Hi, Toasts! My friend Alyssa is visiting me this weekend and I AM SO EXCITED. By the time you all read this, she will be here! She is the very same Alyssa who recently visited Nicole Cliffe, which means she has little choice but to visit Mallory next weekend to wrap up her Grand Tour of Toast Editorial Abodes, ask her anything.
Learn to be a happy feminist, if that interests you (being a happy feminist, I mean; obviously you’re already a feminist if you’re here, regardless of your feelings, which I’m sure are good and right whatever they are)
Naomi Gordon-Loebl’s essay on gender in the locker room is so, so good:
My parents raised me to believe that my boy-girl self was beautiful and natural. I got a crewcut and began to wear men’s clothes when I was 15 years old. It was the single most self-loving—and easy—thing I’ve ever done. Nothing has ever felt more right.
And yet, 13 years later, I find myself scuttling around the locker room like a pathetic bug fleeing from an all-powerful human boot. More than my body, I’m ashamed of my shame. Who taught me to be so self-hating?
Kendra James on why she was so disappointed in the new Ghostbusters trailer — specifically, what she saw of Patty’s character, played by Leslie Jones:
A Black woman being given a shot in a property like Ghostbusters is such a rare thing that, as with Cleopatra 2525 in childhood, I came to this 2-minute-and-30-second trailer with my loins girded, determined to like it. But after all was said and done — after I’d taken in the stereotypes, felt discouraged by what I saw of Patty’s character, and had once again begun to doubt whether a woman like me has a place in any mainstream science fiction medium — I realized that I would likely be skipping Ghostbusters.
Here is THE FINAL INSTALLMENT in Mo Moulton’s perfect Watching Downton Abbey with an Historian series; weep with me for what we have lost. (You can also hear Mo talkin’ Downton and history on The Diane Rehm Show, if you missed it last week.)
MEDEA: all I ask for is your fidelity and anything I have is yours
JASON: yeah absolutely
fidelity is like my number one favorite thing
let’s do this
i’m all in, Mads
MEDEA: my name is Medea
JASON: I know that
I knew that
that’s just my special nickname for you
my special fidelity nickname
Nicole and I have been chatting about House of Cards Season 4 this week: Part I (Episodes 1-4) and Part II (5-8). We’ll wrap up the rest of the season on Monday and then give you a break of approximately one week before we jump into Daredevil Season 2, probably.
Are you in a Raymond Chandler story?
“These are my fanciest sweatpants, so”
I wrote a little about racism and “good intentions” [spoiler: I dgaf about them, personally]:
[N]o matter how large or small the offenses, I don’t always have the mental, emotional, or spiritual fortitude to unquestioningly trust in the purity of some stranger’s intentions. I don’t have the capacity to believe I’ll never be hurt by a white person again. And I cannot bring unfailing faith and trust and sweetness and light to every single interaction I have with white people. That should not be asked of me, or anyone.
So, yes, I get angry sometimes. I won’t allow the feelings or fears of others to dictate how I feel about racism. I don’t care deeply about or even care to acknowledge someone’s heart of gold if what comes out of their mouth is hurtful or hateful. I don’t have a grudge or a chip on my shoulder; I have simply had experiences enough — in real life, and online — to know that sometimes, trust has to be earned. The truth is, I don’t think most white people realize just how often they are given the benefit of the doubt, over and over and over again. Sometimes you don’t have any more to give.
Nicole Chung is the Managing Editor of The Toast.