Reading List: Go Out There And Be The OKist Hobbyist You Can Be.

Good morning, my doves! We’ve made it to Friday (relatively) unscathed. So as you look out over the next two turns of this planet, may your Kindle be full and time to read plenty.

But first, if you consider yourself a supporter of humans, a generally decent person who supports a women’s right to healthcare, someone who’s perhaps had sex in their lifetime (GASP) and benefitted from birth control preventing pregnancy so that you could, you know, just live your life, maybe consider donating to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund right now. They’re out there fighting bills like the one Georgia Gov. Kemp signed into law, which bans abortions after 6 weeks. And if you’re aware of how a female body works, you know that 6 weeks is often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. It’s an insane law that punishes women, and McSweeney’s captured the absurdity of the whole thing with You Ladies Can Get An Abortion Whenever You Need, So Long As It’s Within The Next Three Seconds.

And to show you that I’m walking the walk, I donated $100 to PPAF as I was writing this.

TO THE INTERNET

Tim Wu, In Praise of Mediocrity: The pursuit of excellence has infiltrated and corrupted the world of leisure. (The New York Times) - I’ve mentioned my relationship with my guitar in this here newsletter before. How for ten years I toted it in its case from apartment to apartment, with long periods of time where it was hidden away in a closet, or mounted on a wall as a decorative item. I wouldn’t pick it up or play it, because I would never consider myself a guitar player, because I wasn’t that good. I would look at it and think since I’m not amazing at it, why even try? So I missed out on years of something I greatly enjoy because I wouldn’t even allow myself to not be great. And that’s why this piece on how expectations of mastery and perfection are so stunting for relaxation and creativity spoke to me. Wu sums up the quandary I put myself in: “For to permit yourself to do only that which you are good at is to be trapped in a cage whose bars are not steel but self-judgment.”

Anonymous, What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right (Washingtonian) - This is harrowing. I don’t have kids, but the seeping dread that collects as this piece wears on is hard to take. What a horror story for 2019, with the boogeyman on the internet instead of in the closet.

Melanie Hamlett, Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden (Harper’s Bazaar) - This piece breaks my heart in so many ways. At the top, reading how female partners in relationships play amateur therapist for their partners at the detriment of their own time, well-being and growth felt profoundly real to me. But then I got angry that a culture of toxic masculinity has made it so that a generation of men don’t have outlets for their own fears and worries and emotions. That sucks. Because I’m female, I’m culturally expected to feels the feels. And I’m very lucky to have had an open and honest family who respected the power and importance of therapy. And I’m very lucky times infinity to have a #coven of ladies to whom I can express hopes and dreams and things that downright piss me off. Everyone needs a place to express themselves and be heard in a healthy manner. I have nothing more profound to say than that, other than TL;DR: therapy is amazing, we should all go and I wish we lived in a country that valued its worth for both men and women.

Oliver Burkeman, How the news took over reality (The Guardian) - What, you thought you’d get a reading list without one apocalyptic take to haunt your dreams? Come on, what kind of dystopia do you think we’re living in?

Y’all are awesome. Be kind to each other. And fight for women’s health.

Amy