I haven't got a single text message from you since 8:39pm last night. I've left three messages. I had no idea what was going on until I got home and saw your note. I messaged that place you took me to on Sunday on FB but I don't know how else to reach you if texts and voicemails aren't going through.
Email me or show up. Email is first last separated by a period at gmail.
When it comes to talking about survivors and trust the conversation about learning to trust again typically revolves around romantic relationships. If the assault was perpetrated by a man it's - how will you ever trust a man again? How will you feel safe in a relationship again? Those are the questions I've asked myself for years, without coming up with a good answer. Because, as I've come to realize over these past two weeks, the question obscures the real issue. The true question is -
Will I ever be able to trust myself again?
The vast majority of sexual assaults aren't committed by strangers but by individuals that we know. People that we let into our lives to whatever extent - friendship, dating, an acquaintance - and thus there was often an element of choice (if they weren't a family member). A choice that myself, and a lot of the survivors I know, spend years beating ourselves up for having made. Some of the thoughts that have gone through my mind - how could I be so stupid? Why wasn't I more careful? How did I manage to miss that major red flag? - aren't unique. I didn't need society to victim blame me, I'd been so well-trained by my father's concept of accountability (one that oddly let him off the hook for everything he'd done) that I blamed myself for years. And years. And YEARS.
Post-divorce to a verbally abusive man, when I've described what happened or talked about it the person I've been talking to has asked me - How did you end up married to him? Every single time. Every. Single. Time. And I get it - they're seeing the woman I am now. Strong, funny, intelligent, kick-ass. They're not seeing the work I put in therapy into becoming her. The nights I barely make it through the front door before collapsing in tears. The mantras about self-worth that I've repeated over and over and over again in front of countless mirrors. The times I couldn't meet my own eyes in those mirrors. The people who ask that question mean well but they don't understand how difficult it is for me to describe the woman I was then. How it adds to my difficulties to trust my own decisions. After all, I screwed it up once. Majorly. Who's to say I won't do it again?
I've been in Boston roughly two weeks now. I doubted so much about making this decision and the gambles that have gone along with it. But I've had friends show up with soup to tide me through the week. Others, one a friend I'd only met in person once, the other a woman I've known since we were eighteen, helped haul my stuff in from the PODS this weekend. A friend and her husband helped, too, and fed me dinner later that night. I hate the whole hastag blessed thing but I am blessed. And lucky. And I don't feel like I deserve it. Because, oh yeah, part of flipping from victim to survivor is learning and accepting your own worth. And standing up for it. I'm not sure there's any way to do that - accept one's worth - without learning to also forgive and trust yourself. Case in point -
On my second (third?) day in town I met a guy. I like him. A lot.
This morning he showed up at my place and made me breakfast. I don't cook so I'm probably overly impressed by a guy who'd hollow out bread and pour in a concoction of eggs, spinach and cheese, bake it in the oven and feed me, but it was really good. And then we got in the car and he drove me up to a place he wanted me to see. In order to safeguard his privacy I'm not going to talk about it much but it was very cool. Both the place and why he took me there.
He put it as - I'm going to let you invade a part of my life. He's snarky, which is very much my type, but I know that's not why he took me there. That whole trust thing? I question and doubt everything. Is he telling me the truth? Does he secretly have a wife in addition to the cute cat photos he's been showing me? Does he really like me, or does he just want to sleep with me? And since he's not dumb he knew I'd been struggling with trusting and believing him. So he proved something to me. I didn't ask him to, he just did it because he was smart enough to know I needed it and cared enough about me to meet that need.
Is this what it's like to date a non-asshole? Serious question.
I've spent the last few days in my head, arguing with my heart and going back and forth about the whole thing. Should I get exclusive with a guy this quickly? Am I just jumping into another heartbreak? He can't really like me, can he? These mental gymnastics are why I've finally realized what lies beneath the question of whether or not I can trust a man again. My own self-doubt.
The hardest person in my life for me to trust is myself.
My judgement of a man. My gut. My instincts. And if other people can see how I've changed it's time for me to step into that woman, too. There is a chance I could screw this up again. Or there is a chance he's not the right guy for me and it ends. But if it ends that doesn't negate my initial judgement that it was worth pursuing. I don't need to know the destination, I just need to trust the journey. And the woman who is making it.
