Saturday Link Roundup

For me, one of the best parts about this week has been the way so much of our public conversation has turned around discussing the nature of marriage, thanks to the two marriage equality cases in front of the Supreme Court this week. Yes, sometimes I listened to the “debates” (I’m not even going to dignify them by not quoting that) about marriage on NPR made me feel like I’d fallen down a rabbit hole and landed in 1995, when one of my debate topics was marriage equality (really? We’re still talking about this shit?) But the fact that we were talking about what marriage means, and how it’s changing, was so encouraging. And now, on to the links.


In light of Liz shaving her head for children’s cancer and hair donation, a kick-ass bald bride with alopecia areata.

Disposable AND compostable plates and things… in colors? Yeah, you’re welcome.

Our own Emily (also of Emily Takes Photos) explains Raw photos vs. Jpegs. This was a big controversy when I got hitched, and it turns out photographers not wanting to give you raw files is not some big scam. It’s because they’re not that pretty, and they’re pretty much worthless to the laywoman (hey large chunks of data). This is why I shoot on my fancy camera in Jpeg, even though Maddie scolds me when she has to edit those photos.

Buying a cancelled wedding. I can’t decide if this is brilliant, or logistically almost impossible. But hey, go shopping.

This article on this history of queer African American women and marriage is fascinating.

Reclaiming Wife

The Atlantic, with a not terrible case for young marriage. Obviously not for everyone, but for those looking to justify a decision already made (that’s from the married at 21 Maddie, who submitted this link), this one isn’t terrible. And this line: “Marriage actually works best as a formative institution, not an institution you enter once you think you’re fully formed. We learn marriage, just as we learn language.”

My friend Jordan of Oh Happy Day lives in a 500 square foot apartment with her husband and two kids (Seriously, it’s really small in real life. Way smaller than it looks in these pictures.) She’s one of the worlds most visually talented ladies, and she makes it WORRRKKKK, which I find so empowering. No, you don’t need to have it all to have kids. (Her kids used to sleep in a closet, and not like Harry Potter).

A writer with a baby. Or pregnant, and not ready to join the cult of motherhood. I could have written this when I was pregnant. Thank god, being a mother IS just being a writer with a baby.


General Interest

We’ve been getting emails lately asking if APW can delve into the structural underpinnings of feminism, ie, what feminism is to the APW staff, and how it works on this site (because, really, we can’t tackle what feminism is for every feminist everywhere, so we’re gonna limit this). It’s such a good request (What? They’re not teaching feminism in school these days?) and we’ll get on it. In the meantime however, reading If I Admit That ‘Hating Men’ Is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning It Into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? is a damn good place to start. Seriously. Read it. All of it. And then send it to some men in your life.

There’s no such thing as a “perfect” feminist. One brillant bit is here, “I blame this Capital F Feminism concept that there is a code a “public feminist” is supposed to follow that doesn’t allow us to be fucking people with insecurities and desires and mental illnesses and a list of mistakes like any other human.” (Said as a public feminist). Because divided we fall, indeed.

This story about woman owned indie retailer Nasty Gal in the New York Times pretty much made my day. It explores the difference between bootstrapping and Venture Capital (and why VC doesn’t always get us), and reminded me of my abiding love for women small business owners (and how tough as nails they always are).

It seems like every week, some “real journalist” is lambasting personal essays as “the end of journalism.” But this article on why personal essays are important makes the case for why personal essays are worthwhile, particularly for women. It also delves into the public shaming and personal-attack-trolling that goes along with being a women who writes online (sadly, much of this comes from other women, let’s fix that).

This week, blogger Hilary Bowman-Smart started a trend on Twitter with #safetytipsforladies. The idea was a response to reading one too many articles about steps that women can take to avoid getting raped, and it wins everything.

And as if that wasn’t good enough, feminist Kate Harding created #edgyheadlines, flipping those “can women have it all” stories on their gendered head. I want to marry this thread. Particularly this tweet.

