Rebecca Traister on parental leave


Go Set a Watchmen


Some context here and here


This piece made me fall in love with Harper Lee. Something about growing old and infirm in a world you don’t quite belong to, watching the people you love disappear, being taken advantage of, growing close and cantankerous, lashing out at everyone. It was very familiar, and very moving.







Saturday Links

Who doesn’t want new reasons to worry about your nether regions?

I sense a trend piece in the offing.

Who knew?

Renisha McBride

I’m just going to link to this, because if I try to comment, suddenly I’ll be staring in confused horror at a 2,000 word monstrosity.

I tip my hat to you, sir.

Melissa Harris Perry, meh, but I would listen to bell hooks read the phone book.

rsgdfihncklqwefosjk YES. 

Of note.

War and obscurity

One of the most smugly moronic things I’ve read in a while

Since we’ve just been petulantly reminded that the Pope is Catholic, let me draw your attention to the barbarity of our criminal justice system.

Does anyone else remember the sinking realization that all the plots were the same?


This was lovely.

Walmart strikers

I’d argue that it behooves social conservatives to close up the casinos and back off of drugs, as the war on them is possibly the single most effective policy for separating fathers from their children.

Who ARE these people? Who does this?

Marilynne Robinson’s political allegiances are primarily to America.


Time for Links

Who has seen this?

Earths! Everywhere!

Austerity in Kentucky


More reasons to move to Iceland, etc

This confirms all my suspicions

As does this

Emotional labor

Aw swell

5 billion in food stamp cuts over the next year. This is atrocious and terrifying, and it’s not just on Republicans, either. On the off chance you live in the Philadelphia area, Philabundance does great work and always needs help meeting demand for food.

Pregnant workers. Pregnant working women are contributing in two ways–the one the labor market rewards, and the bearing and birthing of workers on whom the economy depends. Something to keep in mind when we talk about “accommodations,” rather than “not punishing women for doing what keeps life, civilization, and your workforce moving along, at great personal cost.”

Hey Philly, let’s not screw this one up, ok?

I give the sexual revolution five more years. Childbirth also sounds increasingly terrifying.

Dinosaur sex. The evangelicals have purity bear–maybe we could have an NFP stegosaurus?


Nancy Wake, via The Toast, who,  by the way, whatever else you may say about them, pay their writers.

New Inquiry is all about the witches right now.

And finally

Some Links

Another petition

It’s all Bruce all the time, here


Small good things

Women at work

“…cultural transformation is harder than legal reform.”

You don’t say.


What is wrong with this picture? 

(Technical quibble/aside: not sure morning-after pill is actually an abortifacient, which is good news.)

Ok so I haven’t actually watched this video because I’m sitting in a coffee shop without headphones, but I bet it’s good. If it turns out to be NSFW, uhhh, sorry?

Today in worst idea ever [via Eve Tushnet]

On thinking pink [via Bitch Magazine]

I forget if we already linked to this, so if we did just consider it a twofer.

Anna Williams articulates something that should be obvious.

For a Fistful of Links

Against innovation

Buttermilk. It’s a thing. And it makes for the most delicious muffins.

Michelle Obama and who’s allowed in the cult of domesticity

Wickedly funny

I just want to be a mermaid

RIP Shulamith, you brilliant wrongheaded beautiful with the coolest name ever.

I think you will find this quiz useful. I know I learned a lot about myself!

This is still a thing, apparently.

“”When you blame others, you give up your power to change,” Hatch said that her mother used to say.”

I totally agree! This is why we should blame the people who get assaulted rather than the ones who commit the assaults! Because, really, who wants molesters to change? We love them just the way they are. You too, rape culture.

But now it’s all kind of fine.

“It felt like she was saying to me, ‘If you wouldn’t have been there that night, it wouldn’t have happened to you.’ Yeah, well, it probably would have happened to someone else.”

What is this crazytalk?

Speaking of children’s books

Housing woes


Are you reading First Thoughts yet? It’s always thought-provoking, and sometimes truly amazing

This is the problem with sexism. It takes the valuable and often constructive energy of social stigma and wastes it on the wrong targets. TO RECAP: Kristen Stewart cheats on her boyfriend with director Rupert Sanders, becomes the town pariah, and is dropped from the movie of which she is the eponymous main character. Rupert Sanders cheats on his wife with his much younger ingenue and….nothing. Chris Brown batters a woman and receives a VMA.

Of course, it’s hard to imagine a celebrity culture that wasn’t monstrously sexist.

Feminist Disney princesses. Tiana is still my favorite.