Okay, I like to undress them, too ;) But I have a soft spot inside me for dressing the men in my life - from my son to boyfriends to my ex. In fact, he should have seen it as a warning sign when I stopped coming home with clothes for him. Maybe because I tend to hang out with a lot of smart, nerdy men whose wardrobe consist of superhero t-shirts on the weekends and nothing but polo shirts for work but when I look around I see lots of opportunities. In fact, I asked a friend of mine recently if I could take him shopping.
When we were messaging on FB I told him I'd love to style him in a faux hipster-nerdy look (he has the money). He has that tall, skinny nerd thing going for him*. But he indicated that he wasn't interested in clothes and did the polo shit/jeans thing out of convenience. I asked if it was because he hadn't thought he was attractive growing up and he said - basically.
I think that conversation perfectly encapsulates why so many men *and* some women don't care about fashion. They've been taught that it's something that only conventionally attractive people can show an interest in. That if they're not thin, white and blonde, or buff and 'manly,' to show an interest in fashion is frivolous or laughable. Which is total BS, obviously. Don't get me wrong, an interest in clothing, hair and make-up doesn't necessarily indicate high self-esteem. It can cover up a lot of insecurity. But I've found that an almost-violent abhorrence or repudiation of these interests is due to childhood and adolescent hurts. To internalizing the message that because your looks don't fit the current mold, or you're a dork, or ugly, or whatever mean words were thrown at you, your value only comes from your intelligence or other skills. Therefore you reject fashion and beauty standards before they can reject you.
All of this is why I enjoy dressing men and some of my female, non-femme friends (I've been known to take non-girly girlfriends shopping and help them pick out work clothes that didn't suck). Because I love that moment when they see themselves in the mirror as fashionable and beautiful - something they are without all those clothes but might not have really accepted yet. It's also why I'm glad that clothing companies have become much more size inclusive in recent years (still a long way to go, I know) and that make-up brands are more conscious of diverse representation and offerings. Every person should be able to express themselves through their exterior appearance.
During my recent move it became quite apparent that my belongings can be evenly divided among three categories - clothes, books, and yarn. Even after majorly weeding out from each of the above categories I still had a ton. And I'll probably unpack it in Boston and mutter to myself Why did I keep this crap?
I've accumulated all sorts of baggage going through life. And, nope, not talking about the kind I'll be carrying on a plane in two weeks. Even the wounds that scabbed over have left scars. I've learned that, like probing a sore tooth with your tongue, it's better to leave some of them alone. If this period in my life is about reinvention it's also about shedding my old skin and stepping forth into a new me. (I was born in the year of the Snake and I'm a Scorpio. Do with that knowledge what you will). This weekend I had to shed a few more people. Yes, this all ties together to self image and fashion and feminism. Promise *g* Bear with me...
I'm not a fan of phrases that imply women should support other women without any criticism or accountability. If we are equal to men - and we are - then we have to hold each other accountable. But I do think that there is a special place in Hell for women who not only betray other women but support abusive men. Many of us have internalized and support the patriarchy. We're pit against women in competition against each other not for jobs or in career success but for men (thank you Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), because if we're fighting each other we can't fight the system that has placed us against each other. Many women are the staunchest supporters of patriarchy because if they did not support it they would have to look at their own lives. Their own marriages. Their own careers. And take accountability. Own up to the areas that aren't so great. Like another friend that I had to unfriend and block this past weekend.
I trusted someone I should not have, ignoring the intuition that told me she wasn't trustworthy, rationalizing that my duty to protect her child outweighed my desire to protect myself. Turns out that intuitive voice was right. She betrayed me in a particularly awful way that involves my ex-husband. A part of me wasn't surprised. She's in an unhappy marriage to a man who does not treat her well. I have struggled, in the past, being around them because I hated how he spoke to her and tore her down. But I knew she lacked the financial resources to leave and had also came from an abusive childhood - which compounds the problem. When your childhood included physical abuse verbal abuse in later relationships can be insidious because as long as you're not getting hit, you think you're okay. And since I'd cut people out of my life when I was unwilling to face the problems in my own marriage I didn't want to do the same to her.
