Friday, July 26, 2013

Links for the week ending 28 July 2013

"On the downside, they found that 81 percent of the children had seen someone arrested; 74 percent had heard gunshots; 35 percent had seen someone get shot; and 19 percent had seen a dead body outside - and the kids were only 7 years old at the time. Those children who reported a high exposure to violence were likelier to show signs of depression and anxiety and to have lower self-esteem." Susan FitzGerald at The Philadelphia Inquirer on a long-term study that found the experiences of growing up in poverty entirely explained any developmental lags shown by children who had been exposed to cocaine in utero.

"The campaign has come at a time when a record number of Americans have tangled with the criminal justice system. About one in three Americans has some kind of criminal record, including arrests that did not lead to convictions, according to the Department of Justice. And NELP estimates that one in four Americans–65 million people–has a record that would show up on routine background check." Suzy Khimm at MSNBC on laws that keep employers from asking about job applicants' criminal records on an initial application.

Point: "Yet, by not specifically addressing this audience, by silencing whiteness and choosing to center again and again on black young men, Obama gave whiteness a pass. He gave it power by masking it, and making it silent." And counterpoint: "Though the president could and should do more at the level of policy, by taking a stand on behalf of the fundamental humanity and value of black men to this society, he in fact did something important, namely reconvening our ongoing conversation on race, in far more humane terms." Aura Bogado at Colorlines and Brittney Cooper at Salon on President Obama's response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer.

" I do not consent to being confronted with racism in the hopes that white folks can maybe start to exorcise their own internalized issues. Allies need to do this work on their own." Long, thoughtful essay at The Toast by Jessie-Lane Metz: "Ally-phobia: On the Trayvon Martin Ruling, White Feminism, and the Worst of Best Intentions."

"I suspect, however, like as it is happening in many academic fields, the NSA is sorely tempted by all the data at its fingertips and is adjusting its methods to the data rather than to its research questions. That’s called looking for your keys under the light." Zeynep Tufekci at Medium on how big data may be imperiling more than just our privacy.

"By November, faculty and their spouses or domestic partners covered by university health care must complete an online wellness profile and physical exam. They’re also required to complete a more invasive biometric screening, including a “full lipid profile” and glucose, body mass index and waist circumference measurements." Colleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed reports on Penn State's new health insurance rules that will charge an extra $100 to faculty who do not comply with stringent annual health screening requirements.

"In an e-mail to supporters on Tuesday, Warren lashed out at her colleagues for putting forth a 'so-called compromise' bill that she said amounted to little more than a 'teaser rate for our student loan system' that would make '$184 billion in profits over the next 10 years.'" Tracy Jan at The Boston Globe on the (dim) prospects for meaningful student loan reform.

"'It is a pleasure to be a model for all of you who are younger than I am,' she said to cheers. 'And if you have not yet chosen to be a model, let’s do so today. Everybody’s watching you – everybody’s watching you. So let’s do something that will make people a better people.'" From Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic, a brief profile of 75-year-old activist Bettie Kollock-Wallace, who brought bike lanes to her neighborhood, one of New York City's poorest.

"It's not anyone's business, but as I said, I am a virgin, and I don't plan to have sex until I am an adult. But none of those facts make me feel any less passionate about fighting for a woman's right to choose and the separation of church and state in my home state of Texas." Fourteen-year-old Tuesday Cain speaks up at xojane after vicious reactions — in person and online — to her protest sign at the Texas Capitol.

"They are expressing more subtle, more complex, and more varied messages of self. What they need isn’t therapy; what they need is to know that it’s OK to be gender non-conforming. Excellent essay by Alice Dreger at Pacific Standard making a case for not rushing to medicalize gender non-conformists. (Via E.J. Graff.)

"It’s possible that Luke has never heard the term 'Asian fetish' or 'sexual harassment,' and can’t look them up himself. I also suppose, even though he lived for seven years in China, that he doesn’t have any other female, Chinese friends he could have asked about this." Phoenix Tso at The Toast on first getting harassed while reading on the Boston Common, and then getting mansplained by some brainless dude on FB.

"Men tend to make these assumptions, but like most female baseball fans I know, I actually have a specialized knowledge of the game that my male counterparts may not. For example, I know what sections of the ballpark are the safest to sit in, where I am least likely to be harassed by men, or to overhear sexist, homophobic or racist remarks from the male voices around me…" Fabulously titled essay on being a sports fan while female, by Stacey May Fowles at The Walrus.

