Spring semester is wrapping up, and that means that college freshmen and college students (along with their parents) are pondering their schedules and trying to decide if they should report to campus in the fall — if their campus of choice is even open.

I certainly understand why young people are eager to report to their dorms. I also wanted to buy a brightly colored bedspread, rush for a Greek organization, and start tailgating at football games.

I also understand and agree with the benefits of community college that parents usually tout— they are solid, affordable institutions that we should…


I was sixteen years old with an impressive nightly cocktail of mood stabilizers when I read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Published in 1892, the story focuses on an unnamed female narrator who is married to a physician named John. John has diagnosed her with “temporary nervous depression,” a label typically assigned to Victorian women who were considered poorly-behaved in the way they conducted their manners, sex lives, mothering, and opinions. John has largely sequestered her to one room in an abandoned country mansion, a practice that wasn’t entirely uncommon for the upper class. The bars on…


I was 19 or so in 2012 when I discovered Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. A sheltered child, there are many gaps in my personal canon of pop culture, but this particular hole was filled when my college roommate stormed into our dorm, slammed the door, and started playing — you guessed it — ”You Oughta Know.”

I was still in diapers when the album came out and ultimately became a classic manifesto of young female angst. Perhaps my lack of context for the dawn of Alanis Morissette is what makes her legacy so mystical to me. I remember my…


I’ve encountered one school shooting in my life. It was at the University of South Carolina, and a woman was actually the one to shoot her ex-husband, a professor. Once I recovered from the shock of receiving the phone alert and driving like hell to my parents’ house, I couldn’t make sense of it. Female anger looks like Alanis Morissette scratching her nails down the back of another man. It doesn’t look like a murder machine held in small, delicate hands.

But male interpersonal violence? I know that all too well. I learned what it was when I started developing…


I’ve been thinking a lot about how many of my parents’ friends (read: boomers) have experienced the “loss” of their children — that is, adult children who move away and cut off contact. My sample size is small and made up of virtually identical families: white, college educated, middle class, Protestant, conservative, and employed by either the military or another branch of government. But judging by comments and frank discussions with friends in real life and on Twitter, my sample seems to be relatively fair in representing this phenomenon.

I don’t think this phenomenon is much of a mystery.

Adult…


As soon as we see that first red stain in our underwear, girls are taught that our aches and discomforts are to be hidden. It is an expectation that continues throughout our lives — from our first periods to menopause, we are meant to hide our symptoms and try to dress them up prettily. From crackle-free tampon wrappers to hormone advertisements promising “eternal youth,” there is a whole market and culture around the idea that our perfectly normal bodily functions are shameful and embarrassing. When women become pregnant, we are expected to revel in the joy and wonder of motherhood…


While I always enjoyed going to church, it became a source of discomfort for me around the time I entered high school — when Southern Baptist curriculum started to force me to think about gender roles. Of course, gender roles are ingrained in evangelical girls from the beginning of our memories. We’re expected to be better-behaved and less rambunctious than the boys — more serious in Sunday School, more prim at Wednesday night potluck, more nurturing of our peers — just all-around better people, even while boys are praised as “the spiritual leaders of the future.” …


I am a cat person. This simple statement provokes two very polarized reactions, with barely any middle ground to be found. Fellow cat people — my brethren who go through copious amounts of lint rollers every week — find refuge in this admission of mine, like they have found someone they can be friends with. You see, cat people don’t have to apologize for the lint roller situation to other cat people, and I have found in my twenty-four years that this is a solid foundation for a friendship.

The other reaction, however, is not so positive. …

Ms. Klonopandemic

Born/buttered/bewitched in the South. Failed sorority girl. Still marrying a lawyer anyway. Day: market research. Night: writing. Cash app: $sarahiswriting

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