Lately every second post I do on the Social Medias has been a link to some article I find interesting, along with some deeply insightful commentary like "YES" or "This". I'm gonna keep doing that because I'm a beautiful flower and you're not my Dad, but I'm also going to start doing weekly round-ups of fantastic pieces of writing I've found, partly so I have a place to go back to them easily and partly because they're awesome and everyone should read them. Each recommendation will include links to the writer's Twitter handle or blog and the primary social media account of the website that published it, because publishing good writing is a Good Thing and you should reward people who do it by giving them your Likes and whatnot.
Cool! That was easy to explain. Here's the first week's worth:
"Just get a job, any job. Problem solved. Here’s a job ad I found without knowing anything about your experience or abilities - go for it! If you are offered work where the pay is terrible, barely more than you have now after you take out the cost of working, you must stick with the job, even if it’s awful. Because having money is worth the cost of workplace harassment.
Can’t get work? Travel for work, then. Don’t talk about childcare costs or travel costs or how you won’t be able to pick your daughter up from school on time. Don’t you want this to be over?
Worried about high rent? It’s a no-brainer! Move! Move away from the school that cares so well for your child and the infrastructure that makes your lives liveable when you don’t drive. Don’t talk about the upfront expense of the first month’s rent and bond and removalists costs when you can barely scrape together each month’s rent now. Why won’t you help yourself? And worse, why do you keep explaining how all my simple solutions won’t address the myriad complexities that brought you here and keep you here?"
"There’s a scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where Harry, trapped in the watery basement of Hogwarts, grabs a diary cursed with the spirit of his nemesis Voldemort and, using the fang of a basilisk, stabs the pages of the book to exorcise the darkness trapped within. From the stab wound an inky blood bubbles, and as the spirit is destroyed, a thick stain trickles over the book like a fast-moving bruise. This is the best metaphor I have been able to conjure for my period. In this scenario, once every month-ish I am Voldemort, the diary is my uterus, and Harry Potter wielding a fang is my period."
"To put it another way, the assertion of rhetorical authority is necessary precisely because real authority has vanished. The more the Liberals declare themselves to be adults taking charge, the more they seem like student Tories dressed up in their parents’ clothes. If you’re truly confident that you’re dignified and mature, you do not insist that the national broadcaster issue a public statement assuring viewers that you’ve never had sex with a dog.
There’s a Yiddish proverb that goes something like: ‘Surrounding yourself with dwarfs does not make you a giant.’ Along the same lines, possessing a bully pulpit from which you can abuse your enemies as children doesn’t, in and of itself, make you seem adult."
"Now, I stand about a finger of tequila under six feet. I work out and would say I’m in decent shape, which means when I’m out alone at night, I rarely ever fear for my safety. Many men know exactly what I mean. Most women have no idea what that feels like — to go wherever you want in the world, at any time of day or night, and feel you won’t have a problem. In fact, many women have the exact opposite experience.
A woman must consider where she is going, what time of day it is, what time she will arrive at her destination and what time she will leave her destination, what day of the week is it, if she will be left alone at any point … the considerations go on and on because they are far more numerous than you or I can imagine. Honestly, I can’t conceive of having to think that much about what I need to do to protect myself at any given moment in my life. I relish the freedom of getting up and going, day or night, rain or shine, Westside or downtown. As men we can enjoy this particular extreme luxury of movement and freedom of choice. In order to understand rape culture, remember this is a freedom that at least half the population doesn’t enjoy."
This is an episode of a radio show and not a piece of writing but calm down it's fine. Click the title link to hear the episode in full or go here for All The Best's blog, which features transcripts and recordings of extended interviews with the piece's subjects.
"In New South Wales, abortions are legal if they put the mother’s physical or psychological health at risk. Most people therefore have to see a counsellor and have theirs under the “psychological health” banner. It’s a bit of a joke, to be honest. We didn’t have time to go under the “physical health’ banner, get letters from my doctor etc. So I just saw the counsellor and she filled out the paperwork. She was just going through the motions.
I told her about my friend’s husband. I was so wounded by it, and so tearfully angry. She shook her head. “He should not have projected on you like that,” she said.
The doctor and anaesthetist and nurses were all incredibly kind. For some stupid reason, I asked the doctor for an ultrasound. He said he’d do it, but he didn’t. Thank god. He informed me that I was fifteen weeks pregnant, and would I sign something agreeing that I would never have children if I went ahead with this pregnancy. I signed it, feeling numb."
"I’ve heard and seen the stories that those of you who followed the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter have seen—women getting groped at cons, women getting vicious insults flung at them online, women getting stalked by creeps in college and told they should be “flattered.” I’ve heard Elliot Rodger’s voice before. I was expecting his manifesto to be incomprehensible madness—hoping for it to be—but it wasn’t. It’s a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder.
I’ve heard it from acquaintances, I’ve heard it from friends. I’ve heard it come out of my own mouth, in moments of anger and weakness."
"The rape joke is that he was your father’s high-school student—your father taught World Religion. You helped him clean out his classroom at the end of the year, and he let you take home the most beat-up textbooks.
The rape joke is that he knew you when you were 12 years old. He once helped your family move two states over, and you drove from Cincinnati to St. Louis with him, all by yourselves, and he was kind to you, and you talked the whole way. He had chaw in his mouth the entire time, and you told him he was disgusting and he laughed, and spat the juice through his goatee into a Mountain Dew bottle.
The rape joke is that come on, you should have seen it coming. This rape joke is practically writing itself."