Author Archives: Marisa Crawford

Our Baby-Sitters Club, Our Selves: I Wanted to Be a Claudia but I Know I’m a Stacey

Baby-sitters Club 30th anniversary Claudia Stacey

I always wanted to be a Claudia, but I know deep-down that I’m a Stacey.

Let me explain. I think of Claudia Kishi and Stacey McGill—two characters from Ann M Martin’s The Baby-sitters Club book series, for those of you living sad, BSC-free lives—as two sides of the same very beautiful, exquisitely complex coin. Claudia and Stacey are BFFs, of course. They met in seventh grade when they literally ran into each other in the hallway. As Stacey put it, “We realized we were dressed alike — in very trendy clothes — and somehow we hit it off.” Stacey and Claudia are by far the most fashionable members of the Baby-sitters Club. But Claudia is a “wild dresser” while Stacey is “sophisticated.” Claudia is a spangle of braided belts and homemade earrings, while Stacey is Benetton and black ballet flats. Claudia hides candy all over her room—there are literally chocolate bars and Lifesavers spilling out of her pillowcases—while Stacey is diabetic and daydreams about rivers of chocolate that she cannot drink from.

Looking back at the Baby-sitter’s Club series, which turned 30 this past summer, I started thinking about how Stacey and Claudia each approach art, style, creativity, and, yes, sugar—and what they’ve come to represent for me along the way. I think of Claudia as joy and creativity topped with even more creativity; Stacey is joy and creativity restrained. Religiously reading the BSC books when I was younger, I related most to Stacey’s struggles, but I aspired most to be like Claudia. I think that combination of inspiration and identification was what made the series so important for so many of us. Each book helped us to navigate our struggles and goals while figuring out our places in the world—and, of course, what we wanted to wear along the way. Continue reading

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Rah! Rah! Roundup

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Michelle Tea’s new novel Black Wave is “a Gen-X queer girl’s version of the bohemian counter-canon.”

On the radical raunch of Ali Wong’s comedy.

Six debut novels by trans women to add to your reading list immediately.

Tori Amos talks about sexual assault and her songwriting for the new documentary Audrie & Daisy.

Lizzy Acker on rape culture in Portland’s music scene.

MUTHA on raising a feminist on fairy tales.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee‘s Ashley Nicole Black writes about leaving academia to pursue comedy.

#1000BlackGirlBooks founder Marley Dias launches the new Elle new zine, Marley. Continue reading

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rah rah roundup“[T]o condemn the uprising in Charlotte would be to condemn a man for thrashing when someone is trying to drown him.” 

Self Care in the Multiracial Movement for Black Lives.

The Black Lives Matter Fall 2016 Syllabus.

Learning from Trans Poets” is starting soon at The Poetry Project. 

“[W]omen are going to rule the 2016-17 art season.”

A Queer Historical Tour of San Francisco’s Mission district.

On how women created book clubs.

Submit to Monstering, a new literary and cultural arts magazine, written by and for disabled women and nonbinary people.

The new issue of Neplanta is here, featuring work by June Jordan, Tommy Pico, Erika L Sanchez, and more.

[T]here’s a chance that when you are writing about personal vulnerabilities, you are not alone.” – Read an interview with Rios de la Luz.

What did we miss this week? Let us know in the comments.

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An  open call for women  from Yoko Ono.

We’re obsessed with this ode to brown girls everywhere.

Shak’ar Mujukian writes about class privilege and the “Queer Poor Aesthetic.”

Flavorwire launches a new Jane Austen column. Continue reading

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Back-to-school beatitudes from the Crunk Feminist Collective.

Cosmo on RADAR’s pioneering Drag Queen Story Hour.

Submissions are open for an expanded print edition of An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color.

Oh hey, it’s the best writing group everContinue reading

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Women Working: 10 Poems for Labor Day

women working poems for labor day
Everyone’s last chance to soak up the end of summer, Labor Day is also, of course, a day recognizing workers. Take a break from the sun to read these great poems about women working—in the fields, in the home, in the office and beyond.

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Woman Work – Maya Angelou

I’ve got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can call my own.

(And Still I Rise. Random House in 1978)

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The Common Women Poems, II. Ella, in a square apron, along Highway 80 – Judy Grahn

She’s a copperheaded waitress,
tired and sharp-worded, she hides
her bad brown tooth behind a wicked
smile, and flicks her ass
out of habit, to fend off the pass
that passes for affection.
She keeps her mind the way men
keep a knife—keen to strip the game
down to her size. She has a thin spine,
swallows her eggs cold, and tells lies.
She slaps a wet rag at the truck drivers
if they should complain. She understands
the necessity for pain, turns away
the smaller tips, out of pride, and
keeps a flask under the counter. Once,
she shot a lover who misused her child.
Before she got out of jail, the courts had pounced
and given the child away. Like some isolated lake,
her flat blue eyes take care of their own stark
bottoms. Her hands are nervous, curled, ready
to scrape.
The common woman is as common

as a rattlesnake.

(New & Selected Poems (1966-2006). Red Hen Press, 2008)

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Rah! Rah! Roundup

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Dawn Lundy Martin, Terrance Hayes, and Yona Harvey launched a center for Black poetics.

Sibling Rivalry Press will be hosting the new Undocupoets Fellowship.

The Brooklyn Museum just announced A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism. Continue reading

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“No powerful Black narrative should come at the expense of the violation of a woman’s body.” – Michael Arceneaux on why he won’t support Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation.

Read an interview with Courtney Bryan, a classical music composer whose recent songs address Black Lives Matter.

Madison Young writes about how she became a feminist pornographer.

The Affrilachian Poets rejects Kentucky’s Governor’s Award in the Arts.

Breaking news: Olympic athletes get their periodsContinue reading

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The many ways sexism is showing up in the Olympics.

Survivors of campus sexual assault are demanding that their schools #JustSaySorry.

Bitch looks back at radical cheerleading as a creative form of feminist protest.

“We could drop names all day, and something would still be missing: Where are all the Latinas?” –ReMezcla brings us four rad Latina garage punk bands influenced by 60s girl groups, for your listening pleasure. Continue reading

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rahrahroundup“Since Friday, there have been stories of three Black women killed by acts of state-sanctioned and intimate partner violence. Those are just the three we lost this weekend, that we know about, but I’m sure there are others.” – Brittney Cooper’s “Connect The Dots: For Korryn Gaines, Skye Mockabee and Joyce Quaweay”

“Korryn’s demeanor and energy reminded me most immediately of Assata’s: boldness in the face of police and the very real threat of physical violence, in the face of imprisonment, or a lethal outcome—and all the while, maintaining the capacity to love. What a feat. To look at the world around you thriving on the death and disposability of you and your kin and still choose to invest in a radical kind of familial love.” – Jacqui Germain’s writes about Korryn Gaines and Black women who dare to be defiant.

“We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.” Barack Obama says “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” in Glamour.

The National Network of Abortion Funds’ new program We Testify is “dedicated to increasing the spectrum of abortion storytellers in the public sphere.”

The New York Public Library opened its 93rd branch in Rikers Island women’s jail. Continue reading

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