HELLO and welcome to the 120th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can read them too and we can all know more about endometriosis! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.
The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.
Jennifer Lawrence and the History of “Cool Girls” (February 2014), by Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed – In the beginning of this I made a face because I was like, I just wanna love Jennifer Lawrence forever and not think about why, you know? Why do we have to analyze this. But then it gets into all this history about Clara Bow and Jane Fonda and I learned so many things I didn’t know about the starlets of film history and it was just delightful!
About The Human Hymen (Disambiguation) (March 2014), by Emma Bolden for The Rumpus – This is really something. It’s about the gynecologist, and being sick all the time and not knowing why, endometriosis, hymenorrhaphies, and pelvic exams and sex and growing up and pain and blood.
Traveling While Black (January 2014), by Farai Chideya for The New York Times – “For those of us blacks who travel — domestically or internationally, with financial ease or by saving for years — the world can be our playground, our teacher, our beloved. We just have to remember one thing I was lucky enough to learn as a child, and one that I was reminded of in Beijing that fall day. This world can be our place, too.”
Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney (March 2014), by Ron Suskind for The New York Times Magazine - This one took a long time for me to get to because I didn’t think I was gonna really be into it, but I was wrong, it’s great.
Is This Pickup Artist Actually Helping People? (March 2014), by Sharon Adarlo for The Awl - Um. I don’t know what to think about this one. It’s about this guy JT who teaches pick-up artist classes primarily aimed at Asian men.
Street Fighter The Movie: What Went Wrong (March 2014), by Christ Plante for Polygon – I tend to find these things interesting just as any higher-level view of how large complicated things involving lots of different personalities and unexpected challenges can converge into some kind of disaster. Also I did not know that Jean Claude Van Damme had a drug problem, so I’m a smarter person now.
Sacred and Profane: How Not To Negotiate With Believers (March 2014), by Malcolm Gladwell for The New Yorker - This is about the Waco / Branch Davidians siege that happened in 1993, which I remember happening. Firstly, I really feel like Gladwell let David Koresh off the hook regarding the fact that he took many wives including children which means Koresh is a serial rapist, but obviously this is a huge story and it’s always interesting to hear new takes on it. Also I found, oddly, a lot to connect with? Because of my experience “negotiating” with people who are having psychotic breaks who believe strongly in The Book of Revelations, and how it’s important to engage with that if you want to have a productive conversation. And that’s kinda what happened here. Anyhow!
Why is it So Hard For Women To Write About Sex? (March 2014), by Claire Dederer for The Atlantic - “The consensus that female lust is normal and real has been a long time coming—so long that any acknowledgment that our desire is adulterated by doubt can still seem anti-woman, or anti-sex, or anti-sexual-woman (or just a downer). The challenge that the new group of memoirs converges on is to show otherwise: to get at what feels true, which is that the endless internal oscillation that happens during sex needn’t sabotage our sexual experience, much less our autonomy. If questioning can’t be part of expressing female desire, that is a diminishment.”