@Stacy Worst I agree. $65k is nothing for a family, and it's refreshing that Ireland wouldn't discount that from the dole... unlike welfare in the US, which I could go on a rant about as being inaccessible to many families in need... Besides that fact, this piece was very beautifully written and any creative nonfiction piece is bound to have some inaccuracies.
@Stacy Worst Yeah that 'dole' thing made me furrow my brows like wha?!
@Plexia I see what you're saying 100%, but I also read the disconnect here as something that fit with the rest of the confusion/misunderstanding/fucked-up-ness of the situation at large - she didn't understand anything about this person's family or where she was going, and all of these strong impressions and the way her expectations are thrown over add to the overall sense of displacement and dread. E.g. comparing the snow in Ireland to the snow in Wisconsin when she gets there, thinking she knows exactly what will happen and then finding out that things here function according to rules she's not even aware of. The observations about Ireland that she got "wrong" read less like assertions and more like little reflections of the disconnect that runs through the piece. (The only thing that gave me real pause was the thing about the dole, but again, I think it's the same - she thought this situation worked one way, and then the ground shifted.) That's how I read it, anyway.
Gah I hate to say this because I liked the story so much, but I found the cultural bias in this story borderline offensive... Ireland doesn't have snow plows because it's super rural, the roads aren't straight and it snows for like a week every two years. And clothes hanging around in a damp house to dry is just what happens in the winter in old houses without dryers because no one has dryers. I don't know anyone with a dryer.
By erin uh oh on Ask a Fancy Person: Occasionless Gifts, Chemo Baldness at the Office, The "Thanks For the Birthday Wishes" Anomie
Whose idea was it to use a picture of a bald woman smoking a cigarette to illustrate the question from the cancer survivor? Tacky!
By allyb on Armpit Hair?
For a gendered phenomenon, this is an incredibly non-gendered analysis. If pit hair triggers disgust of sex, why don't men shave? A simpler explanation might be that lack of pit hair is a marker of femininity in our culture, so deviations from that disrupt our sense of what a woman is supposed to look like.
As someone who is asexual, I found this piece kind of offensive. Yes, the guy was absolutely wrong about dating a teenager (which the article glossed over, as if that were the most trivial of his offenses). But I don't know that he was a big lying liar with DANGER written all over him. Should he have been honest up front and say I'm a romantic asexual and I'd like to try sex but I really don't know if it will work for me? Probably. But there are lots of big things that only an individual can gauge when they're ready to divulge in a relationship. When does one tell their partner they're trans? Or bi? Or they have low sex drive? Or they're intersex? Or they were sexually assaulted? Or that they're into a certain fetish (or BDSM)? All different situations that may come into play in a sexual relationship (or relationship in general); and I don't know that there is a right answer for when to divulge. I mean probably before you're celebrating your 15th anniversary. But do you have to share them before the first time you have sex? I don't know.
What happened to them was sad, and not really fair to either of them. But what I found offensive that almost one of the first things she asks is what his therapist says about him being asexual (subtext, clearly there's something wrong with you or you wouldn't be asexual). And then she quotes her ignorant friends who refuse to believe in his asexuality, as if what, they're experts? Finally she quotes Dan fucking Savage, who is completely utterly ignorant and awful when it comes to asexuality (not to mention his awfulness about being trans); as evidenced by his quote about not believing asexuality is a real thing. I appreciate her end paragraph, but what came before was pretty awful.
Not All Men because these ones will be spared
By de Pizan on Hot Paleo People
@Sister Administrator I lost it when I was reading a paleo cookbook, and the author recommended that people claim they were allergic to gluten when eating out at restaurants. As someone with celiac, who in the last few years has gotten an increase in restaurant workers asking me just how serious my gluten free needs are, or has gotten eye rolls for people on the other side of the counter, fuck you paleo author lady.
By Mariajoseh on The Beauty Bridge
This was SO GOOD, Jia! I recently interviewed the head of the Dove Project. She's a really upbeat lady, really engaged with the work that she does. But I just couldn't get her to say one IMPORTANT thing about marketing and beauty and it was very frustrating... maybe I'm just not a great journalist.