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The Establishment
Letter sent on Feb 23, 2018

Tremendous love love love.

Bonjour dear humans.

This week my heart is humming for books; I’m curled tightly around their bindings for warmth like a wet, matted cat under a leaky porch trying to hide from the rain.

(I was dating someone for a while a couple years ago — I called him Jesus Cowboy because of his tendency toward silence, penetrative staring, and his head of gleaming mahogany brown, shoulder-length hair. He’d half-moved in during Christmastime — I was manically throwing myself into this odd man — when one day we spotted a cat, soaking wet and shaking, trying to hide under a shallow awning. I rushed to my house to get a can of tuna fish and started to cry as I rummaged through the cabinets.

“You’re just looking for something to be sad about,” he spat at me. I suppose he was annoyed I wasn’t smiling and laughing which is infinitely more convenient and conducive to sex. Little did he know that I love a good cry and fuck, so the joke’s on him.

Anyway, I told him to get the hell out and that was basically it. If you can’t muster a tender heart for me and a wet, lost, maybe-riddled-with-madness cat, you can’t stay.

I say all this because I have been feeling a bit like that cat.)

I’ve been in need of understanding — blind, animal knowingness — and sometimes books just know. I’m so goddamn thankful for words and stories, I wish I had four heads and eight hands and a fireplace so I could wander through and wield all the tales I need right now.

Where are you seeking shelter? What tangled yarns are keeping you warm and dry?

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

Why Would Anyone Ever Want To Be A Wife?

By Katie Schmid

The wife is a technology that winnows potential. To become a wife is to move from the state of being something unknown or threatening into a state of intelligibility, to move from anti-meaning (a place of resistance) to stasis (a place of deadness).

To even acknowledge the extent to which wives already wife for each other is a threat not only to the state of marriage, but to the state.

The state of wifeliness can determine the existence of both allegiance to nationhood (in the form of access to contingent citizenship) and the existence of state-acknowledged personhood (in the form of access to civil rights).

“Our bodies are the vessel for how we experience the world, and the world has an ever growing fracture from the absence of love. I’m an amputee and this image is one of the first I’ve created that addresses what being disabled is, sans able-bodied expectations.”

— Artist Artemis Xenakis


Est. swag supports diverse artists!

An American Monster In Wakanda: Why I Would Be Erik Killmonger

By TaLynn Kel

I came out of the theater angry at Wakanda.

I know it’s not a real place. I KNOW it’s not real. It’s a flawed fantasy that doesn’t align with the reality of the history of my family, my people.

Still, to watch a narrative where the person with the power to change the world opts to murder his brother and desert his nephew to the poverty and oppression faced by so many Black people, all to maintain a separatist, non-interference policy, while spying and learning the atrocities endured by millions and doing nothing to stop it?

That’s a hard pill to swallow.


Islamophobia Informed My Mother’s Silence On Domestic Abuse — And Mine

By Nour Naas

My mother was beloved in our community, known for her exceptional cooking and shrewdness. But though her funeral brought together people that I had not seen in over a decade, celebrating her and her life, not once did anyone blame my father for what he did.

Everyone wrote off his choice to kill my mother as a psychological illness, as a whisper from the devil, ignoring a reality that had been building up for years prior. Denial made the reality a bit easier to bear on each side — as a community, and as a targeted group in the United States.

Age Critiques On ‘The Bachelor’ Are Anti-Feminist — And Miss The Point

By Cade Leebron

There’s not much room for consent — or even basic conversation — in this narrative. The young woman simply attracts the man by virtue of her youth and physicality, while the man is “mesmerized.” It’s hard to imagine, if this is how we see these young women, that a relationship could ever evolve from this power dynamic. But why is this how we see young women?

When people critique relationships with age differences, I suspect they aren’t actually concerned about the effects of the patriarchy. I suspect, instead, that they’re concerned with young women expressing agency in a world that demands they have none.

The Critics Of #MeToo And The Due Process Fallacy

By Becky Hayes

These critiques have dogged #MeToo from the beginning, and now that the backlash to the movement has reached a crescendo, we’re about to hear a whole lot more.

But don’t listen.

Social media is exactly the right place for #MeToo to play out. In fact, it’s the only place it ever could. The frequent invocation of due process ignores just how inadequate the American legal system is for protecting women against sexual violence and harassment.

It is precisely because the courts of law and other traditional avenues of recourse have failed women that they’ve turned to the internet and the court of public opinion.