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Preview: Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

Musings of an Inappropriate Woman



Official website of Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth



 



"It’s like, this thing that takes up your whole life, your whole body, your whole mind,..."

Thu, 11 May 2017 08:09:57 -0400

“It’s like, this thing that takes up your whole life, your whole body, your whole mind, it’s all your dreams, and then suddenly… I remember actually when I had this feeling about Afternoon Delight, waking up in the middle of the night going, oh, wait a second, when it’s finished, it’s going to be compared to every other movie that’s ever been made and every other movie that’s going to be made. It’s going to be just one little tiny tile on iTunes. One little tiny click. It’s not going to be this thing that’s this feeling of my entire insides, and this whole entire soul shape. It’s just going to be this little square that people can choose.”

- Jill Soloway



Now I holler back

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:56:59 -0400

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One afternoon in March, about midway through my crowdfunding campaign for The Sex Myth play, I popped out to my local deli to pick up some food for lunch.

As I waited at the crossing, a guy who looked to be in his forties approached to ask me for money. Absentmindedly, I told him no, and he grabbed me and tried to kiss me.

Then I did something I had never done before: I shoved him off and told him to leave me alone.

He didn’t, instead sidling up again to ask me what my name was, and again I told him to leave me alone. “I don’t like being grabbed by strangers.” Every time he took a step towards me, “Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone.” Then he turned his attention to another woman who was standing at the crossing. “And leave her alone, too! Women do not want to be harassed by you!”

I crossed the road to the deli and went to buy my food, and when I got to the register he was standing there. “That guy just tried to attack me!” I shouted. “And another woman, too!” He laughed, and told the cashiers I was crazy. “They know I’m not crazy!” I replied, “I come here every day.”

He was taken outside and continued to loiter there, while the deli staff talked about calling the police. “It’s one thing to have men shout things at you on the street,” I said. “It’s another thing to have them grab you.” A college-aged woman who was eating in the shop came over to offer to walk me home, and I accepted her offer.

It was a scary experience - especially since it happened so close to where I live – but it was also one that ultimately left me feeling more powerful.

I thought of all the times I had passively deflected in the similar situations. All the times I had walked past cat callers with my head down, hoping that if I behaved as if I hadn’t heard them they would disappear. The time that I sat in park in Paris reading a book an old man had leaned in as though to kiss me, and I had limited my protest not to words but to a raised hand and a shaken head. All the times when I hoped that strangers would pick up on my lack of interest in talking to them by my non-responsiveness, rather than simply telling them I didn’t want to be hit on.

Now, I don’t have time for that bullshit. I don’t know if it’s getting older, or being pregnant, or just having lived in New York for three years, but my patience for people who cross my personal boundaries is at an all-time low. I am less flight, and more fight.

Or at least, more ready to just outright say, “Leave me alone.”




"I agree with the standard definition that feminism means ‘political, economic, and social..."

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:00:22 -0500

“I agree with the standard definition that feminism means ‘political, economic, and social equality between the sexes,’ but it also means a lot more to me as well. Feminism is about recognizing the impact that both gender and biological sex have on the way we are treated and the opportunities we are afforded, and questioning and challenging that impact to create a fairer and more equal society. Feminism shows that our experiences are not just individual to us, but part of a bigger cultural and political framework.”

- Meet Rachel Hills, Creator of The Sex Myth



"Success isn't final. Failure isn't fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 12:53:55 -0500

