Our monthly Witchy World Roundup is curated by Joanna C. Valente. Want to contact her? Email her here.
So, the senate apparently just passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood:
"In other words, symbolic votes are important. They give senators a chance to go on the record. They provide fodder for campaign ads later. So, to Republicans, even though there's a pileup of stuff Congress has to get through in the next couple of weeks — like funding the government, passing a highway bill and extending tax breaks — making Obama veto a bill that undermines his health care law and Planned Parenthood is worth their time."
-Ailsa Chang for NPR
Because poetry is the witchiest thing you can do:
"fuck all this need to make
legible geysers of familiar
masochism picnic table
elegance gone viral because
this time i write as fallen man
fallen from sermonizing miss-
understanding fallen it’s
exceptional how often i want
entropy instead of haloes
or the sting supposed to
move you make you feel
marvel at responsibility
a beautiful indulgence where
i live by default exude a need
to wrangle institutional gods
by means of contracts i quote
here for security “only
victims tell stories in public”
-Erica Kaufman on The Brooklyn Rail
On gender oppression in China:
"For women, the expectation is to be raised “richly” and marry “up” in terms of socio-economic and educational background. The social norm I see in China is that it’s best for a male with a Master’s degree to marry a female with a Bachelor’s degree or at most an equivalent Master’s. He should never marry a woman with a higher educational background than himself. This entirely demonizes female Doctors and Professors."
-Yaqing Yang on The Feminist Wire
Can attacks, like the one in San Bernardino, ever be stopped?
"As ISIS has lost physical ground in Iraq and seen its cities pounded by airstrikes, it has shifted its tactics away from controlling territory—that is, the actual work of being a state—and begun calling on sympathizers to launch attacks in Western countries. San Bernardino fits into that plea."
-David A. Graham for The Atlantic
See how the 2016 presidential candidates feel about women's rights on Planned Parenthood.
Joanna Angel accuses James Deen of rape:
"Angel described Deen as "a person who literally said to me, 'Girls in porn are holes for me to put my dick in.'" Several years ago, Angel says she moved from New York City to Los Angeles for her relationship with Deen. Although Angel maintains she was interested in "being kinky in bed with him," she says she had no interest in being the submissive in a sub/dom relationship. She says she told Deen how she felt comfortable with the relationship proceeding. His alleged response to Angel's desires: "I'm good in bed, you're really bad in bed. When it comes to sex, I call all the shots." Angel alleges Deen ignored her demands and their sex became more violent."
-Mitchell Sunderland for Broadly
What teaching is like in the age of mass shootings:
"The worry didn't lessen as the semester wore on. Fueled by constant news of shootings in this country and abroad, I taught my lessons while remaining hypervigilant about any student who was too quiet, or seemed emotionally volatile, or reached too slowly or too quickly for his bag, inside his jacket. I scrutinized the room for somewhere I could duck, somewhere I could hide the most students. Behind the podium? Under that far desk? In the metal supply closet? It's hard to teach when the mind drifts too readily from analyzing an introductory paragraph or probing a Neruda poem to, How could I survive? Is the podium thick enough to stop a bullet? Would the big, quiet guy who sits near the door tackle a shooter in the doorway?"
-Gila Lyons for Vox
13 Ways to Infuse your home with magic. Holla:
"Burning sage in your home is a fantastic way to clear out stale energy. You can buy sage sticks all over the place, but I recommend using Etsy and supporting an independent business owner! Another great option is to burn Palo Santo, which smells amazing. (I’m a little in love with this Palo Santo burner, too.)"
Because witches love chocolate, and this chocolate pudding recipe is to die for:
"This is a fabulous recipe for when you want to whip up a chocolate dessert in minutes. It hovers between pudding and cake and is made up entirely from pantry ingredients. The caramel is optional but adds a lovely textural element to the dish and is a delicious surprise to discover as you dig your way in. This is best served with fresh cream or ice cream and is posh enough to serve to guests."
We're not surprised men and women aren't "wired" differently. But we're glad someone is saying it:
"These findings are from a Tel Aviv University study, which used MRI scans to look at the difference in size between brain regions of 1,400 people of both sexes. Somewhere between zero percent and eight percent of people had brains that corresponded to stereotypically "male" or "female" traits — in other words, stereotypically male or female brains are pretty much nonexistent. In fact, over a third showed "substantial variability," meaning they had a mix of stereotypical male and female brain traits. Which means that the theory that when testicles are formed, they produce testosterone that floods the brain and masculinizes it isn't true (yes, this was a real theory). Say it with me: Duh."
-Jaime Lutz for Bustle
Why this woman won't be part of the body positive movement:
"I've weighed twice my size, but people don't see decades of struggle in one Instagram pic. Nor am I asking them to try, by placing myself in the context of a social movement that intentionally corrals images of bigger beautiful bodies, or bodies that are beautiful and disabled, or even larger bodies that don’t have a flat, toned stomach and hourglass figure, who seem left out of even many “plus” campaigns."
-Pia Gleen for xojane