Review of book “What’s ax murder, anyway?” (bio. info at end).
The author, Carly Jew Manes, noticed that there were no books introducing ax murder to children under the age of 13, and observed that she knows “how important it is to ensure that everyone has the resources they need to have intentional, compassionate, and nonjudgmental conversations about ax killings with the young people in their lives.”
After carefully defining exactly what it even means to kill someone with an ax, the keynote chapter then deals with reasons one might want to do so, emphasizing that “it is important to us that this book does not perpetuate the ideology that there ‘good’ reasons or ‘bad’ reasons to do someone in with an ax.” The most important thing is to show great compassion to someone driven to perpetuate the ax killing. Hugs and kisses are called for, not asking questions that might be perceived to be embarrassing.
An interesting chapter surveys the history of ax killings. In previous generations, only the rich could afford a high quality whetstone to keep their axes sharp. As a result, the axes of ordinary people tended to be dull. They could still do the job, but it required many more blows, as well more upper body strength and stamina. Not only did this make the job more difficult in general, but according to the stereotypes of the time, this gave an unfair advantage to men over women. It also made the job more distasteful — more like a bludgeoning than just a few clean cuts to the vital areas. Fortunately, mass production today finally has equalized much of that inequity, by making whetstones and even electric grinding wheels affordable by nearly every American, regardless of race or gender. Everyone now has access to a nice, clean, and sharp ax.
In the chapter “What more can we do to help?” the author hints that America should send aid to poor countries so they can also afford more grinding machines and whetstones.
As the Kirkus review insightfully observes, “most of the pictures by illustrator Emulsify depict smiling, happy people of diverse races, abilities, and gender identities; bright interiors; or attractive landscapes and flowers, boosting the affirmative tone.”
Carly Manes. What’s an Abortion, Anyway? (https://www.whatsanabortionbook.com)