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Editor Henriette Mantel shares more than a lack of children with her fellow contributors to No Kidding—all have professional backgrounds in writing and performing, most of them in comedy. Yet despite these similarities, the 37 by-turns-funny-and-poignant essays showcase a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and voices. Some women had been fairly sure since they were children themselves that they didn’t want kids, some simply never thought of it, some were always too engaged with careers they loved, some had...
Meet Tsunami, the cancer-fighting dog You’ve heard stories about dogs saving lives (my own dog shielded me from a fire when I was a newborn!), but here’s a new one for you: some really amazing dogs are learning how to detect ovarian cancer before modern medicine can. That’s right: dogs can detect faint odors associated with the disease.    The dogs over at the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center are being trained to bark or sit when they smell anything that suggests cancer. Cindy Otto, the director...
    This weekend, I got caught in the crossfire of yet another Miley Cyrus twerking debate, and I realized that race is a feminist issue now as much as it ever was. For decades (centuries!), the fight against race and gender inequality have been intimately bound together, all the way from Ida B. Wells’s anti-lynching papers, which completely disrupted stereotypes applied to both black and white women, to the public outcry against the objectification of black women in Cyrus’s performances. Tragically, the media continues to over-sexualize...
Trigger Warning: This post contains a description of sexual assault that may be triggering for survivors. After writing a letter to Pope Francis, 44-year-old Alejandra Pereya got a call from the Pope himself last Sunday afternoon. The letter that she sent to him earlier this month contained her story: she was raped, and her family was harassed by the local police. In the midst of being raped, Pereya wrote to the Pope that the police officer also pointed a pistol at her head. Here’s an excerpt...
Although Marisha Pessi, author of the 2007 bestseller Special Topics in Calamity Physics, should be arrested for italics abuse, a crime against literature crazily splattered all over her second novel (and I am so not kidding), she’s spun such a gripping yarn that by the end, nearly 600 pages later, I had somehow forgiven the excessiveness. Night Film is a genre-bending page-turner melodramatically haunted by two absent characters, reclusive cult horror director Cordova and his daughter, Ashley, who...