This post was published on Friday but we just realized it has been backdated this whole time and therefore you didn’t know it existed until just now. We’re sorry!
HELLO and welcome to the 222nd 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 women’s prisons! 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 Trash Heap Has Spoken, by Carmen Maria Machado for Guernica, February 2017
This is GORGEOUS and I want her to write for us so bad.
Every day, I look for myself in other women’s bodies. This is what happens when you never see yourself in television shows or catalogues or movies—you get hungry. In passersby, I seek out a faithful replica of my own full chest: my plastic-bag stomach pooched over jeans, my milk-carton hips, and my face with its peach-pit cheekbones set in coffee grounds. In this way, I see myself in pieces, mostly, and have to assemble my body in my mind.
‘White Trash’ — The Original Underclass, by Alec MacGillis for ProPublica, August 2016
A look at two recent books about the white lower-class and the history that brought us to this moment today where we are currently existing. It was written before Trump’s election but it’s a good look at what we might be wrong about when we conceptualize this group. I’m not sure I’m here for all of it, but it was interesting to read and think about.
The Downfall Of YouTube’s Biggest Star Is A Symptom Of A Bigger Illness, by Jacob Clifton for Buzzfeed News, February 2017
I’m so glad Jacob Clifton is writing big things on the internet all the time.
Because we overlook these folks as they travel from A to B, we assume that A equals B; they never “changed,” they just got their covers pulled. We looked away, in reality, just long enough for the change to occur outside our peripheral vision. The reality is that they were begging for limits, and we didn’t offer them, because they’re too gross to look at. Drawing a self-comforting line between “Reddit dorks” over here and “monsters” over there does nothing to stop them, much less help them. It only serves the rest of us.
A History of Women’s Prisons, by Jessica Pishko for JStor, March 2015
Did you know that until the 1960s, there was only ONE women’s prison in the West? That is one of many interesting things you’ll learn about the evolution of women’s prisons in this here fucked up country of ours.
Why Has It Taken the Menstrual Cup So Long to Go Mainstream?, by Natalie Shure for The Pacific Standard, July 2016
You probably know how I feel about Diva Cups already but the history of menstruation products (as well as the note that there is so little recorded history on this topic ’cause it was so taboo) was interesting enough it ALMOST convinced me to try Diva Cups again but who are we kidding, I’d rather have a tiny hat.
Mary Gaitskill: I Have Nothing Rational to Say About What’s Happening Now, by Helen Chandler for Lithub, February 2017
An interviewish feature with my fave writer, who is apparently releasing a poetry book very soon!
“…People are more secure around you if you’re married. I don’t know why, it’s like you’re a loose cannon if you’re single.” Has she noticed attitudes shifting again since getting back together with Peter? “Now that I’m an identifiable unit again, there’s a level of comfort. I don’t think it’s my imagination, people feel more comfortable with me this way.”
To the Mary-Kate and Ashley Museum We Go, by Mayukh Sen for Racked, April 2016
From the great minds that gave you the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan museum comes another journey into celebrity culture as a museum. I wonder what they’re up to now!
From Clarissa to Gone Girl: Rape, the Novel, and Me, by Amy Gentry for Electric Lit, August 2016
In the courtyard of the dormitory where I lived at the time stood a statue of Diana the huntress. As campus legend had it, her bow was drawn for the men peeping into the windows of the all-women’s dorm across the way. I think about that statue, and about Ovid’s Metamorphoses, so beautiful and wise and funny and also kind of a rape parade; about Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus; and, of course, about Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa. And I realize that what I’m describing here isn’t a list of books I’d like to see banned from the classroom; in fact, it is a list of my favorite books. It also a solid bit of evidence that Western culture is rape culture. Or, to put it another way: rape culture is just culture-culture. If only there were a trigger warning big enough for that.
Why America’s Airports Suck, by Leanna Orr for Institutional Investor, February 2017
I guess I’ve always just accepted that airports are awful. But what if they don’t have to be!!?? This is an interesting history of airport design and a look at the future of some of the worst airports in America — LaGuardia, JFK and Newark.