When I first stayed with The Sex Myth founding director Hanne Larsen last May, these were the words that were hung above her desk: “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”The quote — from Winston Churchill, it turns out — resonated with me immediately.I had told my young cousin, who was working towards a career as an actress, that she should be prepared to face failure after failure on the road to achieving her dreams, but that it was only through persisting through those failures that anyone found success. And I knew from experience that even the things we think will finally make us feel like we’ve “made it” don’t always feel that way when they actually show up in our lives. Neither success nor failure are final; both are just temporary conditions.The Churchill quote has been on my mind again recently, as I’ve prepared to launch the next iteration of The Sex Myth play and movement into the world.And here, I take a quick break from our scheduled straight-from-the-heart, uncomfortably honest essay to ask you to join our movement and contribute to our crowdfunding campaign: https://startsomegood.com/the-sex-mythOver the last couple of weeks, as I’ve reached out to friends and colleagues to ask them to support the play, I’ve received some lovely messages from people in my life, many of them along the lines of, “I’m so happy for you” or “I’m so proud of how much The Sex Myth has grown.”To which my internal response has been, “But the project is not actually a success yet. I am just throwing myself out on a terrifying precipice trying to make it one.”Launching a new project is exciting and filled with possibility. But it also means staring the possibility of failure in the face. And in the case of running a crowdfunder, as my friend Erin Bagwell wrote on her blog Feminist Wednesday last week, it means staring the possibility of failure in the face for 30 days.But to get back to Churchill for a moment, I think it’s this willingness to stare failure in the face that matters most.Launching a book or a play, running a successful crowdfunding campaign, earning enough money to pay the bills without institutional support or a salaried job — none of these things are easy.But it’s not the lines on a resume or the achievements you put in your bio that matter.It’s the courage to continue that really counts: to keep going to auditions, to keep writing and revising even when no one is reading what you’ve created, to keep talking about whatever social issue you care about until you convince other people to care too.And that’s the true measure of success, I would argue… even if a lot of the time it feels like the opposite.Besides, as the huscat pointed out to me last night when I talked to him about this, a lot of this project already has come to fruition — even if, to me at least, it feels like everything hangs in the balance right now.The playbook exists, ready to help people around the world put on their own productions, and we already have people in six communities and four countries talking to us about putting on the show. We have dates and an awesome venue for our New York show in August. We’ve spent the last six months creating a fantastic suite of products to help people get involved in the movement. And in less than 18 hours since we went live, we’ve raised more than $3000 from 40+ contributors.You can learn more about The Sex Myth play, what we’re doing with it, and why it matters at https://startsomegood.com/the-sex-mythAnd please, if the project resonates with you, help us get it off the ground by contributing and joining our movement.PS If you’re in NYC, join us for our launch party in downtown Manhattan tomorrow night. More info and RSVP link here.[...]



As you think about how you plan to be active throughout the...

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:03:32 -0500

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As you think about how you plan to be active throughout the Trump Administration, Molly Crabapple’s words are worth considering. How do we create infrastructure that protects and supports those who will be most vulnerable under this administration? How do we create a world in which people like Trump are unelectable? How do we support and magnify the people and institutions who are already doing this work?

Lobbying our representatives and making our voices heard on the streets matter, but we can’t be reliant on big-p politicians to do all of this for us. Even if they wanted to, in their current numbers they can’t.

Let’s frame our resistance broadly and creatively. Read the full article here.




“You don’t need to do everything. You just need to do...

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:25:09 -0500

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“You don’t need to do everything. You just need to do something.” Big thanks to @yesandyesblog interviewing me as part of their inauguration week politics special. I felt a bit of impostor syndrome around this one: I am far from the best or most archetypal example of an #activist I know. But I also believe that if we want to create effective social change, we need to think of activism more expansively. It’s not just about attending marches or making phone calls, but about every action we can take to shape the world in the way we most want to see. Link here: http://www.yesandyes.org/2017/01/true-story-im-an-activist.html#more-22846




