Heartbeats, holidays, hopefulness, helplessness

When I was in grad school in Ireland, my friends and I made an agreement that if one of us should find ourselves with an unwanted pregnancy, we would rearrange our schedules for an immediate “girls’ holiday” to the UK—cocktails, spa visits, shopping, all that fun, female stuff. And an abortion.

It’s something that I had never had to think about in the United States. Roe v. Wade had been settled by the Supreme Court almost two decades before I was born, and while another Supreme Court ruling from my own home state, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, allowed for more restrictions and guidelines, abortion would have been generally accessible to me had I needed it.

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It’s Women’s Equality Day (via Harsh Reality)

I haven’t written a journalistic-type article since… I was a journalism major? But I’m pretty proud of this one. In honour of Women’s Equality Day, a US holiday commemorating the (98th anniversary) of the Nineteenth Amendment, I spoke to four women in different countries (USA, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand) about women’s rights in their respective countries, and their hopes for the future. I’m hoping to do more with their words because they had such amazing things to say—maybe a series of some sort on my blog? But for now, I’m delighted to share this piece I wrote for Harsh Reality:

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States, commemorating the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. In the USA, women’s rights have seen huge strides forwards (as well as some big steps back). But how do women’s rights in the States compare to other countries around the world? Four women — from the United States, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada — weigh in.

Read the rest at Harsh Reality

Every Book I’ve Read So far in 2017, Ranked

Every year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal at 52, an average of one book a week for the entire year. Ideally I would like to spread out my reading in just that way, reading one book each and every week. Of course, that never happens. Sometimes I fly through three books in three months; sometimes it takes me just as long to read a single, long, dense book (for example, last year’s reading choice of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke). Sometimes life gets in the way—I’ve read as almost twice as many books in the month I’ve been home as I did in the nearly three months I spent on the road. However, I’m more or less on track; last night I finished reading Anne Helen Petersen’s Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud and Goodreads informed me that I have finished 27 books and am therefore halfway to my goal. Next up is Amelia Gray’s latest novel, Isadora, but first, here is a ranking and short review of all the books I’ve read so far this year.

Note 1: I’ve read two series or multiple volumes of a series this year; I’ve grouped them together rather than ranking each separate book.
Note 2: Books published in 2017 marked with a *
Note 3: You’ll notice that I say mostly positive things about all the books on this list. I’m pretty good at this point at guessing whether I’m going to enjoy a book before I pick it up, so I don’t tend to start many duds (which is good, because I’m also determined to finish even a dull book once I’ve opened it). 

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Let’s hear from the ladies

My job as a copywriter means that most of my day at work is spent typing away at a computer. And our department’s unhealthy obsession with Slack means that we don’t talk too much out loud (look, you can’t speak a giphy of a kitten), so I usually have my headphones in. And since there’s only so many times I can listen to the music from Hamilton*, I generally turn to podcasts.

One thing I really like about podcasts is that, like other maker-focused platforms such as YouTube, there is room for a hugely diverse array of voices. Not relying on traditional production/publishing means that you can find podcasts about any topic, created by any type of person. While I listen to podcasts ranging from the paranormal to the musical to the educational to the financial, one of my favourite things about podcasts is how many are female-created and female-focused. Here are a few of my top picks:

*just kidding, I could listen to it on repeat for forever

 

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Who hosts it: Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin

What it’s about: How Stuff Works has a number of podcasts (another one shows up later on this list!) but Stuff Mom Never Told You is definitely my favourite. Some episodes focus on historical events or figures that may have been misrepresented or ignored in popular media and education; others explain common things  that often affect women like colorism, cuddling, and comics.

Check out this episode: Feminist Witchcraft

Continue reading “Let’s hear from the ladies”