Riese’s Team Pick: The United States of Shame

I’m from Michigan but I live in California so I don’t know what’s wrong with me. What’s wrong with you? This website explains how the math was done.


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Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3019 articles for us.


  1. I bet if we looked, my state would also be best at terrible, pothole-ridden major highways, which contributes to our current dominance in the field of motorcycle crashes. No matter, Virginia’s still the best.


  2. “Nerdiest State” sounds more like it should belong on the “United States of Awesome” map… the title was based on Ohio having the largest number of library visits per capita. Since when is it shameful to go to the library? Totally moving to Ohio.

  3. I’m pretty sure if California’s air pollution is the worst that one day our infertility and poor health will also be the worst. LMFAO @ New Mexico for being the most anti-social.

    Also, is there much difference between alcoholism and binge drinking?

    AlsoAlso, how do you even vouch for ugliness?

  4. It’s funny how the Mormon State has the most porn usage. I don’t think porn usage is a bad thing but whatevs.

    And as a Texan I would like to say that I graduated high school and college.

  5. So I’m not from Maine but in their defense, the label “Dumbest State” is based on SAT scores. With the rankings of the top SAT scores, every state in the top 10 has participation rates between 3% and 7%. Maine has the highest participation rate at 92% so a lot more people are taking it, regardless of their plans post-graduation.

    On the other hand, I would have to agree that Massachusetts having the worst drivers is an objective statement.

  6. On the bright(?) side for North Carolina, we’re pretty awesome when it comes to barbecue, good public universities, and turning two inches of snow into thirty-car pileups! That last one’s should totally count as an art form.

  7. I live in Indiana right now! Definitely least green state. (sigh). I’m from Michigan (we suck at jobs) and went to school in Minnesota.

    Seriously, tornadoes? I mean I know MN gets some, but…wouldn’t you pick like the fricking cold weather? Massive piles of snow?

  8. I was born nerdy, and now I’m known for my arson skillz. Sweet!

    I always heard about the great powder in Colorado, but I thought they were talking about snow.

    Those aren’t homeless people in Oregon. They’re hipsters, and they dress that way because it’s ironic.

    Also, I think the phrase “worst at” is a little confusing. Like, I feel being worst at rape should be a good thing.

  9. I don’t know why, but I love that Oklahoma has the most female criminals.

    Also I’m thinking North Dakota’s ugliest residents may be a tad subjective, especially since there’s only like five people in that state.

  10. The title of this article made me laugh my ass off.

    Also, more reasons why I need to motherfucking move. Going to school to become a teacher in a state with the worst teacher salary in the country sounds like a freaking terrible idea. Gah.

  11. So I was going to get all excited about Ohio being so nerdy, but then I remembered a list I just read of the worst cities for bedbugs and three of the top ten were in Ohio. Kind of a buzzkill, sorry folks.

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