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Letter sent on Jun 30, 2017

THE POSSIBILITY OF JOY AND WONDER!

Hi there.

I think about death a lot. This is partially because I’m spooky and overly sentimental and my brain absolutely loves to feel emotionally overloaded — boy oh boy does it love that — but it also grounds me in a kind of crystalline and beautiful urgency.

I’m an atheist, and while my “belief system” is accompanied by all kinds of WONDER AND POSSIBILITY (namely aliens, ghosts, astral projections, and reincarnation), I am largely ruled by the guiding principle that we all become dirt-dust.

Good god this strange life is fleeting and if these 31,025 days are the only goddamn days I get you better believe I will find preposterous joy in every single one — if I can.

Yesterday I met up with my band for the first time in weeks and drank four Miller High Lifes from the can and the drummer and I both took off our pants because it was so fucking hot in our squalid little practice room and we were grooving so hard.

Today I spotted a very small sickly squirrel holding a giant French roll in its mouth as it ran along the top of a 12-foot chained-link fence.

Tomorrow, I do not know if there is joy waiting. And I know that for many joy is an emotion that is but a figment, a gauzy laughable emotion predicated on a life exponentially easier and less dangerous than theirs.

But if you can cultivate a small place — behind your eyes, in your friend’s palm, inside a beautifully-wrought hand-made pie — where joy can quietly stoke its flame, surely you can make the darkness smaller with your own light.

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

SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FEMINIST MEDIA

(AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL BRILLIANT PEOPLE THAT COMPRISE IT!)

The Strange, Sad Case Of Laci Green — Feminist Hero Turned Anti-Feminist Defender

By Katelyn Burns

Online harassment is extremely complex, and hardly solely the fault of Green — and to be quite honest, I couldn’t care less who her boyfriend is or what her politics are. But to suddenly turn around and whitewash years of abuse is inexcusable.

Gaslighting actual abuse victims by downplaying their trauma and equating it with “hurt feelings” — especially with such a large platform — is an unconscionable violation, especially knowing herself the results of such toxicity.

Why Are People Into Gang Bang Porn?!

By Tina Horn

Seeing a woman accept all that stimulation, all that flesh, fills me with arousing wonder. It’s like the old joke about the reason straight men like girl-on-girl porn: “I agree with both of them.”

When I watch a gang bang I agree with the woman who wants all the dicks in her mouth, her cunt, and her ass; and, I agree with the men who find this beautiful woman irresistible.

On Weight Loss Surgery And The Unbearable Thinness Of Being

By Your Fat Friend

There’s a quiet adjustment of expectations that comes with being very fat. You learn that you’re unlikely to be welcomed where your body can be seen: in sports, acting, sales, communications, politics. You might apply for a restaurant job as a server and be offered one as a dishwasher. You might audition for a play and be redirected to join the crew.

Sometimes people tell you kindly, sometimes cruelly. Sometimes you find out by seeing another fat person rejected in public, sacrificed as an object lesson. But no matter where you go, someone is always there to teach you a mandatory lesson: that your success will always be contained by others’ willingness to see your body.

The GOP’s Health-Care Bill Would Push More Disabled People Into Poverty

By Samantha Dorothy Bendel

Many people are unaware that Social Security disability actually takes two forms: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is granted to disabled people who have worked in the past but are currently unable to do so, while Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is reserved for those who have never worked or only worked a small amount. While SSI is a welfare program, SSDI is insurance — a payroll-tax-funded program the recipient has paid into throughout their adult life.

Award benefits for both programs are meager. For an individual, annual SSI payments top out at about $3,000 less than the federal poverty line. SSDI awards, which are based on the claimant’s previous income rather than on financial need, end up being about $2,000 above the annual poverty line for a one-person household.

A Frank Feminist Talk With A Devout Catholic Nun

By Anne Theriault

I remember wondering if nuns were all born good, or if goodness was something that they had learned. As a kid, I was often preoccupied by my own inability to be good; what frustrated me the most was that in spite of my best efforts to sit still, not interrupt, not talk too much, I still frequently slipped up and got in trouble. The kids who were well-behaved made it look effortless, their faces calm and attentive, their hands neatly folded on their desks. I, on the other hand, felt that I had a natural inclination toward badness.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s possible my childish preoccupation with nuns reflected both the shame I felt about myself and a vague hope that someday I wouldn’t be like that. Saying that I wanted to be a nun felt aspirational, not just because it was a holy calling, but because stating it felt like making a promise to everyone around me that someday I would be a smooth blank canvas instead of the rumpled, scribbled-over mess that I was.

My new ‘Sex Beast’ column is IN THE WORLD.

To Deny Desire Is Deception And Delusion

I want to be wanted with the ferality of a tiny toothed beast — smelled and licked and held down not because I’m charming or good or smart or familiar but because the strange waters of our collective unconscious are thrumming with the siren song of touch.

I want to touch you — all of you — because it’s the closest thing I have to faith. It feels like my body knows it was designed for exploration. I want to remember the fear of not knowing what something will feel like. I don’t know what to do, will you show me?

Touch me because you think you might die if you don’t.

WE’RE THROWING AN EVENT IN SAN FRANCISCO THIS SUMMER SO GIRD YOUR LOINS TO LOOK A BIT LIKE THIS.

(AND STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS!)

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