Happy Birthday Est.: Nikki’s Editor Picks

This week, The Establishment will celebrate its one-year birthday. In honor of the milestone, we’re popping the champagne . . . and sharing our favorite stories so far. Today, our ingenious and genial Editorial Director, Nikki Gloudeman, weighs in with her picks.

Read Ijeoma Oluo’s picks here, Jessica Sutherland’s picks here, Ruchika Tulshyan’s here, Katie Tandy’s picks here, and stay tuned tomorrow for more favorites from our founding staff.


Inside Stanford’s New Victim-Blaming Alcohol Policy
By Sophia Carter-Kahn


One of the things I’m most looking forward to as we grow The Establishment is devoting more resources to long-form reported content exploring issues that matter to marginalized communities. This exceptional deep-dive uses exhaustive research and interviews to shed light on Stanford’s dangerous policy surrounding alcohol use — a policy that, in turn, serves as a chilling microcosm of the way colleges across the U.S. treat sexual assault victims.

Other long-form pieces demonstrating impeccable journalism include Jody Allard’s The Controversial Child Abuse Epidemic Tearing Families Apart and Abe Louise Young and Katie Matlack’s Raped By The Deputy: A Texas Case, A U.S. Problem.*


When I Said All Trump Supporters Are White Supremacists, I Meant It
By Ijeoma Oluo


The Establishment’s Editor-at-Large has the exceptional ability to pair incisive, bullshit-free commentary with a deep well of compassion. This is demonstrated to particularly potent effect in this piece that dares to say what so many wouldn’t (and still haven’t). As we near the election, Ijeoma’s words continue to feel nothing short of essential.

As an aside, I am so lucky to work with people whom I admire deeply (and who, let’s be real, intimidate me profoundly and frequently trigger my impostor syndrome). Other favorites that make me shout “I KNOW HER!” include Kelley Calkins’ stunning and raw Since My Rape, The Most Devastating Betrayals Have Come From Loved Ones, Katie Tandy’s biting and clever Dear Fragile Men: I Don’t Give A Shit If You Hate My Sex Writing, Ruchika Tulshyan’s thoughtful and persuasive We Can’t Admit America’s Rape Culture Is As Pervasive As India’s, and Jessica Sutherland and Ijeoma’s brilliant joint effort Taye Diggs Isn’t Wrong (Or Right) About His Son’s Biracial Identity.


My Dog Provides The Love I’ve Always Been Searching For
By Laura Bogart


Maybe it’s because I am obsessed with my dog (Bailey, the best and cutest dog in the entire world, an objective truth). Maybe it’s because of the tender, beautiful writing that pulls you in and never lets go. Whatever the reason, this piece made me gently weep (yes, weep). And if you love your dog, it’ll probably make you weep, too.


bell hooks And The Extraordinary Power Of Names
By Jené Gutierrez


How wonderfully meta that this piece about the power of language uses language so brilliantly and thoughtfully. The enlightening history lesson and important thesis alone make this a compelling read; the fact that it is written with such abundant grace makes it a must-read.


On The Beautiful Futility Of Writing
By July Westhale


Few can weave a narrative like July, who has an impressive gift for elegant prose and moving metaphor. This is one of the first essays we published at The Establishment, and it remains a favorite among the entire staff — not only for the extraordinary words, but also for the whimsical illustrations by Barbara Moura that are paired with it.


BONUS PICKS!**: Of Kin And Kidney Transplants: Living As My Sister’s Keeper, I Believe In A God Who Desires Radical Justice, The Ongoing Joke About Women And Money Isn’t Funny Anymore, No, I’m Not ‘Glamorizing’ My Autism, 33 And Never Been Kissed, Stay Here Or Stay Nowhere: When Poverty Calls The Shots In Your Relationship

*Yeah, I’m sneaking in more than the designated five favorites. How could I not?

**You can’t tell me what to do!

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