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7 Essays For The Long Weekend: Life-Saving Abortion, "Swole," And Wolf Taming

This week, Paola Dragnic wrote about the abortion that allowed her to become a mother. Read that and other essays from Hazlitt, Vox, Vice, and more.

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1. "The Abortion That Let Me Be a Mother" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Marina Muun for BuzzFeed News

The government of Chile wouldn't let Paola Dragnic terminate a failing pregnancy that put her life at risk. For BuzzFeed Ideas, Dragnic recounts those harrowing four and a half months of her life. "...I stopped being a cute, chubby pregnant woman and became a kind of walking coffin for a half dead unborn child who was killing me." Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

2. "Swole Without a Goal" — Hazlitt

Illustration by Jeremy Sorese

Anshuman Iddamsetty works out, not to obtain an ideal body but simply to get bigger. For Hazlitt, he wrote about getting swole and how it's actually a rejection of what society tells us we should look like. "I want to be fatter. Significantly fatter, for no other reason than that it feels right," he writes. Read it at Hazlitt.

3. "Rape Scenes Aren’t Just Awful. They’re Lazy Writing" — WIRED

Neil Davidson / HBO

Laura Hudson broke down everything films and TV shows get wrong portraying rape. Simply put, rape scenes are cheap and reinforce misconceptions about sexual violence and objectification of women. "One of the reasons that creators of media like to include rape in their work is specifically because it elicits strong feelings, even when divorced from all context and consequences," she explains. "Think of it as a recipe for cheap drama: Take a story, add one rape, stir vigorously, and presto—instant emotional reaction!" Read her piece at WIRED.

4. "10 Things I Wanted My Little Brother To Know Before He Started University" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Sian Butcher / BuzzFeed

Navigating the world as a young black British man is a game of trial and error. To reduce the likelihood of error for his younger brother, Carl Anka shared some of the knowledge he passed on to his 18-year-old brother. Read his piece at BuzzFeed Ideas.


5. "I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery." — Vox

The Old Plantation (Slaves Dancing on a South Carolina Plantation), ca. 1785-1795. | Attributed to John Rose / Via

While working as a tour guide of a southern plantation, Margaret Biser got some pretty baffling questions from visitors. In a piece for Vox, Biser recalls some of the things guests asked and precisely why misconceptions about slavery are so toxic to society. "The minimization of the unjustness and horror of slavery does more than simply keep the bad feelings of guilt, jealousy, or anger away: It liberates the denier from social responsibility to slaves' descendants," she explains. Read the entire essay at Vox.

6. "Living in L.A. Made Me Get Over My Body Issues" — The Cut

Evening Standard / Getty Images

For Julieanne Smolinski, being surrounded by the thin and gorgeous has made her fetishize them less. "I'm never going to look like the women with chipper metabolisms and angular faces ... I'm from Ohio and I'm lazy," she writes in an essay for The Cut. "The fact is that most of us are not born that way, and, while it's fine if you want to go to surgical lengths to correct this, eh. I don't really even like the pain of a light jog." Read it at The Cut.

7. "My Dad Tried to Tame a Wolf" — VICE

Gavin Jenkins

When Gavin Jenkins was four years old, his father bought and tried to tame a wolf. In a poignant essay for VICE, Jenkins looked back on the years he spent attempting to win the affection of both his father and the wolf. "I both feared the wolf and wanted him to love me, which is more or less how I felt about my dad," he writes. Read it at VICE.

Want to read more? Here are some other essays BuzzFeed published this week.

Adrienne Benson Scherger wondered whether or not she gave her son attention deficit disorder. Shannon Keating wrote about how Fun Home is bringing butch lesbians into the mainstream. Simran Hans urged British cinemas to do better for black audiences. Hussein Kesvani shed light on the difficulty of recovering from an eating disorder during Ramadan. Krutika Mallikarjuna spoke to Adam Nimoy about growing up under the legend of Leonard Nimoy. Matt Ortile interviewed Manila-born, Manhattan-bred Mia Alvar, who claims she's a "fraudulent Filipina." Anne Helen Petersen reviewed Magic Mike XXL, the film that gets off on getting you off. And finally, Katie O'Reilly wrote about donating her eggs — and how she regrets her decision.

Susan Cheng is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Susan Cheng at

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