on a serious note

My reading list has, for the most part, gotten a little heavier lately.

When you find out the world is against you. (Trigger warning: stories of sexual assault.)
When I was a kid I would jump into the lake and stay underwater, just for the moment when things would go silent. I'd surface, let the yelling, talking, dog barking back into my ears, the sound of my feet as I ran down the hollow wooden boards of our dock. Then I'd hang airborne for a moment before hitting the water again. The loud rush into my ears, then numb silence. I lived for that lonely numb silence in this womblike peace and safety.
But now the tiny invisible soft hairs on my arms and neck stand on end because instead of the peace I felt in that silence, it is fear I now feel. I turn and face a small old Indian man sitting on the bench behind me and pulling his hand back from touching me. He smiles.

The invention of heterosexuality 
The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.” 
We don't play with our vulvas at the dinner table
The truth is human beings, almost universally, like sex. It feels good. I’s supposed to feel good. If it didn’t, the human race would die out. The truth is sex isn’t special and magical just because it’s sex. The truth is you can have spectacular sex with strangers whose names you don’t even know. The truth is that just because you can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. And that’s what sex positive parenting really is. Not telling kids lies about sex to keep them from behaviors we don’t think are healthy. It’s telling them the truth, the whole truth, and letting it sink in so they can make their own good choices.
6 reasons people claim waving the confederate flag isn't racist–squashed

Why can't the left win? (This whole article is so good, left or right, and speaks very wisely to the idea of creating change. 
Calling justice “privilege” is just another way of highlighting that not all experience it. The problem is that it also implies that no one should… The privilege framing, with its focus on unearned advantage rather than unjust disadvantage, doesn’t fit with situations where even the “privileged” person is still quite screwed. 
The foundation of modern gynecology is based on the bodies of black women
Sims decided to do tests on three particular slaves: Betsey, Anarcha, and Lucy. They were painful procedures, sutures done without anesthesia. And while Sims wrote in his findings that the women were eager to have the procedures done because the fistulas left them struggling to work and have babies, as slaves, they didn’t have the option to give consent for such things either way. And when Sims did more and more of these procedures, conducting them in front of groups of medical professionals, the women had no say in being naked and experimented on in front of others. 


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