The Hairpin
0

Why I Have To Be So "Rude"

"Rude" is the #1 song in America; “Rude” is a strong contender for the worst song I have ever heard. For the lucky uninitiated, I can only explain “Rude” like this: it’s the aural equivalent of a man listening to reggae for the first time in his racecar bed, slowly fucking the hole in a Kidz Bop CD.

Here, take a dip, the water's absolutely disgusting!

Ostensibly, the success of Magic!’s “Rude” can at least partially be explained by the history of American top 40's irregular dabbles in reggae, which have tended to appear in the form of one-offs rather than any tangible wave: “I Can See Clearly Now” in [...]

0

What Happened When We Gave Our Daughter My Last Name

On a snowy morning in college, I sat up on my futon, stared out the dorm window, and nudged my boyfriend Chris. “What would you think about our children having my last name?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said, still half-asleep, “Why wouldn’t they have your last name?”

I was probably too shy then to show my relief.

Time passed. We split up for a year, got married ten years later and then, in our mid-30’s, found ourselves with a babe on the way. We didn’t know girl or boy, but we had already re-decided that our babe’s last name would be my last name. Mixing up convention had always mattered [...]

0

July Horoscopes from Galactic Rabbit

Dear Internet Bunnies,

We’re most of us in the thick of summer and this July I’m a fuzzy love bunny lounging in the cool shade. Come outside and sit for a spell with me. We can steal the burgeoning root veggies just toeing up in the warm dirt. For these horoscopes, I’ve decided that each of you needed a song and I know we all have different tastes but I hope you’ll give your music-familiars a chance. The sun is so bright, and the flowers born new everyday. If a storm comes, let it be a relief, an opening—we are in this together, you and I.

Yours, Galactic Rabbit

[...]
0

My Imaginary Friends: The Beauty YouTuber Economy

I quit my job at the end of this February to participate in a writing residency at my apartment funded by myself. After being mentally and physically numbed by my service sector job almost every day for five months, I found myself abruptly, uneasily alone and well rested. It is often these moments of emptiness in my life when unexpected manias and fetishes overtake me, some new stupid interest I can devote all my free time to. This time, it was YouTube videos of women recommending beauty products. Obviously.

My own relationship to the world of cosmetics is conflicted and idiosyncratic. I refuse to do anything to myself that I [...]

0

$3 Million for 7 Weeks

Three weeks after my partner Randy died of metastatic cancer, I called the oncology resident who had been his on-call doctor. I remember exactly how long it took me to make that call because I was in a place of noticing how long things took, with mild interest, like: when will I feel hungry? When will the best part of every day stop being when I’m asleep?

It took me three weeks to work up to hearing Randy’s doctor’s voice on the phone and simultaneously make words in English.There was something I wanted to ask her or, more accurately, something I wanted to make her say.

“If you’d known how [...]

0

The Trouble With Reader-Shaming: A Y.A. Book List

The great debate over whether grownups should read young adult literature—and further, what the nature of reading should be—has come up again, thanks to a piece in Slate telling adults they should feel ashamed about reading books for kids. The headline is particularly prickly: "Read whatever you want. But you should feel embarrassed when what you’re reading was written for children."

Swiftly, a number of smart people reacted to this piece, which is surely as was intended by its very publication (especially its prickly headline). After all, there’s a certain algorithm on the internet that has become known as a [...]

0

A Beta Male Journeys Through the Femireich

You find yourself drinking alone after work, seated at a wine-stained oaken table, deep in the Reconstruction District of Dworkonia. A long day of picking up heavy things and setting them down left your muscles sore and your brain numb with tedium, but you comfort yourself with the knowledge that your punishment is building towards a better future for the Femireich.

You start at a small scraping sound. Looking around—but carefully, so as not to Male Gaze anyone by mistake and extend your sentence further—you notice that a small trap door has opened in the Bikini Kill concert poster on the wall beside you. You peer closer, and [...]

