The Soapbox: On Trigger Warnings & Facing Trauma

The Soapbox: On Trigger Warnings & Facing Trauma

When I got to my friend’s place for my self-defense lessons last week, he told me we were going to do basic self-defense techniques and toward the end, simulated assaults. The simulated assaults were walk-bys: We would walk across the room in opposite directions and he would either do nothing, or he’d very suddenly grab my throat and wrist. The purpose was to train me to react quickly and correctly if it were to happen to me in real life.

But it had happened to me in real life, and after the first or second walk-by, I wound up having visceral, vivid flashbacks to my former partner putting me in arm locks and finger locks, pinning me, kicking me, putting his hand over my mouth, pushing my head into the floor or the bed. I hyperventilated and cried, and my friend hugged me and helped me calm down. He also didn’t let me stop, because the things I experience will upset me sometimes and I still have to know how to handle it, especially when physical danger is involved.

Which brings me to trigger warnings. Keep reading »

OMG I Love Your Hair (OK, My Hair): A Subtle Braid Amongst Curls

OMG I Love Your Hair: A Subtle Braid Amongst Curls

This past weekend I served as a bridesmaid in my good friend’s wedding, and prior to the big day, had been endlessly searching for the perfect Grecian hairstyle to go with my very goddess-ey gown. When I looked online, I saw a lot of braids, curls and accessories, but none that really combined all three in the elegant, romantic way that I was looking for (especially since I have a cowlick and no bangs). Thankfully, my hair was in the hands of geniuses. Two amazing stylists from Salon Q in Tenafly, New Jersey knew exactly what to do with my long locks. They kept my hair soft in the front, added a pretty pin to either side of my head just above my ears, and incorporated a small braid on one side of my head that trailed back to a nest of pretty curls. I got the Greek goddess look I was hoping for and received tons of compliments on my ‘do! I couldn’t not share…

What A Relief: The Real Larry From “Orange Is The New Black” Is Not Such A Schmuck

It’s strange that my own story has now been told in my wife’s memoir and, in a way, by the Netflix adaptation of it, yielding such delights in my inbox as a link to an article called “A Guide to the Internet’s Love of Hating Larry Bloom From ‘Orange Is the New Black.’” What can you do with that? Well, I read every word, clicked on every link, and laughed my ass off, appreciating the passion and level of detail that went into documenting the love of hating Larry Bloom. And when my friend’s teenage daughter texts me to say that she just wants me to know I am so much cooler than that guy, I appreciate that, too. …  I stuck by Piper because it never occurred to me to do anything else. I later signed a marriage contract with Piper Kerman, and a life rights release with Jenji Kohan and Netflix. And now, here’s my version of the story. If you ever meet me, I hope you’ll discover I am neither the saint of Piper’s book, nor the schmuck of a hit show.

Never before have pop culture consumers of the world been united in such certainty: we hate Larry Bloom, Piper’s ex-fiance on “Orange Is The New Black.” Just seeing Jason Biggs’ face on my computer screen brings on the douchechills. ‘Tis a pity for real-life Larry, an editor and writer named Larry Smith, who finally opened up about being half of Netflix’s most famous couple in a long essay for Medium. Keep reading »

Heroin Killed Socialite Peaches Geldof

  • Socialite Peaches Geldof died of a heroin overdose, a coroner has confirmed. The 25-year-old mother of two was found dead in her UK home with one of her young sons beside her earlier this year. [US Weekly]
  • Zoe Saldana reportedly has a baby growing in that belly. [US Weekly]
  • “Glee” star Naya Rivera married actor Ryan Dorsey this weekend. She split from a former fiancé, rapper Big Sean, in April. [People] Keep reading »

Newsflash: Divorce Doesn’t Always Work Out Well For Women

Disclose Your Divorce
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Housework & Divorce
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Wait, what? Housework equality can lead to a higher divorce rate. Read More »
Newsflash: Divorce Doesn't Always Work Out Well For Women

So here’s a thing that is making my eye twitch: There is a (fringe) group of people — mostly men — who believe that divorce is, basically, a feminist conspiracy meant not to empower women to live autonomous lives (y’know, the whole “pursuit of happiness” thing) but to allow women to destroy men’s lives.

