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Letter sent on Mar 11

You. belong. here.

Welcome home.

all the women. in me. are tired.
-
nayyirah waheed

It’s been a particularly trying time to be a woman.

If you’re on the axis of “womxn,” and/or have to contend with any other additional level of marginalization — woman of color, woman with disabilities, trans — it’s downright exhausting.

If you cringed at the pomp and ceremony that were the Oscars, I’m here for you.

If you’re feeling demoralized from the fresh wave of sexual abusers revealed, let me hold you.

If you recognized yourself in new research that finds women (especially, of color) are disproportionately responsible for office housework like making coffee and taking meeting notes, lay your head on my shoulder.

You are home.

With love + solidarity,
Ruchika Tulshyan
Founding Editor

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

By Nour Naas

If Muslim women facing intimate partner violence cannot be comfortable in places established explicitly to assist abused women, then there is little faith that there is any place else for them.

Muslim women are constantly othered and dehumanized, their narratives fabricated in ways that intend to rob them of sympathy and needed actions to create change.

There is a price to pay if we speak out. There is a price to pay if we do not. But if there is any prospect of saving our lives, we must know that our silence will not save us. Central to our livelihoods is that the culture of Islamophobia be dismantled.

Without this, Muslim women lose access to the services that exist for abused women.

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

By Talynn Kel

I didn’t expect to mourn Erik Killmonger, the villain who wasn’t MY villain. He was my hero. He was the me I wish I could be — the brutal, ruthless freedom fighter who built himself from nothing to free Black people from the colonizers.

He was the hero I needed, not Black Panther, inert instead of dedicated to change, and that was a realization I was not expecting.

For generations, we have been lined up during training sessions and then sent forth to laugh heartily at their jokes, raise their children, starve our bodies into attractiveness, and fake our orgasms.

Watching Black Panther, I had to accept that I would be an American monster in Wakanda. And like Erik, I’d want to burn it all down if that meant improving the world for Black people.

Becoming Trans: Transgender Identity In The Middle Ages

By zac clifton

Queer identities — specifically trans identities — are not a part of modern culture, but rather have existed and evolved through time. While a queer future is important, we should also not forget about the past.

We as queer people deserve a history just as rich and varied in order to combat homophobic and transphobic ideas.

Sex and gender have evolved — and will continue to do so. It is through revisiting what was considered “normal” in the past to see that these definitions have changed.

By turning to older literature and willingly reading characters or works as queer, we can reclaim some of our lost history; this is one of the only ways we can continue to have access to queer people in the premodern world and honor the voices of the past who have paved the way for our future.

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The Unique Hell Of Fighting Your Rapist For Custody

By Layla Haidrani

Given that a rape conviction is required for the termination of parental rights, for women who choose to keep their baby, there’s the risk of being tied to their rapist for 18 years.

And the need for a criminal conviction is disproportionately applied to rape victims — comparatively, a criminal conviction is not required to terminate parental rights in cases of child abuse, neglect, or habitual parental drug use.

In some cases, victims can be forced to co-parent with their attacker.

The Problem With ‘Feminist’ Sex Products

By Suzannah Weiss

It seems ironic that the products claiming to combat shame around our sexuality are helping us hide it — and implying that we need to.

Before learning about them, it hadn’t occurred to me that my period was too messy, my vagina’s smell was unpleasant, or giving oral sex would be anything but enjoyable for my partner.

Why are so many businesses with the word “empowering” in their marketing materials body-shaming us?

In short, because that’s how they make money.

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