Except for Anastasia. She is the best. Hands down no competition shut the front door.

Quick and Random

I love Betty Duffy.

This is amazing. Oh Naomi, how are the mighty fallen. You should have quit while you were ahead in the days of your Beauty Myth glory.

Uhh, not sure how I feel about linking Taylor Swift to Dolly Parton. Ok, I am sure, and I don’t like it. Speaking of which, can we watch this video?


As William put it, “it’s like the Pinterest version of German Expressionism.”

I will not lie, I love me a good Katie Roiphe takedown.

“In Praise of Messy Lives underscores that, though a nimble writer, she simply hasn’t bothered to expand her perspective much beyond herself and her immediate circle of similarly employed, respectably moneyed, self-consciously bohemian friends and colleagues.”

Worth a read.

This made my day a week or so back.

Jane overload

Are you reading this blog yet?

 xx album

I love this piece

I forget to do trigger warnings most of the time; I think they have a place though, not so much for survivors in general but for people who are in the throes of PTSD specifically.

Leah Libresco speaks up for Jen McCreight

Make sure you read her required reading at the bottom. I’ve only ever gotten threats and insults from angry misogynists in person, so you know, I count myself lucky. This is a very safe private corner of the internet, but not everyone else is so sheltered by obscurity.

More on women and their bodies

The “you are beautiful, love your body” talk has always grated on me a little, in part because it presumes that women don’t want primarily a deeper knowledge of their bodies, greater respect for the work their bodies do, better health for their bodies, more freedom with which to move their bodies and simply be human, but mainly a gentler way of looking at their bodies.

And here. Just because my my friend liked me enough to drop these in my lap, and I like you enough to drop them in yours. Notice the Simone Weil shout out.

Update: ALSO this is so awesome.

Basically a Heap of Awful

Sign this?

I have scant faith in the efficacy of these petitions, but this is awful.

Speaking of awful, this is disgusting.

A response here

Something good. This is an industry overwhelmingly composed of women,  often women with families to support, and they are the first to disappear in the having-it-all dithering. Via Politico.

Ok, back to the awful. Via Feministing, I think?

But at least we don’t live with this guy?

On the other hand

Oh please. There are less embarrassing ways to raise circulation.

Because we need a break. I’ve only ever tried coral, but it worked out really well.  As do these, if you’re looking for something more natural.

This is maybe awful only for me.

Critics and lady writers

Despite all my delightful schadenfreude, I would like to see a lot more about

“the way we talk about age and gender is fucked up”

and a lot less “Oh noez, what if I can’t produce a perfect child? Is my fertility losing its MARKET VALUE?”

Back to the awful

Via William I think, crime and punishment

Read this just for this line:

“Women are entitled to their choices, of course….but isn’t it awfully convenient that we never question the institutions of power that happen to arrange themselves in such a way that women have little real choice about breastfeeding?”

This applies to a whole lot of other things, I think.

This made me sad, but is an excellent excuse to post this

And that, my friends, is all I have stomach for at present. If you want a palate cleanser, Cat Power’s new album is pretty cool.

There’s A Link in My Sink.

And a snake in my boot. And a tear in my beer. Don’t ask me to explain.

Catholic Church in some kind of huge trouble. Pope found to be Catholic.

You know how I know a guy is worth talking to? He doesn’t do this.

Violence, queer and official.

More Pussy Riot! (thanks,


To be honest, this all just sounds like more reason to support them.

I’m glad hooking up is becoming more stigmatized, and especially glad that the stigma has become mostly egalitarian. I’m not sure, though, how a fairly abstract responses to a set of survey questions will translate into actual social behaviors and interactions. Something tells me that the real picture is a bit messier.

Eve Tushnet on her work in a crisis pregnancy center

William sent this to me. It’s pretty interesting.

Relevant to our book club

This is why everyone is in love with Emma Stone

Bryce Covert is great, and a much more civil interlocutor than I will ever be

Ok, I’m glad someone else understands, but seriously lady, keep yer hands off my man

Also, where was Rookie when I was in high school?

Two takedowns of this article

Via The Hairpin, I want her outfit and her life. Actually, I’d settle for being her nanny–I’m sure all that cool is catching.

The buildings we live in, etc.



Good Night, Links

Read this

And this

Seriously, E.L. James. Stay away from my literary heroines. Also, who ever compares herself to Tess of the D’Urbervilles? Like, in a good way?

You should probably go listen to Sady Doyle’s album list.

This only seems like a good thing to me. It also seems mainly a phenomenon of the middle to upper class. Of note: the subheading “Artisanal Fathers” cracked me up. Also, this line: “Hey ladies–who’s up for some breastfeeding and decaf skinny lattes?” Does anyone actually say things like this? Why are they allowed to live with us?