"The researchers' data show that middle-aged men who grew up with a sister are 17 percent more likely to say their spouses did more housework than they did compared with men who had only brothers." Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones on the reason why my son gets to learn how to clean bathrooms this week. (Stop whining, kid. It's science.)

"What is it that Will and Kate are actually passing along to their newborn son? Can we really call it power?" Fun essay using the birth of the future British monarch to explore the different kinds of power, by Melanie Tannenbaum at Scientific American.

"The scientists were able to make the mouse recall something that had never occurred—having its foot painfully zapped when in the familiar red chamber—and react in fear exactly like it would have in response to a real memory." From Carolyn Y. Johnson at The Boston Globe, this week's installment in "Things Scientists Do That Are Almost Certainly Not Going to End Well."

"Should you send the lady a dick pic?" Very funny public service guide for men by Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel.

"So why is the show so often portrayed as a set of empty, static cartoons, an embarrassment to womankind? It’s a classic misunderstanding, I think, stemming from an unexamined hierarchy: the assumption that anything stylized (or formulaic, or pleasurable, or funny, or feminine, or explicit about sex rather than about violence, or made collaboratively) must be inferior." I confess that I prefer reading other people's commentary about TV shows to actually watching the TV shows, and this Emily Nussbaum essay on "Sex and the City" in The New Yorker illustrates exactly why.

"I learned smells from books, which made me think they were fictional. I believed that Wilbur’s barn smelled of hay, manure, the perspiration of tired horses, and the sweet breath of patient cows, and that the salty brown smell of frying ham made Almanzo even hungrier. But when real people said That stinks, or I can smell the sea from here, or I can’t stand the smell of cilantro, I thought they were faking." At The Millions, Rebecca Steinitz (who must be the only person who's ever had dinner at my house without noticing that I have, shall we say, a heavy hand with the oregano) on being anosmic.

" Powerful poem by Patricia Lockwood at The Awl, "Rape Joke."

" Finally, from Susan Elizabeth Shepard, a personal essay about working a strip club in a North Dakota boom town.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Links for the week ending 21 July 2013

Reactions to the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin dominated the news this week. At The Nation, Aura Bogado's immediate response is summed up by the headline, "White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman." At Colorlines, Bogado writes about the science behind implicit racial bias, "But when race is declared a salient issue, white jurors aren’t negatively influenced by the race of a defendant. In other words, talking about the possibility of prejudice helps individuals inhibit their racial biases."

 At Colorlines, Jamilah King compiles photos from protests around the nation.

"When George Zimmerman told Sean Hannity that it was God’s will that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, he was diving right into what most good conservative Christians in America think right now." At Religion Dispatches, Anthea Butler makes the argument that American Christians worship a racist god. (Via Tressie McMillan Cottom.)

 "'Ok, but maybe next year we can move to Paris.'" At MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry describes walking her daughter through processing the news of Zimmerman's acquittal.

 "The chopping down of a young man in his prime--the offense against masculinity--has always been considered more valuable than kidnappings and rapes, murders, sterilizations and wrongful convictions of women of color, by people of all ethnic backgrounds. It has become clear that the civil rights paradigm is simply unsuitable for those of us interested in liberty and justice for all." Very smart essay by Marissa Jackson at For Harriet arguing that the lack of attention paid to structural oppression of black women calls out for a human rights social-justice frame to address the outrages of racism and inequality. (Via Sarah McCarry.) For more about Marissa Alexander's case, here is Farah Stockman at The Boston Globe on "Florida's unjust gun laws." 

 "Black Twitter’s power makes perfect sense — as long as you don’t consider black Twitterers to be some mysterious 'other' group." At Buzzfeed, Shani O. Hilton writes about the organizing power of Black Twitter, and how it scuttled a Zimmerman juror's proposed book deal.  

 "Though it seems as if Jahar had found a mission, his embrace of Islam also may have been driven by something more basic: a need to belong. 'Look, he was totally abandoned,' says Payack, who believes that the divorce of his parents and their subsequent move back to Russia was pivotal, as was the loss of the safety net he had at Rindge." A terribly sad profile of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev, by Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone. (For a nuanced take on the controversy about the cover — which means that I myself cannot buy a copy of Rolling Stone at any of the nearest outlets —see Caitlin Fitz Gerald's excellent essay at Medium, "The Art of Provocation," which I found via Liliana Segura.)

