Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

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I’m still tied up with book revisions (so close, so so close), so haven’t had the headspace to write here, but I do have a bunch of tasty jewels for you to eat. Er, read.


"Ironically, as I have become a ‘public figure,’ I am less and less able to exist in public." Shanley Kane on visibility as violence on social media. (Model View Culture)

Even the most flattering profile ultimately, in its obsession with appearances, diminishes a woman’s power.” Sarah Kendzior dissects how ladymags write about female politicians. (Politico)

Jessica Valenti on anti-feminist women. (The Guardian)

Laurie Penny on the feminist writer’s dilemma: how to write about the personal, without becoming the story. (New Statesman)

How I made sure I didn’t go home with a rapist. (The F Word)

"Greer is a brand. Hannah will never be one: she lacks charisma, is morally cautious, has an average body." (London Review of Books)

How to be popular on Instagram. (Complex)

"This fairy tale—normal girl is spotted and becomes internationally famous—is one that fits particularly nicely with the reality-show ethos that we find ourselves surrounded with.” (The Beheld)

The hardest thing you’ll ever have to write. Alexandra Franzen on how to write a eulogy. (Alexandra Franzen)

What happened when we gave our daughter my last name. (The Hairpin)

Do fashion bloggers deserve more respect? (About Time)

Finally, a couple of weeks ago I collated a list of my favourite writers, and you know what I noticed? A good 50% of them edit or contribute to The New Inquiry. TNI is doing a flash-fundraise right now, with an anonymous benefactor kindly offering matching all donations until August 1. Head over, and help ensure they’re able to continue doing their great work. (The New Inquiry.)

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Sorry I’ve been so quiet these past couple of weeks. I’ve been working crazy hours trying to finish up a big round of book edits, turn around a long form feature, and trying not to let myself get too distracted from a potential business idea which has me so excited that it’s threatening to take over my brain. Let’s just say it’s all I’ve wanted to talk about with Mr Musings this week. (Not good when you’re on multiple deadlines!)

My silence isn’t for lack of ideas, though - I’ve got one essay post half written up in a word document, and another couple half written up in my brain. I can’t wait to share them with you soon.

In the meantime, here’s some writing I’ve enjoyed from other people over the past couple of weeks to tide you over.


Missy. (Fear City)

"She is brilliant with men, charming, tactile, very nearly seductive. … She is also brilliant with women – intimate, comic, always an ally." Is it weird that whenever I read a profile story, I wish that I possessed the qualities of the person being profiled? Even, in this case, Rebekah Brooks. (The Guardian)

"Without meaning to, beauty YouTube has gone beyond emulating magazines, perfecting the rhetorical voice that the lifestyle media has been chasing for years.” Alice Bolin on the YouTube beauty vlogger economy. (The Hairpin)

Anatomy of a men’s right activist. (Vice) And Jessica Roy on what she learned as a woman at a men’s rights conference. (TIME)

Jean Friedman on the Somaly Mam affair, and the problem with basing our assumptions about the world on the most extreme, harrowing examples of an issue. (This problem exists across the board.) (Beacon Reader)

At times I liked being anorexic. … So I am really to blame, aren’t I?” Joanna Kay responds to my piece on bulimia for The Cut last week. (The Middle Ground)

You know what is amazing? This risotto. And also this salad. And this cake (although maybe add a little baking powder if you don’t want yours to come out flat, like mine did).

And this is lovely. Morning rituals for heart-centred entrepreneurs. (Mara Glatzel.)

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Bringing back an old blog feature after a two year break, because links are good. Some things I’ve read and loved over the past couple of weeks.

"Maybe ‘not illegal’ is not the best way to think about the range of things it is acceptable to do." (The New Inquiry)

"We totally match." On Louis C.K. and assortive mating. (Sociological Images)

"Fast food is disparaged for being cheap and disposable. Its workers are hired because they are seen as the same." Amazing long-form reporting by Sarah Kendzior. (Medium)

Want to write and sell a book? Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the American publishing industry. (Vanity Fair)

"Sometimes, you cry in a stranger’s arms precisely because they are a stranger." (Danielle LaPorte) And, related: On Secret and Whisper … a lot of what’s posted are expressions of emotions that aren’t sinful so much as hard to say in other places.” (New York Times)

A bar for geeks in San Francisco.

A sneak peek at Emily Gould’s forthcoming novel, Friendship. (Book Keeping)

I made this for dinner on Wednesday. It was good. (How Sweet It Is)

Image via Richard Calmes.

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Bringing back an old blog feature after a two year break, because links are good. Some things I’ve read and loved over the past couple of weeks.