I was educated by nuns like these . They are the best . Was your school cheer “Live mercy! Seek justice!” ? Didn’t think so.(Although at the time my main reaction was “ughh can’t we just have pep rallies like normal schools?”)

So I get why there is real pain and confusion over the Vatican’s investigation of the LCWR. But what places who spin it as evil repressive Vatican repressively repressing kick-ass sisters fail to notice is that these nuns are consecrated brides of Christ (this, among other reasons, is why when traditionalist types make fun of sisters for their haircuts or pantsuits or lack of habits, you should probably punch them), and most of them take that extremely seriously. Their work for the poor and marginalized is the concrete expression of their love for Jesus.  And when prayer is removed from their lives, or someone starts talking about moving beyond Jesus, it also creates pain and confusion in the community; it injures them and their ability to carry out this great work they do.

Liberals and conservatives: take your stupid agendas from my church and away from my sisters. It’s just more complicated than that.

Pussy Riot has been sentenced to a two year prison term, starting from when they were first imprisoned six months ago. Here are their closing statements. More Pussy Riot.

So Heinous. This sounds like the equivalent of the difference between not letting  a woman throw her baby in front of a speeding car, and legally requiring her to jump in front of  a speeding car so she can die with her baby.

I’m not sure how I feel about confessional culture, except that I don’t think I like it all that much (at least from other people. I love talking about myself), but I think Doyle is definitely on to something about asserting the legitimacy and importance of vulnerability.

I think Lindy West is the main reason I haven’t given up Jezebel.

We all have our thoughts and feelings about Hillary Rodham Clinton and that interesting intersection between “rich privileged white lady” and “feminist icon” she embodies, but you must admit she has the schoolmarm awesome thing down.

bahahaha I can’t wait to do this to some kid.

This is exactly as much as I feel like saying about Helen Gurley Brown.

Via The Hairpin, everything about this is arghh arghh arghh. ARGH.

I wish I could make these into flyers and pass them out.

School stuff

Lady, Can I Buy You a Link?

Ok, so I was going to write a take-down of this piece (Large families less likely to have computers THIS IS SO TERRIBLE I CAN’T EVEN FIND MY PEARLS TO CLUTCH THEM), but then I realized I’d be allowing myself to be trolled even more egregiously than usual, because the essay is just. so. stupid. Read it though, if you need a laugh.

It’s always admirable and refreshing to see those on the religious right attacking misogyny. Bravo to First Things for publishing this. Also, I think this article supplies what was lacking in the first by problematizing wifely submission in the Christian tradition a bit more. Somebody remind me to finally write something on this.

Thank you, mom, for never letting me read Cosmo–although I think these problems are  universal among women’s magazines, if not always so garishly obvious.

Reasons you should love Pussy Riot:


Sorry, did you not catch that? That they are an anonymous all-female punk band who pled at the altar of a church for our Blessed Mother to throw Putin out?

“Holy Mother, throw Putin out!”

Yeah, I don’t think we need any more reasons either. To be fair, storming into a church is at best an ambiguous move–it could be read as aggression towards religion, or a return to the church as a place of sanctuary, a radical affirmation of the Church’s freedom and authority. I tend to read it the second way, but I’m not Orthodox, so I don’t know what the story is over there. Either way, they’re brave ladies and I’m glad they’ve found champions in–if not high places, at least highly visible ones.

Speaking of the Blessed Mother, I’ve never had this kind of encounter with her, but I’m not giving up hope.

Admit it. You’ve been conned, you’ve been suckered. You like Anthropologie. You won’t admit it, you pretend you’ve never walked in penniless to bask in their goddess-y, jasmine-and-musk candle scented air, to feel for twenty minutes that all was lovely and all was right, including you– you tell yourself that you’re not stupid enough to think that sighing romance can be branded and sold. But you don’t fool me. You like it in there, and I do too, more fool us.

The good news is, some (not most) of their clothes really are quality, and sometimes they go on sale for twenty bucks.

Well thank goodness.

Jessica Valenti is wary of The Atlantic’s new ladyblog, and doesn’t think much of mainstream media ladyblogs in general. I tend to agree , especially with The Atlantic–after all, they gave us Caitlin Flanagan’s musings on women.

Ok, I swore I wasn’t going to say anything about Chik-fil-A because, really? Also, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as activism to nom on either orange mocha latte frappucinos OR delicious chicken sandwiches. Vaclav Havel is shaking his head at you. But anyway, I liked Calah Alexander’s take on the whole manufactured non-event.

