go to content

7 Essays To Read This Week: Reddit, Mosques, And Homophobia In Tennis

This week, Javaria Akbar explained how her childhood mosque was her safe space. Read that and other essays from OutHistory, Vulture, The Toast, and more.

Posted on

1. "The Difference Between Porn And Sex" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Monique Steel for BuzzFeed

As a porn performer, Kitty Stryker has found that there are some major differences between the sex she has onscreen and the sex she has at home. For BuzzFeed Ideas, she explained what it's like dating a man who's also a porn star, how exhausting shoots are, and whether or not she gets off on the job. Read it here.

2. "The Homophobia Problem in Women’s Tennis Is Its Race and Gender Problem Too" — OutHistory


Last week, The New York Times published a problematic article about female tennis players and body image. In response to that piece, Claire Potter wrote about the homophobia problem in women's tennis, how it goes way back, and how it affects all women. Read it at OutHistory.

3. "My Childhood Mosque Was My Safe Space" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Sian Butcher / BuzzFeed

For Javaria Akbar, meeting with her Muslim "girl gang" at mosque every week meant never having to explain herself. With her fellow British, brown, and Muslim girl friends, "there was no delay in their assent and no need for explanation when it came to talking about abstaining from alcohol, dressing modestly, fasting, and not having a boyfriend," she explained in an essay for BuzzFeed Ideas. "Those women were like me; British, brown, and Muslim. They got me." Read it here.

4. "Dancing Through Grief: My Years as a Lyrical Dancer" — The Toast

Kristen Martin / Via the-toast.net

After Kristen Martin lost both of her parents, she poured most of her time and energy into dancing. In an essay for The Toast, she reflects on her years in competitive lyrical dance and how it helped her cope with grief. Read it at The Toast.

5. "The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give" — The New York Times

Brian Rea

"It is easy for people who have never tried to do anything as strange and difficult as being married to say marriage doesn’t matter ... But there is so much beauty in the trying, and in the failing, and in the trying again," writes Ada Calhoun. For The New York Times, Calhoun shared the wedding toast she'll never give. In the piece, she reflects on her own marriage, how hard it can be, and why it's worth it. Read it at The New York Times.

6. "Orange Is the New Black Is the Only TV Show That Understands Rape" — Vulture


Perhaps one of the most devastating moments from Orange Is The New Black Season 3 is one in which a Litchfield inmate, who comes from a history of sexual assault, is raped. Jada Yuan praised the Netflix series for its portrayal of rape and its ability to show viewers "the torture we are capable of inflicting on one another." Read her piece at Vulture.

7. "Reddit Will Always Be a Home for Hatred and Harassment" — The New Republic


Now that Ellen Pao has left Reddit, what will become of the controversial link-sharing community? To Navneet Alang, the future looks bleak. Although the site is home to thousands of fascinating subreddits, the open nature of Reddit will always breed "virulent misogyny, racism, fat-shaming, and no end of pernicious status-quo views." Read his piece for The New Republic here.

Susan Cheng is an editorial assistant for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Susan Cheng at susan.cheng@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.