“That we don’t yet have a language online for grief is not a new discussion. Recently friends of mine launched a website attempting to address just this problem. But it’s worth noting we also have yet to create a real vernacular for the grey areas in life; the long moments in between drinks with friends, beautiful sunsets, and well-put together outfits. Life, basically. And all its messiness.”—Glynnis MacNicol for Elle
Earlier today, the producer known as BOOTS (i.e. Jordy Asher), released two new tracks from his debut mixtape, WinterSpringSummerFall. One of those tracks just happens to be the Beyoncé assisted jam ‘Dreams’, which serves as the closing track off of the mixtape. Beyonce’s sweet high notes and Boots’ smooth crooning sound like a match made in heaven, though it makes sense considering BOOTS was the producer/songwriter behind Beyoncé’s sneaky self-titled album that was released late last year.
BOOT’s has released the song with the intention of benefiting the charity Day One, an NYC organization devoted to stopping teen dating violence.
“In San Francisco last year, a man stabbed a woman in the face and arm after she didn’t respond positively to his sexually harassing her on the street.
In Bradenton, Fla., a man shot a high school senior to death after she and her friends refused to perform oral sex at his request.
In Chicago, a scared 15-year-old was hit by a car and died after she tried escaping from harassers on a bus.
Again, in Chicago, a man grabbed a 19-year-old walking on a public thoroughfare, pulled her onto a gangway and assaulted her.
In Savannah, Georgia, a woman was walking alone at night and three men approached her. She ignored them, but they pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her.
In Manhattan, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was killed when men catcalling from a van drove onto the sidewalk and hit her and her friend.
Last week, a runner in California — a woman — was stopped and asked, by a strange man in a car, if she wanted a ride. When she declined he ran her over twice.
And, lest we forget, we’re one big happy planet family here and this exact same dynamic happens the world over in varying degrees and to varying effect. Women operating freely and independently in public is a relatively recent historical development, a shift in social order. Street harassment acts like a thermidor.
What happened to this girl in Florida should make everyone pause. If he did what he’d done in India, people here might be inclined to say, “What a horrible place that is for women.” (Which is true.) Instead, what we say is, “He’s a lunatic,” or, better still, “What was she doing for him to think he could stop and offer her money for sex?” While this man is dangerous, he’s probably not mentally ill. If he is, then so are the millions of other men that feel entitled to assault and brutalize children and women and “othered” people every day.
“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.”—Anthony Mackie, via this article I can’t make a hyperlink to because I’m on my phone: http://flavorwire.com/452040/captain-america-star-anthony-mackie-is-right-kids-deserve-more-diverse-superhero-movies/
“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.”—Katie Coyle on So Much Pretty for The Female Gaze
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.
I got an Amazon giftcard for my birthday, so I want to invest in some dank books. Specifically short story collections, essay collections, memoir, and feminist littttt (doesn’t have to be text book-y).
“Maybe, as a successful adult, I am not supposed to say things like, “My outlook on life and conception of myself as a person are thanks largely in part to a television show about a teenage detective,” but if that’s the case I don’t really want to be a successful adult. When I started watching Veronica Mars, it was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college, and I had developed a personality that was largely centered on letting terrible dudes push me around and make me feel awful about myself, and I was very sad, all the time. And then I watched Veronica Mars, which is about fathers and daughters and class warfare and high school and murder and most of all, to me, the triumphs and pitfalls of being a smart, tough girl in a world that would rather you be stupid and compliant.”—Katie Coyle
After my friend Christine’s dad died, she gave everyone who worked with her at the soup kitchen a plastic bag filled with birdseed. The bags had a little tag on them with a picture of cardinals and a note about how her dad loved feeding birds, so we should feed them in his memory. I had never met her dad and I only knew Christine from the hours we spent together every Wednesday afternoon cooking alongside a lot of other volunteers, but it was also impossible to be anywhere near her and not know her. She let everyone in to her world, which was fascinating, larger than life. She had been so many places and known so many interesting people. All the New York things I’d read novels about, Christine had experienced, and she also knew the people who wrote those novels. Now she worked as an art restorer and spent a lot of time cooking and dishing out food in a soup kitchen in Greenpoint.
