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Foundational Habits for Unfucking Your Diet.

I’ve never been particularly interested in writing about my own struggles and successes with weight management, in part because it’s an incredibly sensitive and highly personal subject for a lot of people. However, lately a few people in the dreaded throes of lockdown gain have privately asked me how I manage my shit, so here I am, oversharing. …


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Conservative obsession with the “beauty” of unnecessary female pain is creepy AF

“A Quiet Place” is about Choice, Parental Love, and Sound

Contains spoilers for A Quiet Place.

For the duration of this essay I will use the propagandic term “pro-life” in quotes. Decades of research has consistently shown that pro-choice policies both significantly decrease rates of abortion, and save the lives of the women seeking safe abortion care. So choice is, quite literally, life. Meanwhile, male conservatives are falling all over themselves in excitement that a woman in a horror movie chooses to have a baby in horrific circumstances in a world none of us would ever want to live in, and utterly failing to grasp the irony: that “pro-life” policies want to subject women to an equally horrific world, devoid of the modicum of personal choice depicted in the film, and full of the very real deaths and very real horrific circumstances that result from favoring ideological health myths over medical realities — conservative reproductive overreach where deeply personal liberty intrinsically resides. …


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The Patriarchal Fragility of the Jedi Order

Contains spoilers.

For the record, I love Star Wars — specifically episodes 4–8, while I can’t stand the prequels (the level of narrative cringe on multiple levels makes them unwatchable, while the music and visuals are so stunning, I fantasize they will eventually be released as silent films with some sweet John Williams accompaniment). But let’s talk about the sad men of Star Wars for a second. Curiously enough, they’re all Jedi. This is not an accident. A lot of the sad men in our lives are priests, ideologues, Calvinists, pastors who kill themselves after molesting their children’s friends at slumber parties, etc. …


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Dystopias By Definition are not Utopias

Contains Blade Runner spoilers, obviously.

If some culture writer posted an entire essay with a title like “The Politics of The Handmaid’s Tale Aren’t That Futuristic” the response would be well, no shit. Yet, being presented an equally dark future in Blade Runner for some reason has apparently given critics a pass to completely ignore the principle content and context of the piece. And so we are presented with bafflingly simplistic criticism entitled “Blade Runner 2049 Has a Woman Problem” and, indeed “Blade Runner 2049’s Politics Aren’t That Futuristic”

In other words, some critics appear to need a work of fiction to be officially sanctioned as “hey, this is bad, by the way” by its writers in order to be given permission to understand that the dystopia is, in fact, on purpose. …


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Obituary of a Beloved Dog

When he came to me sometime in 2007 it was during the short stint when I lived in the Mt Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. My usual home of choice back then was a magical, wooded, small old mill town just outside the city that functioned very much like it was cut off from the rest of the world. His given name was Scruffy. It fit the look of his coat, for sure; dirty blond with streaks of white and, unless groomed, a mess. He was officially a mixed mutt of some kind of terrier and some kind of dachshund. Despite being a perfect dog, he had somehow been through two families before me. The family that raised him from puppyhood eventually had a baby who turned out to be highly allergic. I can only assume they were heartbroken to let him go. I was told they also had cats, who essentially raised him judging by his overly dignified mannerisms. He trotted lightly as if en pointe with his head and bushy tail held high, and throughout the day would daintily lift and lick each paw clean, over and over. He was even-tempered and very rarely barked unless he was startled, or if I deigned to leave him tied outside of a coffeeshop for three minutes, when he would mewl mournfully on and off until I returned. When other dogs barked or growled at him, he would stare at them in silence as if startled by their uncouthness. In truth I believe he believed he was a cat. His second family told me he was two years old, and had put him up for adoption because they worked long hours, leaving him alone for hours in the double digits; “he deserved better” they said, truthfully. …


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Trentbro is a troll, not a journalist. If Medium can’t tell the difference, I don’t want any part of it