0

My Struggle Bingo

Instructions:

0

Summer of Pie

At the age of 29, my mother taught me how to bake a pie. That she was in her kitchen, proving how easy it was—how pleasurable it was to master this most domestic of tricks—was a shocker. “There’s more to life than getting married, you know!” she’d said when she caught me walking a Barbie down the aisle in a make believe game of wedding when I was young. “There’s art and work and travel,” she said slowly, clearly trying to make an impression.

But it all sounded boring, coming from her. I already knew I could become an astronaut, a lawyer, or president of the United States if I [...]

0

Spin, Measure, Cut: Hobby Lobby and the Tangled Skein of Reproductive Rights

I blame my compulsive crocheting habit in large part on my great-aunt. For the first 39 years of my life I shared a birthday with her: Auntie Marie was born on July 11, 1907, and I came along exactly 60 years later. Like my grandmother—her sister—Auntie Marie worked blue-collar jobs her whole life, raising a son alone after her husband died, but in spite of all the hardship she lived to the age of 99. Like all the women in my family, she was made of stern stuff.

But Auntie Marie had a soft side, evident in the packages she regularly sent to our family in Texas. She made afghans [...]

0

162 New Emoji We Need Right Now

"The Unicode Consortium — the organization that sets the standards for the near-omnipresent icons we know as emoji — announced Monday afternoon that it will be releasing a new batch of images in its latest 7.0 update." 162 suggestions follow.

Pickle Caftan Middle finger Fingers crossed Penis A-cup boobs B-cup boobs C-cup boobs D-cup boobs DD-cup boobs Small butt Large butt Smiley making “Miley face” Smiley with eggplants for eyes Smiley with dollar-sign eyes Smiley with bulging cheeks Lip-biting smiley Brown-skinned woman with one hand raised Brown-skinned woman wearing crown Brown-skinned woman with two hands above head Brown-skinned woman with arms in “x” shape Brown-skinned woman getting head massage [...]

0

Spin, Measure, Cut: Hobby Lobby and the Tangled Skein of Reproductive Rights

I blame my compulsive crocheting habit in large part on my great-aunt. For the first 39 years of my life I shared a birthday with her: Auntie Marie was born on July 11, 1907, and I came along exactly 60 years later. Like my grandmother—her sister—Auntie Marie worked blue-collar jobs her whole life, raising a son alone after her husband died, but in spite of all the hardship she lived to the age of 99. Like all the women in my family, she was made of stern stuff.

But Auntie Marie had a soft side, evident in the packages she regularly sent to our family in Texas. She made afghans [...]

0

An Interview with Ann Wroe, Obituaries Writer for The Economist

I am not embarrassed to admit that the obituaries on the back page of The Economist make my week. They’re thought-provoking and written with energy. Each column is a window onto another world, where genocidal SS captains escape to Argentina and open a deli with best cold cuts in town, and where British men create Tibet’s communications network and end up imbibing Maoist propaganda in order to escape life in Chinese prison.

The woman who writes these obituaries is Ann Wroe, a stalwart of The Economist since 1976 and the author of nonfiction books on topics as diverse as the Iran-Contra affair and Pontius Pilate. She [...]

0

The Best Time I Lubricated My Chicken's Vagina-Butt

About six months ago, my husband and I decided we hadn't become insufferable enough. Sure, we had abandoned the east coast to find ourselves in Tucson, Arizona. We were living in an adobe house, taking daily shots of apple cider vinegar, and attending yoga workshops featuring the progress mantra music of Blue Spirit Wheel. When a coworker mentioned she needed to find a home for her four chickens, we thought our next logical step was urban chicken farming.

We have a love-hate relationship with our chickens. To put it bluntly, our chickens—Miley, Joan, Denise, and Kanya—are assholes. They have destroyed our backyard, their disgusting fly-magnet poops are everywhere, and they [...]

