Staunchly, vol. 99: We Are Each Other's Business


(I can’t believe I’ve done 99 issues of this thing)


I made this graphic to synthesize last week’s list of all the things you can do to fight the abortion ban. I think it’s a good starting-off point. Feel free to share on social.

anti ban checklist.PNG

The Fatal Shooting of Muhlaysia Booker Is Part of a Larger Trend of Violence Against Black Trans Women by Leah Dunlevy (PS Mag)


“Since 2013, 128 trans people have been victims of fatal violence in the United States, and 80 percent of them were people of color...”


America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals by Farhad Manjoo (NY Times)


“What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism. Preserving ‘local character,’ maintaining “local control,” keeping housing scarce and inaccessible — the goals of both sides are really the same: to keep people out.”


A damning look at white progressive hypocrisy.


Why Celebrities Are So Susceptible to Grifters by Amanda Mull (The Atlantic)


Charming piece about my grandfather, Grigori Rasputin, and the conditions of fame and status (ego; unreality; cracks in discernment) that make celebrities particularly susceptible to con artists. Viva Les Scams!


John Waters is Mr. Right by Ruby Brunton (SSENSE)


Just an interview with Sir John Waters that brings me joy.



Memorial Day has been a tough holiday for me since 2017, when I spent it in the emergency psych ward. I wrote a little about that experience here.


In this week’s Saturday Staunch, I paired some (mostly twisty and feminist) poems I’ve ingested/worshipped/obsessed over recently with paintings by women artists I love. Think of it as a late-spring inspiration dump. Here are two poems from that batch:



By Anne Sexton


Some women marry houses.

It's another kind of skin; it has a heart,

a mouth, a liver and bowel movements.

The walls are permanent and pink.

See how she sits on her knees all day,

faithfully washing herself down.

Men enter by force, drawn back like Jonah

into their fleshy mothers.

A woman is her mother.

That's the main thing.


Paul Robeson

By Gwendolyn Brooks


That Time, We All Heard It.

That time

cool and clear,

cutting across the hot grit of the day.

The major Voice.

The adult Voice

forgoing Rolling River,

forgoing tearful tale of bale and barge

and other symptoms of an old despond.

Warning, in music-words

devout and large,

that we are each other’s


we are each other’s


we are each other’s

magnitude and bond.



(P.S. Make sure to check out last week’s issue, where my friend Maddie defended the genre of “popular women’s fiction” and recommended 15 quick, rich, unputdownable titles that qualify. Search for it in your inbox or read it here—the email got clipped for a lot of people and ended up in spam, but it is not to be missed!)


I saw Booksmart this weekend. It’s as delightful as everyone says.


Two summer beauty picks for you to make you look like a hot, perspiring, extraterrestrial:



Kevyn Aucoin Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss in Cosmic


I’ve written about my love of eye gloss before, but here it is again: I love eye gloss. I love how it creates this dewy little pocket at the top of your face that catches the light in pleasing ways, and I love how it leans fully into the bête noire of eye grease, a dreaded function of the body we were for years instructed to suppress with layers of chalky, spackle-like lid primer from Urban Decay.


There are a ton of eye glosses on the market now, but take my word for it: this is the best one. Slick and wet and glazy, but not gloppy. Holographic, with flecks of pale blue glitter that consolidate in the crease throughout the day, creating almost a graphic eyeliner look that one friend, gushing, thought was intentional. After food, water, shelter, and electricity, this eye gloss is a true must.


Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter in Crystal Clear


Let’s double up on the Kevyn Aucoin love because no other brand in the business is doing such good things for the righteous pursuit of Sweaty Baby Skin. Actually, with the gleamy, holographic formulas of their highlighters, the vibe they achieve is more like….wait for it….


Sweaty Alien Baby Skin



This is a clear glossy gel highlighter that, when applied in the right spots (you know the drill: all the places Where The Light Naturally Hits), makes you look like: a. You slept 45 hours last night; b. You sweat diamonds, c. You’re a baby in space.