The Lives of Women 💥

Digest #3 (republished from Revue)

I’m a woman who likes and feels comfortable around men. It’s hard to know if that is part of my genetic makeup or a product of being raised with two brothers and no sisters.

I count men among my closest friends. My happiest romances have been one’s where the gender divide receded. Women and men are different, but through curiosity and friendship, we can understand each other.

Call me an idealist, but I think this understanding can change the world, support equality, and usher in a sane, modern version of romance. A world where beauty is a reflection of what women value in themselves.

Women’s stories are often relegated to appealing only to other women. How can this be? It’s thrilling to get a peek into another world.

There is no single ‘lives of women’, and that’s the point. The lives we choose for ourselves are diverse and complex. The one’s we do not are hollow and disastrous.

Here are a few I found intriguing, weird, inspiring, and deeply sad.

xo

Rebecca


“If you can’t see women — half the species — as human, you can’t see yourself as human.”
Junot Diaz, pulitzer-winning author and excellent human
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For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History — The New York Times — www.nytimes.com

“Misery is a great equalizer,” one male recruit said with a resigned grin.
“She’s a hoss,” her drill sergeant, Joseph Sapp, said as he watched her. After a tour in Iraq and four in Afghanistan, he has served with his share of soldiers. “Forget male-female; she’s one of the best in the company. She’s one you’re happy to have.”

Women warriors. The controversy and objections wash away as you read this piece. These women are fierce and competent.

They show us another version of womanhood, and it is glorious.

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The Playful Provocations (and Erotic Kaftans) of the Lebanese Artist Huguette Caland — The New Yorker — www.newyorker.com

Who is this woman with lovers and sex kaftans? I approve 😻

In Los Angeles, Caland lived surrounded by her drawings of her husband, her Lebanese lover, and Apostu — “the three men of her life who counted the most,” Brigitte says.
“Well, listen, naughty is part of life, no?” she says

YES

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America Made Me a Feminist — www.nytimes.com

PREACH Paulina. She did a wonderful job in this editorial, and no, I don’t care that she made her living being an underwear model. Women get to do that if they like.

She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.
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Cheeky Exploits on Instagram: — www.instagram.com

What woman hasn’t playfully tempted a lover by flashing him? 🍑

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Daniela, Portrait of My Mother — LensCulture — www.lensculture.com

“Of course, some painful cracks developed in my soul, and I lived away from reality for who knows how long.” This is one of the sentences my mother wrote in her diary. It offers an important reference point for this work.

Portraiture at its finest. The subject is the photographer’s Mother and all the beauty, sadness, love and absurdity shines through.

Sister Acts — The Power of Nuns

www.nytimes.com

There are also plenty of formidable nuns whom even warlords don’t want to mess with, who combine reverence with ferocity, who defy the Roman Catholic Church by handing out condoms to prostitutes to protect them from H.I.V. (They surely don’t mention that to the bishops.)

Their bravery is crucial to at-risk populations around the world. We owe them our deepest respect and gratitude 🙏🏼

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Photos of the women wrestlers of GLOW are glorious snapshots of 1980s kitsch — timeline.com

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11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida — www.nytimes.com

“It was a terrible life,” Johnson recalls, recounting her years as a child raising children. She missed school and remembers spending her days changing diapers, arguing with her husband and struggling to pay expenses. She ended up with pregnancy after pregnancy — nine children in all — while her husband periodically abandoned her.

Girls being forced to marry and bear children tears at me from the inside.

How are we as a society not prepared to stop this?

Rebecca Thomas is co-owner @kybecca and the O.G. silver fox. You can check out her writing here.