1. "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The drug's dangerous, but it gives insight. When a Truthsayer's gifted by the drug, she can look many places in her memory — in her body's memory. We…

  2. I went on a date tonight with this cute anthropologist. He has blue eyes, a beard, and his online dating profile says he’s good with knots, but not in a creepy, kidnap-y way, more in a handy, Boy Scout-y way. I was trying really hard not to rant about feminism and misogyny during our date, because he seemed nice and listening to me rant isn’t that much fun. Besides, I was pretty sure

  3. During a fundraiser, a congressman catches my eye and waves me over. He’s in the middle of a conversation but reaches out for a two armed hug as he says my name: “HEATHER!” He holds me by my shoulders and asks me how I am. “And how is mom?” Mom is good. Mom is away at Columbia University earning her Master’s in Journalism.

  4. Today is the last day before the paywall goes up at The New Yorker, which I read and adore, so I encourage you to subscribe, but either way, you must immediately read this brilliant thing by Paige Williams on Alabama's use of a judicial override to sentence an eighteen-year-old to death OVER THE WISHES OF THE JURY: Most states with the death penalty require a unanimous vote of twelve in order to impose capital…

  5. About nine months ago, as it became obvious that I was With Child to even the most absent-minded professors in my engineering research center, I had the following conversation about two or three times a day: Nervous Graduate Student: So, um, when are you going out on maternity leave? (I wrangle all of the ~50 graduate students ‘round these parts.) Me: Well, my due date is March 7th, but since [university name redacted] doesn’t have…

  6. While out with my sister in her mostly white neighbourhood, we walked by an elderly woman dressed in a velour tracksuit, plastic visor, and sunglasses I’m certain were purchased from an infomercial. She was speed walking but slowly strolled towards us, pulled down her sunglasses, looked us both up and down and hissed, “Jeeeeeezuuus.” It took a few seconds to register exactly what happened, but my sister and I couldn’t continue walking -

  7. *”A Dialogue” sounds really official like we sat across from each other in our best finery while sipping from mugs of coffee inscribed with our logo but really it was a gchat conversation. It has been lightly edited for clarity. Ezekiel Kweku (Shrill): Hi, Priya. Priya Alika Elias (Wordy): Hi! S: Against my better judgment, and because I wanted to understand nerds better, I revisited an ancient and seminal nerd text: the 1984 teen comedy…

  8. This post was brought to you by @annamarch. “My sister read your blog,” my mother remarked to me a couple years ago, referring to a series of guest posts that I had been writing for Bitch magazine. She was teasing me, but she relayed something that my aunt had apparently told her in earnest: “She showed [her husband] and he said he's afraid of you now, since you're such a 'militant butch lesbian.'”…

  9. Two weeks ago I stood on the nearly one-hundred-year-old steps of a building on the University of Michigan campus with my hands raised in the air. The building happened to be somewhere I’d worked – the graduate library—and even represented the reason I’d moved cross-country to attend information science school. I loved that library, loved those stone steps, loved the view onto the Diag on a fall afternoon when I’d walk out after

  10. ONE

    I think sometimes of all the bad things that could happen to me. Does anybody else do this? All the ways I could be hurt, the exact level and amount I could suffer, and survive.

    It started, I think, in elementary school, while watching West Side Story with my parents. That scene where the Jets taunt Anita. Her shirt is fuchsia and her hair is short and her

  11. July 2014

    The first thing I have to do is find out X.’s full name. I know his first and last name, but I want to have his middle name. Being able to say all three names has power. Like when I get mad at my kids and say all three names, they know they’re in deep shit.

    I don’t even know how to spell X.’s first name properly—it’s

  12. The Sister acknowledges that interaction between the Brother and the Sister has degraded to the point of open hostility, and other family members (parents, siblings, cousins) are being caught in the crossfire. The Sister desires a peaceful relationship and would like to discuss terms to minimize this conflict before it escalates into a full-scale confrontation. However, negotiations in the past have devolved into diplomatic incidents and military engagement. To the end of achieving

  13. This post originally appeared on March 4th, 2014. My first day at the clinic, a man commits suicide by jumping off a building across the street. It’s a bright but deceptively cold March morning, the sky an unbroken cornflower blue dome. I don’t see him; I’m trying, futilely, to find a sun-warmed patch of sidewalk for my critically under-socked feet, and my back is turned.  Soon, the street fills with first responders, and police officers…

  14. “What do you mean he abused her?” The question was shrill and innocuous.

    The teacher, Mrs. Stern, looked incredibly uncomfortable. But hey, she had brought it up. “He got into the bed with her, and he abused her.” Mrs. Stern shrugged her shoulders at the ambiguity of it all, as if it was impossible to know what the passage was really saying. “Now let’s move on.”

    I rolled my eyes

  15. My mother wanted to stay in America. She would say later that when she got off the plane, she felt like even the air in America was free. My father thought we should go back to China. After all, the Chinese government had given him the scholarship to come to America to get his PhD, and he was supposed to go back and use his knowledge to help the motherland. This was the