ThinkProgress covered the 2013 TV Staffing Brief by publishing a list of shows that are without women or people of color on their writing staff, and it’s worth taking a look. Like hey, Veep, a show about a woman VP, has no women writers on staff. Or people of color. Why does this matter? Because our writing is always somewhat limited by our experiences, and it would really be nice to get more diverse perspectives on TV. And oh yeah, have more awesome jobs for women and people of color.

Lets end this light. Did anyone else see Kristen Stewart’s hair at the Kids’ Choice Awards? Or is Maddie the only one who cares about what the tweens are into right now? Anyway, Mads wants us to do a comparison: K.Stew’s hairMeg’s hair. (Editors note: holy HELL do I look pregnant there. And I was just 21 weeks.)


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  • KC

    On the personal essays article:
    “As someone who writes both journalism and personal essays,” she said, “I feel like it’s been helpful to know what that public vulnerability feels like so I can better protect my sources.”

    This is a fantastic idea. While sometimes the hardest-line bullies are the ones who have been bullied, I feel like if all those who were:
    a) designing reality TV shows
    b) writing journalism (esp. pieces where peoples’ opinions or experiences are at play)
    c) basically, doing anything else where the subjects of their efforts are reasonably likely to get shredded
    Well, if they would all experience things from that other side, maybe at least some would alter their point of view (and hence alter the way they cut “reality” TV to make the people look more ridiculous, or change the way they mangle quotes, etc.).


  • I know that getting married young isn’t for everyone, but I always take offense to those who think they are allowed to judge my decision. This is actually a great article, and I think this idea of marriage being the “cornerstone” of line is really important. My marriage is successful because we grew up together (literally, we started dating at 15 and married at 23), and because we put the focus that we needed to on one another. We relate to the world with each other in it, and that’s something that I think a lot of people struggle with if they marry when they’re older. I’m not trying to say one is better than the other, since I know that a lot of young marriages do eventually fail (as do marriages when the couple is older as well). I think it’s up to the couple, and if they are mature enough, regardless of their age, it can work!

    • rys

      I don’t think young or old marriage is better than the other, but what bothers me about the recent slew of proponents of young marriage is the implication that those of us who are single in our 30s (or older) have rejected marriage, as though there were a stable of thoroughbred suitors that we rejected from age 18 onward. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who chose not to get married because of their age. I know people who married when they found the a partner to marry, whether that was at 22 or 32 or 42 or later.

      • Your comment it right on. But I have to say, I would have had a blast dating my way through a stable full of suitors ;-)

        • rys

          Tell me about it! If only I hadn’t lost the directions to the stable…

      • Aly

        Interesting, because I do know some people who have been committed, stable, and together for a while and chose to delay marriage because they considered themselves “too young.” But, I very much agree that there is also a stigma that women who are older and unmarried have “rejected” marriage, which is just ridiculous.

        Anyway, I was the one who forwarded this link to Maddie and I found the article to be very thought-provoking, especially because I’m engaged in my early 20s and have encountered some raised eyebrows.

    • Jessica

      I really liked the “cornerstone of life” idea as well. I got married when I was 25 and my husband was not quite 24. I have a hard time feeling like an adult a lot of the time (middle child syndrome, yay!), but the last 1.5 years has helped me grow up so much- my husband as well. When we were dating and engaged, things were a lot less serious for us. Now that we’re married, it’s more important to us that I go back to get my MBA, or that he doesn’t quit his job out of frustration, or that we save for a house downpayment because we’re trying to build our lives together. I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have done these things had we not gotten married, but I think just the fact that we’re married and responsible for each other matured us much more quickly than we would have otherwise.

      Married young vs married older kind of feels like every other debate regarding life decisions- if you’re in the other category, you feel you’re constantly under attack. It’s a problem.

  • KC

    Also, for people who watch those and other shows: can you tell the difference when there are no women on the writing staff?

    I’m *also* in favor of jobs being open to people, but I’d love to know how thoroughly or not the additional “must have diversity to get reality” theory holds up for these shows. I think there are some female novelists who are also good at writing male characters and some male novelists who are also good at writing female characters, but since they’re not generally the majority, I’d be curious as to how it works out on a single-gendered committee. (there’s also the separate problem that on a committee where there’s an imbalance, sometimes people aren’t going to say anything even if they have a problem, and also the problem that people sometimes overcompensate in weird ways, but… I’d be mostly curious if people could “tell” from the shows)

    • meg

      To me, it’s more that having worked in the entertainment industry, I’m very aware of how much of a boys club it is. Wanna make it in as a girl? You better be 5X as good. That’s not ok.

