Things I Read That I Love #164: Being Underestimated Is Something Most Women Have In Common

HELLO and welcome to the 164th 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 Dollywood! 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 Roseanne of Literature, by Alexis Jetter for The New York Times, December 1995

This is an article about Dorothy Allison! You will like it because you like her because I like her actually guess what I LOVE HER.

Welcome To Dollywood, by Susan Harlan for Roads & Kingdoms, December 2014

This was important for me to read before going to Nashville and not going to Dollywood because it turned out to be closed, but I still got my fill of Confederate Flag action. Good piece, though, lots of theme dining.

My Lovely Wife, In The Psych Ward, by Mark Lukach for The Pacific Standard, January 2015

Having been someplace similar, I felt a deep affection for this article, particularly when his perception of his usefullness becomes re-framed when he’s told to read up on anti-psychiatry. It was written by a man who met his wife in college, married quickly thereafter, and then was surprised a few years later when she suffered her first psychotic break. He says so many smart and interesting things, like “Even during our best moments as husband and wife, father and mother, we can feel lingering traces of our roles as caretaker and patient. Psychiatric crises are episodic, but they cut deep into relationships and the lacerations take years to mend.”

What Do We Give Up When We Become Freedom-Seeking Entrepreneurs? A Lot, Actually., by Jennifer Senior for New York Magazine, January 2015

YES WOULDN’T IT BE NEAT IF WE HAD AN OFFICE AND COULD SEE EACH OTHER’S FACES WOULDN’T THAT BE SO NICE

If They Run And They Kill Us, So Be It, But We Have To Run Now, by Sarah A. Topol for Matter, October 2014

The author got first-person stories from a few of the girls who escaped Boko Haram the night that they were kidnapping 276 Nigerian schoolgirls at Chibok Government Secondary School. It’s really mind-blowing how brave they were to just get the fuck out of there. The whole ordeal is horrifying and scary. This is a good story.

The Tragedy of The American Military, by James Fallows for The Atlantic, December 2014

“The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.”

Gender, blah, blah, blah, by Katherine Angel for The Los Angeles Review of Books, December 2014

This is brilliant and important and about like, byline counts and other important things about women writers.

“Being underestimated — by men, by women, by themselves — is something most women have in common. We have to work harder from the outset to resist being dismissed, to attain equal footing, and then to maintain it. It’s endless, repetitive work, cut across and intensified by yet other assumptions based on accent, skin color, class, education, dress. And it’s a powerful thing, the learnt reflex to look at a woman and see someone who is by definition unaccomplished, a novice; someone’s disciple, companion, muse; someone with no power or expertise of her own. I’m not immune to it — I’ve caught myself in the act of underestimating women, of having assumed that the woman in the room isn’t the expert in the room. It’s a reflex so disturbing to notice that it’s tempting to pass over it in silence. But it’s a reflex enabled by the shocking paucity of women of authority and expertise across all media — a paucity not easily registered, so used are we to it.”

The Plight Of The Bitter Nerd: Why So Many Awkward, Shy Guys End Up Hating Feminism, by Arthur Chu for Salon.com, January 2015

This is a really good explanation of why this happens and why even understanding why it happens doesn’t make it any less awful or preventable.

The Secret Lives Of America’s Migrant Farmers, by Michael Durbin for narrative.ly, September 2014

This is sort of like somebody’s college essay but in third person, but it’s also really interesting because it does talk about the issue from all sides.


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Riese

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 2986 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. I’m confused by the Dollywood article because, sure she went to the Dixie Stampede, but the Dixie Stampede is very much separate from Dollywood. I don’t know anyone who has ever been to the Dixie Stampede, but I spent most of my childhood summers in Dollywood.

    -an East Tennessee native and, therefore, a Dollywood expert

  2. very excited to read all of these but am currently way too damn tired/inebriated to even properly type this comment so i apologize for any grammatical deficiencies and I express my appreciation and look forward to exploring these articles in the light of day

  3. The Lukach article caught my eye, as a veteran of hospitals. I wasn’t fully aware until my first hospitalization the full extent of damage I was doing to my relationships, and I doubt I am even now (even after the marathon disaster that was spring 2013-August 2014). Still, reading that hurt a lot. Not because he said anything bad or wrong: because I know what he said is true. And when you know your mind can be managed, not fixed, it’s frustrating beyond belief and starts to make you question whether or not you should even expose yourself to other people or cordon yourself off.

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