. I don't like that men are seen as hypersexual perverts through Georgia's eyes, because 1) that's so one-dimensional and incorrect, and 2) at 14, Georgia shouldn't be this stupid about men, realistically.

Fourth, I don't like the way this book deals with eating disorders and body image. I get that it's about ballet and one must be thin and fit to be a ballerina, but the message overall was: Don't be fat; being even a little bit heavier than others (even if that heaviness is still considered thin by normal standards) means you are disgusting and should be bullied. Being thin means you are not bullied.

I do admit that I liked the confusion Georgia had and struggled with in regards to the antithesis of striving for sexlessness and growing into her own sexuality. The writing, while not very good at the beginning, did develop nicely and became okay at the end.

Finally, I want to say that if you want to really look at the pressures placed upon ballerinas, just watch Black Swan.

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