Of course, if activism is merely an excuse for stuffing your face with delicious chicken sandwiches, than I heartily understand, support, and laud you.

Well, this is interesting.

I love this.

I’m sorry, this series just seems awful in a kind of fantastic way.

Via Feministing, this is great in an angsty introspective way.

Men, if you read the next link, any cooties or trauma not my problem.

I know I’m late to this party, but I kind of want to learn to chart my cycle.

Kyrie eleison.

Some more awful.

Now I’m just depressing myself.

Morning Linkage

Interesting thoughts on the culture war.

One brave lady.

Have I ever mentioned my thesis adviser defended her dissertation hours before giving birth?

I’m so glad they brought this to court.

Read this.

Lest we pat ourselves on the back for not having this, let’s remember that we have plenty of this. And this.

I feel like when the Times says “Complex Emotions” they mean “We really tried to find someone to say they hated her, but couldn’t.”

Or maybe I am just a ball of paranoiac snark. In any case, it would be cool to do a road trip pilgrimage one summer to the shrines of all the North American saints. We could write a book about it and call it On the Rosary.

A friend of mine wrote this, and it’s awesome.


Update: some good news for once. 

This lady sounds, in a weird way, kind of awesome.

Links Roundup

Like Woody’s Roundup, see, except I get to be Jessie.

Well, this is an interesting take on the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope that has plagued womankind (buy me a beer and I will tell you the stories) since…actually I don’t know when this started. Prize for whoever who can find the earliest instance of the MPDG in print, film, or mythology.


Yes yes yes

What. Is this.

I really think there should be a line of liquor called Feminine Spirits. Having some on hand would certainly help me deal this kind of thing better.

Against the literary.

This essay comes close to nailing what I have been inarticulately fumbling to express to my cultured friends for ages.

One of the reasons I distrust garden-variety self-styled progressives is that so many of them have been so unwilling to call Obama out on this.

This is so wrong.

Seriously?? You interview one of the most accomplished media personalities ever to grace NPR, and you ask her

a) Whether she wanted children

b) Whether she’s a lesbian

and c) How she feels about people wanting to screw her.

You stay classy, Andrew Goldman.

I’m not sure “swagger” and the hyper-aggressive pursuit of profits are good traits in anyone, man or woman–but as long as our current economic structure rewards these behaviors, it’s really frustrating that ladies aren’t allowed to exhibit them. Businesswomen, take note.

Fairy tales!

I wish Amy Poehler would give me advice.

This is a BIG DEAL. Oh yes, it is. Just you wait.

If you are anything like me, you were a little dismayed to hear that Catwoman would be played by someone who’s career high, I firmly maintain, is still The Princess Diaries. “Why?” you asked. “Why would they pick someone who exudes all the charged, smoldering danger of a bunny rabbit? Have we forgotten the sad travesty that was Becoming Jane? Were all your other femme fatales busy? Did Penelope Cruz have a lunch date that day?” Well, I was wrong, and so are you. Anne Hathaway is, against all odds, fantastic. She nails the role and steals the show, and never has eating my words been more enjoyable.

Of course, that does not excuse this.


Bracketing the total ruination this movie seems poised to wreak on the novel, Keira Knightley? I get it. She’s everyone’s go-to period piece actress, looks great in a corset, etc. But Anna is supposed to be this gorgeous, warm, full-bodied creature of passion and tenderness, not some starveling waif obsessed with the sharp angles own jawline.  Kate Winslet should be playing this role. Ugh.

And, of course, RIP Sally Ride.



Links from Last Week (ish)

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Accommodating pregnancy in the workplace, and other crazy ideas.

Sexual Objectification, Part 4

Read the whole series.

Yes, asshats everywhere, rape jokes can be funny.

Yours just wasn’t.

Are you serious?

Mrs. Darwin knocks it out of the park

on fantasy and romance novels.

Most of my thoughts on having it all

Why do women need to have it all? Why can’t we choose something that we really want and miss out on other things (how many men think they have to be Harvey Homemaker and Sylvester CEO)? Why do our lives need to be perfect for our choices to be valid?

A Review of Welcome Wagon

Has anyone else read and loved Neil Gaiman?

He cites Chesterton as an influence, funnily enough.

ATTN: You are currently reading a ladyblog.

Like, so meta.


made me think of


I am so sorry.

Immigration is a family issue

Mass incarceration is becoming everyone’s problem,

thank the Lord.

Also, since it was just Bastille Day, here is a present for you.

You are welcome. Happy Monday!