Also.Also.Also: Matriarchal Feminism, Defining Authenticity, and Other Stories You’ll Fcking Love

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Are you loving this new Daily Fix / News Fix / AAA situation?? I believe you are. Just a few more days of this spring break and my wily children will be back in their classrooms and I’ll be back to being the only person in my house and I WILL TYPE NEXT FRIDAY’S AAA IN THE NUDE you can’t stop me. No one can stop me.

Queer as in F*ck You

+ Well Shonda Rhimes just knows entirely what the fuck is up: You Are Not Alone

If you never see any of those people on TV…What do you learn about your importance in the fabric of society? What do straight people learn? What does that tell young people? Where does that leave them? Where does that leave any of us?

I get letters and tweets and people coming up to me on the street. Telling me so many incredible stories. The dad telling me about how something he saw on one of my shows gave him a way to understand his son when he came out. Or the teenagers, all the teenagers man, who tell me they learned the language to talk to their parents about being gay or lesbian. The teenage girls who have found a community of peers and support on line because of the Callie Arizona relationship — Calzona. I get story after story.

There were times in my youth when writing those stories in Shondaland quite literally saved my life. And now I get kids telling me it quite literally saves theirs. That is beyond humbling.

And every single time it comes down to one thing.

You are not alone.

Nobody should be alone.

+ Hey have you heard of the Button and Bly Travel Show? They’re two queer women traveling the globe and documenting everything on youtube and they’re fucking awesome. Their latest video is just the teeniest departure from their usual because it centers on a day trip they took to Joshua Tree to film a music video for Lisa Halling and the Pacific Public, which is a band that just happens to feature a drummer you know and fucking LOVE — Autostraddle’s very own co-founder and Design Director, Alex Vega!


Watch their day tripping video here and then get super ready to see more of Button and Bly this year, because it’s all happening.

Doll Parts

+ Gather ’round, sit the fuck down and hear a tale of wisdom so great it defies death, motherfuckers: The Mystery of Elderly Animal Matriarchs by Becca Cudmore.

Both women and orcas experience menopause. A new study reveals one reason why these matriarchs may prevail, despite their inability to reproduce: wisdom.

+ In case you missed this in Wednesday’s A&E fix! A Bechdel Test for Music?? Ugh this is so satisfying I almost need a cigarette.

+ Women With Vagina Piercings to be Classified as Suffering from FGM.

Hundreds of women in London with vagina piercings will be recorded as victims of potentially illegal female genital mutilation under new NHS rules to be introduced next month.

The mandatory reporting regulations, sent to medical staff by the Department of Health, say that any woman whose labia or clitoris has been pierced must be classed as suffering FGM.

+ Bryce Covert‘s This is What Starbucks Employees Think About ‘Race Together’:

She noted that many of the people her store serves are affluent and white and many not be receptive to the topic, or might even get angry. “The last thing I want is to have an irate customer and a long line of people behind them yelling at me,” she said. “That’s not at all the position I want to be in.” Yet, she pointed out, these are the very people who the conversations probably should be targeted at.

Prater doesn’t think the initiative, which he says “saddl[es] your store employees” with having these conversations, is the right way to go about it. “It’s not the environment to talk about this,” he said. “We have a lot going on and this is something that’s a very hot button issue in this country right now.”

Pairs nicely with Race Forward’s Open Letter to Starbucks and USA Today.

+ Anna Ross‘s Report From the Field: I Don’t Know How She Does It feels like one story in an ocean of a million stories that are crucial and important and hammering against the tiny tip of an enormous iceberg that at least 50% of the world doesn’t give a fuck about. xoxo

I don’t know how she does it. In the same class, we read Charlotte Perkins Gilman. My students are shocked that she felt she needed to leave her husband and child in order to regain her sanity and intellect and become a writer. They are enraged when we read that poet Louise Bogan sent her only daughter to live with her parents, whose unhappy home she herself had sought to “escape,” so that she could pursue a writing career in New York. I am six months pregnant with my son, my second child. “But think of how desperate these women must have been to make such decisions,” I say. “Gilman, who was clearly suffering from post-partum depression, was advised by her doctors never to pick up a pen again and have less than 2 hours of intellectual stimulation a day. Bogan’s marriage had failed, and she was trying to support herself and her writing with odd jobs.” My voice is plaintive in my own ears. My students remain skeptical. “But it can’t be that you have a child and that’s it, you just forget anything else you ever wanted to do. Who would ever agree that?” I am standing in front of the white board, my belly suddenly the focal point of the room. No one speaks. Awakened by my sudden rise in blood pressure, my son stirs and elbows me under my ribs.