 "'You take a kid who has already demonstrated that he’s not being successful in conventional school, and then you impose on him the duty that he’s going to self-study, to me that just seems insane,' said Tim McKinley, a former FBI agent who is now an attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), a legal aid group." Susan Ferriss at The Center for Public Integrity on California "community schools" for troubled youths, which have left thousands of students — mostly black and Latino — with less than five hours of instructional time per week. (Via Melissa del Bosque.) 

 "'We used to have just two or three overdose calls a week,' said Terry Walsh, Portland’s deputy fire chief, who oversees emergency medical services. 'Now we’re seeing two, three, four a day.'" That's Portland, ME, you guys: population just over 66,000. Katherine Q. Seelye for The New York Times on steeply rising heroin use in northern New England. (Via Jim Roberts.) 

"Unlike every other person in opposition politics during the Putin era, Navalny understood that Putin was not Russia’s main problem. Rather, the problem was the post-Soviet culture of greed, fear and cynicism that Putin encouraged and exploited." The New Republic's Julia Ioffe on the importance of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, whose conviction this week of corruption in a politically motivated show trial sparked protests in Russia. 

"Perhaps most striking, 93 percent of pandoraviruses' 2,500 genes cannot be traced back to any known lineage in nature. In other words, they are completely alien to us." Time to tell my kid that his 6th-grade biology lessons on the three domains of life may suddenly be out of date. By Christine Dell'Amore at National Geographic. (Via @pourmecoffee.) 

"An analysis of 352 front-page stories from the Times in January and February 2013, we found that Times reporters quoted 3.4 times as many male sources as female sources. Excellent research by UNLV students on further gender disparity at The New York Times. By Alexi Layton and Alicia Shepard at Poynter. 

"We would sit around a table in a Midtown office with a generous view, and we’d each give our prepared pitch–Peru; Mexico; Alexander Graham Bell; Henry Ford and square dancing; Braddock, PA. And then the listener would sit back, digest, and say,: 'So, this is a story about a young girl…'" Vela magazine founder Sarah Menkedick complicates and makes more interesting the debate about how well women are represented in "serious" journalism, regardless of the publication outlet. (Via Pagan Kennedy.) 

Finally, this two part report from Istanbul from the inimitable Elif Batuman at The New Yorker.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Links for the week ending 14 July 2013

"George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, igniting a national debate on racial profiling and civil rights, was found not guilty late Saturday night of second-degree murder." Justice denied in Florida, by Lisette Alvarez and Cara Buckley for the NYT.

"Pictures taken from the air on Monday show blackened tanker cars concertinaed on top of the space where the popular Musi-Cafe used to be, a night-time hangout that was packed when the train roared into town." A team of Reuters reporters including P.J. Huffstutter on the fiery freight train disaster that has left some 60 people dead in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic. (Via Jim Roberts.)

"The lawyers released the video on the eve of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, and, as it happens, hours before a U.S. District Court judge called Guantánamo’s tube-feeding practice 'painful, humiliating and degrading.'" Carol Rosenberg at the Miami Herald on a new video campaign featuring Mos Def on the force-feeding policy at Guantánamo.

"Corrections officials confirmed they would discipline striking inmates, who object to conditions in solitary confinement and also have grievances about prison food, rehabilitation programs and other policies." Meanwhile, in California, 12,400 prison inmates are on a hunger strike. By Paige St. John at The Los Angeles Times.

"I write about the Islamists and their network of social services, the roots of their power—a piece that is definitely more complex to build than a frontline piece. I strive to explain, not just to move, to touch, and I am answered with: 'What’s this? Six thousand words and nobody died?'" At Columbia Journalism Review, a brutal essay by Francesca Corri about the realities of reporting in Syria — for $70 per article. (Via Molly Crabapple.)

"As the euphoria fades, the opposition remembers that if they were asked to debate how many legs a cow before them had, one faction would question whether the animal was actually a cow, another would say four, and yet another would claim the tail a limb." Sarah Carr at Jadaliyya on the widening social and political divisions in Egypt. (Via Laila Lalami.)