She is also, to be frank, not an attractive woman by society's standards. And this is where I tie it back to internalized patriarchy and looks. She is overweight - AGAIN by SOCIETY'S standards** - and in other ways does not fit into the bucket of conventionally attractive - none of which should impact her worth. But it has been communicated to her that she is not attractive and this has undermined her self-confidence. I.e., she believes it to be so whether or not it is. And this, in turn, has always impacted our friendship.
I benefit from thin privilege, more so when I was a size zero. This privilege has benefited me my whole life. I can even tie a dollar value to it - my first few years out of college the barista at my Starbucks had a crush on me. Every day he gave me two grande non-fat latte's for free - a value of approximately seven dollars. Very rough, back of the napkin calculations put that value at $63k over that time. Let that sink in. I knew what I was doing when I flirted with him, batted my lashes, and got my free coffee. Being young and immature it didn't occur to me that he could have lost his job if he'd been caught. But I think of that dollar value when conversations around beauty and attractiveness come up. Beauty - which has a different definition in each century, culture, and society - has value. And the patriarchy can use this value to foment dissension among women. To turn us against each other. My former friend never got $63k of free coffee in her lifetime.
Tie it all together - she's in an abusive relationship that she doesn't want to leave, a bad childhood left her craving the approval of men like my ex-husband (a charming, good-looking narcissist), and past comments she's made that have indicated that she directed a certain amount of jealousy towards me...and she was a prime person to buy into all those games the patriarchy plays to mess with our heads. I called her on the phone prior to the unfriending to give her a chance to explain, feeling that I owed our friendship that courtesy. Instead, she offered excuses and weak explanations. Shifted the blame and did not even apologize for her actions. So I calmly told her that I was going to have to unfriend and block because I could no longer trust her. All she said was, "I understand."
I believe that if we, as women (reminder that when I use 'women' it is always inclusive of cis, het, queer, trans, and genderqueer women) truly banded together and rose up we could affect change. If we believed the voices of other women over the voices of men who gaslight us, over the voices of men who say that their ex was 'crazy,' 'insane,' or whatever ableist slurs they want to throw out there - if the voice of a woman became just as credible as the voice of a man...we could topple them to the ground. And what if we defined beauty by our own terms? If we owned our self-expression in all its forms - the art we create and hang on walls and the art we create in eyeshadow and wear out the door - and celebrated it then maybe we could break the pattern of women supporting and enforcing the patriarchy.
Because beauty is currency and in the past a good marriage and a good man was the only way many women could find stability - i.e., by trading on that currency - it's always been an easy area in which to divide women. Which is why I think this seemingly trivial area is important to the advancement of feminism. It even ties back to my male friend and his dislike of fashion - he had a misogynistic streak a mile wide related to female attention. Specifically his inability to find and/or attract a mate. He'd make comments about not being an 'alpha male,' and buying a bride if he couldn't find one, comments that revealed a lot of pain and underlying issues related to self-worth.
Patriarchy harms everyone. The man who doesn't think he's good-looking and uses intelligence as a shield, the woman who thinks she's fat and that being fat is a bad thing, and the woman who starved herself to retain that thin privilege (that would be me). It is closely tied in with abuse, gaslighting and victim-shaming. They all feed on each other in a vicious cycle that leads to betrayal, splintered friends groups, and more pain. While my former friend's actions have cause me more pain and expense, ultimately? I'm glad to be moving forward without her in my life. Because the women I've been so blessed to know and surround myself with since my divorce have shown me what true support, love, and feminist kick-assery looks like. We support each other in a diverse range of beauty and expression that is truly ours. We hold each other accountable. We do not compete for male attention as if it is a zero sum game and we applaud each other's successes. And we will not let society continue to divide us.
* And all my girlfriends just started laughing and muttering about my 'type.'
** NO fat-shaming here, and I'm trying to be very careful talking about this. Because society does fat-shame and it can be very difficult to rise above those voices they sadly can impact a woman's self-esteem and shape her reactions. And those standards of what is attractive change by the century, if not decade, and have always been subjective.
First - I'm moving. That's right, the next phase in reinvention has begun! After months and months of interviews I've found a way to make it happen and I have two and a half weeks to pack up all my stuff and move to Newton, MA.
