HELLO and welcome to the 199th 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 Marcia Clark! 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.
Is This The End Of the Era Of the Important Inappropriate Literary Man?, by Jia Tolentino for Jezebel, March 2016
This is the third time in the past six months that Jia Tolentino has managed to express something I have felt in my heart but not had the words to confidently articulate (the first time, the second time) and damn, I’m just glad she exists and is running shit at Jezebel.
Men Explain Lolita To Me, by Rebecca Solnit for Lithub, December 2015
EVERYTHING REBECCA SOLNIT WRITES IS SO GOOD.
When I wrote the essay that provoked such splenetic responses, I was trying to articulate that there is a canonical body of literature in which women’s stories are taken away from them, in which all we get are men’s stories. And that these are sometimes not only books that don’t describe the world from a woman’s point of view, but inculcate denigration and degradation of women as cool things to do.
80 Books No Woman Should Read, by Rebecca Solnit for LitHub, November 2015
So after reading that I had to read this.
No One Is Making Decisions For Me, by Melissa Gira Grant for Buzzfeed, March 2015
Heather Saul was an escort who was attacked by her client, a serial killer of sex workers, and she killed him in self-defense and miraculously, the police believed her story and she has been actually celebrated for doing what she did, an act which saved many more sex workers from also being killed. But the aftermath has been very weird for her. Also she has a dog named Fancy and so do I, so.
The Reckoning, by Pamela Colloff for Texas Monthly, March 2016
Did you read 96 Minutes? I feel like I shared it here a while ago, it was the oral history of the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting. This is the story of Claire Wilson, the 18-year-old pregnant woman who was shot — it killed her baby, and her boyfriend was killed too. This is the story of what happened to Claire after that day.
How Jennifer Garner Went Full “Minivan Majority,” by Anne Helen Peterson for Buzzfeed, March 2016
I’ve never really thought about Jennifer Garner for more than about four minutes, although I thought she was neat in Juno. So I read this and now I have thought about her for more minutes than before.
On Spinsters, by Briallen Hopper for the Los Angeles Review of Books, July 2015
This is mostly not about being queer but there’s a lot of queer stuff in here and well it’s a good read.
It’s hard not to compare Alcott’s grand, broad-shouldered statue symbolizing women’s strength, labor, and potential political power to Bolick’s small silver hood ornament on an unaffordable car. I won’t dwell on what the comparison says about Bolick’s spinster wish. Instead I’ll just say that Alcott writes about spinsters as women of substance, comrades, friends, activists, and insatiable eaters of sardines, whose conversations and shared hopes cause each other’s hearts to glow. And if you want to read a book about spinsters that will inspire you to pursue a purpose in life beyond your own personal wish-fulfillment, you should read Herland or An Old-Fashioned Girl.
Brave Face, by Stacey May Fowles for Hazlitt, March 2016
Sometimes I consider that watching the public reaction to the real Marcia Clark twenty years ago prepared me for a lifetime of tiny gendered slights in the adult workplace and beyond. Watching her now, played with Sarah Paulson’s thoughtful nuance and Murphy’s deliberate feminist undertones, painfully validates all the exhausting experiences that followed. “Marcia, Marcia, Marciawp_postsis a graceful argument against the notion that those in the public eye deserve what they get, and is an indictment of a world that punishes the women who find themselves there.
Insider Baseball, by Joan Didion for The New York Review of Books, October 1988
This is from 1988 but explained so much about what is happening right now, and everything about this is spot-on. “Spot-on.”
“This election isn’t about ideology, it’s about competence,wp_postsMichael Dukakis had said in Atlanta. “First and foremost, it’s a choice between two persons,wp_postsone of his senior advisers, Thomas Kiley, had told The Wall Street Journal. “What it all comes down to, after all the shouting and the cheers, is the man at the desk,wp_postsGeorge Bush had said in New Orleans. In other words what it was “about,wp_postswhat it came “down to,wp_postswhat was wrong or right with America, was not an historical shift largely unaffected by the actions of individual citizens but “character,wp_postsand if “characterwp_postscould be seen to count, then every citizen—since everyone was a judge of character, an expert in the field of personality—could be seen to count. This notion, that the citizen’s choice among determinedly centrist candidates makes a “difference,wp_postsis in fact the narrative’s most central element, and also its most fictive.
My Long, Dark Night In Trumplandia, by Patricia Lockwood for The New Republic, March 2016
Damn this was even better than I expected it to be, it was just exquisitely well-written. Also you will find this week’s headline in this article.
Trump presents a surface with no handle, a wall without a door. He is the opposite of nuclear physics but has the same effect: When you set out to think about his implications, your mind runs up against the problem of scope. “We either have a country or we don’t,wp_postshe told the crowd, as another news team dashed over and bent a microphone down to Babiker.