Things I Read That I Love #166: She Wished She Could Grab The Happiness

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HELLO and welcome to the 166th 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 Mary Gaitskill! 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.

When Cops Break Bad: Inside a Police Force Gone Wild, by Nick Pinto for Rolling Stone, January 2015

WELL THIS IS HORRIFYING. About a police department filled with guys who just wanna kill people — and do, all the time, with very little recourse.

Consent Isn’t Enough: The Troubling Sex of Fifty Shades, by Emma Green for The Atlantic, February 2015

50 Shades of Grey was fucking awful, and I still am flabbergasted that so many women were drawn to a story about a woman who participates in BDSM despite hating it and is like The Worst pretty much all the time. While I don’t feel the author of this article on all of her points, I do feel her on most of them, and am genuinely concerned about the impact this movie will have on BDSM culture.

Growing Up with Mary Gaitskill by Victoria Beale for The Los Angeles Review of Books, February 2015


City of Brotherly Love, by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore for The New Inquiry, February 2015

“This is as close as Looking gets to introducing an oppositional queer politic, one that believes in articulating a queer identity as a challenge to both straight and gay normalcy. But with two words, the conversation is over before it begins. There’s no mention of the violence of gay powerbrokers in San Francisco, who are more than happy to push aside queer and trans youth, elders, HIV-positive people without money, homeless queers, drug addicts, disabled queers, people of color, migrants from smaller towns and other countries, and anyone else unable or unwilling to conform to narrow notions of white middle-class respectability. In fact, San Francisco is a textbook example of what happens when gay people become part of the power structure—they engineer the election of anti-poor pro-development candidates over and over and over again; they advise property owners on how to get rid of long-term tenants; they fight against the construction of a queer youth shelter because it might impact community property values; they arrest homeless queers for getting in the way of happy hour.”

38 Hot Sex Moves That Will Make You A Better Feminist, by Noreen Malone for The Cut, February 2015

OMG if we asked everybody to put their “celebrity spirit animal” on their nametag at an Autostraddle event you guys would be so mad at us! (Apparently that’s what attendees are required to do at the Cosmo Fun Fearless Life Convention.) Anyhow, Cosmo, a women’s magazine I’m jealous of ’cause they can talk about sex and still get advertisers, is on its fifth wave of feminism with a new editor her name is Joanna Coles, she used to be the EIC of Marie Claire.

A Letter From Arnold Prieto, Who Was Executed in Texas on January 21, by Hamilton Nolan for Gawker, February 2015

The latest in Gawker’s series of letters from prisoners on death row. This guy maintains that he was innocent and just coerced into confessing by the police despite there being no evidence of his involvement or even a criminal record. He has since been executed.

Northern Lights, by Nathan Heller for The New Yorker, February 2015

This was interesting ’cause Intern Chloe currently lives in Sweden and was telling us about how you are required to get housing you can afford as in a rich person cannot get a super-cheap apartment, those are saved for people who can only afford super-cheap apartments. I was like omg, that is crazy and awesome! Anyhow, this article asks “Do the Scandinavians really have it all figured out?” It’s not just about Sweden, obvs.


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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder 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 Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, 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. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3211 articles for us.


  1. damn it I want to read all of these right this very moment but I’m supposed to be studying piecewise functions(which are fucking dumb by the way)

    ps sorry if you are into piecewise functions, you do you

      • yeppp well if you or anyone can help me i will be forever grateful! because like i can figure out the equation for the pieces that are just horizontal but then wtf is the other one that’s arching up like a cat…? It looks like the graph for f(x) equals square root something but that’s not right and I am beyond confused and going back to school was supposed to be a good thing but it pretty much 100% sucks.

  2. The Joanna Coles article was so interesting! I read Cosmo every month because my roommate subscribes and I’ve definitely noticed the changes in the content. The article didn’t touch on this, but it’s not all “33 Ways to Please Your Man” anymore. Every issue over the last year or so has had at least something that includes lesbian/bisexual women! Like when they feature real-life couples talking about how they met, or whatever, they’ll put 3 straight couples and the 4th will be two women. I like their “it’s not a big deal, of course you could be dating a person of any gender” attitude.

    • Cosmo started off being very forward-minded – they were pioneers in introducing birth control to women, for starters. I have a friend who writes for Cosmo now and she’s very progressive and well-read with her politics, so I anticipate good things.

  3. I loved that article about Cosmo. Cosmo isn’t quite as trashy as it used to be. I was actually quoted in an article about careers on their website once. I definitely seized that opportunity to use “I was once quoted in Cosmo” as small talk on every first date I’ve been on recently.

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