Yeah...just a little stressed. As I've known this was coming for months now I started the process of sorting through and tossing stuff last winter. I've taken multiple trips to donation centers and listed outgrown clothes on Poshmark. But, looking around my house the day I knew this was real, I realized I had a LOT left to deal with. It's not just my stuff, either. When we first put my mom into assisted living her best friend and guardian cleared our my mom's storage unit and sent me boxes and boxes and BOXES of stuff without any warning. My mom hadn't sorted through items from my grandmother's life, either. I came home from work to find two people's worth of stuff sitting on my front porch (along with my grandmother's Lane cedar chest, a china buffet and a huge wardrobe). I stood on the porch's top step, mouth agape, rain dripping on me from the roof, and tried to take in the visible sign of two lives that had ended. The representation of everything I'd lost was just too much for me to handle that day and while I've done my best in the years since to sort through it all a little at a time I'd reach a point where the grief became too crushing and I'd have to stop.
Do I want to keep my Mom's first doll? I mean, the eyes have fallen out and it's very fragile, but she loved it. What about Grandma's china? I like that pattern better than my Mom's rose/floral pattern - which only brings up memories of awkward family dinners on holidays - but do I have room? The questions become overwhelming, as does the guilt. Am I terrible daughter because I'm throwing out my mom's stuff? It's an inevitable fact that what one person values another may not. Or find a burden. My great-grandmother crocheted prolifically but I really didn't need over fifty stinky doilies. I've talked about how it's hard to let go of toxic people, or people in general, but it's equally hard to let go of the visible reminders of the people you loved. I've done it, though, and now I'm having to do it again.
Downsizing from a five bedroom, two bath house to a two bedroom, one bath apartment isn't going to be easy. I'm lucky that my new place has storage in the basement (to be shared by my landlord's broken guitars and pool table...) but it's still prompting a brutal purge. Something I've found, though, is that I rarely remember items I've discarded after they're gone. It's easier to let go of things than it is to let go of people. This weekend my son ran in and out of my bedroom, setting up a rebel base with magnatiles, hiding lightsaber crystals in mountains made out of my bed's comforter, and generally behaving so, so well, while I packed boxes of clothes and shoes. When I exclaimed that I have too many of both he agreed with me solemnly - Yes, Mommy, you do!
I'm alternately incredibly excited to be back in New England, back on the East Coast, and to renew and grow friendships with people out there and - terrified. There are things related to this move that I'm not yet at liberty to discuss but let's just say this is the biggest gamble of my life. And I've never gambled. Not once. Prior to her death my mom lived in Vegas. Despite the fact I've been there well over fifteen times (honestly, I've lost count), I never so much as put a nickel in a slot machine. I don't like risk and I don't like the possibility of losing. If this gamble backfires I'll lose - big time. You can always make more money but the impact on my relationship with my C could be incalculable. Which is why I'm refusing to entertain the thought that I could lose.
My faith in the legal system is nil. I saw too much as a child and have observed how upper middle class white men dressed in suits with careers and 'futures,' rarely face consequences for their actions. But I've been working with my lawyer. I have a very well researched and detailed case - up to twelve pages that address the state's custody best interest factors. Faith in the Universe doesn't come easy to me. I'm working on it. Controlling men rarely want to let go, even if it is in the best interests of their child. I've found that the legal system doesn't function well when it's based upon the assumption that it's dealing with two rational, reasonable adults. The first time I had to go in for a custody hearing I was scared. I'd written a fifteen page statement with times, dates, and witnesses. I'd practiced and rehearsed it. In Minnesota you can ask to not have the other parent in the room with you if they've been abusive but my lawyer told me that would 'frowned upon.' So I had to give all my testimony with my ex sitting across from me, glaring. It was intimidating. According to my lawyer I sounded timid and couldn't look at him while reading my statement. No wonder - he'd refused to move out and was still verbally abusing me daily. After that horrible morning I had to go home to a house with him in it. I had no way to force him to leave, if I left I risked forfeiting custody rights, and he refused to go. Like I said - abusive, controlling men are not reasonable. I might have to leave C for a little bit in Minnesota while we fight - which kills me - but I'm doing my best to handle it.
I'm not that woman anymore. I've grown a hell of a lot stronger. I've traveled and re-discovered myself, been in therapy, read books, made new supportive friends and examined the how and why of narcissistic men function. Taking my son with me to Massachusetts will be a fight. I'm ready. I have documentation, audio, emails, the works. The thing about recovery is that the further along in recovery you get, the more distance from the day you left them, the most you survive, the more you realize that - you're a badass. Strong, confident, and fierce. Not a single word they threw at you stuck. All those words did was reflect the pettiness and smallness of their souls.
