HELLO and welcome to the 254th 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 Missy Elliot! 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.
On Liking Women, by Andrea Long Chu for n+1, November 2017
Reading this essay was the highlight of my Thursday so I want to make it the highlight of your Friday, also I want Andrea to write for Autostraddle. I feel like the time has come to question and smash up a lot of what we hold dear and I appreciate iconoclasm from an unexpected direction.
It seems never to have occurred to Jeffreys that some of us “transgenders,” as she likes to call us, might opt to transition precisely in order to escape from the penitentiary she takes heterosexuality to be. It is a supreme irony of feminist history that there is no woman more woman-identified than a gay trans girl like me, and that Beth Elliott and her sisters were the OG political lesbians: women who had walked away from both the men in their lives and the men whose lives they’d been living. We are separatists from our own bodies. We are militants of so fine a caliber that we regularly take steps to poison the world’s supply of male biology. To TERFs like Jeffreys, we say merely that imitation is the highest form of flattery. But let’s keep things in perspective. Because of Jeffreys, a few women in the Seventies got haircuts. Because of us, there are literally fewer men on the planet. Valerie, at least, would be proud. The Society for Cutting Up Men is a rather fabulous name for a transsexual book club.
I Watched “Die Hard” for the First Time, by Richard Brody for The New Yorker, August 2017
I, too, watched Die Hard for the first time last week. And then the next two Die Hard films. I don’t know how this happened, it just did. But then I had a lot of questions for America.
How Tough Is It to Change a Culture of Harassment? Ask Women at Ford, by Susan Chira and Catrin Einhorn for The New York Times Magazine, December 2017
Sexual harassment and predatory behavior at Ford plants that goes back decades and wow how little the people in charge have done to stop it.
Hot, Sticky and Sweet, by Keaton Lamle for The Bitter Southerner, February 2017
This is about donuts and Krispy Kreme associating itself with southern nostalgia and southern nostalgia in general. I remember when KK was all the rage and there was a store on the Upper West Side we kept going to and then a few years later they were in gas stations and now we’re all here. There’s some interesting stuff about Dunkin’ Donuts and its strategy in here too, which reminded me of this excellent New York Magazine feature from over a decade ago.
How Missy Elliott Became an Icon, by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah for Elle Magazine, May 2017
This showed up on a lot of year-end best-profile lists because… it is really really great!
I spent those first early summer weeks in Atlanta fucking up the norms of my cousin’s neighborhood, a place where the social codes seemed to be as thick and intricate as in Downton Abbey or any E. M. Forster novel, but with sweet tea and beepers. I was greedy to fit in and also aware I never would. We had been there for two weeks when I saw her, sitting on her “Hill’s like Lauryn / Until the rain starts, comin’ down, pourin’.” Years later, she would put it all into words and boast, “For those of you who hated / You only made us more creative.” The double entendres, the hair flipping, the irreverent eye rolls, the smirks, the wink, and the symbolic power of putting on an ink-colored balloon suit and becoming blacker, larger, lovelier, and gigantic with daring weren’t lost on me.
“Oh My God, This Is So F—ed Up”: Inside Silicon Valley’s Secretive, Orgiastic Dark Side, by Emily Chang for Vanity Fair, January 2018
An excerpt from a new book…
In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society, by Mara Hvistendahl for Wired Magazine, December 2017
THIS IS A TERRIFYING PROSPECT. What if your credit score determined everything about how you were able to move through the world and what if it started taking into account things that have nothing to do with money or how you spend it and you have no ability to appeal your assessment.
Why We Fell For Clean Eating, by Bee Wilson for The Guardian, August 2017
Recently I was talking to a friend about how diet culture (like the Jenny Craig / Weight Watchers / diet magazines / Snackwells cookies / aerobics mania situation) was so huge in the ’80s/’90s and how that’s not really true anymore but then I realized that maybe we’ve just replaced it with a different type of obsessive meal planning culture.
Blame: Was the death of Jill Wells an accident or murder?, by Kevin Vaughan for 9 News Colorado, February 2017
I’LL TELL YOU WHAT MY FRIENDS…. I THINK IT WAS MURDER
(read this on a computer, it has multi-media elements)
American reams: why a ‘paperless world’ still hasn’t happened | News, by David J Unger for The Guardian, December 2017
I love thinking about the pros and cons of paper books vs. e-books because I don’t think there’s a clear winner on either side. I love paper. I love reading about paper! Paper conferences, who knew!?