Things I Read That I Love #145: It’s Gradual and Sad, or Wild and Thrashing

HELLO and welcome to the 145th 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 XXX! 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.


The Price of Freedom (June 2014), by Jessica Pishko for Guernica Magazine – This is about debtor’s prison, and how the privatization of probation services has lead to a bunch of people spending their lives in jail for fines upon fines upon money they owed for things like their ankle monitors. It’s widening the chasm between rich and poor which we all know is the last thing we need.

Endless Love (February 2014), by Aaron Ben-Zeev for aeon – Some theories on how to make it last a lifetime.

Son, Men Don’t Get Raped (June 2014), by Nathaneil Plen for GQ – “Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it.”

The Plus Side, by Lizzie Widdicombe for The New Yorker – This is an extensive and thorough article about plus-size fashion, fat shaming, fat fashion bloggers, the evolution of our concept of “fat,” the economics of plus-size fashion, the major players in the industry, Lane Bryant’s new attempts to be more fashiony, mainstream fashion brands that don’t want to advertise their plus-size lines and all this other stuff. Nicolette Mason, who is on our team, is quoted!

Lena Dunham Is Not Done Confessing (September 2014), by Meghan Daum for The New York Times Magazine – Meghan Daum is one of my favorite writers and Lena Dunham is a person you might have strong feelings about of the negative or positive variety. Also, I didn’t know that Lena Dunham’s sister was a lesbian.

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture, by A.O. Scott for The New York Times Magazine – It’s kinda funny to realize that I have been reading articles by A.O Scott for most of my life, over twenty years for sure. He reviewed all the movies and I read all the movie reviews. So it’s always interesting to read what somebody has written about a culture they’ve played a role in defining for you. Anyhow, basically this is A.O Scott talking about manchildren and feminism and white men feeling insecure about their status in life and all this other stuff. Take it or leave it.

The Fall Is Hard, Just Look at All The Arts That’s Been Made About It (September 2014), by Rebecca Brown for The Stranger – This was a reader recommendation and I would like to now recommend it to all ye readers out there, I’m certain your love for it will grow within your heart and blossom into a flower. Because it’s just really lovely and I can’t describe it so youll have to read it. Also Rebecca Brown is a lesbian FYI.

But of course people change. Like cherries and apples and berries, we are seasonal. Then after they’re ripe the bushes and trees they grow on are stripped down for the winter. One time in your life a cemetery can be a place for a picnic date. Another time it turns into a place you pray you will not have to visit very often. One time in your life having sex is being a cheerful, hungry kid at a picnic feast. But when a part of you or someone you are trying to love has been messed up by memory or loss or grief then you cannot be a kid like that again.

The Big Stigma Of Being Depressed and Sober (August 2014), by Katie MacBride for The Bold Italic – “Often, people who don’t understand depression will look at someone who suffers from it and roll their eyes. From that vantage point, people who are depressed are weaker and more self-indulgent than the rest of us. No person wants those labels. So we pretend not to exist. We pretend everything is fine.”

Autostraddle cannot exist without the generous support of our readers. We're running the fundraiser through March 29th! We're out of immediate danger...but we had to ask...what if we could survive for longer? Will you help?

Go to our Fundraiser!


Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of 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 3016 articles for us.


  1. I was reading that article about the prison industrial complex and the profiteering of private of probation services at work and I got so angry I had to go take deep breaths in the corner to calm down.

    Looking forward to the rest of these, especially the depression & sobriety one.

  2. I am also really looking forward to “The Big Stigma of Being Depressed and Sober,” mostly because I am those things, and I’d love to hear how someone else views it. I’d promise to report back here when I’m done reading it, but admittedly my TIRTIL list is weeks long and I usually get to a piece a month or two later, and by then you all will be gone.

  3. Thank you so much for including my Bold Italic article on this list! I’m so flattered and I hope you enjoy it. Please share with anyone struggling with similar issues who you think might benefit from reading it. -Katie MacBride

  4. Surprised that death of adulthood piece didn’t mention Obvious Child, which, though I don’t think it passed the Bechdel test, was so friggin’ funny and was also called Obvious Child. Dunno how much more appropriate it could have been for this author’s argument. Still, I really enjoyed that piece.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!