Also.Also.Also: Wizarding Schools, Chin Talk and Other Stories to Start Your Week

I rearranged my “office area” over the weekend, so now I’m facing the wall and my dry erase board instead of the rest of the living room (and my pretty shelf full of green plants that I love so much). In theory, this will force me to stay very much on task so that I’m driven to succeed and thus end my workday and stare at my shelf full of green plants on my own time. I did sneak Fiona Fern back over here, so I’m not totally devoid of green things. What do you think? Should I get a fake ficus for this empty corner or something? Does your desk face a wall or a window or an open room? What do you find is the most productive?

Anyway here are some links for your Monday! There’s so much good stuff in here, I hope you’ve got a few hours.

You Should Go or Do or Give

+ Help Casa Ruby Rebuild Their Center. Read more on Casa Ruby here: Casa Ruby is a Chosen Family for Trans People Who Need a Home.

+ Head on over to Joe’s Pub on February 7 to see Haviland Stillwell sing her face off for you!

+ Swagger Like Us, your queer hip-hop dance party, will be in Oakland on February 12 and you should probably definitely go to that if you can.

Queer as in F*ck You

+ Hood Femmes and Ratchet Feminism: On Amandla Stenberg, Representation and #BlackGirlMagic by Ashleigh Shackelford.

+ Call for submissions! Power & Magic: A Queer Witch Comics Anthology. This is for women of color only and looks rad as fuck.

+ Perhaps you’d like to take this survey titled Sexuality of Lesbians and Breast Cancer Survivors. As reader KatMeow points out below, you aren’t required to have been diagnosed with breast cancer in order to participate in this study, and you’ll get a coupon code for your troubles!

+ Iris Murdoch on the Fluidity of Gender and Sexuality: Her Intensely Beautiful Love Letters to Brigid Brophy on Brain Pickings.

+ Here’s Rory Midhani being the greatest: What Cis People Say to Trans People vs What We Hear.

Doll Parts

+ Dannielle Owens-Reid wrote this killer piece that you should read right now: It’s Time to Let Go of Your Abusive Mother.

There is no good reason to keep someone abusive in your life. If my mother were my partner, people would tell me to leave. If my mother were a friend, people would tell me to cut them out of my life. If my mother were my boss, people would tell me to quit or turn her in to HR. If my mother were an estranged uncle, people would tell me I didn’t have to answer texts, who cares. But for some reason, people (including members of my own family) have a hard time understanding when you need to let go of an abusive parent. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. More than okay, it’s necessary. It has greatly improved my quality of life to step back from my relationship with her as well as other relationships similar to it.

+ Mari Goldman is a 16-year-old black girl and Donald Trump is afraid of her.

+ Do You Ever Survive the Journey Whole? by Sonia Guiñansaca. That’ll split your heart wide open.

+ A Person Can’t Be “Diverse”: Why advocates are backing away from a theoretically helpful term that’s being misused in ways big and small.

There’s also a linguistic-logic problem here. If one black woman is a “diverse person,” is a group made up 100 percent of black women automatically a “diverse group”? By the more commonly understood use of the word, it’s not one.

How, then, to refer to people of color and women? How about … as “people of color and women”? If you’re talking about other categories—LGBT people, certain age cohorts, nationalities—name them. Or there are other terms that, while perhaps not super-catchy, can work. “Underrepresented populations” is one.

+ Zika Virus Isn’t the First Disease to Spark a Debate About Abortion by Jasmine Garsd.

+ Black and White Photos That Show the Disturbing Side of Being a Teenage Girl by Anastasiia Fedorova. Oh damn I love this so much.

+ This Latina Engineer Owns Her Feminism, One Mansplainer at a Time.

+ Coaching Vacancy: Women Need Not Apply by Lindsey DiArcangelo.

+ The Disabled Iraq Veteran Starring in a Military Zombie Film. Ahem:

Mary Dague lost both her arms in Iraq. Thanks to a million-dollar Indiegogo campaign, she’s now starring alongside other ex-soldiers in “Range 15,” a zombie movie that wants to show the funny side of being an army vet.

+ Obama Announces Executive Action to Crack Down on Companies That Pay Women Less Than Men, so we’ll see how that goes I guess.

+ Nobody Catcalls the Woman in the Wheelchair by Kayla Whaley.

+ Autostraddle is in some great company here, thanks Luna Luna! 8 Women-Run Magazines We Read Every Day

Saw This, Thought of You

+ US Should Pay Reparations to the African American Descendants of Slaves, UN Committee Says.