You have permission to change

Tue, 27 Dec 2016 12:53:32 -0500

Yesterday, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who is in the midst of a career change. She was excited by the work she was doing, but worried that she might look directionless to potential employers.“You should read the blog post I’m publishing tomorrow,” I told her. “It will be called ‘You have permission to change.’ It might be something that’s useful for you to hear.”“Of course, as with most things people write,” I added, “I’m writing it because it’s something *I* need to hear.”If my friend’s concern is with looking flaky, my own trepidation is more existential.Part of the way we form our sense of identity is by telling ourselves stories: about who we are and what we do. I write about this a lot in The Sex Myth. How we can become wedded to a perception of ourselves as sexually liberated. As adventurous. As someone with a high sex drive. As a “good girl.” As someone who can attract whoever they want. As someone who can’t attract anyone they want. As monogamous. As straight.And how when the facts of our sex lives rub up against the stories we tell ourselves and others – as they inevitably do at some point, for most of us – we experience a kind of inner conflict. We are told that these stories matter, after all. That it means something to be someone who is comfortable with having casual sex, or someone who isn’t comfortable with it, or someone who isn’t having sex at all.Sex isn’t the only arena in which we tell ourselves these stories. You might be deeply attached, for example, to the idea of yourself as an extrovert, but find yourself sometimes wishing everyone would just go away so that you can have some time to yourself. Or you might be attached to the idea of yourself as someone who is economically disadvantaged, even if in your current situation you are quite well off.For me, the story I’m having trouble disentangling myself from is the one in which I am a Writer.I’ve been a writer, in the professional sense, for more than 10 years. I started writing professionally when I was fresh out of university, writing opinion pieces for my city’s local paper, then writing for women’s magazines and becoming a political editor, then embarking on the long journey of writing a book, and starting a blog that would amass 100,000 subscribers at its peak.When friends introduce me to people, they say, “This is Rachel, she’s a writer.” But when it comes to writing as a verb, rather than as an identity – as something I do on a daily basis rather than something I have done – the story of me as a writer is one that feels like it is set increasingly in the past.This year, over the summer, I quietly wrote a good chunk of a novel. I wrote a handful of articles for publications I liked, when topic excited me. I published essays in two new books. And I wrote (and rewrote) a whole lot of speeches. But the main part of my year was spent travelling and giving talks, not writing. And next year, I will be writing even less.If you read my Tinyletter, you’ll know that this year The Sex Myth was made into a devised theatre show, created by a young Boston director named Hanne Larsen. In 2017, I’m throwing myself wholeheartedly behind helping the show spread.Hanne and I have created a playbook detailing the process she piloted, which we’ll be distributing to colleges and community groups from February onwards, and I’m working on getting a New York City production off the ground in the summer. After that – London? Toronto? Sydney? I’m picturing a flowering of Sex Myth plays, big and small, around the world. And of course, I will be continuing to speak at colleges and universities around the US (and anywhere else people want to bring me) in 2017.Like my friend who is changing careers, I am so excited and energised by this work: both the work I did this year, and the projects I will be working on next. I come home[...]



Book giveaway (and a free 11/25 webinar with me)

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:59:28 -0500

Last year, I was invited to write the forward to Christine Delphy’s Close To Home, recently published by Verso Press. Delphy’s essays look at the material economic conditions that underlie and perpetuate gender inequality, and I have thought of her work often over the past year: during the intra-left debates during the Democratic primaries, the casting of Hillary Clinton as a “bourgeois woman” (and therefore the enemy - Delphy’s whole chapter on bourgeois women is on point and kind of hilarious, if you’re the kind of person who finds hilarity in arguments between Marxists, feminists, and Marxist feminists), and post-US election as well.

I am sharing this information with you because feminist org Continuum is running a giveaway of the book today (until EOD Thursday 11/17, American EST), to coincide with the Radicals & Revolutionaries Lab webinar I’ll be doing with them on Friday, November 25th at 12pm US EST, 9am PST, and 5pm GMT. (That’s 4am Saturday east coast Australian time - eep. And sorry.)

Continuum was one of the first groups I discovered when I moved to New York two and a half years ago, and they have been core to my sense of community in the city, introducing me to many of the fiercest and most inspiring people I know here.

Over the summer, Continuum launched their monthly Radicals & Revolutionaries Lab webinar, which has served as food for my soul, featuring up-close and in-depth conversations with people like Alicia Garza from Black Lives Matter, Ai-jen Poo from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, feminist hip hop artist Shanthony Exum, and leaders from the Doula Project and Drunk Feminist Films.

I’m so excited to be able to share the work I’m doing around The Sex Myth at R&R Lab next week, and would love to see as many of you there as possible.

Here’s how you can get involved:

To win a copy of Close To Home: Become a member of Continuum Collective. Winner will be drawn amongst the membership as it stands EOD Thursday November 17: http://continuumcollective.org/product/continuum-collective-membership/

To join the webinar on Friday November 25: Sign up here and register for the meeting. R&RLab webinars are usually exclusive to Continuum members only, but this link allows my mailing list subscribers and social media followers to participate for free: https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=EC58DD89804F3E

Hope to see you there.




"We still live in a culture that talks about gender and sexuality in terms of rigid dichotomies. We..."

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 10:06:50 -0400

We still live in a culture that talks about gender and sexuality in terms of rigid dichotomies. We are either men or women, straight or gay—determined by our genes, our hormones, the wiring of our brains, or the shape of our genitals when we’re born. The idea that same-sex attracted people are “born this way,” or that trans people have brains that are a different gender to their bodies, have been central to the mainstreaming of LGBTQ rights over the past couple of decades. How, the logic goes, can you discriminate against someone for a thing they have no control over?