First Hire Some Journalists and Stop Being Part of the Problem

I used to love Medium. When friends asked me for advice about the best blogging platform, I didn’t hesitate to strongly recommend Medium first. They have the best algorithms for sharing and exposure to new writers, giving mere bloggers like me the ability to get tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of views from a diverse group of readers that I simply would not be able to get if I blogged on my own site, and exposing me to new bloggers I would not have found on my own as a reader. Medium has been good to me. My top performing post was translated into Russian, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, and an audio version was produced. I didn’t have to lift a finger to make this happen. And so, had you told me a year ago that Medium would be launching a paid subscription service at merely $5 a month, I would have been first in line to sign up and would have told everyone I know. …


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She’s not FACING the bull by accident

She Stands in Beautiful Opposition.

My fellow feminists are at their most self-defeating when, in the frenzy to analyze layers of meaning, they mistake mountains for anthills; failing to see the context as it relates to the big picture. “The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue sums up what’s wrong with feminism today” writes Cara Marsh Sheffler for The Guardian. Its accompanying fretpiece is a parody of feminists who have microscopes permanently glued to their eyeballs and haven’t looked at the proverbial forest in years. …


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On the Internet, Toxic Irony Abounds

Deconstructing the Good Nuance from the Assault on Nuance

While the term Social Justice has been around since the 1840s, Warrior wasn’t added to mean a specific kind of actively progressive person until the 1990s, when it enjoyed a short-lived decade or so as a term solely of praise. Somewhere in Obama’s first term, during the early stages of this particular strain of racially-charged social justice backlash, it became pejorative on the Right and overwhelmingly associated with online behavior rather than the activism of the non-digital world. Now its meaning wholly relies on intent and interpretation rather than anything more specific, and therefore useful. The language surrounding how we describe SJW activity tends to be layered in-joke semantic luxuries that were fine during the Progressive Camelot years of Obama, when we had the upper hand. …


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The Future Belongs to Those in Comfortable Pants

Despising Comfort Doesn’t Make You Classy

The National Dumpster Fire that is America 2016 isn’t going to go down without a few last-minute killjoys. It’s apparently not punishment enough that we’ve solidly lost our democracy, or that Putin’s favorite orange idiot is determined to ruin America before he even takes office. Nope; writers over at the Washington Post are coming for your goddamn precious yoga pants — for one of life’s last remaining joys.

While the Electoral College votes to hand the keys to America’s dignity over to a madman who personifies an assault on common decency; a direct threat to the health and safety of millions, Kerry Folan is spending her braintime unthinkpiecing yoga pants as an actual problem. Specifically, she calls them an “assault on manners and a nihilistic threat” and to be fair, maybe nihilism doth protest too much — maybe she’s given up on life and this is all she has left to say. Maybe she wants to wallow in beauty and escapism. I understand the appeal; given the state of humanity, when NASA warns of the real possibility of Earth’s demise by asteroid, the only logical response is to make popcorn and hope it happens before society’s collapse, to spare us all of the era when we’re all hunting squirrels and deer for food. …


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Hogwarts School of Romanticized Education (Image: Pottermore)

Romanticization of School is a Deeply Needed Thing

Tilda Swinton, whom I otherwise worship regularly every Sunday along with Helen Mirren and a host of other goddesses in my shrine, said that she doesn’t like the depiction of boarding schools in Harry Potter for “romanticizing them”. She has a good reason. She attended a cold London boarding school, so she ought to know. She does not, however, seem to know much about Harry Potter.

Of course I can easily believe that many if not most non-wizarding boarding schools can be cruel and damaging to children as she has stated. But her criticism suggests that people who read the books and/or watch the films are going to walk away assuming that boarding schools are like that. I can’t think of why anyone would make such a wild assumption. One does not read the Narnia series and experience buyer’s remorse that wardrobes are not, in fact, portals. One does not assume that chocolate factories look much different than bran muffin factories. One does not assume that tornadoes or call boxes or DeLoreans bring you — safely and fully intact — to alternate lands, times, or dimensions. …

About

Sara Lynn Michener

Writer. Maker. Feminist. Internet Curator. Spitfire. Ravenclaw. Trekkie. Social Justice Apologist.

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