Recently, I had the privilege of reading Samantha Duncan's chapbook The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016). The chapbook is scary, poignant, and honest--it centers around a pregnant woman who is only three weeks away from giving birth. In this way, it focuses on what birth actually means, and the frightening and surreal parts of pregnancy that many women often aren't sure how to vocalize--or are too afraid to vocalize. I love how brave Duncan is by focusing on what our society cannot--that pregnancy is not always pretty and happy--and in many ways, it's a violation of a woman's body, regardless of how loving and beautiful it also is.Read More
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE
Edward Gorey made a Tarot deck and it's basically the best thing ever. I have it, so I can vouch. Here's a preview:
Kelly Davio has a piece up at Change Seven called "Kylie Jenner and Her Golden Wheels:"
"Yet we don’t have to buy it. Most considerate people recognize that popular culture has a body image problem, and that we do women and girls serious harm when we celebrate certain body shapes while devaluing others. Unfortunately, that realization has given us a new obsession: looking 'healthy' is our new substitute for looking thin. For those of us for whom looking well or able is just as unattainable as, say, heaving our way into a pair of size-zero jeans, that supposedly positive message isn’t positive at all."
Lady Gaga released a powerful music video about sexual assault:
After Texas cut Planned Parenthood funding, birth rates went up, according to Los Angeles Times:
"Though only 23 of the 254 counties in Texas had a Planned Parenthood clinic before 2013, they served 60% of the state’s low-income women of childbearing age, according to the study."
Beth Ditto on makeup and feminism at Vogue:
"… I discovered the Riot Grrrl movement, and that really changed everything for me. Girls were picking and choosing pieces of 'female' fashion and twisting them: lipstick and baby doll dresses paired with dirty Converse and a skateboard; a cute pageboy haircut and a child’s barrette with hairy armpits and a guitar. I stopped seeing makeup, shaved legs, and dresses as the enemy. They aren’t imperatives of being female; they’re part of a costume that people of any gender can choose to wear or not."
The CDC "recommended" that women of child-bearing age who are not on birth control SHOULD NOT drink, according to The Washington Post. Uhhh, OK. Policing women's bodies much?
Mukundo Angulo on how his imagination set him free at TEDxTeens. He was one of the six brothers in the documentary "The Wolfpack," which focused on Mukunda and his brothers being raised in a New York public housing apartment isolated from society by their paranoid, overbearing father.
Hannah Lee Jones has a poem over at Apogee:
"And so I was born not of my parents but a welter of syllables, none of which I remember at the Kung Fu demonstration where I spot the little brother of mine, the soup gone from his face, beaming in the crowd and who could no more be my brother than that black kid splitting a cinder block could be Chinese. Oh me, oh life, here’s to another year of pride in whatever you are under the scarlet lights of a holiday that is and isn’t yours, mouthing verses in a play where your teacher calls you by the name of your Filipino classmate, and you feel alike, and different, and lonely, and no longer lonely all at once."
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015) & Marys of the Sea (forthcoming 2016, ELJ Publications). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the chief editor for Luna Luna Magazine.
So, women are supposed to be experts in all things feminine related, right? Wrong. Most women are completely ignorant about their bodies, and that's a crying shame. Sometimes, the facts women receive themselves are outdated, which perpetuates false knowledge that people build their entire lives around. For example, the idea that one in three women ages 35 to 39 will not become pregnant after a year of trying is based on French birth records from 1670 to 1830. The world has changed since then.Read More