The Saudi Marathon Man : The New Yorker →
A twenty-year-old man who had been watching the Boston Marathon had his body torn into by the force of a bomb. He wasn’t alone; a hundred and seventy-six people were injured and three were killed. But he was the only one who, while in the hospital being treated for his wounds, had his apartment searched in “a startling show of force,” as his fellow-tenants described it to the Boston Herald, with...
I couldn’t get out of Boston soon enough when I was in the midst of leaving the country in January. I wanted nothing to do with the city any longer, and I felt like there was nothing left for me there. But of course there’s something I left behind, or I wouldn’t be this upset, this much of a wreck that I interrupted a family dinner to shove a smart phone in my boyfriend’s...
Anonymous asked: I wanted to let you know that your blog has been a great source of comfort to me, though I've only popped in from time to time in the last few years. I was also socially ostracized in college (on a much smaller scale) when I was unhappy. Since then, I've felt that I'll never regain the confidence that I'd need to pursue my ambition of becoming an academic, a belief that my...
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an...– Albert Camus
Why I Don't Support The Human Rights Campaign →
I’ve been harping on this organization for years, but it hasn’t exactly made me popular among my gay friends. Here’s why this incident (in which a HRC staffer tries to silence a trans activist) doesn’t surprise me in the least: 1. The HRC is first and foremost a political action committee, which means that they want and have always prioritized broad mainstream support,...
I spontaneously threw up again last night, the culmination of a migraine that had been building up for the past few days. I don’t know what it is with my body. I wasted away this fall, to the point where it became visibly noticeable. The worst of it was in August/September, when I dropped about ten pounds (approximately a tenth of my body weight) in a single month. It taken me a long time...
The choice to follow love through to its completion is the choice to seek...– Marianne Williamson (via humanflower)
Anonymous asked: I feel silly writing this, but here goes. Several years ago, we had a soc class together; we were in the same section (with Patrick as TF). I'd heard of your blog and read a little of it; I judged you. Today, something reminded me of all that and I thought I'd check it out. I read about your depression and I felt normal and unashamed for the first time in 3 years. I couldn't believe...
Left Williamsburg shortly after 4pm. Puked on myself/the luggage/cab en route to the airport. Got on flight around 7pm. Plane taxied for 45 minutes. 7+ hours later … disembarked to snow and below freezing wind chill. Maneuvered luggage to train station. Waited an hour, got on, transferred to another train, got off. Got picked up. Ate breakfast. Still smell like puke as of this post....
On Saying Hello
“Certain conquests made by the soul and the mind are impossible without disease, madness, crime of the spirit.” –Thomas Mann I could say that my sparse blogging is the result of being on the road or overwhelmed with assignments, but neither have stopped me from journaling before and there is plenty I write these days that I don’t post. This blog isn’t for journaling,...
Barnard Center For Research On Women: Young... →
After seven years in New England, I’m leaving Boston for good on Wednesday and moving to Germany in March.* Before I bid adieu to the East Coast, I’m making a pitstop at the Barnard Center For Research On Women in New York City to participate on a panel about young feminist activism. I’ve spent the last few months writing less publicly to reflect privately on whether and how I can better serve...
IUDs: A Gyno's Best Friend? →
“According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), use of IUDs by female ob-gyns is three times greater than that of the general public.” Not that it’s a competition, but I humbly predict the public will soon follow. Since I switched from the Pill to the IUD in 2009, I’ve heard more and more stories from readers and friends about people clamoring...
Last Stop: Barnard College/New York City →
Getting ready to show my apartment today - so bizarre, but I’m just five weeks from moving out. New York is one of my last stops before I go onward to California (where I’m visiting family as my stuff gets shipped to Germany). In late January, I’ll be in NYC to say goodbye to friends and talk to people about book stuff. A final opportunity to get face-to-face time with so many...
I don't want to live this world anymore.
I mean that in the least suicidal/extraterrestrial way possible.
Just did a segment on HuffPost Live about the United Nations declaring contraception a human right. You can check it out above :)
Two months of not being on email has made me realize how little I need email. If you need me, call, text, or if you must, resort to Facebook. My auto-responder will be on until the end of the year. I’m in no state to be working on my book right now, so I’m refocusing my energy on projects that have fallen by the wayside and reconsidering some ideas that I had filed away in case of a...
What does writing teach us? First and foremost it reminds us that we are alive...– Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
Wal-Mart Workers in 12 States Stage Historic Strikes, Protests Against Workplace Retaliation This is an early Christmas present! I’ve been reading non-stop about these strikes. It was really hard for me to identify with Occupy Wall Street last year - from the language of occupation to the demonization of “corporate greed”, I felt like OWS (which was an admittedly diversified...
All strong souls first go to hell before they do the healing of the world they...– Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Think Before You Buy Pink →
This website is a really fantastic resource and speaks to the difficulty of doing good (via research, awareness, etc.) even in a “not-for-profit” context. The commercialization of the pink ribbon is hard to defend, especially when many of the companies behind these supposedly philanthropic efforts are more concerned with public image and profit than with actual research: Think...
Education and Application | The Harvard Crimson →
A good education does not prove itself in a test, but instead in practical application. Totally proud and shamelessly bragging. There have been two Crimson articles in one week about Patrick’s course on inequality. This one is a staff editorial urging for more classes to merge theory and practice. I couldn’t agree more. My final semester of college, I took a course on feminist praxis...
Faith and First Times: Sex, Society and Religion
I’m speaking tonight at Pomona College and will be in Los Angeles until Wednesday. If you’re in the Claremont area, come check this out :) Faith and First Times: Sex, Society and Religion Thursday, October 4th, 7:00-8:30pm Rose Hills Theatre, Pomona College In today’s modern age, female sexuality has become less taboo to discuss. Whether through Cosmopolitan Magazine or...
