Also.Also.Also: All Manic Pixie Dream Girls All the Time and Other Stories for Your Face

It’s Gal Pal Week on Autostraddle! Get the t-shirt/crop top and enjoy this lovely array of links for your faceholes! (Your eyes, your eyes are your faceholes in this case. Not your nostrils. I can see where you’d think nostrils, but no.)

Queer as in F*ck You

+ The New Nuclear Family.

+ Why I’m Still a Butch Lesbian, which was written by Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart and not Lea Delaria, as the accompanying photo would suggest.

+ HEY CANADA, you can now use the Her app in your home and native land! HER The Lesbian App is Now Live in Canadia.

+ Can We Adapt Sex-Ed for the New LGBT Inclusive America?

+ Wants to Make Feminist, Queer-Friendly Porn in Iceland, But Cannot. This headline is amazing. Just brilliant.

+ New Clinic Helps Calm Fears of Doctor’s Offices for LGBT Teens.

Doll Parts

+ Florida Man Charged With Murder in Shooting Death of Transgender Woman, India Clarke.

+ Paper Towns and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s Dream. Just forever interested in the topic of MPDG and any discussion thereabouts.

+ Hey speaking of, here’s John Green with But Did You Read The Book? “Cara Delevingne, Press Junkets, and Me”.

+ Sewing my clothes is an escape from fashion’s dictates. I no longer hate my body, by Jenny Rushmore.

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Facebook’s Real Name Policy Spreads to Black Activists by Taylor Hatmaker.

+ A Hitchhiking Robot’s Journey West Ends Early… in Philadelphia.

+ Who Are the Women in These Vintage Negatives?

+ What To Do With $20 At The Drugstore. I don’t know, I’m obsessed with people telling me their favorite drugstore beauty products. CVS is so chill and smells like when your grandmother got you out of school early on a Tuesday, and that’s what I want in a shopping experience.

+ Being There: A roundtable discussion about codependency and love.

+ Roxane Gay with Of Lions and Men: Mourning Samuel Dubose and Cecil the Lion. The whole time you’re reading this, you’re like, “Yes this is beautiful and perfect and so real.” But you don’t know beautiful and perfect and real until you get to the last two sentences, I think.

+ How to Inspire Creative Thinking: Details, Details.

+ Marie Curie’s Research Papers Are Still Radioactive 100+ Years Later.

+ Cooking with Muxes, Mexico’s Third Gender.

+ Stop Shaming Partners of Trans People. To quote KaeLyn: “Went in planning to hate this, came out not hating it, actually.” A ringing endorsement if I’ve ever heard one.

+ Stylish doggie wallpaper that’s also for a good cause! Ruff! See also: Things On Dogs.

+ Reflecting on Football and Addiction as Friday Night Lights Turns 25.

And Finally

What in the fresh hot fuck is this.

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. I wish HER were more aware of bi or otherwise non-lesbian queer women. When I googled the app it says on the search result “for queer, bisexual and gay women” but then all over the webpage it’s just lesbian lesbian lesbian.

    And then what is the first article when I click on the blog? “Question of the Day: Are you a gold star? Do you know what it means!” “Gold star” is a ridiculous term that is made to shame anyone who is also interested in men or ever thought they were or tried very hard to be. Not having slept with a man doesn’t make you golden or win you any stars. It just means that you have not slept with a man, period.

    A shame they aren’t making any effort to make the space more inclusive. If I had ignored bi women, I would have eliminated like 90% of the women I’ve had any sort of relation(ship) with. If you are building an app that is supposed to help women meet women who like women and you discourage many of those women from joining, what’s the point?

    I’m going to write a damn letter.

    • OH NO I HATE THE TERM GOLD STAR!! i didn’t realize her was on that level. goddamn seriously, it’s not hard to be inclusive, it’s just really not, and this is disappointing and weird. write your damn letter rachel!

    • I have seen lots of designations in the women Her has shown me — less than half have been listed as “lesbian.” Many have been listed as queer, and a few bi. I think it’s just whatever you choose to identify with, and then it shows you the people in your area.

      Which is the big problem with Her — there’s no one in my area! Everyone is like at least 100 miles away!