+ Every weirdo in my house has been excited about Home since seeing the trailer in theaters, but I’m just now finding out that Rihanna’s the voice of Tip, the film’s lead character, because I guess I live under a rock!? Read Marcie Bianco‘s Rihanna and Dream Works Just Made History With Their First Animated Heroine of Color.

+ Christ on a cracker Hayley Krischer just splayed out our entire lives for us here and I bet you didn’t even thank her for it yet: Hysteria and Teenage Girls. THANK YOU HAYLEY.

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh YESSSSSssssssssadlfaksdkka Mitski, Meredith, Suzy X, and Imogen Binnie Talk Gender, Authenticity & Music at Smith by Jaclyn Walsh:

During the panel discussion about the definition of authenticity, Meredith called attention to the fact that more grace is given to white people when they are being clearly inauthentic than to people of color. White folks, especially white men, are given the most room to stumble and reinvent themselves. These are points that Meredith has called attention to in the past, like the idea that when a white man asserts that he is a fan of a certain band, his authenticity will likely not be called into question. Women, on the other hand, are tested and re-tested and then ultimately often discredited.


In a recent conversation about David Bowie that Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) had with Jessica Hopper at the MCA, she explained her observation that “standing [on stage] with a beard and your feelings” has become the pinnacle of authenticity and value in many folks’ eyes today. She contrasts the beard and feelings aesthetic with the presentation and showmanship of musicians like Chuck Berry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Little Richard, showmanship that did not overshadow their true authenticity or musicianship. As Annie suggests, the authenticity of a white man with an acoustic guitar is very rarely called into question, even though that very presentation is an aesthetic, and the very act of his being on stage putting on a show is performative.

+ I wanted to pitch a pup tent inside this essay and put a forefinger on the mouth of anyone silly enough to try to speak to me while I camped there. How to Parallel Park in San Francisco by Helena Fitzgerald.

+ Ruth HopkinsWin the Digital War: Tribes Must Exercise Data Sovereignty makes a solid fucking point.

+ Micorsoft is Phasing Out Internet Explorer. Wait, when I first bookmarked this story for y’all, I was like “yeah obvs.” But now I feel fucking nostalgic and sad! GOD I HATE NOSTALGIA. I got my little internet sea legs on IE! SHUT UP THAT IS A TERRIBLE BROWSER AND IT HAS BEEN FROM DAY ONE. But! NO.

+ Joan Didion‘s “Goodbye To All That” Headed to the Big Screen.

And Finally

Hey so are you ready for everything? Because this is it: What It Means to be Fully Human.

Fundamentally, to develop the heart is to see that in each person you are beautiful. You see, the whole thing with human beings is to learn to love. And to love is not to do things for people. It’s not to tell people what to do. It’s to reveal. What do we reveal? ‘You’re important.’ You might be important in the things you do. But there’s something even more important than what you do. It’s who you are. And who you are is something about your heart by being open to others. A heart that is not filled with fear.

I’ve been thinking so much about how being your real actual self hinges primarily on not being afraid of your real actual self, and on keeping your heart ripped entirely open so that it can’t scar or shrink or squint, so that it can witness everything, all of it. So this is it. I just mentally embroidered a million pillows. #openhearts2015

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Laneia is the Director of Operations and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here.

Laneia has written 922 articles for us.


  1. Howard Schultz’s rich white capitalist heart might have been in the right place, but man, That Race Together thing is the actual worst idea. Hi, would you like some awkwardly invasive questions with your morning coffee? If you didn’t already feel othered by 8:05 this morning, we’ll be sure to fix that for you!

    Also: “I’ve been thinking so much about how being your real actual self hinges primarily on not being afraid of your real actual self, and on keeping your heart ripped entirely open so that it can’t scar or shrink or squint, so that it can witness everything, all of it.” This is so beautiful and true.

    • Not to mention working in any kind of service job makes you pretty much powerless if a customer were to get upset at you for doing this. People have gotten angry at me for the most inane things, so I can’t even imagine trying to throw race in there.

  2. I’m glad they’re offering a new browser for Microsoft, but it’ll probably be just as bad as the rest of their projects. :\ Also, they’re keep IE on board “for compatibility purposes” which means you can still sneak past firewalls in public schools by opening the file browser and typing an internet link into the address bar. :) I wouldn’t put it past them to charge people for the new browser the same way they charge for the office suite, so that backdoor to IE might be handy in case that happens as well. Eh.

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