Street harassment has been part of my existence since I was a young teenager, but it wasn't until I was in graduate school in 2006 that I even learned the term "street harassment." I found the term on the website of the Street Harassment Project (founded in the early internet days of 1999). When I learned the phrase, I was so relieved: there was a name for what I experienced. There were other people who hated it, too.
• There's no question that feminism has never had the best PR, but this Rebranding Feminism contest, which seeks "creative" geared toward advertising, seems...problematic. Do we want feminism to be a brand? [Vitamin W]
• Dave Eggers' new novel, The Circle, is a fictional account of a young woman working her way up in the seductive, all-consuming headquarters of a prominent social network. It sounds an awful lot like Kate Losse's book, The Boy Kings, a nonfiction account of her five years working at Facebook—only Eggers' is already being heralded as the successor to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.
• The recent stories about Julie Chen's eyelid surgery and Marissa Alexander's arrest and jail term have underscored an infuriating truth: The bodies, faces, and expressions of women of color are "read," and subsequently treated, far more suspiciously than those of their white counterparts. [Salon]
• Just in from the Department of Ideas We Can't Believe Someone Actually Had: A 12-year-old girl was made to play a slave in a historical reenactment that was part of a field trip. Her parents are now complaining, although I would like to believe "complaining" is accompanied by "opening a can of legal whoop-ass." [Colorlines]
• From the Fat Experience Project and Friend of Bitch Stacy Bias comes this illustrated story of one of the many actual humans in the faceless statistics about childhood obesity. It may break your heart a little, but don't let that stop you from sharing it. [Fat Experience Project]
Ghosts get a bad rap. But the stories we tell about spirits reveal what our cultures fear and value. In this show, Bitch Creative Director Andi Zeisler and literary ghost expert Jessica Jernigan look at how female ghosts from The Conjuring to Beloved can't escape gender roles. Plus, we talk with Jamie Holding-Eagle of the Red River Seed Library about how special corn seeds preserve the spirit of her great-great grandmother.
"Orange is the New Black" (OITNB) premiered on Netflix on July 13 and I, like many others, settled down with a family sized bag of Sun Chips to unapologetically binge-watch the entire season that very same Saturday. It struck me how many people on the show are seen doing something that's unusual for television: reading books.
Like millions of Americans reared in the nineties, I grew up rather mindlessly consuming Nick's cartoons and teen sitcoms.Slimed author Mathew Klickstein prods viewers like me to revisit the influential channel's beloved shows with an eye on racial diversity, gender dynamics, and the process behind creating each show.
Though I Can Barely Take Care of Myself covers Kirkman's entire life—including her Boston childhood and long comedy career—and zeroes in with especially sharp wit on the experience of being an adult without children.
Kirkman took a moment out of her current tour in support of the book to discuss what inspired her book, why some people think child-free women will change their minds, and what happens when an elementary schooler attends a sleepover party while dressed like Groucho Marx.
Anton DiSclafani's new novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (coming out on June 4 from Riverhead books), tells the Depression Era coming-of-age story of Thea Atwell, a complicated and willful 15-year old girl who is exiled to an equestrienne boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for her role in a mysterious family tragedy. Thea is a nuanced character whose relationship with horses and riding lends a sense of power and steadiness to life as she confronts what it means to be a young woman of her time.
Anton Disclafani herself is a horse-lover herself and was gracious enough to take time off from her writing, teaching, and caring for her horse, Val, to speak with me about her new book and what horses mean to young girls.