Catherine LaSota on postpartum depression , and the ways in which we fail to see and support new mothers:
The more I can be open about my depression, the more I can feel not alone. But I struggle with the stigma of postpartum depression that still exists, especially in our culture, where a mother is deemed A-OK if her body is able to submerge in water and have sex six weeks after giving birth, thank-you-very-much-see-you-next-year. What is this new identity where I need other people so much? Where has my independence gone? I am supposed to be the caregiver now, not the one who takes.
In a new column for Catapult, Tony Tulathimutte “dispenses subjective, unsolicited, and frankly sort of aggro advice” on making a living as a writer .
Jessa Marie Mendez reflects on her father’s death and the television series Mr. Robot .
Molly Priddy on family, illness, and inescapable emotions : “Dad’s stage-four cancer, I thought, shouldn’t cause everyone to break down. There had to be a hardliner. And I had decided that person would be me.”
I have been entirely unable to stop thinking about Jess Zimmerman’s Role Monsters column on Medusa and the strange freedom of cultivated ugliness:
Medusa lost her beauty—or rather, it was taken from her. Beauty is always something you can lose. Women’s beauty is seen as something separate from us, something we owe but never own: We are its stewards, not its beneficiaries. We tend it like a garden where we do not live.
Oh, but ugliness—ugliness is always yours.
In Which the Magpie Makes a Ghost Map of the City
Emily Raboteau describes scenes from the March of Flags and Jerusalem Day :
We were going to witness the parade wherein thousands of ultranationalist Jewish celebrants proceed through Jerusalem, ending with a dramatic push through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter. The city was divided after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war with the west controlled by Israel and the east by Jordan. Jerusalem Day commemorates the city’s “reunification” in 1967, when Israel conquered East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, but it’s as much a provocation against Arabs as a celebration of unity. Over a third of Jerusalem’s population is Palestinian, but they’re not invited to the party. Most of them know to stay inside or risk getting beat up or harassed. They mark the same date as the naksa, or “setback,” commemorating their displacement after Israel’s victory. Jerusalem Day represents two antipodal holidays, two parallel universes at odds.
Finally, I always love reading Bryan Washington, and this week we got to publish his essay on judging high school Student Congress debates in Texas:
On any given weekend in Alief, you’ll end up judging a room full of Latino kids, all of them fluent in the “One China” policy. Or a roster that’s half-Nigerian, riffing on public school funding. Or twenty Vietnamese kids poking at cyber security. Or a few trans students. Or a gaggle of atheists. Or the kids who simply don’t know who they’d like to be just yet, only that they are Something Else, and they’ll let you know when they figure it out.
It is science fiction, in a literal sense. It’s also fucking absurd. And it’s as clear a portrait of our nation as any you’re likely to find.