1. When I was 12 years old, I got head lice.

    I waited for my mother to notice. I waited for what felt like weeks. It was disgusting, and I was disgusted with myself; they were crawling everywhere, falling off my head onto my school books, fat with my blood. But I never took any action to deal with it myself. I waited for my mother to notice.

  2. To be a woman who dares overstep her place in the physical or the digital worlds is to be branded a target by men, men who wish to return to halcyon days: of women only seen (except when they shouldn’t be) but not heard, of apron-donning, of apple-cheeked ma’ams bowing to their every whim. For these men, food -- or rather, feeding -- is the second most important women’s work (with the first being to…

  3. I first got sucked into the weird vortex of Temperance Hymns while checking some facts in a book about the history of the university where I work. The book mentioned that “the program in the closing day exercises of the first term featured children singing, ‘Saloons Must Go’ as they marched determinedly around the room for the benefit of the spectators.”

    “Is that a real song?” I wondered. (…

  4. In my line of work, I come across the names of many, many high schools—every high school in Canada, in fact. So I began a tally with myself of the number of schools named after women—at first out of curiosity, and later after developing something of a righteous rage.

    Many schools in Canada and the US are named after their towns, and Canada’s wealth of delicious place names gives these

  5. This piece on campus suicide and perfection is a really great, really tough read, and also, do better, Kathryn's parents:

    Expectations were high. Every day at 5 p.m. test scores and updated grades were posted online. Her mother would be the first to comment should her grade go down. “I would get home from track and she would say, ‘I see your grade dropped.’ I would say, ‘Mom, I

  6. Here are the reasons I make an annual trip out to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC): a) To get my picture taken by multitudes while dressed in costume (cosplaying) as my favourite characters from comics, television, and film. b) To order drinks that match the designer dresses I have no other opportunity to wear while eating delicious, bacon-wrapped, finger-sized appetizers and catching glimpses of celebrities at star-studded parties that I, a weirdo commoner from New Jersey, have…

  7. I am not a big fan of psychic charlatanry, which often preys on people who are in genuine grief. So when I read about psychic fraud Priscilla Kelly Delmaro, arrested in May for second-degree grand larceny, I should have felt smug about her downfall. Delmaro had induced a male client to give her over $700,000 worth of payment and gifts, including a diamond ring and a Rolex – all in exchange for her

  8. Previously by Morgan Jerkins: Writing, Trans Identity, Race, and All the Poetry: An Interview with Meredith Talusan On June 27th, I saw the image of activist and filmmaker Bree Newsome clinging to a pole with the Confederate Flag held out triumphantly in her right hand. The South Carolina State Capitol building was behind her, adding a powerful element to her legendary act of civil disobedience. As Newsome was escorted away from the State Capitol grounds…

  9. The Toast will be running a few pieces on Canada's missing and murdered indigenous women (MMIW) this summer; this is the first.

    My seven siblings and I grew up in a Christian household, which was strict in some sense. We didn’t own a television, and we sat around the table to read The Bible every night and recited scripture. My sisters and I couldn’t wear pants or cut our hair. It might

  10. It’s an unassuming flower, the pennyroyal, with its small, pointed, lavender petals cupped by deep green leaves. Pennyroyal flowers grow in kusudama-like clusters that thread a single, delicate stem. A cousin to mint, pennyroyal smells good (if a bit overwhelming) and can help keep fleas and mosquitoes at bay. Ingested as a tea or an oil, pennyroyal can hurry along an annoyingly late period. And in high enough doses, the story goes, pennyroyal can allow…

  11. On the night of May 25, 2014, I curled up in bed and waited to die. My Twitter mentions were bursting with reasons why I should. I was a man-hater. I was a rabid feminist. I was capitalizing on a tragedy. I was a terrorist in sheep’s clothing. I was a hypocrite. There were many that had creatively utilized a 140-character limit to fantasize about particularly creative ends for me. What I’d asked for. What…

  12. Mo Moulton's previous work for The Toast can be found here.

    "Peter, what did you mean when you said that anybody could have harmony if they would leave us the counterpoint?’" 

    "Why,’" he said, shaking his head, ‘that I like my music polyphonic. If you think I meant anything else, you know what I meant.’"

    This conversation between Lord

  13. Advertising and feminism can seem like enemies. The phrase “Often a bridesmaid but never a bride” was first popularized in 1923 by a Listerine ad: The campaign heroine, Edna, sobs over a bouquet because she apparently isn't “wife material.” (Little did she know it was just her halitosis.) But there is one real-life Peggy Olson who peddled consumer products and genuine body positivity in ads throughout the 1980s and '90s, several leagues above today’s Dove ads…

  14. Joanne last wrote for The Toast about Dr. Henry Morgentaler and the experience of obtaining legal permission for a Canadian abortion in the 1970s.

    I was talking to my niece (THAT'S ME - Ed.) about women’s shelters in the 1980s and 1990s and I thought I’d record some of my memories, which, in turn, bring up some of the issues we had to address. During that time, I was the administrator of two

  15. As The Toast searches for its one true Gal Scientist, we will be running a ton of wonderful one-off pieces by female scientists of all shapes and sizes and fields and education levels, which we are sure you will enjoy. They’ll live here, so you can always find them. 

    Ladies, we are the weaker sex. At least that’s the message we’re getting from corporate America: we have tiny lady hands requiring