Buttered This Week: Aug 22-28

“You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life” ― Julia Child

First of course, Roxane breaks the terrible news: The Butter is saying good-bye.

HUGE, teary thanks to all you brilliant Butter writers, so much butter to our bread. It’s been a joy to read and publish your work. And to you readers for loving it all as much as we did.

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Toast Points for the Week of August 28th

Hi Toasties! Toast Points will be short and sweet this week, because I have to go meet my kids’ teachers this afternoon. (oh thank you Lord Jesus the end of the summer is nigh, HIGH-FIVE ME ONE AND ALL)

This week, we got to read Texts from H.P. Lovecraft. Our beloved Green Gables got the Great House Therapy treatment. Christienna Fryar wrote about her years as a competitive swimmer and the need for Black people to feel safe and welcome at public pools. A longtime Toastie told us how she realized she was being emotionally abused by her husband, and how powerful it was to be believed.

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A Buttery Farewell

When Nicole and Mallory approached me and invited me to contribute to The Toast, was absolutely thrilled. I recognized what an amazing opportunity it was, particularly as a woman of color, to be able to run an online publication where I had editorial freedom and the ability to pay writers.

It has been all joy to run The Butter. I was able to publish truly amazing writing filled with wit and heart, humor and intelligence. I worked with columnists that gave me insight into this wonderful world around us, living with a lover, raising a modern family, living with disability, the ways in which music can shape our lives, how beloved  literary characters might throw down, and, of course, we had, at the end, a warm, wise advice column.

But now, alas, The Butter is coming to an end.

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This Writer’s On Fire: Gabrielle Bellot

“I am a woman who shouts into the sea.” from “Women and the Global Imagination: The Isle of Exile” at Prairie Schooner.


Who She Is

I found this bio online, but as usual, bios only tell you the facts: ‘Gabrielle Bellot, who has also written under J. Bellot, holds an MFA from Florida State University, where she is currently a PhD Candidate in fiction. She has contributed work to Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, Small Axes sx salon, The SouthEast Review, and other journals. She grew up in the Commonwealth of Dominica, where she has worked as a member of a committee for the Nature Island Literary Festival. She is working on her first novel.’

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Friday Open Thread!

Happy Friday, Toasties! It’s my dad’s birthday, so I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the man who is never too busy to take my calls or challenge my deeply held beliefs about Star Trek and sports.

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Why I Can’t Come to Your Play

1. I really love musicals — Phantom is about my favorite play ever! — and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do more than see a brand-new, original musical. But I’ve been so distracted with my cousin’s bridesmaids all staying at my house. There are eleven of them, and they haven’t even changed out of their dresses, and it’s been three days since my cousin’s wedding. As soon as they leave, I’ll be able to focus.

2. How many more weekends did you say it runs? Is there a website, or is the theatre company too small for that? I did try to get tickets that first week, but the link to buy them seemed to be broken. It kept sending me to some pest abatement service.

3. By the way, I’m so happy Emma saw it! She and I are practically the same person, so it’s almost as if I were there myself. She said the play must have been an enormous amount of work and time for you. I’m impressed that you find a way to do it! It’s so great that she was able to be there to see your talents shine, even if the evening was a little long.

4. I’m volunteering at the homeless shelter on the weekends, as I think you know, so it’s kind of hard for me to get away for something like a play, but I promise I’ll try. “Diurnal Rhythms” is such a great title.

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Two Ways Of Writing About Sex Work

There’s been some good and thoughtful reporting over the Rentboy arrests over the last few days. From Graeme Reid at Human Rights Watch:

Rentboy.com connects male escorts to clients in the same way that Uber does for transport, or Airbnb does for accommodation. There are no middlemen, thus affording users control and autonomy over the services brokered through the website. The website connects consenting adults. None of the government statements about the raid have alleged any coercion or involvement of underage persons.

It is hard to see the harm done by Rentboy.com, but it’s easy to see the harm done by the raid on society at large. The criminalization of voluntary, consensual sexual relations among adults is incompatible with the rights to personal autonomy and privacy – internationally recognized human rights that everyone, including individuals engaged in sex work, is entitled to. Criminalization creates barriers for those engaged in sex work to exercise basic rights and to seek access to justice, health care, and other available services.

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