"I think that women’s writing can tend to get read in a more limited way than men. Like, I think sometimes when men write about private feeling, it’s seen as exploratory or daring, and when women write about private feeling it’s seen as limited or in the vein of a kind of circumscribed emotional writing. So I think there can be a shame in the confessional that uniquely attaches to women that doesn’t attach in the same way to men."
My parents have been married for 40 years, and what they modeled for my brothers and me has shaped so much of who I am. My mom, Nicole, is one of the smartest people I know. She’s also very funny. It is only now, in my thirties, that I’ve been able to fully appreciate her choices as a woman, wife, and mother and what her choices have made possible for me. When I read articles like the recent piece in New York Times Magazine on the Opt Out generation wanting to return to the workplace, I think of my mother. We were a middle class family, so her [...]
My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people.
I deny myself bright colors in my clothing choices, sticking to a uniform of denim and dark shirts even though I have a far more diverse wardrobe. I deny myself certain trappings [...]
"And Peggy Paula let him, she let him, because if no one is there to touch you are you even really there?"
Oh man. "Three Things You Should Know About Peggy Paula," written by Lindsay Hunter and recommended by Roxane Gay at Electric Literature's Recommended Reading, is a sharp bright slash of blood on the milky, obedient thigh of conventional contemporary fiction:
One. In high school Peggy Paula worked as a waitress at the Perkins. Night shifts were her favorite, kids from her school would come in after games or dances with bleary eyes and messy hair and Peggy Paula knew they’d been drinking and smoking those flimsy joints she’d see them passing, the girls with smudged makeup and rat’s nests in the back of their heads, proud unblinking eyes, scanning [...]
N.B.: My beloved UPS Man is very good at his job and represents his company very well and he brings me things and I love him.
I have a very special, very intense, very secret, very unrequited and ongoing relationship with the very attractive UPS Man who brings me packages nearly every day. I love UPS Man most during the spring and summer when he wears his brown polyester shorts and he speeds up the hill toward my building, music blaring—often classic rock. When he steps out, his thigh muscles flex and I think, “What can brown do for you?”
I have many answers to that question. Most of said [...]
"After work, I went home and was so tired I took the elevator. As the doors hissed shut, I didn’t push the button to go to the next floor. I found myself kicking the wall over and over, muttering profanities under my breath—very uncharacteristic of me. I’m more of an emotional hoarder, swallowing everything I might be feeling. Eventually, I thought, “Well, this is crazy.” I pushed the button." —Roxane Gay has a post-Boston meditation in The Rumpus which I found myself re-reading this morning while feeling generally useless and wishing I'd gone to medical school or into some sort of profession that isn't an active detriment to crisis [...]