0

A Smart Girl's Guide To Responding To Pop Stars

We've all been there: You're having a great day, just hangin' out with your friends, enjoying your space, when one of those pesky pop stars shows up thinking he can seduce you with his sexist lyrics and gyrating hips. Sometimes it's so vulgar and obscene you're flabbergasted and stand there, wondering what you should say! Well, wonder no more. Here's a handy guide of appropriate responses and clever come-backs that will banish the know-nothing chauvinists who have somehow weaseled their way onto the radio.

IF HE SAYS: 

YOU SHOULD SAY:

Ok, first of all, not a big deal or anything, but just so you don’t get embarrassed in the [...]

0

OK, Cupid?

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Cupid is notorious not for his successful matches but for his catastrophic ones. Pluto and Proserpina, Apollo and Daphne, Paris and Helen: none of these unions ended well. Instead of churning out soft children and sunshine, these matches produced winter, the bay leaf, and the Trojan War.

I’ve been in a long relationship, so long in fact we’ve forgotten about marriage all together and we simply say we’re married. I’ve vicariously been living this millennia and its social media outlets through friends—many of whom have found love, pleasurable sex, free quality meals, and sometimes even friends through OKCupid. I decided to sign up and build a profile [...]

0

Ask a Jeweler: A Beginner’s Guide to Diamonds, Part I

We've looked at pearls; now it's time for diamonds. Let's do this.

Birth

In the center of tectonic plates are places that remain still and stable as thinner edges of the earth’s crust stretch and swirl around them. These places are called cratons, and they extend hundreds of miles below the surface, ancient bedrock as reliable as Atlas, pushing into the dense mantle that surrounds the core. If you were a mole person, capable of tunneling about 100 miles down into one of these cratons, and you lived sometime between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years ago, you might notice that the temperature and the pressure was just [...]

0

Their Bodies, Ourselves

Three bodies—Brittney Griner, lofty, powerful, with spiritually level shoulders; Laura Blears, ukulele-curved, lit forever by fading ‘70s sun; and AJ Lee, muscle-knit, compact, petite in pink-laced Converse. These bodies aren’t just material. They’re also conceptual. Even if those concepts often manifest as simply “She’s hot” or “She’s a dude.”

In 1975, ABC Sports broadcast a women-only version of Superstars, their popular competition show in which elite athletes from various sports fired against one another in a provisional decathlon that included bowling, swimming, tennis, softball, bicycling, and rowing. Looking back at a spectacle where daredevil motorcyclist Debbie Lawler wore a flaming orange bra for luck—“I’m just here to [...]

0

How to Be a Genius (Or, How to Contract Syphilis and Be An Artist)

It seems that James Joyce was not the simple hypochondriac he’s often assumed to be. Rather, with his panoply of debilitating symptoms, he was something far more romantic: a syphilitic. According to a new biography, if the long-whispered rumors about Joyce’s burden are true, he had the French Curse, the Spanish Itch, the Canton Rash, or whatever delicate nickname he preferred to use.

Artistic genius and syphilis are strange but habitual bedfellows. (For men, of course; women with syphilis are just diseased prostitutes.) Joyce was in good, grossly infected company: Charles Baudelaire, Vincent van Gogh, Beethoven, Francisco Goya, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Édouard Manet, Guy de Maupassant, and Friedrich [...]

0

True Summer

Last summer, I found myself dead broke. I’d had a wild spring, horribly mismanaging my healthy grad school stipend, and came out of the whirlwind with just enough money to make rent until the fall. Following panicked and useless attempts at finding a summer job, I resigned myself to scraping by on credit cards (and, shamefully, borrowing money from my parents). All this made me feel terribly dumb (I was twenty-five, for chrissakes) and a little scared. But! I was newly in love, and that, along with all that impoverished time on my hands, made it a magical, if twisted, summer. I wandered through the streets, lovesick and feeling vaguely [...]