in the orchard of unmentionable

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by loie merritt

11/22/2016

It’s been two weeks since I’ve sat down to write. Everything is just misspelled words knocking against silent sobs in my ribcage. I can’t remember the way I felt before, the safety locked in, like both feet happily grounded in a block of cement, heat conducted and hardened with my own privilege. At the same time, nothing has changed. Day to day, feeding to feeding, broken dish to shitty diaper, my children requiring me to hold my own shit together. But in silence, I hear a clock ticking. And we don’t own a ticking clock. On this rare rainy day, I am thankful that I don’t have to go outside, into the world, the world that is the same except cut open. Do you feel that pain? What does the pain sound like today?Continue Reading

The Better Feminism Workbook–An Interview with Creator Jennifer Williams

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Jennifer Williams is a writer, musician and community organizer living in Oakland, California and has self-published two workbooks titled The Process of Letting Yourself Have a Creative Process and The Better Feminism Workbook. We chatted with Jennifer about The Better Feminism Workbook, finding strength in the era of Trump, and more.

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Un-President-Ed: The Trauma of Trump

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by Courtney Udischas

In the weeks that followed the election, I felt I had stepped into the Twilight Zone. All of the colorful assurance I held about living in a time in history when a woman could hold the highest executive office in our country completely drained away. The worst part wasn’t that an unapologetic narcissist was in charge of decisions that would soon affect my life. The worst part was sitting with the knowledge that we proved to ourselves, and to the world, that our priorities haven’t changed much. A television personality, who mirrors the worst aspects of our culture, was a reality more possible than Hillary. The outcry from my generation was considered an overreaction from Trump supporters. The country shifted into a fugue state as we decided to roll the dice with this deeply flawed, dangerous person over a qualified diplomat.

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On Dick: How Materialism Caught Up With My Queer Life

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by Eric Mueller

I love Dick. It’s more than just looking at Dick on others. With Dick wrapped around me, I feel complete. Dick is what I call any piece of clothing I’ve ever worn, owned, or coveted. It’s my materialism, because a love so deep deserves a name. I didn’t know I liked Dick until Ian, an actual person, entered the picture.

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No Time for Apathy: Processing the 2016 Election

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by Rose Heredia

Hearing “This can’t be happening” and “Is this a nightmare” as I walked with my classmates to the bar Pig & Whistle on election night while others, like myself, walked along in silence, breathing meditative breaths, I thought how racist this country is. How do I even begin to live in this country with this man as president? I didn’t know and still don’t know how to answer that question.

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Why Audrie & Daisy is Required Watching in a Culture of Slut Shaming and “Locker Room Talk”

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by Courtney Morgan

 TW: Sexual assault, rape culture, suicide

Last Friday, October 7, 2016, was a big day in the media for sexual assault. President Obama signed the historic Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill into law. The same day, Access Hollywood released tapes of presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in 2005 bragging about his propensity toward, and ability and history of committing acts of sexual assault against women. And I, that evening, just happened to watch Audrie & Daisy—the documentary (which premiered at Sundance and released on Netflix September 23), about the sexual assault cases of two American teenage girls, Audrie Potts and Daisy Coleman. This imbroglio of mixed messages sort of felt like an average day in America—but it also painted a pretty clear picture of what needs to change.Continue Reading

“There Is No Normal”: A Chat with Couples Therapist Jane Ryan on Sexuality and Relationships

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Jane Ryan is a couples and family therapist based out of Tacoma, Washington. She is also my mom. I was lucky enough to not only grow up learning from her wisdom, but to also chat with her recently about her work with relationships, the myths about sexuality and sex addictions, and the unique and vulnerable nature of each individual’s erotic template.

Ansley Clark: How did you get involved with sex therapy? When did you first discover that this was a field you were interested in and passionate about?Continue Reading

Modern Love and the Trouble with Soulmates

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by Melissa Brooks

I was once a love-forlorn little girl. I harbored a seething desperation to grow up just so I could find my soulmate. It seemed nothing in life could ever possibly match the ecstasy of falling in love that I witnessed in songs, books, movies. In Disney’s Cinderella, I was captivated when our heroine and the prince first locked eyes and gravitated to one another immediately. Without a word they begin dancing, enchanted with one another and oblivious to the world around them, sharing a harmonious, telepathic duet: “So this is love. So this is what makes life divine. The key to all heaven is mine.”Continue Reading