Recent Must Reads: A Weekly Roundup

International Women’s Day, and the Day Without a Woman, landed several organizers of the January March on Washington DC event in jail in New York for civil disobedience, refusing to leave the street outside the Trump Tower. Meanwhile in DC, as of this writing, marchers for Standing Rock are gathering at the Mall for a March on Friday, 3/10. As the Obamacare Repeal progresses, the latest version looks like a nightmare for women, especially poor and pregnant women, according to The Daily Beast. Just as Gavin Grimm’s case was about to be heard by The Supreme Court, we learned earlier this week that the case has been returned to lower courts. Read Grimm’s response below, which was published in the New York Times Opinion Section.

Also of interest in this week’s array of articles, are several feminist issues that create an intersectional discussion on poverty, race, silence and violence. Rebecca Solnit has an article in The Guardian, which discusses the ways silence separates women and how words/stories connect us. Solnit writes that lack of voice and violence intertwine. Similarly, in her powerfully written essay on the fracklands of the Dakotas, Toni Jensen describes the details behind the recent 125% rise in violent crime, including rape, assault, and trafficking. At The Root, Janelle Harris relates the life difficulties of a 20 year old neighbor raising four young children. In her essay, Harris weaves the young woman’s story with the larger world of intellectual feminism, and how often this more academic world divides women, causing many who are under-educated and poor to be left behind. The link of poverty, race, lack of voice and self esteem

can lead to a segregation of sorts. Harris calls on all people of access to be mindful of reaching back for those who most need to be engaged and involved. So, if you missed these stories, and a few others listed below on Black Lives Matter Art, the fallout of ending an abusive friendship, and the New York/Canada Underground Railroad, please READ ON!!!

  1. They sat with me in the dining hall during the worst of my eating disorder; he handed them the razors and sharp objects that were in my room to prevent me from self-harming. If I was in such a state, how could they believe I was telling the truth? Their silence made me doubt my own experiences.

“I left my abusive best friend. But most of our mutual friends stayed with him.”/ by Naseem Jamnia/ Washington Post/ March 2, 2017.


2. President Trump campaigned on a narrow vision of America as a nation-state, not as a state of people from many nations. His response to the modern question — How do we form our identities? — is to grasp for a semi-mythical past that excludes large segments of modern America. If we believe the science on diversity, his approach to problem solving is likely suboptimal.

“What Biracial People Know”/ by Moises Velasquez-Manoff/ New York Times/ March 4, 2017


3. “We are calling on all our Native relatives and allies to rise with us,” said Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. “We must march against injustice. Native nations cannot continue to be pushed aside to benefit corporate interests and government whim.”

“American Indians gather in D.C. for four-day protest against Trump, Dakota Access pipeline”/ by Blake Nicholson/ PBS/ March 6, 2017


4. As of 2015, Canada granted asylum to sixty-two per cent of applicants. It also offers far better social services than the U.S. does, including access to education, temporary health services, emergency housing, and legal aid. But to make a claim for asylum in Canada you first have to get there, and the easiest route is across the U.S. border.

“The Underground Railroad for Refugees”/ by Jake Halpern/ The New Yorker/ March 7, 2017


5. And then it was over. At least it felt like it, back then. I was back to being exiled. I heard sneers and whispers about me in the hallways. My school board had invalidated me in perhaps the most humiliating way possible.

“Gavin Grimm: The Fight for Transgender Rights Is Bigger Than Me”/ by Gavin Grimm/ New York Times/ March 7, 2017


6. It will now be up to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., to answer whether Title IX protects the rights of Mr. Grimm and other transgender students.

“Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights”/ by Adam Liptak/ New York Times/ March 6, 2017


7. So the project involved this idea that to survive in America we not only have to find a way not to be shot but we have to figure out an etiquette to express our anger. You don’t even have the freedom to express anger in a way that seems natural and deserved because after I shoot your cousin I get to tell you, “Don’t be mad, because that makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“Kameelah Rasheed: Who Will Survive in America?”/ by Imani Roach/ Guernica/ March 6, 2017


8. In the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, a floorhand shuts the door to his hotel room, puts his body between the door and a woman holding fresh towels. A floorhand is responsible for the overall maintenance of a rig. The woman says to you that he says to her, “I just want some company.” He says it over and over, into her ear, her hair, while he holds her down.

“Women in the Fracklands: On Water, Land, Bodies, and Standing Rock”/ by Toni Jensen/ Catapult/ January 3, 2017


9. The Women’s March organizers put out a statement through PR firm Sunshine Sachs, confirming the arrests: “After a peaceful protest in New York City in honor of A Day Without a Woman, 10 organizers were arrested by the New York City Police Department in an act of civil disobedience.”

“Women’s March Organizers Arrested During ‘A Day Without A Woman’ Rally”/ by Jenna Amatulli/ Huffington Post/ March 8, 2017


10. We can only help other sisters when we listen to and prioritize their unique needs and experiences. I worry that the increasing intellectualization that fortifies feminism and womanism doesn’t then go out and touch the reality of black women who are not formally educated or reaping the financial benefits of it if they are.

“Black Feminism Should Serve the Women Who Aren’t at the Table Too”/ by Janelle Harris/ The Root/ March 8, 2017


11. Violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. It is a refusal of our voices, and of what a voice means: the right to self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent; to live and participate, to interpret and narrate.

“Silence and Powerlessness Go Hand in Hand—Women’s Voices Must be Heard”/ by Rebecca Solnit/ The Guardian/ March 8, 2017


12. In short, if the House GOP plan were signed into law as-is, women could face financial repercussions for being poor, or for using birth control, or for not using birth control, or for giving birth, or for having children who need medical care. How many iPhones does an out-of-pocket Cesarean Section cost?

“The GOP’s Obamacare Replacement Is Just a Gigantic Tax on Women”/ by Erin Gloria Ryan/ The Daily Beast/ March 7, 2017



Joyce Hayden left her university teaching job two years ago in order to pursue her own artistic work. An assemblage artist, painter, and writer, Joyce is currently in the process of acquiring an agent to represent her memoir, The Out of Body Girl, which describes her 8 year relationship with a charismatic gambler and the dangerous road that eventually led to her freedom. Her chapbook of poems, Lost Handprint, is forthcoming from Dandelion Review. A freelance editor and writing coach, Joyce’s writing services and a selection of her artwork can be found at her website Joyce is available for commission art work, including celebration shrines for loved ones and pets.

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