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The Establishment
Letter sent on Apr 28, 2017

THE ESTABLISHMENT IS COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU!

Happy Friday dear readers!

Did you know that The Establishment threw its first-ever event this past Sunday in Seattle?! Did you know that 100 people came and Ijeoma Oluo, El Sanchez, Brett Hamil and Nikkita Oliver (who’s a slam poet-activist running for Seattle mayor NBD) all performed and it filled the glowing cockles of our hearts?

Did you know that we curated a series of short films The Est. has produced over the past year and a half on female artists and egg donation, and that we showcased some tremendously terrifying:wonderful vintage videos (like “Supervising Women Workers”) from the dusty halls of our own U.S. Department of Education?!

(One woman wrote: “It was like my favorite reading portal was suddenly a physical place and I didn’t want to get up from my chair and break the magic.”)

HERE ARE A FEW PHOTOS OF SAID MAGIC:

EL SANCHEZ BEING FUNNY AS HELL.
IJEOMA AND BRETT DISCUSS THE STATE OF SEATTLE POLITICS.
EST. EDITOR RUCHIKA TULSHYAN, ME, AND IJEOMA BASKING IN THE EST. LOVE.

This is all to say that we are ever and always moved and delighted by our writers and our readers and the conversations and proper deluge of emotions they induce in the world.

AND WE’RE GOING TO LAUNCH ANOTHER EVENT IN OAKLAND VERY VERY SOON.

Thank you for your support, but a thank you could never suffice.

With love + rage,
Katie Tandy
Co-founder | Creative Director

If You’re Suicidal, Staying Alive Is The Most Selfless Thing You Can Do

By Anne Theriault

If the past few weeks have made one thing clear to me, it’s that our culture treats narratives about suicide as not belonging to the people living (or dying) them, but rather being everyone’s to consume. As if by completing suicide you lose all right to privacy, to autonomy, to the secrets that you’ve struggled your whole life to keep from slipping from your fingers.

Who’s selfish, then? The people who spend every day fighting the urge to die? Or the people who get some kind of voyeuristic frisson from reading a dead woman’s hospital records?

Why Isn’t ‘Ebony’ Paying Its Black Writers?

By Jagger Blaec

I hesitate to speak up, because, like so many writers of color, the question looms: Who is going to go up against an industry giant and risk torpedoing their career despite being well within their right to do so?

Sometimes I’ve wondered if perhaps I have overestimated my ability as a writer, when countless pitch emails are ignored by editors. But the reality is that a lot of publications don’t offer space for Black people to write consistently about mundane things. A lot of my earlier work as an emerging writer came from a place of pain where exploiting my personal experiences via essay was not only cathartic and healing, but a way for my work to be seen. Black pain and suffering sells.

Could A Smart Vibrator Revolutionize The Way We Talk About Sex?

By Katie Tandy

Pornography is a multibillion-dollar industry almost entirely predicated on folks taking matters into their own hands if you will…and yet we still find ourselves in a neo-Puritanical hellscape where masturbation is a dirty word.

Especially for women.

Christianists Want Dominion Over America — And It’s Not Rude To Say So

By Julie Goldberg

It’s not bigotry to oppose Christianism, which is a political ideology, not a religion.

When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called Trumpcare “an act of mercy” (a phrase that has a specific meaning to Catholics), fellow Catholic Representative Joe Kennedy wondered whether he and Ryan were reading the same Bible.

“The one I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick.…This is not an act of mercy. It is an act of malice.”

I Grew Up In A Fundamentalist Cult — ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Was My Reality

By Hannah Ettinger

We were part of a larger movement now called “Quiverfull,” the term taken from a Psalm where the writer talks about God blessing the man whose “quiver is full of arrows.”

Just like Offred, women existed within the community to serve higher purposes than our own desires. Young girls who led the congregation wore white dresses and were stripped of identifying features — no jewelry, no nail polish, hair tied back and not in the face — while wives were submissive helpers to their husbands, with my mother used as the fertile ground for my father to breed a quiver full of Christian culture warriors.

GET RADICAL, GET BEAUTIFUL.
GET EST SWAG.

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