This is largely a product of the Red Pill community. For the vast numbers of people who live in blessed ignorance of Red Pill, it’s a group of people (again, mostly men) who believe that they’ve “taken the red pill” (à la “The Matrix”) and embraced the painful reality that our society is increasingly being set up to disadvantage men. Not that this is an actual reality: They believe that “involuntary celibacy” exists, i.e. they are having celibacy forced on them; they are disadvantaged for being virgins; their entire identity is wrapped up in having or not having sex. They’re the notorious believers in pick-up artistry, a concept that posits that since all women are brainless automatons, there’s a magical formula of actions and behaviors you can adopt to manipulate women into sleeping with you. They’re so obsessed with false rape accusations that they practically never actually validate the fact that women in America are raped (and then, if she was, of course, she probably deserved it). They buy into the “alpha/beta” social theory (because humans are dogs!). They talk about women in terms of monetary value. They believe they are buying their “partners.”

And they hate divorce, because in the Red Pill community’s minds divorce is a system set up to allow women to vacuum money out of men’s bank accounts and steal children away from their fathers. They believe men should be able to divorce women for even spurious reasons, but women should be shamed for getting divorced (by the way, read all of these links at the risk of your sanity). Keep reading »

Conor Oberst Dismisses Libel Lawsuit Against The Woman Who Falsely Accused Him Of Rape

  • Conor Oberst has dismissed his federal libel lawsuit against Joanie Faircloth, the North Carolina woman who accused him of sexual assault in a comment thread on xoJane. Faircloth released a statement publicly recanting her accusation last week, while Oberst released a statement accepting her apology. [CBS News]
  • The Carter-Knowles family was spotted happily hanging out in New Orleans, only further fueling our questions about whether everyone is actually over whatever happened in that elevator. [People]
  • Game show host/”Ferris Bueller” icon Ben Stein has been accused of asking a 24-year-old woman to send her nude pics. [Page Six]
  • Rumor has it that Charlize Theron and Sean Penn are planning a summer wedding and hoping to adopt a child together. [Jezebel] Keep reading »

Hollywood Sucks At Depicting LGBT Characters Onscreen

brokeback mountain
  • According to a study released today by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, only 17 of 102 films released by Hollywood’s seven largest studios during 2013 depicted gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans characters. Those characters were mostly minor roles and ones which portrayed the sexual orienation negatively. Of the films which did portray LGBT folks, they were more than twice as likely to portray gay male characters than lesbian or bisexual ones. So, you’ve got more work to do, Hollywood. (P.S. “Brokeback Mountain” obviously didn’t come out in 2013, but I couldn’t resist and excuse to post a pic of the hot Heath/Jake kiss.) [GLAAD.org via IndieWire] Keep reading »

Lana Del Rey Did Not Sleep Her Way To Fame

“It’s commentary, like, ‘I know what you think of me,’ and I’m alluding to that. You know, I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry, but none of them helped me get my record deals. Which is annoying.”

Lana Del Rey told Complex magazine that her song “Fucked My Way Up to the Top” is not about what you think. She did not sleep with some dude to land a record deal, thank you very much, and I find it annoying that this question follows her and other ladies through their careers. She seems to be feeling a bit dark and twisty these days, and in her interview, she talks about the pain her fame has caused her and what it means to have her work misinterpreted by the masses. According to her, those gold and platinum records don’t mean so much without supportive friends to share them with. [Complex]

Watch Angela Kinsey Tell Conan About Her Adventures As A Rapper

Angela Kinsey
Nursery Rhymes Never Sounded So Cool

When Angela Kinsey from “The Office” was invited to Share Day at her six-year-old daughter’s school, she ended up performing a rap of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” As she tells Conan, rapping is something of an everyday habit in the Kinsey household, but her daughter’s classmates were noimpressed. Kids are a way tougher crowd than TV critics! [The Daily Dot]

It’s Time To Cry: Bride’s Favorite Mascot Walks Her Down The Aisle After She Loses Her Father

Bride And Mascot
So Sweet

When Jennifer Sullivan unexpectedly lost her father to a heart attack six months before her wedding, she brought in her favorite mascot to walk her down the aisle. “I knew that I would be thinking about him the entire time,” Sullivan told WSVN News. “I knew I needed to do something really special to take my mind off of it and make the moment as lighthearted as possible.” Sullivan is a hardcore University of Miami fan, and a former employee of the school’s athletics department. Sebastian, the Miami Hurricanes mascot, was all too happy to step in on her special day, wearing a jersey with her late father’s nickname, Big Walt, on the back. It couldn’t have been a more fitting tribute. [CosmopolitanWSVN News]

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