Everyone is totally just winging it all, the time. (It’s true.) (The Guardian)

Why don’t women’s magazines write about female scientists and engineers? (It’s OK for Intellectual Feminists to Like Fashion)

7 ways to increase your chances of getting your book published. (Medium)

What happens to the creators of viral hashtags like #yesallwomen? (Daily Dot)

"Help is so affordable when migrant workers make $200 a month." Molly Crabapple interviews Donald Trump… and pisses off Ivanka. (Vice)

Pitch, bitch. Love this new initiative from Estelle Tang. (Kill Your Darlings)

"If depression is the Black Dog, then jealousy is the Black Cat." Justin Heazlewood on negativity in the Australian arts scene. (Faster Louder)

"Taken together, these images, and the stories that accompanied them, were speaking about their relationship, even if the pair themselves weren’t offering comment. And what they were saying was that this wasn’t a story about sex or scandal; rather, it was one of family, humanitarianism, and global citizenship.” Anne Helen Petersen on Angelina Jolie’s perfect media game. (Buzzfeed)

It’s not all men, but we don’t know in advance which one it will be. (Dame Magazine) 

This whole tour has been such a humbling experience.” Shit writers say on social media.

And in case you missed it, here’s me talking antiporn activism in The New Inquiry.

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Some things I have read and liked recently.

Simone Decker does chewing gum art in Venice. (Lost At E Minor)

Laurie Penny has some smart things to say about eating disorders:

In Italy, there is a tradition called “sciopero bianco” - the white strike. Here, it is known as work-to-rule. Workers who are not permitted to strike fight their bosses by doing only what is required of them - to the letter. Nurses refuse to answer phones that ring at 17:01. Transport workers make safety checks so rigid that trains run hours behind schedule. Eating disorders, particularly anorexia, are to riots in the streets what a white strike is to a factory occupation: women, precarious workers, young people and others for whom the lassitudes of modern life routinely produce acute distress and for whom the stakes of social non-conformity are high, lash out by doing only what is required of them, to the point of extremity. (New Statesman)

Teju Cole attacks the White Savior Industrial Complex. (The Atlantic)

Really, there are only two rules when it comes to having a beach body. The first is that you need to have a body. The second is that your body must enjoy going to the beach.” (This Ain’t Living)

Stop writing on the internet to make people love you. I liked this article, except the part about freelance writing (and freelance writing on the internet, of all places) being the “easiest” way (for the author, at least) to make money. On what planet? If making money was my priority, I would have looked for a job in accounting, or law, or advertising, or a staffer job at magazine, or even an activist. I would not become a freelance writer. And I definitely would not become a freelance writer on the internet, which in most cases pays absolutely appallingly. Seriously. It’s a bad, bad idea. (The Gloss)

How to network without going to networking events. Or plonking your business card in front of people who don’t want to employ you. (Forbes)

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This week’s best reads on gender, politics and creativity… chopped up, roasted and served to you on a platter.

Lego Moleskins. Tell me you don’t want one. (Lost at E Minor)

"A feminism that doesn’t allow for paradoxes and contradictions in the ideals versus lived experiences of its proponents is not terribly useful." Elizabeth Nolan Brown talks Hugo Schwyzer. (Elizabeth Nolan Brown)

Celia Emmelhainz on the rhetoric of luck in the 99 percent:

Yet the current economic and political situation didn’t just happen to either the “lucky” or the “unlucky” ones. As in other periods of U.S. economic history since the 1700s, the underemployment, debt, financial instability, and lack of affordable life-goods that Americans face are the result of deliberate policies designed to streamline and protect growth for investors, large corporations, and other profiteers. (Sociological Images)

How to engage with criticism. (Seth Godin)

What the failure of Katherine Heigl’s career says about women in Hollywood:

However, the problem with Heigl herself is that she’s good at talking the talk — speaking out about the inherent sexism in the movie industry — but terrible stepping out and doing anything about it, and she seems almost willfully against challenging the norms of gender in cinema that she criticizes. In an interview conducted shortly after Knocked Up made her a star, Heigl criticized the fact that every up-and-coming actress is touted to be the “next Julia Roberts” but mentioned, “There’s not another woman I look at and think, ‘That’s it. That’s whose career I want to have.’” (In Our Words)

Funny! All woman panel has some great ideas about men’s sexual health. (RH Reality Check)

10 ways to feel rich. (Yes and Yes)

Sarah Nicole Pickett on the collective bargaining of creative success:

Still, for reasons economic and otherwise, we won’t all work for ourselves. More and more of us, I think, will work for each other. Not in the old ladder-climbing way, but in a new friends-with-benefits-and-maybe-someday-a-salary way. (Toronto Standard via Jessica Stanley)

Some of the best advice I’ve read on how to stay productive and get lots of shit done. (Illuminated Mind)

Or on the other hand, you could stop being a tortured creative and go and have fun. (Nextness)