But these tight, biological boundaries around sexuality have also served another, more conservative, purpose—to soothe and reassure straight people. If same-sex attraction is treated as if not a matter of moral deviance then at least a physical deviation, then what assumed norm does it deviate from but heterosexuality? If sexual difference is written in the genes, that means that if you’re not queer, you must be straight. And if you’re straight, that means you are (theoretically, at least) safe from the threat of homophobic violence, discrimination, or hoping that an acquaintance will treat you with the same ease after you tell them the gender of your partner.



-

In today’s America, everyone’s a little bit gay… and that’s awesome

My latest feature piece, at Fusion <3




I’m coming to London!

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 09:58:19 -0400

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Flying back to New York from Sydney in March, I watched the entire fourth season of Girls. (Behind the eight ball on that one, I know, but I don’t have HBO.)

Five months later, the scene that still sticks out to me is the one where Hannah is holed up in her old bedroom, google searching her new romantic rival Mimi-Rose Howard and watching a video of her giving a speech on YouTube. Not just because, well, we’ve all been there, but because of the way that Mimi-Rose Howard carries herself in that 10-second snippet of speech.

Calm. Warm. And seated.

“I want to be like her,” I thought. And I couldn’t help but suspect a lot of it had to do with the sitting.

So somewhere towards the end of my spring campus tour, I decided to try it out for myself: to sit rather than stand when I delivered my talk. And whether it was a placebo or not, it worked. I felt calmer. More connected to the people I was talking to. Less like I was talking at you, and more like I was speaking to you.

Which when you’re leading a conversation about the kind of intimate, consciousness raising subject matter involved in The Sex Myth, is exactly the kind of vibe you want.

I’m doing a couple of big, multi-hundred person events in the Fall, so not sure how the whole seated, intimate thing will play out there (I’ll probably just decide to stand). But all of this is to say that I’ll be requesting a stool for my event in London next week.

I’ll be speaking on Thursday night at Cafe 1001 in Shoreditch, working with online events org Funzing and the bookstore Pages of Hackney. Tickets need to be purchased in advance, and you can buy yours here.

If you’re in the London area, do come along. It would be great to meet you.




Psst… a little birdie told me you can pick up a copy of...

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:00:04 -0400

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Psst… a little birdie told me you can pick up a copy of my book The Sex Myth in Continuum’s “Woke AF” summer book bundle - also featuring my faves Rebecca Solnit, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and bell hooks. Pick up your set here.







"I published an article on The Establishment in February in which I argued that I was supporting..."

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:26 -0400

I published an article on The Establishment in February in which I argued that I was supporting Hillary Clinton “because” she was a woman, and that I was perfectly okay with that. But on further reflection, I’ve realized that’s not actually true. I’ve always known I wouldn’t support a conservative woman like Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina, Thatcher, or even Merkel. But I also don’t think I would be this excited or passionate about any other female Democratic candidate (or many other female Democratic candidates, at least).

I’m not just excited that “a woman” might become president of the country that I live in, but that Hillary Clinton might become president: a woman who has been a national and international public figure for 25 years, who has been a thorn in the side of the Right for that duration, who has a lifelong record of working for progressive change, and who has had the word “liberal” thrown at her in the pejorative primarily not in the sense of “person too self-interested or weak-willed to be a radical” but in the sense of “those dirty, no good lefties.”

A woman who has fought, and worked, and never given up.



- Yes, I support Hillary Clinton. Now please stop attacking me for it.



Among the many dreams for The Sex Myth I’ve carried in...

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:00:19 -0400

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Among the many dreams for The Sex Myth I’ve carried in my heart over the past few years (see also: Richard Curtis turning it into the movie) is the idea that it might be adapted into a Vagina Monologues-style play, exploring how sexual norms and standards impact not just women, but men and gender diverse people as well.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I received an email from Hanne Larsen at the beginning of March, asking for my permission to apply for a grant to do just that.

I met Hanne last year, when I spoke at Northeastern University, where she’s a student. She came up to me after the event and told me she was a theater student performing in a play which dealt with themes around female sexuality – The House of Bernarda Alba - and that her director had suggested she attend my talk. She invited me to the show and I went along the next night.

A few weeks later, I heard from Hanne again, this time via email. Attending my event and reading The Sex Myth had inspired her to further explore cultural expectations around sex, and she wanted to write her senior thesis on how The Sex Myth intersected with Bernarda Alba.