      Do I think it effects how shows are written when there are no women in the writers room? YES. Because unlike a novel, it’s not a guy sitting alone in a room, who writes women well. It’s a room full of writers. Why wouldn’t you want to mix it up in there?

      • KC

        I also agree on the boy’s club problem, and also that mixing it up really ought to net better results, barring other problems (obviously some writers are better than others, or work better with each other than others, or are more suited to a particular show or genre than others, and sometimes no matter how genius the writing is, the acting and production can kill something, etc.).

        I’m just curious as to whether my intuition is reality (the intuition that OF COURSE you would get more accurate representation of reality for female/etc. characters if you’ve got a writer with those experiences in there – a recent NYT article sure suggests that experience is a major, major asset!

        For once, we actually have data on the writer demographics side – so do these shows on the whole tangibly differ from others that do have more diversity in the writing room, and in what ways? (and not being a TV watcher, I’m totally, totally lacking in that side of the data – hence the question :-) )

      • KC

        (my industry is also, um, rather disproportionately male, and you’d better be *good* as a female, at least in most parts of the US. But many internally are more interested in arguments of “if we have more internal diversity, the business outcome is more successful” than “non-legally-penalized hiring discrimination is unjust and lame” – so the research that demonstrates the former is helpful. :-) )

  • ItsyBitsy

    I might be a little disproportionately excited about the compostable party supplies.

  • em_perk

    I used Susty Party for my wedding two years ago, when they had a very limited list of products. I whole-heartedly recommend them! Customer service was great, shipping was fast, and the products were high quality. We got married and held our cocktail reception in a formal garden of a house museum in Savannah. I didn’t want to rent dishes and glassware for budget reasons, and I was also concerned about safety if things were dropped and broke on the cobblestone/grass ground. The plates, cups and birch utensils I ordered were cheaper, safer, environmentally friendly and looked nice even though my wedding wasn’t exactly casual. It was a win all around!

  • Elizabeth

    Reading about the “bald bride” Kylie made me tear up. I love that she found acceptance and peace as she is.

  • Class of 1980

    “Yes, sometimes I listened to the “debates” (I’m not even going to dignify them by not quoting that) about marriage on NPR made me feel like I’d fallen down a rabbit hole and landed in 1995, when one of my debate topics was marriage equality (really? We’re still talking about this shit?)”

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    “We’re still talking about this shit?” sums up half my thoughts these days. Just wait till you’re my age! You’ll say it about damn near every subject under the sun.

    I’m convinced this is why so many people turn into curmudgeons.

  • Some great posts this week.

    A note on “The Case for Getting Married Young,” will someone please write, “The Case for Getting Married Whenever You Damn Well Please?”

    All of the “cases” for the superiority of younger marriage…older marriage…etc. might be missing the point. Why are we so eager to prescribe the solution that worked for us upon everyone else?

  • Laura K

    I’m so glad you found the article on the history queer african american women and marriage, I saw it earlier in the week and I meant to send it to you but forgot. I loved it!

  • As one of the requestor’s for feminism training articles, I can’t thank you enough for taking on this topic for those of us who know little to nothing about feminism. I look forward to learning more about this subject from ladies who appear to have a solid and healthy outlook on life and their own place in it. Thanks again!

    • ellie

      highly recommend checking out the feminine mystique, which turns 50 this year and in many ways kicked off the 2nd wave of feminism. provides very helpful context on the first wave and is interesting to read from this vantage point, 50 years later.

      • Is there like a feminism for dummies? I think I need to start with something pretty basic since the articles linked to here didn’t do much but confuse or annoy me.

  • We plan on using Susty Party for our same-sex wedding this October! We rented a barn that has no kitchen facilities in Woodstock NY (Byrdcliffe Barn), so this was the perfect solution! We also found a composting facility in the next town over, so we will bring our trash there the day after. Double Win!