+ The First Fantastic Beasts Featurette Reveals a New Side to the World of Harry Potter:

+ Aaaaaand J.K. Rowling Reveals Four Wizarding Schools, Including One in the U.S.

+ Why So Many Rich Kids Come to Enjoy the Taste of Healthier Foods. Yep.

+ If You Go Near the Super Bowl, You Will Be Surveilled.

+ How Do Festival Apps Monitor Your Behavior? I still use the paper maps! :paper map dance:

+ Excuse me this has fucked with my mind greatly: The Countries Where People Are the Most Emotionally Complex by Julie Beck.

+ In this case, it wasn’t so much that I saw it and thought of you, but saw it and thought of me: Why Are Some People Habitually Late?

And Finally

Chin talk? Talk of chins.

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lnj has written 310 articles for us.


  1. thank you for the “Nobody catcalls the woman in the wheelchair” piece. It resonated with me very much. <3

  2. Oh, wow, the Iris Murdoch letters. I’m vacillating between swooning and seething: the letter excerpts were beautiful, (and probably illustrate the sort of relationship I would like to have) but I’m downright irate that I could go through graduate degree program and never learn that Murdoch had this relationship at all when supposedly my dissertation supervisor (a man) admired her very much.
    Ugh. I’ll just have to read all the lovely words again to purge the anger.

  3. Those black and white photos are incredible, and the stories of the artists childhood even more so! Her work kind of reminded me of that #DearDaddy piece from Norway that was released this past December. Both haunting and real. Thank you for finding them! And agreed you deserve a real plant on your desk. If not ficus then maybe a jade plant? Or a really awesome cacti of some nature.

  4. My browser is about to collapse bc I opened every single one of these tabs. This comment probably wont make it through to post as i

  5. Is the queer witch comics submission call to women of color actually a ploy to attract Mey?
    If I read further will there be dinosaur involvement too?

    Either way, this sounds great!

  6. So many good things here! I loved the Murdoch letters (that bit about falling in love with someone brilliant and loving them and their work and not knowing how to separate them was a lovely bit of exposition from the columnist). And I enjoyed the article on Hood Femmes. All things femme are appealing to me these days.

  7. Also, just wanted to say this was a particularly appreciated set of links this week.

    Thank you for your dedicated scouring to share these gems with us!

  8. Completing the survey (3rd link in Queer As In F*ck You) gives you a $20 coupon code to HankyPanky! Also, you are not required to have received a diagnosis of breast cancer to participate.

      • No prob! Thanks for the article round-ups every week. I always end up reading cool stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Like that rando survey! & now I have $20 to spend on sexy things!

  9. This is chock full of fascinating for a Monday. Particularly liked the lateness, emotional complexity and chin articles. I once wrote a haiku for my girlfriend’s chin.
    Danielle Owens-Reid’s piece resonated. Why do people expect you to give family a pass for unacceptable behaviours? *sigh*
    I advocate for a peace lily instead of a faux ficus. Excellent oxygen cleaning properties, consumes mould spores, and hard to kill. I’m rubbish with plants and mine is still going strong after 7 months. Thanks for curating this brilliant list :)

  10. *blinks*
    Watching that “Wild Beasts” clip just after having seen “The Danish Girl” yesterday, was really weird for the first few seconds.

  11. I’m not sure about Zika virus helping the debate about abortion in Latin America, particularly when you considered the influence and power that the catholic church has here.

    Probably our governments will choose to supply clean running water for everyone and personally clean all of our houses of any crap that has standing water than even think to open that debate.

  12. laneia i want your help putting together my office space, do you think it’s ok if i use my bridge table or should i get a real desk?!?! THIS IS VEXING ME GREATLY.

    my desk should i get one will probably face the window, if that helps. my bridge table just faces a wall, and is an excellent place for candles. i just want to stop falling asleep spooning my laptop is all, so it should live somewhere real.

  13. Laneia, there are now a pair of 100% free free free (no shipping charge withers!) lacy boy shorts headed for my mailbox, that is an actual gift you have given me by posting that survey!

    I’d never heard of but they do have actual plus stuff and plenty of other pretties on their sale page for under $20. That’s worth doing a survey for!

  14. Brigid Brophy <3 I adored "The king of a rainy country" but almost forgot. What a nice reminder! Off to Brainpickings now (and then coming back, of course).

    About the desk situation: To the wall (at home) works better than to all my lovely but loud and crazy co-workers at the office.

  15. Did the survey! I love survey’s :D

    Has anyone heard of the smear for smear campaign? Seems legit.

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