In March she emailed me about the grant, in April she was awarded the money to put on the show, and in May I spent two nights staying at her house in Boston, staying up late into the night drinking tea and eating noodle soup. Now it’s June, and the devised theater production Hanne has created based on The Sex Myth will be showing at Northeastern this week, with shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and a Friday matinee, which I’ll be driving up from New York to attend. (Details on how you can do the same here. PS It’s free.)

One of the coolest things about the show Hanne has created and the methodology she has used to do it is that there is no fixed script. The show is created anew with each new group of performers, using the same source material (ie, my book) and process, but drawing upon the lived experiences of the people creating the show.

If you’re in the Boston area, I’d love it if you’d come along to the show this week and email me (rachel@rachelhills.net) to let me know what you think.

Hanne and I would also love to expand the show out to other campuses and communities in the coming months, so if you’re interested in putting on a show in your community, let’s get talking.




“For a man to put his hand on the arse of a...

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:27:17 -0400

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“For a man to put his hand on the arse of a ‘bourgeois’ woman, as on that of any woman anywhere, is seldom a sexual pleasure or compulsion. It is a way of recalling her and of reminding himself, of the true hierarchy.” 
- Christine Delphy, Close To Home.




Have we busted the Beauty Myth?

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 17:00:29 -0400

I started wearing makeup when I was 15, surreptitiously sneaking into the bathroom to apply lipstick between classes. At sixteen, I coloured my hair for the first time, lured by the promises laid out by Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, Cher from Clueless, Sandy from Grease and the lyrics of Blondie’s “Platinum Blonde.”  At 20, I had my head held over a toilet bowl and a Britney Spears poster on my wall for “thinspiration.”Beauty, as I experienced it, was a cultivated mirage: an attempt to trick people into thinking I was better than I believed I was. It was a pursuit of a white-supremacist, fat-phobic, gender-normative ideal so elusive and impossible that even white, cisgendered  women could aspire to be nothing more than second-rate facsimiles of it. In her classic work The Beauty Myth, author Naomi Wolf calls this ideal “the Iron Maiden,” named after a medieval German casket which was painted like a beautiful young woman on the outside, but served to torture and suffocate the person on the inside.As a young woman, Wolf’s work resonated deeply with me – so much so, in fact, that basically I named my own book after hers. In my worst moments, The Beauty Myth was a book I carried close to my heart; a book that proved that my feelings and experiences weren’t unique to me. That they were a product of a bigger, toxic culture – which taught us that the most important thing a woman can be is beautiful, and that “beauty” is achieved by looking one, particular way.Lately, though, I’ve felt like that culture is starting to change. Sure, you’ve got selfie culture, Instagram filters, thigh gaps and pornified vulvas… but the images of beauty I see – in magazines and on the internet – aren’t the identikit skinny blondes I grew up with (or the even more identikit skinny blondes I wrote about for women’s mags as a baby journalist).It’s Amandla Stenberg covering Teen Vogue with natural hair, and Refinery29’s campaign to Take Back the Beach. It’s my friend Jacob rocking bright pink lipstick, an evening gown and stubble, and the girl in my dance class who looks herself in the eye when she moves, as though she not just believes but knows she is beautiful. It’s the staff at Sephora who tell you not that you “need” X, Y or Z to look presentable, but who show you ways to enhance what you already have. In this new environment, beauty is starting to feel less and less like conforming to a particular standard (or a particular set of standards), and more and more like knowing yourself; like finding the aesthetic that makes you feel good, perfecting it, and holding your head high as you take it out into the world.But I am conscious that what I see is not necessarily what is. And that my shift in perception may not reflect a shift in culture so much as my getting older, and the way I engage with beauty being less about winning the approval of others (or to put it more bluntly, finding a sex partner) and more about self-expression.So I’m throwing it out to you for your feedback. Is beauty a burden for you? Is work you feel like you have to do, an external standard you compare yourself to? Is it a thing of self-expression, experimentation and play? A combination of the two? Something else altogether?Write me back (rachel@rachelhills.net) and let me know what you think. [...]



Success won’t save you. But that’s okay - it doesn’t have to.