"It has been one week, and nobody knows where the former president of Egypt is." At The Washington Post, dude William Booth and Abigail Hauslohner write about the wholesale arrest and disappearance of many of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"A question unimaginable in most major American cities is utterly commonplace in this one: If you suddenly found yourself gravely ill, injured or even shot, would you call 911? Monica Davey at the NYT on Detroit's prospects as it faces possibly filing for bankruptcy. (Via Jennifer Steinhauer.)

"At a time when non-whites make up roughly 37 percent of the U.S. population, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent from its 13.73 percent high in 2006." Riva Gold at The Atlantic on the most recent report on newsroom diversity from The American Society of News Editors. (Via ProPublica.)

"But the big picture is sobering: tipped restaurant servers experience poverty at three times the rate of the rest of the workforce, the report notes, and use food stamps at twice the rate. Brigid Schulte at The Washington Post on a new report that found that mothers working in restaurants in five cities spent as much as a third of their income on childcare. (Via Rebecca Traister.)

"Alma Saldana, 30, the sister of activist Paula Saldana, stopped taking birth control last year after two nearby clinics closed and the one remaining wanted to charge more than she could afford. She bore her third child, Adrian, last month." Esme E. Deprez for Bloomberg on the black market pills and unintended pregnancies that are the options left for poor women in rural Texas. (Via Suzy Khimm.)

"Research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2011 found that, between 1984 and 1989, HPV was present in 16.4% of oropharyngeal cancers. By the dawn of the 21st century, however, that number had skyrocketed. Between 2000 and 2004, HPV was present in 71.7% of all oropharyngeal cancers. Maggie Koerth-Baker at Boing Boing making a very compelling case for why the HPV vaccine is a good idea regardless of whether one possesses a cervix.

"If you live in a rich area like San Francisco, Colorado or the suburbs of Washington D.C., you’re likely as healthy as the Swiss or Japanese. If you live in Appalachia or the rural South, you’re likely to be as unhealthy as people in Algeria or Bangladesh. Maggie Fox at NBC News reports on a country-by-county survey of health in the United States.

"Research shows a typical A-cup boob weighs in at 0.43 of a pound. Every additional cup size adds another 0.44 of a pound. That means a hurdler with a double-D chest carries more than 4 pounds of additional weight with her on every leap. And when they get moving, the nipples on a C- or D-cup breast can accelerate up to 45 mph in one second -- faster than a Ferrari." At long last, Amanda Hess at ESPN tackles the important question of how cup size impacts women's participation in sports. (Spoiler you don't need if you yourself own a pair of these in larger sizes: a LOT.) (Via Virginia C. McGuire.)

YOU GUYS HOW DID I MISS THIS ARTICLE? From 3 July, by Jennifer A. Kingson in the NYT, "But as Katrina Capasso, a llama owner in Ballston Spa, N.Y., discovered, 'They're like potato chips.' It's hard to stop at just a few." NOW EVERYBODY SING ALONG. (Via Jia Tolentino at The Hairpin.)

"The root of the issue is as simple as this fact: women, research shows, buy and read books by both women and men, while men predominantly read books by men. The solution? We think it’s to read books by women, especially women outside the literary establishment." This, you guys. By Emily Gould, of Emily Books, which is where I bought the super-creepy and awesome Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead by Barbara Comyns, which I then stayed up REALLY LATE to read in one sitting, which then made me cranky and irritable for days to follow. So, uh, you should read it, too! And buy stuff from Emily Books!

"'Have you read as much junk as I have? We must talk about junk! Facts are becoming harder and harder, more elusive. We're in a muddle, a mess. There's such a racket going on. There are so many lies around, readers are beginning to think: don't bother me with whether this is true or not true; I'm busy.'" Renata Adler is interviewed by Rachel Cooke at the Guardian. You can by Speedboat at Emily Books, by the way. I'm just saying.

Looking for more good books to read this summer? Sarah McCarry has some suggestions at The Rejectionist.

"Just 50 years later, it’s almost impossible to imagine a government-sanctioned ban on a piece of literature, or to picture the Supreme Court debating whether adults should be allowed to buy an 18th-century novel, no matter how dirty. The era of mainstream literary censorship is over in America. And in some ways, we have the eccentric, exuberant—and yes, erotic—“Fanny Hill” to thank for it." At The Boston Globe, Ruth Graham writes an appreciation of the cultural significance of the pornographic 18th century classic.

