Katie Heaney's book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date is out today from Grand Central. In it, Katie, an editor at BuzzFeed who's also responsible for this site's "Reading Between the Texts" series, recounts her experiences—or lack thereof—with the opposite sex, from childhood to the age of 25. What comes through is not an absence of relationships, however, so much as the presence and importance of the deep, abiding friendships she's formed over the years. And amid the humor and tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation, there's also a hearty message of empowerment to all women to be who they are, and not necessarily what society expects [...]
Notoriously mansplaining Times columnist Ross Douthat made a foray into literary criticism this weekend when he cited Adelle Waldman’s novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P as evidence for why fathers with daughters may, and should, tack conservative. Let me elucidate. In the dating milieu chronicled (astutely) by Waldman, women are vulnerable to shagging slightly misogynistic dudes like protagonist Nathaniel P. And these women are presumably someone’s daughter. Thus, Douthat’s “Daughter Theory” goes, fathers naturally hearken back to a more conservative society where they could be assured that their daughters lacked encouragement to date and sleep around, and were therefore no longer liable to have their [...]
This feature is dedicated to the steelworkers of America. Keep reaching for that rainbow!
Katniss, The Hunger Games
Poor Katniss can be forgiven an inability to recognize, let alone come to terms with, her own sexuality. Her childhood is rough even by the standards of the Seam: dead father, depressive mother, no money and a sweet little sister to take care of. By the time she hits adolescence, these experiences have hardened her; what with all the hunting, the caretaking, and the surliness, she has no time for music, let alone for introspective reveries about what—or, more properly, who—really turns her on.
She regularly decamps to the woods [...]
"I’m going to go all out and call Eloise a classist creation, a girl who fetishizes commodities like expensive hotels and room service. A girl, in short, who believes she deserves to be served, rather than to serve others. The Paris Hilton of the girls’ book heroine set, destined for future floozy-hood. Per Anna Quindlen, 'When I think of Eloise grown up, I think of her with a drinking problem, knocking about from avocation to avocation, unhappily married or unhappily divorced, childless.'"
Human genomes are 99.9 percent identical—with one prominent exception. Instead of a matching pair of X chromosomes, men carry a single X, coupled with a tiny chromosome called the Y. Tracking the emergence of a new and distinctive way of thinking about sex represented by the unalterable, simple, and visually compelling binary of the X and Y chromosomes, my book, Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, examines the interaction between cultural gender norms and genetic theories of sex from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, postgenomic age. Here, we've excerpted from the chapter "Save the Males!"
The prospect that [...]
New Yorkers may know Jamie Shupak best as the traffic reporter on beloved local news channel NY1, but getting up at 3 a.m. (and being done with the traffic part of her workday by the afternoon) has its benefits, at least to someone with the boundless energy of Shupak. In her time at NY1 she's also written a dating column for Complex magazine, chronicled her cooking adventures on her blog, TV Dinner, and written an e-book, out now, loosely based on her own life, with leeway for dramatization, of course. Transit Girl >tells the story of NYNN traffic reporter Guiliana Layne, who's happily engaged to be married to her college sweetheart, J.R., until she [...]
The Book of Jezebel is "An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things" edited by Jezebel creator and former editor Anna Holmes that includes funny-to-serious entries ranging from giggle (Tee-hee) to Wolf, Naomi. Published in October, it's a work of art, a humor book, a compendium of writing from an array of notable names, and an excellent guide to important topics of our time.
It's also a book that came from a blog, and not just any blog, but the blog that set the stage for sites like The Hairpin to emerge and implement and experiment with their own styles, voices, and content. Jezebel was the first to dedicate itself to breaking new ground in writing for women, to [...]
I would like to salute the women who created dinosaur erotica this year. Most of the very short e-books are about cave-women-type people who engage in various types of sex with dinosaurs. Not because they have dinosaur fetishes (at least not that they know of, at first! ahhhh I love it), but because they get caught in unexpected hunting situations, etc. (putting aside that people and dinosaurs didn't live at the same time. PROBABLY). For instance, the opening of Taken By the T-Rex:
Drin!! Can you guess what happens? Haha ahhhh, I just love it so much. I love it, I love it; it deserves the Pulitzer Prize. [...]
I read the ones by men instead, until I was like, “I cannot read another passage about masturbation. I can’t.” It was like a pile of Kleenex. I read Portnoy’s Complaint. I read Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, when it came out. I read, I don’t even remember — but I read like five male coming-of-age novels that had intense, long passages about masturbation. These books taught me a lot about what it must be like to be a young man, and gave me some terrible ideas about the kind of woman I didn’t want to be, in order to not be thought dull or needy by the intelligent, masturbating young [...]
Beth Kephart has written 16 books, five of which are memoirs. Her most recent, Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir, came out in August, and it’s a lovely, insightful exploration of what it means to share the stories you’ve experienced firsthand (which, as it happens with life, usually happen to be the stories of others, too). She details what can go right, what might go wrong, and how to do it in a way that is respectful to everyone involved. Full disclosure: I’ve always loved reading other people’s true-life tales—I was BIG on biographies as a kid—but with my own memoir coming out in May, I’ve [...]