A look at fairy tales and vigilantism in 2005’s Hard Candy.

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Once upon a time there was a wily old wolf stalking the dark woods just outside of this very village. All of the women and young girls were warned not to go out into the woods alone for fear the wolf would eat them up. But one girl, emboldened by the crimson cloak her grandmother had gifted her, went out anyway with the intention of gathering mushrooms to bring to the old woman. …

New Orleans bakeries have more to offer than King Cakes and pralines.

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It’s not hard to guess why bakeries are a popular destination. The smell of fresh bread or a batch of cupcakes right out of the oven is intoxicating and familiar. A slice of red velvet cake can conjure up afternoons spent baking for the holidays, or a petit four might make you remember tea parties with your dolls as honored guests.

Baked goods might have gotten a bad rap in the past decade’s anti-carb craze, but there remains little in the world as satisfying as a slice of warm French bread with a swipe of butter.

While New Orleans is…

So how do we solve it?

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The past few years have seen much written about the supposed Confidence Gap between men and women in the workplace. The theory goes that men are more often placed in positions of authority and leadership because they’re more confident. They self promote and talk up their accomplishments, increasing their visibility to their superiors.

Women, on the other hand, are less likely to self-advocate or self promote. They don’t negotiate for themselves, but they will do so on behalf of others.

Books like The Confidence Code state that if women would just be more confident, if they would put their accomplishments…

Harry Powers might not be a name you recognize, but his story inspired a classic novel and film

Photo Credit: Paul Gregory Productions, United Artists

Even if you’ve never seen the classic film The Night of the Hunter, odds are you’re familiar with its villain. He spouts poetic rhetoric as he prowls about with the words LOVE and HATE tattooed across the knuckles of each hand.

Preacher Harry Powell is a lady killer. He travels the path of the Ohio River marrying and murdering widow women for their money. But his crimes aren’t for financial gain alone. No, he’s invested in something far deeper.

His hatred for “perfumed, curly haired things” is every bit as strong as his lust for money. The fact he can…

As an Autistic person, I’m tired of non-disabled people framing my experience.

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I have a Google alert set up for Autism.

Each day around 11 am, my phone dings, letting me know the new collection of articles is ready.

As a disability rights advocate, and an #actuallyautistic person, it’s important for me to stay informed on new theories and research regarding Autism. It’s also a daily reminder of the biases and stigma (often deadly) Autistic people face.

Any person belonging to a minority can tell you running the gauntlet of societal expectations is exhausting and damaging.

You’re never allowed to be a whole human being. Instead, you’re constantly compared to the stereotype…

Being stalked was awful but being accused of inviting my stalker’s actions was worse

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Looking at the preview pictures of video files, I see the faces of my stalkers.

I hadn’t been expecting that when I put the SD card in my computer. I had forgotten what was on it and was hoping to clean it out for reuse.

Opening the innocently named files pulled me back into one of the worst periods of my life.

For nearly a year, I was stalked by my neighbors. It was a terrifying experience and, like many stalking victims, I got no support from the police or my landlord.

I had to protect myself.

Being stalked is…

Assertive women, subservient men, and one highly gendered term

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It’s a word many women fear, a word tossed about with abandon. It’s hurled at women who are non-compliant, assertive, not willing to smile when you harass them on the street.

It resides next to ‘Ball Buster’, ‘Slut’, and ‘Cunt’ in the lexicon for difficult women.

It’s a word I both loathe and love.

Bitch has many, often contradictory, definitions. It can be a spiteful woman, a difficult or unpleasant situation or thing. It can also mean subservient, as in “being someone’s bitch.”

It’s a highly gendered term, and it’s all about women’s behavior. If a woman is called bitch…

For personal liberation, own your narrative.

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I am a notorious woman.

Don’t believe me?

Walk into any of a half dozen coffee shops and wait for me to arrive. As soon as my ignominious self walks in there will be smirks and whispers among the baristas.

Follow me as I wait for the streetcar. See the secretive, mocking smiles from the regular commuters, rallied in their conviction of my bad behavior.

Just ask any man who didn’t get to fuck me.

Because he will tell you all sorts of things, true but mostly not, about me.

You won’t even have to ask. He, or someone he’s…

Disabled people are up to seven times more likely to experience sexual assault. Why aren’t we hearing their voices?

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Few people like feeling a fool.

Sometimes we do it to ourselves with a thoughtless word or clumsy fingers. Other times, it’s done to us. Bullying or betrayal leave you with burning cheeks and a need to fall through the floor.

Finding out you’ve been manipulated brings a range of reactions: shame, anger, fear it could happen again. It affects your ability to trust.

Some are able to find a silver lining by saying you’ll know what to look for next time, but for those of us who are disabled, mistrust often becomes a necessary default.

We are targeted, seen…

You’re trying to exert power over me and I’m not okay with it

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

There’s a fellow who sells water at my streetcar stop. He’s out there every morning, usually just setting up as I arrive. He chats with everyone and has been doing it so long even drivers who don’t want water will slow down to shout greetings.

Overall, he’s been friendly and respectful but that’s all changed in the last few weeks.

He’s been getting bolder in asserting his opinions and talking over me when I answer one of his questions. He’s been hinting he’d like to go to the movies with me since I mentioned going to the neighborhood theatre.


Kate Taylor

Autistic. Disability rights advocate. Film enthusiast and critic. Short story author. John Denver lover. Kitchen Witch.

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