No matter what happens over the coming months I know that I've already won.
I have a complicated relationship with the color pink.
When I was twelve I had the perfect bedroom. A lead-paned window that looked out on the brick courtyard behind our back door. Slanted, gabled ceilings and bare wood floors. In the middle of the room an old kitchen table took pride of place. I slept on a futon mattress and didn’t care; it was the table that mattered. Seated cross-legged in a battered chair I scribbled my stories in journals and wire-bound notebooks. In my dreams I pictured...
New feature! Each week I'm going to be rounding up some of the best feminist and fashion pieces around the internet that I read this week.
* Christian Siriano puts out a line of plus size wedding gowns. LOVE his commitment to designing for all women.
* Still upset about the Modcloth sale? Check out this list of alternatives!
* Short excerpt about body acceptance True Style is Underneath: The Self-Acceptance Revolution: A StyleLikeU Manifesto. Worth reading.
* Resistance on the runway? Yes!...
So I seem to be becoming an expert on feminism, single momhood, survivor issues, eating disorders, grief, and money? There's a combination for you! Seriously, I need to throw some happier topics in there.
ICYMI, piece up on how to talk to a child who suspect might have an eating disorder over at sheknows this week. It's a topic that is dear to my heart not only because of my personal experience but because it is a serious disease with lifelong implications.
And then I had a piece go up this...
I think a lot. Weird statement, I know, but I’ve always lived in my head to a certain extent.
Whether it’s analyzing a relationship, or a guy, or my childhood, or my family…or thinking through the sexism underlying common insults thrown at boys, I just…think. It’s very hard for me to turn my brain off. I’ve been working on a meditation practice and thus far I can make it five minutes. I’m the girl who always skips savasanna during yoga because - lying still on a mat? I’ve got things to do!...
This weekend I did something that's shockingly hard for me.
I asked for help.
If there's something that should be obvious, it's that I'm highly independent. For years I told myself that I could take care of everything on my own. In the past year I've *takes deep breath* Written and edited a novel, acquired, worked with freelancers and edited content for this site, finished my MBA, gone on four trips (3 to NYC, one home to Seattle), knit various articles of clothing, scarves and hats, written...
I've got a new post up on Worthy.com today. I'd written it for Galentine's Day but it didn't go up until this week. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky in my friends - truly, truly lucky. They put up with my my doubts and insecurities and listen and offer great advice.
"It was a dear friend who pulled me aside at a birthday party and said, "Dena, I think your husband's verbally abusing you. I'm worried.""
It was a dear friend who pulled me aside at a birthday party and said, "Dena, I...
Dating in your late 30's ain't easy. Okay, to be honest, I've always hated dating. I'm a serial monogamist, mainly because I love the 'let's hang out on the couch in sweats, read the newspaper and drink coffee for most of Sunday morning' stage of a relationship. Seriously, one of the best mornings of my life was doing just that in an apartment in Salem, MA, with an ex. We woke up, showered, and hung out listening to NPR, reading the paper, and drinking coffee as black as the sin we'd committed the night...
The male gaze. We talk about it a lot in feminist circles, always with a negative connotation (for good reason). But, as I’ve written about before, it can have a different meaning for some women. Given my ultra-religious background, with its emphasis on dressing modestly so as not to tempt the men around me, I see putting on a body con dress is an act of defiance. I will not hide nor be ashamed of my body, says the skin-tight, backless black dress. It’s also a proclamation of my recovery.
It's February. Ugh. Valentine's Day. Raise your hand if you hate the holiday! When you're little it's free candy and cartoon character cards. Most schools require kids to bring one for every kid in the class so no one is left out. When you're older the holiday really starts to suck. My parents divorced when I was in seventh grade and we moved across the water from Seattle to Bellevue. I was not only the new kid I was the weird kid, too. They closed the library at lunch (boo!) so I'd hide in...
My second piece went up on worthy.com yesterday. It will likely make some things clearer for many of my readers. While the subject doesn't fit with this month's theme the anniversary of my mother's death is coming up so today I thought I'd talk about grief.
"What I hadn't realized about grief is that it's recurring. As your life changes and you pass different milestones you're reminded of that person's absence anew. "
When I drove onto the ferry to the San Juan Islands this past November it...
