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7 Essays To Read: Asian Parents Kissing, Catcalls, And Gun Control

This week, Hannah Giorgis wrote about surviving a long summer of street harassment. Read that and other essays from Quartz, Gawker, Medium, and more.

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1. "My Long, Exhausting Summer of Street Harassment Is Over" —BuzzFeed Ideas

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Summer is over; that means the exhausting days of constant sexual harassment is over — for now. In a BuzzFeed Ideas essay, Hannah Giorgis describes what women are all too familiar with. "Going out tonight without enough money for cab fare? Maybe I need to add a pair of jeans," she writes. "See a stranger walking toward you, looking to start conversation? Smile long enough to be pleasant but not solicitous, walk fast but not so fast it seems like I’m running away." Read her piece here.

2. "The Monetized Man" —Medium

Illustration by Ana Benaroya / Via

In her own words, Alana Massey writes about "how the unrestrained, unaccountable emotional lives of men wreak havoc on women." In an epic essay for Medium, Massey explains how she was able to turn the suffering an ex had inflicted on her into a successful career — an "empire of pain," complete with an ample checkings account and a book deal. In the piece, she recalls the harrowing relationship and explains why she continues to write about what she does. Read it at Medium.


3. "Why It’s So Mind-Blowing (and Important) to See Asian Parents Kissing on TV" —Quartz

Reuters / Mario Anzuoni / Via

As much as we love Fresh Off the Boat's Jessica and Louis Huang, it's weird seeing them kiss. At least, it's weird for those with parents who were born and raised in Asia, parents who rarely show affection at all. For Quartz, Jeff Yang explains why these public displays of affection are so mind-blowing, reflecting on his own family. "My parents are task mates and complementary life partners ... But they never kissed, or hugged, or held hands, or snuggled on the couch when we were growing up," he writes. Read it at Quartz.

4. Mostly I Fear the Fuck Out of It” —Standard Issue

Sadie Hasler lost her father to bipolar disorder 13 years ago this week, which coincidentally also happens to be when the U.K. recognizes Bipolar Awareness Day. In a devastating essay for Standard Issue, she describes how he kept his illness a secret and ponders whether or not she may have bipolar disorder herself. "Are the sudden shifts to blackness just due to outside factors triggering latent memories? Is my subconscious full of landmines, ready to be stepped on at any moment; no knowing exactly where they are?," she writes. Read it at Standard Issue.

5. "Why Black Women and Men Critique Each Other" —The Toast

This past June, writer Tamara Winfrey released a book describing what it's like being a black woman in America. It's an important book that was largely overlooked by Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me, published a month later. For The Toast, Morgan Jerkins explains how Coates's book only represents black men and why it's important to point out this blind spot. An excerpt: "What shouldn’t have to be repeated but is crucial to my argument is that black women are doubly oppressed. We suffer from racial injustice as well as from patriarchy. Oftentimes, when we read about ourselves in stories like Sandra Bland’s, we have to compartmentalize, even prioritize, our identities: our blackness versus our womanhood. Black male writers aren’t asked to do the same." Read her essay at The Toast.

6. "The Gun Control Movement Needs Its Own Pro-Life Fanatics" —Gawker

Art by Jim Cooke / Via

There was another mass shooting last week — this time at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, where nine were killed. Yet, for some reason, the public is not incited to take action but instead feels numb and resigned. For Gawker, Alex Pareene condemns the nation's gun control movement as a pathetic failure and argues that it needs to adopt the tactics of the anti-abortion movement. "They fight harder than almost any other political movement in the United States, because it is, for them, a moral crusade," he writes. "...Meanwhile, a first-grader is self-evidently a human being. Yet when it comes to the slaughter of walking, talking persons, cut down helplessly by weapons specifically designed for killing, we behave as if nothing can really be done." Read his essay at Gawker.

7. "The Transgender Dating Dilemma" —BuzzFeed LGBT

Lauren Tamaki for BuzzFeed News

Dating is hard, but when you're trans, it's hard in an utterly different way. Trans women like Raquel Willis are taught to feel grateful for any scrap of affection they receive. "I didn’t know if I’d ever have the chance to be loved. I thought, Who will want you?," she writes in a piece for BuzzFeed LGBT. In it, she explains how she's relegated to the role of teacher and therapist in her dating life — and how she often fears for her own safety too. Read it at BuzzFeed LGBT.

Want to read more?

Native Americans review music festival fashion — and when you watch their video, you'll think twice about ever wearing a headdress to Coachella. Shannon Keating writes about no longer needing an IUD but also about how queer women still belong in the reproductive health conversation. Pedro Fequiere describes what it feels like to have other people ask to touch his hair. Susan Cheng (hi there!) reflects on her childhood and growing up with Gilmore Girls' badass Lane Kim. Reggie Ugwu investigates that weird thing Selena Gomez does with her voice in "Good For You" and explains this new phenomenon called "vowel breaking." And finally, Katherine Myers writes about her Christianity — and how it's so weird to her friends though it's actually not that different from her boyfriend's warmly accepted Judaism.

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

Contact Susan Cheng at

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