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 17:00:13 -0400

One afternoon last September, I went to visit a close friend for the first time since The Sex Myth had been published. It was a week or so after the book had been reviewed in The New York Times, and my friend’s mother was visiting at her house as well. “You must be on top of the world with all the success you’re having!” she said. “Not really,” I replied, knowing that my friend’s mother had raised my friend and thus was well equipped to deal with expressions of millennial neuroticism. “To be honest, I feel kind of anxious and depressed.”I share this story because last week another friend emailed to say that she’d achieved one of her big goals: she’d been invited to contribute to a prestigious magazine in her field. “I didn’t think I would achieve that for another 3 to 5 years,” she wrote, “after pitching at least 3 times.” And yet it didn’t feel the way she thought it would.   “It’s this feeling of finally realizing that achieving my dream work things will not transform me into the person I wish I was, or cooler, happier, richer, more interesting, less stressed, more creative, more self-esteem, instagram lifestyle or whatever,” she wrote. Had I ever felt that way, she wondered? She felt like I might have.Hells yes, I responded. In fact, you might say it’s been my major existential challenge over the past five years - through trying to sell the book, through writing it (and rewriting it…), to sending it out into the world. This belief that once I had a certain thing - an agent, a book deal, a book in bookstores that people could buy - I would feel validated. Releasing a project you’ve spent the better part of a decade working on is a weird, intense experience. I spent the first few days around publication in a state of fear, bracing myself for waves of social media hate that never really came. I quickly realised that this thing that was all-important and all-encompassing to me was but a small grain of sand in the world of everyone else… and that came with good and with bad. The good? It meant I could relax and enjoy the media I did, realising that most people weren’t waiting to jump on Twitter to talk about how crap I was. The bad? The wave of validation I had been hoping for and anticipating never really came.On the outside, things looked pretty successful. I got a tonne of media coverage - so much, in fact, I didn’t even share it all on social media, because I didn’t want to annoy people or look too self-promotional. I got lovely letters and emails from people who read my work and connected with it, including a heart wrenching letter from a guy in prison. I got to read awesome essays written by people other writers who had read the book and found it interesting enough to use as a spin off for their own thoughts. I went on a 20-city book tour (which I paid for myself), and Molly Ringwald came to one of my events. I got invited to speak at a festival in my hometown that I watched and admired from afar for several years.But while most people I knew seemed to perceive me as successful, I was keenly aware of all the ways that my work was not a success. *I* knew, for example, that sales were not as good as I’d hoped they would be. (”I was convinced I would be a bestseller!” an author friend declared dramatically last weekend. “Me too!” I responded, laughing.) *I* had read (and agonised over) the lukewarm reviews on Goodreads. *I* knew that I had paid for my own book tour (as most authors do, it turns out, but we still can’t shake the feeling that if our publishers really loved us, they would have cough[...]



When your book gets turned into a cartoon by Erika Moen. I die.

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 17:00:02 -0400

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When your book gets turned into a cartoon by Erika Moen. I die.




I’m in Australia for the next two weeks, doing events for my...

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 00:42:40 -0500

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I’m in Australia for the next two weeks, doing events for my book The Sex Myth at the Sydney Opera House’s All About Women festival and the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre in Melbourne. The Melbourne event is free, but both require you to book tickets. Click the links above to get yours. <3




"My feminism isn’t just—or even chiefly—about getting women into positions of power, and I don’t..."

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 17:00:07 -0500

“My feminism isn’t just—or even chiefly—about getting women into positions of power, and I don’t think that electing a woman president would mean automatic world peace and equality. I don’t believe that women are innately gentler or fairer leaders than men are. But my feminism does involve calling attention to the people and places where power tends to fall, and to challenging the idea that men are the natural and inevitable holders of power. Being a feminist, to me, means believing that gender *matters*; that it is still an axis along which people are privileged and denied, and that that’s a problem that needs addressing.”

- Let’s Not Pretend Electing The First Female President Wouldn’t Be Radical.

I wrote this article about a month ago now, before Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright enraged young female Bernie supporters, before I’d read legions of essays making similar arguments by people like Kate Harding, Sady Doyle, and Joan Walsh, and before my spirit had been crushed just a little by some intense arguments on Facebook. So it is kind of weird to read it today, four weeks after the fact.

As I have said countless times on my personal social media channels, I have nothing against Bernie Sanders (although some of his supporters enrage me - but I accept that the things that enrage me about them are the same things that enrage me about myself); and as I say at the end of the article, people are free to support whichever candidates gel with them. But my “funnies” still make me snort, and I still stand by my central argument.