This is why the work is important. Its power doesn’t lie in the me that...– Audre Lorde
On being "cynical", "so-over-this", and...
In other words, this is what feminist burnout looks like: Lena, I’ve read you for several years ago and I have to agree with some of the other comments (like those on the Mitt Romney post). The constant sarcasm, criticism, ‘so-over-this’ I don’t need to engage tone of your posts is getting really really old. You are essentially your own boss, frequently travel, appear to...
(via The Daily Caller) Holy shit, guys. The conservatives have obtained a DAMNING secret video of the American president doing what no American president has ever done before in the history of this country: telling the uncensored truth about institutional racism. According to that venerable institution for truth, The Daily Caller: In a video obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller,...
Homeless Invited to Speak in Lecture | The Harvard... →
A typical Harvard course may host renowned authors, environmentalists, and politicians from around the world, but the speakers featured in Thursday’s Sociology 149: “Inequality, Poverty, and Wealth in Comparative Perspective” spend most of their time on the streets right outside the campus gates. These speakers, three members of Cambridge’s homeless population, were invited by Sociology...
Anonymous asked: I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years. For almost half of our relationship, we have been long distance (he lives in Canada and I live in California). Have you ever thought of going to Berlin ahead of your partner? Or go on holiday for a year, if finances allow? I feel like you are only staying in Boston for him. You will survive the distance.
Part of where you are is where you’ve been. If you aren’t too sure...– Margaret Atwood, Survival
On Harvard and my rape that never was
There’s a reason I’m writing about this. I was on campus earlier this month during the first week of classes at Harvard to sit in on Patrick’s lecture. Afterward, I overheard current undergraduates discussing a rape that never happened to me, a rape supposedly perpetrated by my partner, a rape that only ever existed in the minds of anonymous Internet vigilantes who saw it fit...
Anonymous asked: Lena, I just wanted to remind you that you are awesome and I can't wait to read your book. For every hater out there, you have a fan! Keep writing and doing your thing. I think that your ability to overcome all of that hatred and bullying is inspiring to fellow feminists like myself. Hang in there, the world needs a strong, young, honest women's voice like yours!
Anonymous asked: I was one of the targets of the harassment campaign of readers here, and I recently finished applying to grad school. I just wanted to let others know that I was accepted into two really excellent programs! So I think the people who make these decisions can tell the difference between people who have actual dirt on you and anonymous losers calling you a "cumslurping skank." I just wanted...
[Mitt Romney] is making a mockery of our democracy, and The Harvard Crimson will...– Don’t Throw It, Mr. Romney | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson This may very well be the first time The Crimson’s made me laugh since Alexandra Petri was a columnist! I couldn’t be less enthused about the presidential election right now, and the only reason I’m even bothering to...
Anonymous asked: I made the "mistake" of reblogging one of your posts and as a present, got an email from Anonymous threatening to out me and my STDs (?) if I did not cease and desist. Though thoroughly creeped out, I just ignored the email and haven't heard anything since. Lena, I admire your honesty and courage...just know you have a loyal reader in me.
If you could put sarcastic quote marks around “women’s” and “rights” and then place the words together like so: “Women’s” “Rights” … that would essentially sum up everything I’ve come to believe about feminism and the non-profit industrial complex.
Chen said she does not aspire toward a career in writing about sex. In recent...– Harvard Split on Campus Sex Scene | The Daily Free Press This is an article that appeared in a Boston University student newspaper back in 2007. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. I can’t believe I ever thought it was possible to move away from writing about sex once I’d been...
People with power have a responsibility to speak up for those without it. That doesn’t make them “experts”; it makes them representatives. Don’t ever forget who your constituents are.
Important disclaimer! If you want to share your story or ask me a question, but don’t want to see it published, please indicate that in the text of your submission. I absolutely do not want to provoke additional harassment, though it’s important that I have an accurate understanding of the number of people affected and the scale of the attacks. And to the person who just left a note...
Anonymous asked: I found my name on an Autoadmit thread, although I am uncomfortable with being listed, what I found worse was the fact they linked my name to the wrong person. The school and the school email address belongs to someone else. Your haters would go so far to harass you that they would attach the wrong things to my shared name. Although it's proof that I've done a good job in keeping my...
Mona Eltahawy Arrested →
Civil disobedience is highly underrated.
The most profound betrayal of feminist issues has been the lack of mass-based...– bell hooks This is part of the reason why I find it harder and harder to identify with “feminism” by the day. Because feminism today is not merely an idea, it’s an institution, and just like in a political party, those in power might very well have good intentions, but good...
Anonymous asked: sigh - just wanted to say that searching my full name on google leads to those blog-reader-target-websites with a link to my tumblr, wordpress, twitter, and real name (and even my uni). not so bad since most of those pages are private, but what really galls me is that my sisters names have been dragged into it as well. reported those pages to google, but eh. anyway, hope you're having a good...
Anonymous asked: Hi, Lena. I've been reading your blog(s) for years now and deeply admire your courage and honesty. I did, however, make the mistake of liking ONE of your posts here with my personal account. That, of course, led to some pretty nasty posts/comments on AutoAdmit, laughingly labeled "the most prestigious law school discussion board in the world." It's my bad, I know. But I intend...
In truth we never talk about a book unto itself; a whole set of books always...– Pierre Bayard, How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read
I’m sick with the same thing everyone else has. And I’m pretty sure all my other roomies had/have it too. How funny that I went from being irritated over lost productivity to becoming kind of grateful for the reprieve from life. I haven’t had a moment’s rest in the past two weeks, barely time to read email, no energy left over to write at all. My illness is a welcome...