I didn’t have a backyard or birdfeeder, so I just put the seed out on my windowsill. Birds came and ate it, which seemed slightly miraculous. How did they know to come? After the bag ran out, I bought more. More than a year later, I still put some out every morning. Mostly mourning doves come, but occasionally also juncos and finches.
Christine took her own life last Friday — I’m now hearing she had a bad chemical reaction to newly prescribed antidepressants, which makes the senselessness of her death extra horrible. It seems impossible. She was so much more alive than most people.
This morning I heard the unmistakable metallic chirp of a cardinal and went to watch him eat the seed. He sang as he ate, loud and full of life, with his majestic crest flaring in the early sunlight. Christine, I thought.
I know the idea that someone who has died comes and visits you in some reassuring form is silly, childish wishful thinking. I believe that at the same time that I believe that Christine’s spirit is in the world still, in birds and cats and people, in everything that sings loudly and proudly and is absolutely always purely itself.
I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
One event that illustrated the gap between the Africa of conjecture and the real Africa was the BlackBerry outage of a few weeks ago. Who would have thought Research In Motion’s technical issues would cause so much annoyance and inconvenience in a place like Lagos? But of course it did, because people don’t wake up with “poor African” pasted on their foreheads. They live as citizens of the modern world. None of this is to deny the existence of social stratification and elite structures here. There are lifestyles of the rich and famous, sure. But the interesting thing about modern technology is how socially mobile it is—quite literally. Everyone in Lagos has a phone.
“I do think, also, that—oh god, now this is really the stuff of shitty women’s magazines and heteronormative nightmare trend pieces—but I think that having it all can be a stumbling block for men, but it’s a stumbling block for the kinds of men you absolutely don’t want in your life. Your general togetherness and attractiveness, when paired with a cautiousness and quietness upfront, is really fluffy bunny ass for a traditional man. When you show your sharp bunny claws, though, this kind of man is going to turn cold and turn tail and run. The magazines will tell you to fluff up your tail and play down your giant brain. I’m going to give you the opposite advice. If I were you, I would try flashing the bunny claws earlier, to see what you’re dealing with. Is this a bunny chaser, or a guy who likes real assertive happy human women? Mutter a few ribald remarks, make your opinion crystal clear, then look the guy frankly in the eye as if to say, “That’s me, buddy. Like it or lump it.” Many, many men with an eye for a princess will get gone real quick-like after that.”—This week’s Ask Polly rules, again
GILBERT: psst psst [Anne does not turn] Hey. Hey, Carrots. Carrots. [ANNE smashes her slate against the edge of the desk and holds a jagged edge to GILBERT’s neck] ANNE: say carrots again go on say carrots again [GILBERT shakes his head ferociously, wide-eyed and silent] ANNE[presses the tip of the shard into his throat]: no, come on do it GILBERT[whispered]: I don’t want to ANNE: My hair’s red. You notice that? [Gilbert nods carefully] ANNE: ‘Course you did. You’re a smart guy. You know what else is red, smart guy? [GILBERT is silent. ANNE twirls the tip of her slate until a single drop of blood appears at the pressure point] you wanna tell me what else is red
When researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington observed young people’s behavior in bars, they found that the man’s aggressiveness didn’t match his level of intoxication. There was no relationship.
Had a conversation with a friend the other month where I told him there was a “0% chance” of me caring when a dude says hi to me in a bar, and he was surprised by my answer. We had a good back and forth about whether that was specific to me personally or reflective of a general tude among any person in any bar in any place (conclusion was a little from column A, little from column B), but this article makes me feel so validated. Congrats on seeing my tits from across the room and thinking they looked cool. Pls die and go away.
I saw Short Term 12 a while back, and this entire time I've been wondering where I've seen the actress that plays Jayden before. It just dawned on me today that it is you. Literally you.
I’ve never been on this thickness level with the eyeliner, but I can see where you’re coming from. WISH I WASN’T ALWAYS REMINDING PPL OF MOODY TEENS, BUT WHAT YA GONNA DO? 25 AND STILL ON DAT KAY PANABAKER TIP.