(Originally posted: 11/18/17)
Last Tuesday, on the afternoon before my birthday, I sat down on my couch to write about turning 28 and what a tough year 27 had been. Nothing too revolutionary, I know. Also, I fully admit there are few things more obnoxious than a twenty-something sharing her thoughts on aging. It’s like: Go fight a war! Get a mortgage! Freeze your eggs! Then talk to me about your experience of life on earth.
Still, I was convinced I had something interesting to say about Trump, elected on my birthday, having dominated a precise, full year of my life, and also how his presidency has warped the very idea of time itself.
I had just gotten comfy with my laptop and a fort of productivity pillows when my buzzer rang. When I opened my door, my best friend Melanie was standing there, holding a box of cookies. I screamed “No!” and “HOLOGRAM!” and fell to the floor before I finally accepted she was real.
You see, Melanie was supposed to be in Boston, where she lived. She’d even gone as far as to send me a decoy pic updating me on the progress of the beets she was growing in her garden (to answer your q: No, I didn’t ask for the pic and yes, I have found great joy in making fun of her for choosing to grow beets of all things).
But she wasn’t. She was at my door, admonishing me for not checking first before buzzing up a stranger and offering me the most perfect distillation of 2017: a year that could have been trash (was trash in so, so many ways) was saved for me by my friendships with remarkable women.
Women of wit and gumption and grace. Steel and soul.
Women who will march with you and rage with you and text you off a ledge and recommend you a good dispensary or a therapist or a gynecologist or a lipstick that won’t collect in the inner corners of your lips like pond scum.
Women who will help you move and clean out your closet and make fun of your old choices while still loving all the people you've ever been.
Women who will read a boy who hurt you to filth and gossip with you till 2 am because there is power in the deceptively silly ways women have learned to bond against a broken reality.
Women who will fly six hours to watch Keeping the Faith and eat cookies with you on your birthday and take you to the aquarium to stand before the sharks because that is where you feel safe.
Today is the one-year anniversary of when I started Staunchly. None of this would be possible—this silly newsletter I am strangely proud of—without the support of this almighty femme-cult of miraculous women.
So much love to you all.
Here is a 12-minute video of Cher performing all the parts in a condensed version of West Side Story, which I somehow just saw a couple days ago (via my friend Charlie’s Facebook). As expected, Cher’s smoky vocal range makes her a more natural fit for the role of Bernando than, say, Maria. That is 95% of the joy.
We are in a moment of deep, guttural reckoning. A tidal wave, millennia-in-the-making, of female pain is flooding the culture. Rebecca Traister is the writer of this moment.
I hate it. And I’m glad. I’m so glad we’re doing it. And I’m in hell.
I Have Been Raped by Far Nicer Men Than You.
I loved Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri. I wonder if I would loved it slightly less if I saw it in a different era, when feminist justice was not the flavor of the year and my appetite for it, insatiable. Frances McDormand gives a performance that sparks and crackles and burns. I can’t stop thinking about. She is my vengeance icon for 2017.
Al Franken, Disappointment.
A reminder: there are a lot of ways for men on Capitol Hill to make your life miserable that don’t involve them rubbing their dick on you in an elevator or some variation therein. In the process of researching my piece about sexism in Congress, some of the worst stories I heard involved a militant senior staff member in the House. He was gay, so he didn’t want to bang any of the women he terrorized. But make no mistake: He terrorized them.
Rethinking the way we think and talk and write about Bill Clinton.
As much as I am disappointed in Democratic men, I am proud that we, as liberals, are trying to meet this moment of introspection head-on. Roy Moore and Republican Cowardice.
“Watching the men on television argue back and forth about what Roy Moore did or didn’t do is like watching color-blind people trying to explain what the color red looks like” – Liz Meriwether for The Cut.
I harbor very strong, mostly negative opinions about the city of Boston, so it’s hard for me to be objective about their unofficial ambassadors: the Brothers Affleck and the Nation’s Most Boring White Man Matt Damon (do NOT get me started on Mark Wahlberg). Still, I’m happy that the culture is starting to embrace the idea that these men are trash.
How, if You’re a Man, to Deal With the Fact That You’re Probably Trash.
We need to address the lack of socioeconomic diversity in the #MeToo movement.
Louis C.K. is Done, wrote Matt Zoller Seitz, in another absolutely killer piece for Vulture, and it’s time for the culture to readjust.
There’s no reason to feel remorse for disinvesting affection we sank into artists who are later revealed to be criminals or abusers. There’s no reason to have qualms about stamping their work “Of Archival Interest Only” and moving on to something new — not just new work, but a new paradigm for relationships in show business, and all business. The women who came forward opened themselves to being ostracized and re-traumatized. The only reason they spoke up is to make show business, and the world, safer and more humane. Time to listen.
Women-created art is presumed biographical. Men get to make art about ideas.
Being a Female Comic in Louis C.K.’s World.
Why I Denied My Assault for 20 Years by Eddie Huang
Some lighter fare:
The Joy of Not Wearing a Bra.
I’ll never tire of reading about the beauty routines of women with super gorgeous skin.
I’m obsessed with Omarosa.
I fully bawled looking at photos from Serena’s wedding.