This week I’ve been reading #69

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
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When Your Rapist Is a Woman

These gender norms can directly contribute to distrust of a victim’s claims, says Lisa Langenderfer-Magruder, co-author of a recent study of LGBTQ intimate partner violence in Colorado. “When someone is confronted with a situation that doesn’t quite fit that major narrative, they may question its validity,” she says. All of this amounts to a culture in which most research on partner violence focuses on heterosexual relationships. “So, in some ways, we’re playing catch up.”

Survivors are trapped in a cycle that delegitimizes their experience: first by downplaying the likelihood that it could happen at all, then by not validating it once it happens, and finally by not analyzing the data—and therefore creating awareness—after it does. – When Your Rapist Is a Woman

This is an important read about woman-on-woman rape and sexual assault within the LGBTQ* community.

Laurie Isn’t a Good Guy; He’s a Nice Guy™

But re-reading Little Women this month, I realized with mounting alarm that as a potential romantic partner for Jo, Laurie isn’t a good guy; he is, in fact, a Nice Guy™. He’s the kind of guy who feels entitled to a woman’s affections because, unasked-for, he has given her his. He’s the kind of guy who uses his friendship with a woman as a cover for repeatedly violating her boundaries and ignoring her rejections. He’s the kind of guy who professes to respect a woman but places more importance on his desire than her feelings.  – Laurie Isn’t a Good Guy; He’s a Nice Guy™

This is an interesting read about Little Women, Laurie and nice guy syndrome. Little Women  is one of my favourite books and Jo is one of my favourite literary character, but it has been years since I read it. I feel a re-read coming on to see if I agree with Maddie Rodriguez’s reassessment of Laurie.

The Becoming Podcast


I really enjoyed this interview with Laura Jane Williams and journalist Daisy Buchanan about food, body image and sex. Laura Jane Williams is one of my favourite bloggers, so I’m glad to have her in podcast form too.

What I Know

I know my classmates called me a slut. (Plus a teacher, a cruel wisp of a woman, whom I have just described using the appositive in a nod to how she chose to explain the grammatical tool to the class: “For example, ‘Jessica, a cheap mallrat.'”) No one called it rape. Well, not no one. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the two boys who came close, who had left the party early that night. One put his head in his hands when he found out what happened and said he should have stayed. If he had stayed, he wouldn’t have let this happen to me. The other told me that there are some things in life I should never be expected to forgive. One of those boys died before we graduated high school and the other before I graduated college, and I must acknowledge that they were the only ones to comfort me when it wasn’t the cool thing to do. I must acknowledge their fine memories, which they deserve.

I called it rape, once. In a drunken confrontation with A Boy. The next day, terrified the herd might come after me even hungrier (trash slut had appeared on the inside of my locker just days before), I called A Boy and apologized. I apologized to my rapist for calling him a rapist. What a thing to live with.  – What I Know

A powerful, harrowing and heartbreaking essay by author Jessica Knoll about the real rape that informed her novel Luckiest Girl Alive.

Success, Creativity and the Anxious Space

Let me put it here: anxiety is torturous. It is not some 21st century malaise, recently invented for lazy millennials. Your thoughts are racing demons, spiralling you upwards into panic – or downwards into a shameful mental space, a narrow, dank, bleak cell. And yet, I’m quite glad that when I was a child, we just called it the ‘Who Am I’ feeling – because who has the final say on the human mind, after all? At the same time, it might have been nice, when, aged 15 – and the panic attacks increasing in regularity – I’d finally plucked up the courage and told my doctor, that he’d not dismissed me with, ‘you just have an overactive imagination’. I could have been given some coping mechanisms much earlier on, to understand that I was still a relatively normal person. – Success, Creativity and the Anxious Space

A beautifully written essay by Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist, on anxiety, depression, creativity and success.

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