    • Yeah I noticed that too, specially since the app is also open all people not cis men. Not to mention they share articles about lesbians that rock our world, as if bi/pan/queer women don’t?

      The app is suppose to be trans friendly, but I am also disappointed in how unfriendly it sometimes makes one feel, specially as a person who’s identity includes trans women. They said they will make it better, like allow me to make it more clear I am trans; but, that was a long while ago, when they still were called Dattch(still what it’s called on Android last I looked). My other qualm would be is the fact that people who haven’t logged in for over 2 months are being shown at the top.

    • Hey Rachel! I’m Barbara, Head of Marketing for HER. So I was just reading AS and saw this comment and I’m probably a good person to respond to this, right?

      Lesbian women actually represent less than 50% of our userbase – the other 50% is a mix of bisexual, queer and more. We have label options that vary from lesbian, to pan, to nothing – because not everyone needs/wants to label themselves.

      We’ve also got a pretty mixed team identity-wise! Our CEO is bi and our Data Scientist is queer trans*.

      And the whole point of our “Question of the Day” is to get users to talk about stuff from the LGBTQ community. Most of the answers from today’s actually agree with you – and think “gold star” a pejorative term for our community.

      We’ll take your feedback and see how we can improve our website to make it more inclusive. It’s a big issue if we’re coming out as biphobic and I apologise! I’m sure if you check out the app, you’ll see that there are all kinds of women in the app!

      And totally write a letter or an email (which might be a tad easier?) – barbara (at) weareher .com!

  2. About that Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart article, as a butch lesbian I do feel identified with what the author is saying.

    And to have 2 articles refering to the same matter in the same week in 2 different places says a little something about the subject.

    The other article is this one

    A weird, funny, ironic and sad thing is that both articles share almost the same kind of comments.

  3. Yes, that John Green op-ed is THE THING. Publicity interviews are dehumanizing and Cara’s refusal to fully participate seems to be working for her, so who are we to criticize?

      • Yeah between that and the MPDG article it made me want to give it a chance! I honestly thought when I started the book that John Green was setting her up to be a normal MPDG and I didn’t really want to sit through another one of THOSE stories…I’ll definitely pick it back up now!

        • Yes, that’s exactly why I had no interest in reading it or seeing the movie, but I think I’m going to download it. And it’ll give me an excuse to watch a full movie with Cara Delevingne in it so win-win.

  4. THIS: Avoid creating a hierarchy of human suffering as if compassion were a finite resource. Don’t assume that if one person says, “These are the ways I am marginalized,” they are suggesting you know nothing of pain and want

    i want to stop everything, write this on a billion paper airplanes, and dedicate my life to flying them all around the entire world. gah roxanne gay just be the most amazing all the time forever why dont you. the whole thing is such a stunningly brilliant piece of writing i can hardly stand it. so good.

  5. Seems that GoP Senators failed today in their attempt to stripped Planned Parenthood of federal funds.

    But they will keep trying for sure.

  6. I liked that article about sewing your own clothes, and I’ve often wanted to throw in the towel trying to find clothes I like that fit me how I want, but everytime I look into it all the clothes are basically dresses and skirts and more dresses and other things I don’t ever wear/want to wear. It’s disheartening. I wish there were sites that have styles in the “not quite masculine but not quite feminine but maybe a little more masculine but made for my body” kind of clothes.

    • If you have items you like (aka those about to fall apart because you wore them so hard) that you are willing to sacrifice, you can use them to make your own patterns and then do a little drafting to do some variations…

      Drafting from scratch is trickier but possible if you know a little about basic sewing (i.e. seam allowances, lining things up, closure options) and are willing to make a muslin or two that may not work before you get it right.

      This is on my list for the fall. Shirts. So problematic. Shouldn’t be that hard to cover securely but not envelop in bagginess and also allow for seasonal layering.

  7. It is incredible how much I did not hate the “Stop Shaming Partners of Trans Women” article.

    Also incredible (but not nearly as surprising) is how much I loved that article by Roxanne Gay. Ugh. Love her.

  8. i’ll be hosting a support group on FB for whoever also just watched that video and the topic of our first meeting is “what makes a fresh hot fuck and how did mine just get fucked up” so please bring your notes

  9. “What in the fresh hot fuck is this” Stealing, hope that’s cool

    But really where in the world did you find that nightmare?

