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Feminism

Mammals

Mammals

Just clench that pelvic floor

She called all the local doulas and hired me because I was cheapest. I still wasn’t sure whether this was a pastime or calling or business or what, but I was leaning toward pastime/calling, as I had neither the desire nor the bandwidth to hustle in this realm. So I asked for the tiniest of honorariums. 

My fellow doulas got wind of this and read me the riot act, because I was undermining the whole community. We all had to charge within the same ballpark. No one cared whether this was my calling or pastime or what; just please charge the standard goddamn rate. I apologized. I hadn’t wanted money to be a thing, but money is always a thing.

Eye to Eye with the Beast

Eye to Eye with the Beast

The fight to decriminalize abortion in Brazil

For these activists, the issue of abortion is one of paramount importance to nothing less than the future of Brazilian democracy. It’s an institution that is besieged and deeply flawed but also somehow still imbued with the hope and creativity that animated the social movements that more than thirty years ago brought an end to the dictatorship and helped draft an inclusive new constitution. Motherhood, in their eyes, must be elective rather than obligatory, if democracy is to be upheld. As Rosado, the Catholic advocate, told me, “There can be no such thing as dignified motherhood if a woman cannot choose to not be a mother.”

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

Dispatch from the California Stripper Strike

The rumblings of revolutions begin small

In all radical labor movements, history is made when ordinary workers disrupt the system that seeks to exploit and silence them. Because of social stigma, wage theft, and sexual assault, the strip club has always been a difficult and dangerous work environment. Today, the stakes have reached a desperate tipping point, even though, technically, thanks to a recent court ruling, we have more legal rights than ever: we have the right to discuss the job while on the job, the right to organize and gather, and the right to unionize, which will give us a voice in the workplace—instead of only a body to be gazed at.

How to Build a Hookers Army

How to Build a Hookers Army

Developing a self-defense system for sex workers requires more than compiling a list of techniques that can be performed in close proximity, in heels, with nails, or in a car. It requires a philosophy of self-love for sex working populations that asserts our right to bodily autonomy and self-protection in a culture that treats many of us in media and in law as disposable people.

Feelings Were Stirred

Hyperbolic comparisons, grinding misogyny to dust

At the catered events and private parties, I wore various uniforms and carried around silver trays of beautifully shaped hors d’oeuvres that sat on topiaries to make them look even more cunningly alluring — which wasn’t necessary but was a thing in that time. I served and was invisible to precisely the characters you describe in your novel. They were younger, more beautiful, and more ambitious than I had ever been, more sure of their success than I had ever dreamed it was possible to be and at the same time trembling with anxiety that the vaunted appointments to fame and accolades and cash advances they believed were their inheritance would not in fact come to them because the world was already turning against them and they might be the last generation to die.

The Freezer Door

The Freezer Door

Every gay bar is an accidental comedy routine

Nobody is innocent, says the ice cube. You’re not as experienced as you think you are, says the ice cube tray. Experience isn’t everything, says the ice cube. What else is there, says the ice cube tray. Feeling, says the ice cube. I don’t understand, says the ice cube tray.

The Bad Feature

The Bad Feature

“Your daddy did my lips”

This is the problem with the politics of desire. The parasite is already within us, and our desires are not our own. It’s not that a “real” self has been colonized by the infrastructures of desire, but that the very thing that we call “self” is composed of that colonization; the self does not exist without it.