Writer, galloper of imaginary ponies. Wannabe side-saddle enthusiast.

By BusyBrie on My Battle With My Big Naturals

Our stories start the same but diverge when I had a reduction my senior year of high school. After having oddly-shaped triple D's since 6th grade, it was a godsend. I wanted to breastfeed too, and tried to - it's not impossible after a reduction - but it just didn't happen. And my formula-fed baby boy is big, strong, healthy as a horse, and completely bonded to me without that joyous time of breastfeeding. I wish I could have given him that. But we are all fine without it, and the last 15 years of my life have been SO MUCH BETTER thanks to that reduction. Yes, they got hugemongous during my pregnancy. But they went back down. And they still have the nice shape that the reduction gave me, even if I'm still a double- to triple-D depending on the bra brand. But I can wear pretty lace bras that I don't have to special order and I feel good in my own skin - something I never felt before my surgery.

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm 2

By AKinney on Fifty Shades of Brontë

Hi Crystal--on the contrary, I love /Villette/ and have read it many times! But its themes are so different from this particular one I'm identifying in /Jane Eyre/ that there's no reason to discuss /Villette/ in this context. Publishers of the next Victorian S&M adaptation will have to look elsewhere. Thanks for reading!

Posted on May 10, 2014 at 9:51 am 1

By Stacy Hackner@facebook on First-Ever Tramp Stamp Discovered

Hi Pinners - I love the Hairpin and am super pleased that you featured this article. I'm actually doing my doctorate on Sudanese skeletal material stored in the same room as this woman's mummy and have seen the tattoo up close. However, it's a little disrespectful to call it a tramp stamp; we bioarchaeologists strive to always be respectful to the deceased.

(And yes, @HereKitty, tramp stamps are always on the lower back.)

Posted on April 2, 2014 at 5:40 am 3

By BadUncle2 on The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense

@Onymous Respectfully, as an Old I'd have to say full-force training is pretty damaging to people over time. After your twenties, your joints become less forgiving. Women's self-defense in my line can't be taught full-force anyway, since someone would have his eyes gouged out.

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 3:44 pm 1

By Graydon Gordian on The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense

@Onymous Just wanted to say that, as a former boxing trainer who had several female students, I discouraged them from thinking of boxing as self defense or believing that, if threatened physically, they should rely upon what I taught them.

Boxing is a craft. It is occurs in a confined space, under a specific set of rules, which include which parts of the body can strike and be struck. That in no way mimics the reality of an attack. There may be elements of boxing involved in practical self defense, but the two are not equivalent.

I love boxing. I think it's great for fitness and, like anything that requires dedication, focus and study, can be really rewarding. But if you wish to learn to defend yourself, I imagine classes explicitly aimed at such things are the way to go.

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm 2

By Miss_T on The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense


Must respectfully disagree with you here. I don't really have an opinion re: the merits of Krav Maga, but the rest of your comments aren't really accurate in terms of teaching short-term, empowerment-based self-defense to women. Just a few reasons why:

* "Sparring at full resistance/force" may be a great way to learn to box for those who want to do so, but it's a myth that that is required to learn to defend oneself.

* Full-contact sparring will put many people off entering a school entirely, and as I learned from my teacher, we don't learn best from being frightened and/or hurt. At the very least, full-force is not the *only* way to learn.

* Women's bodies are different from men's. Techniques that men may be more likely to choose, e.g. pitting strength vs. strength, are not necessarily going to be the best choice for a woman, especially one with limited training. They may not even be relevant to her situation at all, e.g. she is unlikely to encounter an attacker who wants to box with her. This does NOT mean there's nothing she can do to defend herself.

* Proficiency in boxing and judo takes years. It's important to be able to provide training that does not require any particular athleticism, nor years of commitment to be effective.

* Full-force sparring can be intimidating and triggering for survivors of violence, and it's wrong to indicate to them that that is the ONLY way to learn how to fight.

* Lastly, with many women, half the battle is emotional and psychological; we lack the sense that we're entitled to take care of ourselves, the daily visual/verbal/physical assertiveness skills to express that entitlement, and the belief that we'll be successful if we try. Self-defense training that just focuses on fighting techniques but ignores this crucial element is what gives SD a bad name.

Again, I say this with respect because I know your comment was well-intended, and because I'm a big fan of martial arts training. The author of this article gives links to loads of research informing a different approach to women's self defense -- interesting to read if you're so inclined.

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm 2

By LilRedCorvette on Internet Work and Invisible Labor: An Interview With the Fug Girls

Extremely excited about this series.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm 2

By nancytik on What If a Women's Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?

@juksie what? you may never have written for women's mags before. since i have, a lot, i found it so on target that it had me lmao even after reading through a couple of times.

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm 1

By mistersister on What If a Women's Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?

@juksie Why do you hate it? Although this is a bit of an exaggeration, women's magazine editors will actually send feedback like this. It's funny because it's true.

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm 3

By mollpants on 30 Minutes with Christina Angela

@LunaLunaLunaMoth @LunaLunaLunaMoth I don't have a problem with her English at all. That's not what I'm saying. What I have a problem with is the author's choice to portray this woman's thoughts through his own lens and his own perspective, without bringing in a third party to try and bridge the language gap to gain a deeper understanding of what Christina/Angela is saying on a more nuanced level, and/or by writing out the "pidgin" version of their conversation. (In an English-language written piece, especially a narrative like this one, the person "speaking" in broken English is inevitably going to come out sounding like the less eloquent/intelligent speaker.)

I work at an organization that deals pretty heavily with human trafficking/sex trafficking, and I spend a lot of my time handling media portrayals and cultural biases surrounding trafficked women, sex workers, and the gray areas in between these two extremes. It's true that women like Christina/Angela don't tend to write essays for the Hairpin - but that's all the more reason to give them appropriate platforms for when their voices do make it onto sites like these. Sex workers and prostitutes are used way too often as navel-gazing devices for essay writers and society at large - we really don't need another piece that uses them as literary metaphors to make a point.

For what it's worth, I really did think the prose was lovely, their interaction at the end was nice, and if this was done just a little bit differently I would be a lot more comfortable.

Posted on November 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm 13