2K Followers on Instagram!
Thank you so much to everyone who has followed, liked, and left comments. Building a community of fabulous, feminist women is what we're all about here and it's been great getting to know you all. To say 'thank you,' we are, of course, running another contest.
Sweater by Boden, accessories by Kate Spade, boots by Hunter. Photo by Jeff Pryor.
Rules and how to enter are below;
1. A 'like' on a post labeled 'Contest' counts as an entry.
2. Tag friends of yours whom you...
This week we've been talking about spending money as an act of self-love, relationships with men, and goals for money for the New Year. In one of my essays I touched on how much fun I've had buying clothes since my divorce. Unless it was for him - lingerie, mainly - my ex didn't like me spending money on clothing for myself. There was always an excuse as to why he needed new clothes, however. When he found a job after a six month period of unemployment he had to have new clothes. $1,400 on...
Trigger warning: Eating Disorders
"You look good, Dena," my grandmother said on her way out the door, pulling back from our hug. It was the first time we'd seen each other in close to six years, a few hours that she and my grandfather had come by my sister's house on my last day home over Thanksgiving.
I smiled and said, "Thanks," but inwardly winced. In my family, "good" is code for "skinny." When they're happy with you, when you're doing what they want, you're skinny - which is the ultimate...
I hate birthdays. It has nothing to do with aging, though I struggle with that, too, my hatred of birthdays began in fourth grade.
The back of my fabulous birthday outfit from this year. Yes, I went full on bling. Jacket and pants by Nanette Lepore. Photo by Jeff Pryor.
I've written a lot about women, money and feminism (see links below). Let's just say that it's a subject near and dear to my heart.
Money was a constant source of strife throughout my marriage. Spending my own money after the divorce has felt incredibly liberating. Yes, I've done some damage on the credit cards and I'll need to rein it in for the beginning of 2017. But I don't regret it. Because with every dollar spent I was taking a stand for what matters to me.
Photo by Jeff Pryor.
Is it because they let me go out in public without a bra? Is it because a comfy, soft sweatshirt is like wearing a hug? Or is it something deeper?
On our Instagram feed I've been featuring a couple of my favorites from my sweatshirt collection (I own over ten sweatshirts and counting). They're basically all I wear on the weekends for the nine months of fall/winter we get in Minnesota, and I've even sneaked some of the fancier ones into my work wardrobe. Hey, if it's got sequin birds on it,...
If you follow me on Instagram you've probably guessed by now that I'm passionate about knitting. It's a rare day that goes by without the needles in my hands. They click together in a soothing white noise while beauty takes shape. I've been a knitter for over ten years now and, as my skills have grown, so has my appreciation for beautiful, well-crafted knitwear. Oh, and I'm a yarn snob. A HUGE yarn snob. You'd be hard-pressed to find any acrylic in my closet.
Which is why I'm also picky about the...
I promised you dupes for my navy dress, and here they are!
While I bought this one on my last trip to NYC I found a lot of cute alternatives, some with lace like mine, and all under $65! Dresses are my go-to during the late spring and summer. I don't have to worry about matching two articles of clothing, I try to pick dresses with pockets (POCKETS!) and they're easy to throw on and run out the door. Which I do a lot. Let's just say my son woke up the other morning, looked at me and said,...
Yesterday's editorial letter didn't go up because I was on a ferry to the San Juan Islands. I was lucky enough to receive a week's writer's residency at the Deborah Whiteley Center at the Friday Harbor Laboratories. For the next few days I'll be working on novel revisions and a few essays, trying to bang them out when not being interrupted by a five-year-old. My son's with his Dad this week so I have the luxury of doing what I want, when I want it. It does kind of feel like I'm missing an...
Navy - clean, crisp, and the perfect transitional color moving from winter to spring. I love the color, and I have a lot of it in my closet. I think it's universally flattering - looks good on all skin tones and with all hair colors. In spite of its prevalence in my closet I bought *another* navy dress on my last trip to NYC.
I love the split skirt/apron details, the open-work lace/eyelet on the neckline and sleeves, and the elastic waist. I wasn't in NYC to shop, but...my hotel was in SoHo...
In the lead up to Halloween I thought it would be fun to feature two costume themed pieces! I still need to order my son's costume (oops!), but I did buy the candy already. We'll see if it lasts until next Monday...