    • of course, steal away. actually, consider it a gift. i have gifted it to you. :blessed emoji:

  10. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but I’m pretty sure that video just changed my life. What in the fresh hot fuck, indeed.

  11. Much like the jumper/romper comment weeks ago.. am I the only one that gets irrationally angry at the whole MPDG shit?

  12. My dreams tonight will be a glittery fuzzy mess and I blame that video for it. What in the fresh hot fuck indeed.

  13. Roxane Gay says the words that need saying.
    Also, I should not have watched that video just before going to bed. My brain. It can’t.

  14. OMG that Roxane Gay article is EVERYTHING I needed to read about re: my feelings about Cecil the Lion.

    I’ve felt really conflicted because, yes, this story is horrible, but the horror to me is the fact that SO MUCH ink has been poured for this story, so many people in my home country/in Europe are outraged about this…

    and meanwhile a poll comes out showing that something like 72% of the French population doesn’t feel affected by immigrants’ stories and struggles.

    Like… 100s of people are dying again and again trying to come to Europe but you have more empathy for a Lion ??? What kind of fucked up society ?!

  15. Ummm, that article about being a butch lesbian talks all about the patriarchy defining these outrageous, limiting roles for women that are stupid and how the author reacts against them – great! And then the author continues to define outrageous, limiting roles for non-butch-lesbian women that are stupid – what? Did I miss the irony? I was trying to read it for the irony and couldn’t find it.

  16. I think fresh hot fuck is the only appropriate way to describe that video. I’m really bothered that the liquid was not oozing out of the shopping cart slats. It was weird as fuck, but I still think physics should apply.

  17. For someone who has zero desire to watch Paper Towns I really enjoyed reading those two pieces about it.

  18. I will devour any and every piece on manic pixie dream girls. I remember the first time I discovered the term, I was like OH MY GOD there’s a word for what straight guys are always trying to do to me!!! My initials are even MPD. I would be 100% in starting a support group for genuinely unique and quirky girls are consistently dehumanized by the men and sometimes women around them who insist their propensity for wearing cat dresses and talking about philosophy is actually for the benefit of others instead of… I don’t know, perhaps a legitimate interest?

    Unfortunately, I found that article somewhat lacking. She did a great job of listing movies with manic pixie dream girls in them, picking choice quotes, and talking about different potential fates of the MPDG, but I was ultimately left wanting. The commentary didn’t get into it enough for me. She was making these interesting connections between movies and then not exploring these connections to their deepest depths. I feel like that article could’ve/should’ve been three times longer. Maybe I’ll revisit some Varda films and write my own article instead.

    Also, definitely read Paper Towns. It’s a really wonderful read and I think John Green is an incredible author. You can zip through it in a day. It’s basically young adult fiction + deconstruction of the MPDG + a love letter to Walt Whitman, aka all the things I could ever want in a novel.

    • This reply feels lacking, but I just wanted to say I so relate (wearing cat dresses, cat ears, and speaking in cat puns does not help) and you should defurnitely write that article. It’s like you’re either a basic bitch or an MPDG – if you’re quirky you’re both told you’re too weird and out there and that you’re doing it fur someone else, and you’re reduced to all the corners of your purrsonalkitty – the bits that hint at a purrson, but aren’t really a whole human being. Like people can pick and choose what they want. I think it’s much scarier feeling like one is being forced into that role than seeing it on screen – I don’t love seeing two-dimensional characters, but it’s worse being a real purrson crunched into that spuss. Equally, people have just started to use the term to refur to female characters who are genmewinely well-rounded but happen to have cool hair. Maybe because women are both suppussed to crave attention and not be attention-seeking? I’m blathering!

  19. I really enjoyed the butch article. It completely articulated what I had been thinking for a long time.

    That last video… I’m at a loss for words, but “fresh hot fuck” is pretty accurate.

  20. I really really love drugstores. They are for sure my happy place and my best friend and I used to go spend hours shopping (i.e. wandering up and down the isles trying various products) after a bad day. This one time we even sat in the middle of the hair product isle and had a little picnic snack of pita and almonds while we debated what aveeno body lotion I should get after they had discontinued my favourite scent.

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