In his introduction, Barrie describes how Ashford studied the adults she encountered and borrowed and modified things she heard discussed at home for use in The Young Visiters—the Crystale Palace became the Crystal Palace; the Gaiety Theatre became the Gaierty Hotel—and cautions readers against spending 'another week-end in a house where there may be a novelist of nine years.'" Alice Bolin at The Paris Review on reading the magnum opus of a nine-year-old novelist (not the greatest ever, I am contractually obligated to note, but that's another matter).

"Here is a transliteration of the beginning of the Mool Mantra: Ek Ong Kar, Sat Nam, Karta Purkh…. It sounds nice, right? Certainly it sounds better than 'I hate my job, I wish I was dead, I hate everything.'" Sarah Miller is laugh-out-loud funny at The Awl on seven days in the New Mexico desert at a Kundalini Yoga festival.

"The Man-Child wants you to know that you should not take him too seriously, except when you should. At any given moment, he wants to you to take him only as seriously as he wants to be taken. When he offends you, he was kidding. When he means it, he means it. What he says goes. Moira Weigel and Mal Ahern at The New Inquiry laying out "Further Materials Toward a Theory of the Man-Child."

"'No one's ever called me with good news before,' he said. 'I don't know what I'm supposed to say.'" Finally, bring tissues. A lot of tissues. Lisa Fenn at ESPN on why she stayed involved with the young subjects of a story she reported in 2009. (Via Yvonne Abraham.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Links for the week ending 7 July 2013

The story of the week was the military takeover in Egypt. Women report from Egypt's public spaces at their peril, but there's plenty to read, even so. Sarah A. Topol at Businessweek gives you a list of ten ways ex-president Mohammed Morsi precipitated a crisis. Abigail Hauslohner reports for The Washington Post on the overthrow of Morsi and the dismal prospects for whomever takes the reins next ("'I don’t know anyone in his right mind,' said Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, provoking laughter from his aides. 'Wait, wait — I’m joking with you,' he added. 'Don’t put that.'"). Also check out coverage at McClatchy by Nancy A. Youssef on Friday's violence.

"Do you encrypt all your own e-mail, as a result of this stuff? No, that's really hard." At The New Yorker, Maria Bustillos talks to one of six people who can publicly discuss "What It's Like to Get a National-Security Letter."

"Even two years later, the view from the mesa is jaw-dropping, a forest Golgotha. In a gap 40,000 acres wide, for miles in every direction, every tree is dead. As the wind whips grit into our eyes, Williams tells me that trees in some areas burned so hot that the trunks vanished, leaving ghostly holes." The deaths of 19 Arizona firefighters this week mark a sobering occasion to read this Yale Environment 360 piece on megadroughts and the American Southwest, by Caroline Fraser. At The Los Angeles Times, Alana Semuels has a brief overview of the history of American attitudes towards fighting fires at the margins of settlement.

"In another instance in Gezi Park, I witnessed a Kurdish 'teyze' (an older, traditional woman) from southeast Turkey in a heated, compassionate conversation with one of Istanbul’s better known transgendered activists. The dialogue, which I witnessed, was mostly about the need to love and understand each other’s suffering." Zeynep Tufekci being indispensable yet again, this time on the "anti-postmodern pluralism" she is witnessing in Turkey right now.

"Volunteers both male and female, designated by Blank Noise as "Action Heroes," sat at the tables and invited complete strangers to stop and talk with them. The subject of street sexual harassment was off limits. At the end of each encounter, the "action hero" offered a flower to his or her interlocutor. Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic Cities writes about a grassroots activist group's extraordinary plan to make one of Bangalore's scariest streets safe.

Reminding you again of Torie Rose DeGhett's excellent weekly round-up, This Week in War. You'll read a lot of dude journalists if you follow her links, but you'll also be very well-informed.

"When she became pregnant, Ms. Martin called her local hospital inquiring about the price of maternity care; the finance office at first said it did not know, and then gave her a range of $4,000 to $45,000. 'It was unreal,' Ms. Martin said. 'I was like, How could you not know this? You’re a hospital.'" Elisabeth Rosenthal for The New York Times reporting on how Americans get born into the costliest and most confusing health care system in the world.

"Mort had eaten a poppy-seed bagel shortly after arriving at the hospital where she gave birth, causing the positive drug test that separated a new mother from her infant for five days before authorities decided there was not enough evidence to hold the child." Kristen Gwynne at Alternet on why "drug-testing women at birth is not the best idea."