This week we have two essays. The first, by Sarah Stearns, examines gender and cosplay, and how her genderqueer sibling would feel more comfortable cosplaying as some of her favorite characters if items like skirts, wigs, and make-up could be divorced from gender presentation. And Joella...
Ugh. Monday. Made worse by Daylight Savings and a kid who woke me up three times last night.
This month is going to be light on content from contributors for a number of reasons. First, I have some deadlines that I need to meet elsewhere for my own writing. Second, I'm going to New York at the end of the month and am trying to set up some work and career related stuff out there, which is taking a lot of my focus. Related to this I'm taking courses in SEO and digital marketing on coursera in my free...
Quick programming note if you're new to the site from some of my recent writing - please check out past articles and essays under the Topics button at the top of the page. We are currently rebuilding and relaunching the site so it's a little clunky, sorry about that, but please check back in two weeks when we expect to have it all updated and pretty *G*
Now, onto today's post.
Today is an honesty day, a rip off the bandage and put it all out there day. Why? Because this...
I don't care how many articles fashion magazines run about upping my fashion game on the weekend - if I'm chasing my kid through muddy grass at the museum, I'm wearing sneakers. Yes, it was another Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The theme was Rock the Cradle and they had hiphop demonstrations, DJ's, story-telling, a science presentation on sound waves, and more. The weather was warm enough that I could leave my jacket in the car, and C and I spent three hours wandering in...
If the pussyhats at the Women's Marches taught us nothing else, it's that Feminists can wear pink! But it's also the title of a piece I have up today over at www.certainlysomething.com. Danica, the site's owner, invited me to participate in the re-launch. Given the opportunity to talk about two of my favorite topics - fashion and feminism - you'd better believe I wasn't going to turn it down! And it was so fun to meet and connect with Danica, to chat about how we think feminism should be...
Happy Monday and welcome to another week. I think most of us are still struggling to recover from last week's events (I know I am), and could a little 'pick me up.' I spent some time engaging in self-care this weekend (new haircolor, anyone?) but also dreaming up ways to celebrate hitting 1K followers on Instagram.
As bright a blue as I could get in my hair!
Normally,on Monday's I'd post my editorial letter for the week, teasing and introducing upcoming essays and contributors. But today, while we do have a great week lined up, I'm going to take a break from our usual schedule and post about the election.
Oh, you know which one, even if you're not one of our American readers.
This election, more than any other I can remember, has brought up the division and hatred in our country. I have heard my friends, family, and contributors belittled and...
Welcome back to another week!
We've been talking a lot about labor and the women who make your garments. This week we're examining the distinction between art and craft and how it breaks down on gender lines in Greta Christina's essay Art vs. Craft. If you've been thinking you want to shop more ethically but aren't sure how to start check out Africa Jackson's piece Fashion Activism: A Beginner's Guide on Thursday. We've been pinning to some of our favorite ethical brands on Pinterest if you...
This weekend I began the great closet seasonal switch. You know the one - packing away the tank tops and shorts, pulling out the sweaters from last year, do these pants still fit? Oh, thank God, they do! It's a chore, but it's also fun to re-discover all the cute clothes in my wardrobe that I'd forgotten about - like the striped skater dress from Anthropologie that I picked up at the end of season on clearance last year.
Racks of beautiful clothes and prints at Darling NYC. Photo by Jeff...
I've never been great with resolutions, though I am a goal-setter. I write down my goals, calculate percentages in spreadsheets and formulate plans. This year one of my goals is to grow my freelance writing business by ten percent a month. It's a small but doable goal. I'd been hitting it Sept-November in 2016 but in December and after the election everything tanked (go figure).
At the Japanese Tea Garden in Seattle, wishing on a lucky carp. Photo by Jeff Pryor.
I come from a long line of...
Hello Femme Feminists! And welcome to our second month…thank you to everyone who's been stopping by, reading, and sharing our essays. We truly appreciate your support.
Ever since I lived in Massachusetts fall has been one of my favorite seasons. There’s something about that crisp air, the smell of apple cider, and leaves crunching under your feet. Now that I’m a knitter I love the season even more – it’s the perfect time to show off my gorgeous hand knits!
"Do We Denigrate Fashion Because Of Its...