I just cleaned this secondhand store the fuck out.
This is an old video from 2009 that somehow only has 700k views, but it’s so worthwhile. Basically, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is on a panel, and during the Q&A portion an audience member asks them to address theories that women are less involved in the sciences because they’re genetically different than men (start at 1:01:30).
There’s a moment of chatter and uneasy chuckling and then Neil steps up and talks about what it’s like to be black in the sciences and it’s dank af. Patient man, sweet man.
When I first got this role I just cried like a baby because I was like, ‘Wow, next Halloween, I’m gonna open the door and there’s gonna be a little kid dressed as the Falcon.’ That’s the thing that always gets me. I feel like everybody deserves that. I feel like there should be a Latino superhero. Scarlett does great representation for all the other girls, but there should be a Wonder Woman movie. I don’t care if they make 20 bucks, if there’s a movie you’re gonna lose money on, make it Wonder Woman. You know what I mean, ’cause little girls deserve that.
My favorite part of this old blanket I stole from my dad is the faded last name from sometime in the 70s next to the slightly fresher (but still red!) ink from sometime in the 90s where he must’ve been like, “Just so we’re all on the same page, this is still my blanket.”
First you’re taught to fear a phantom, a man in black, a man with a knife, a man who’ll pounce in dark alleys. Well-intentioned women—mothers, aunts, teachers—will train you to protect yourself: Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail; it’s easier to grab. Hold your keys in one hand; hold your pepper spray in the other. Avoid dark alleys. When you reach young adulthood, the lessons change. They acquire an undertone of disgust: Don’t drink so much. Don’t wear such short skirts. You’re sending mixed signals; you’re putting yourself at risk.
If you follow the advice and it never happens—if you end up one of the three out of four—you can convince yourself that safety is a product of your own making, a reflection of inherent goodness. But if you’re paying attention, you realize something doesn’t add up. Because it keeps happening: to your sisters; to your friends; to little girls and grown women you’ll never meet, in places like Cleveland, Texas; Steubenville, Ohio; New Delhi. Good people, bad people, neutral. It keeps happening in TV shows and novels and movies—they open on the missing girl, the dead girl, the raped girl. If you’re paying attention, you begin to realize that it isn’t happening. It is being done. And you are not safe. You have never been safe. You were born with a bulls-eye on your back. All you have ever been is lucky.
Cara Hoffman’s 2011 novel So Much Pretty opens on the dead girl. Her name is Wendy White; she’s been missing for five months, and within the first fifty pages we learn that her body “was put to use for months before being found.” In another book, my heart would sink, reading those words. Among many other things, I’m tired of the way this story is told in fiction: from the point of view of the male detective, grizzled and weary, shaking his head over some beautiful broken body. The man represents cynicism; the body, innocence. By the end, his jaded worldview will be confirmed, or he will be saved—either way, he’ll need to see the body. I’ve read enough of this genre to know I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the way it puts women’s bodies to use, as footnotes. The dead girl is the beginning of the man’s story. Being dead, hers has ended before page one.
Aries: This week, your own world is going fall into some kind of strange orbit around you; this week, everything’s going to work out the way you need it to. Every single thing is going to be okay. Try to believe this, try to let it move you, try to let it light your way. This week you can be daring, you can be weird, you can be your best self. Spend your days with the people who believe in your magic even more than you do. Spend your days outside; spend your days with the windows open.