"The initiative tells mothers to give 500ml breast milk to their children once they reach the age of six months and to use formula if they don’t have enough. It was a campaign that dramatically increased sales of Danone infant formula in Turkey, but have lead to breastfeeding mothers moving their babies on to powdered milk unnecessarily." Melanie Newman at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism on a text-messaging campaign to new parents that — surprise! — benefits the company's bottom line rather than the health of infants.

"Indeed, they mistrust women, whom they see as enforcers of middle-class earning expectations they cannot meet. The love these men feel for their children is far stronger than any romantic connection they’ve made with those children’s mothers." From Dana Goldstein at The Daily Beast, a fascinating, nuanced review of a new book about poor urban dads.

"A lot of people might listen to my evidence and say, okay, we have to teach these women to trust. This is yet another way we have to fix low-income women. I think that is the wrong approach. I think the way to teach women to trust is to make sure everyone around them is trustworthy." Barbara Raab at NBC News interviews Judith Levine about her new book, Aint No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters. (Via Dana Goldstein.)

"The reversal in Harrisburg reflects a wider trend: Millennials are 40 percent less likely to move out of their home state than young people were were in the 1980s." Nona Willis Aronowitz reports for The American Prospect about young people who are staying in their depressed — but cheap — hometowns rather than strike out for the big city. (Also via Dana Goldstein.)

"Had I gone off and set it off as she deserved, in all probability I would have been seen as the terrorist threat. Especially on the eve of the Fourth of July." At Salon, Brittney Cooper writes with heartbreaking grace about an encounter with casual white racism while traveling to see family for the holiday.

"Slim novels are always deft, and powerful, like Joss Whedon heroines." Mallory Ortberg and co-conspirator Nicole Cliffe went live this week with The Toast, which would be your new one-stop shopping destination for awesome even if all they published was their own stuff, like this gut-punch humor from Ortberg, or this lovely piece on Paul McCartney from Cliffe. But there's more!

"The first thing I tell my students is: Do not even bother to blog unless you find it fun or someone is paying you for it. Those are the only two good reasons to do it. The second thing I tell them is: Probably no one will pay you for it. Fun is actually the only good reason to blog." From Kate Harding at The Toast, and linked to with love from me to all of you all from the academic/mommyblogging cohort of 2005.

I know this was one of the first progressive blogs a lot of us were reading back then: "So Long, Farewell: Today We Close Pam's House Blend."

"So I wish that the women’s magazines put more resources into longform consistently every month. I think it would help to cultivate women magazine writers. They are very heavy on the personal essay and the service pieces, and those are important and they have their place. But I think, while it was well-intentioned to do a lot of 'Rah-rah here are great women writers, and here are great women editors,' that wasn’t the conversation that needed to be happening." Long but rewarding conversation at Beyond The New Yorker between Meagan Flynn and Pamela Colloff from Texas Monthly about journalism, advocacy, and that recent debate about whether women's magazines get unfairly jilted when awards get handed out.

"It’s so much easier, if you have the option, to be a girl, not a person. It’s definitely easier to be a girl than it is to do the work of being a grown woman, especially when you know that grown women are far more fearful to the men whose approval seems so vital to your happiness. And yet something in me was rebelling against the idea of being a character in somebody else’s story. I wanted to write my own. " Laurie Penny at the New Statesman with "I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl."

"But I do have to thank Dowling for teaching me a very important lesson: I did not have the privilege of pretending to be a kitten stuck up a tree, waiting for some man to come save me. Asher Wolf at her blog on most definitely not being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. (Via Molly Crabapple.)

"Our bodies are intractable, inescapable realities, and so little about them has to do with choice. I cannot choose whether to be hungry or thirsty, healthy or sick. A slave cannot choose to be free, a woman cannot choose to be equal, and no one on earth can choose to be safe from the violations others inflict on their bodies." Knock-out essay about being at the Texas Capitol during the filibuster, by Amy Gentry at The Rumpus. (Via Martha Bayne.)

I wrote to him every day, and he replied the way a hero in a Nicholas Sparks novel would: every day, on small squares of lined paper, in a skinny, distinctive scrawl. The way he missed me was encoded in his descriptions of the calls of the drill sergeants, the hunger of the early morning. My mom watched the envelopes arrive with a mixture of bemusement and concern." Finally, at The Toast, in memoriam for one of the fallen, by Anne Helen Petersen.