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In her debut collection of short stories, Chinelo Okparanta takes a look at what it’s like to be a woman in Nigeria. Okparanta, who lived in the African country until she was 10, tells tales of women struggling to survive within the confines of a culture that has not been (and is still not) especially kind to their gender, and although the stories might be fictional, there is clearly a lot of truth behind them. In “America” she focuses...
Trigger Warning: This post mentions sexual assault.  Picture Joey Del Marco: she is sixteen years old, and she plays video games and dances her butt off with the best of them. She and her friends refer to themselves as the “Slut Squad” because they enjoy their newfound, emerging, and exciting sexuality. Joey goes to a party, where she splits an entire bottle of vodka with a few guy friends. Joey’s friends rape her. Her family and friends turn their backs on her, faulting and shaming her...
  Trigger Warning: This post contains a description of sexual assault that may be triggering for survivors. A British man named Richard Thomas was just sentenced to five years and four months in prison for raping a woman while she slept. But that wasn’t the only consequence of his actions. A BBC news article reports that Thomas reportedly collapsed when the police informed him that he might have contracted HIV from his victim.   Test results will confirm or deny the possibility in a few weeks, but until then,...
  Have you ever spent thirty-five years tirelessly trying to do something extraordinary? Swimmer and motivational speaker Diana Nyad has. For over three decades, she has braved treacherous waters, swollen lips, and painful jellyfish stings with one goal in mind: to swim from Cuba to Florida. And yesterday, on her fifth and final try, SHE DID IT.   Nyad is now the first person ever to complete this journey without a shark cage. This is, of course, a super dangerous choice, but she had the help of a...
  We all know our girls Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are today’s queens of humor, satire, and hilarious social commentary that deals with women’s issues. But who did this kind of work before them? What female comedian was around for the Women’s Liberation and all that cool stuff? Why, Carol Burnett, of course!   And now Fey and Poehler have the chance to honor this iconic lady by presenting her with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the most prestigious humor award around. The prize will...