Staunchly, vol. 54: NXIVM Reject is My Brand


Dragon energy! Sex cults! The Golden State Killer Captured! Shania Twain sucks now! In terms of just straight messing with my head, this week did impress me much.
I had a tricky time this week personally, for reasons I won’t go too deep into. I will say this: friendship is a living, breathing thing, especially female friendship—messy, miraculous—and there may be a time when expressing yourself in the most honest and authentic way you can snags against the emotional integrity of someone you care deeply about. I’m at such an impasse right now and I'm not really sure what to do, except be diligent about my meds and hope that things will work out soon.
In the meantime, thank you so much for supporting Staunchly (whoaaa hardpivots [@] me [dot] com). Remember you can read all the archives at the sparkly new website,, and shop the merch as well!  



ICYMI: The guy who threatened me (via a mutual friend) to stop me from writing an essay about sexism in Senate offices (said it would effectively destroy my career then tried to kill the piece) tweeted this week that he stands in solidarity with the women speaking out against the hostile environment at his former workplace.
Hmmmmmmm. [Insert emoji with monocle and look of suspicion here].
Ok, bud.


1. Joint Didion

…is now on iTunes! Listen, rate, review, subscribe—all the usual stuff podcast tycoons say!
2. Smoked

Lauren Dunitz, my partner in life and podcast, made a movie! It’s the female-directed, -written, –starring, and –executive produced stoner short comedy you always dreamed of. It’s biting, smart, tender, and very very funny, and the world needs to see it. The team behind it just needs a little extra push getting the project past the finish line (into the goal? through the net? homerun?). If you can, please donate to their Seed & Spark fund to help cover the post-production costs that really make a movie a movie. We’re talking editing, color-correction, sound design, score, submissions to festivals, etc. Sexy, sexy stuff. What a great opportunity to support female filmmakers!!
3. An Absolute Nobody

My friend Faye Orlove—artist; animator, activist; founder of Junior High, a singular community art space for marginalized voices in Los Angeles; Virgo—recently launched a new online shop and trust me when I say this place will become your go-to destination for all gifts, functional novelties, and celebrity-centric curio. Yes I’m biased (we have a special collab coming very soon), but this woman has been an inspiration to me for long before I willed her into my life.
Here I am modeling the “Too ugly for Glossier” hat that she kindly gifted me after I demanded she do so.


I was surprised and horrified to learn that three of the worst mass murders committed in Canada in the last 30 years were triggered by hatred of women, putting the recent van attack in Toronto in horrible company.
The Times needs to stop calling all trans people gay.
I loved this piece on “beauty-standard denialism” in the context of I Feel Pretty by Amanda Hess for the Times. It articulates an important truth in the age of body positivity and exhaustingly feel-good Dove commercials: the standards for female beauty have actually never been higher.
Too many great pull-quotes to choose, but here’s one:

Keeping up appearances is no longer simply a superficial pursuit; it’s an ethical one, too. A woman who fails to conform to the ideal is regarded as a failure as a person.

Here are 19 Bill Cosby survivors on what his guilty verdict means to them. 

Lastly: Who Will Stand Up for Chikesia Clemons?

Staunchly yours,