In which Margaret & Sophie boss the Internet with impeccable discernment & insouciant charm. Cultural recommendations & commentary every Friday evening.

Banquettes, Pens, and Justice For the Final Sixth!

This week, Spotify made its annual “Spotify Wrapped” feature available-- the one which packages up the data it’s collected on your listening habits and hands it back to you, in a slick animated summary. It’s usually one of Your Dames’ favorite annual traditions. But this year, it left us feeling VERY Kelly Kapoor about things.

If Mindy Kaling sought to copyright the phrase “How dare you?”, we’d allow it, so iconic has her delivery of it been lo these many years.

Thanks to (it seems) an 8-hour-long hacker hijacking of her account in May of this year, Dame Margaret’s top five songs are, reportedly, songs to which she has never voluntarily listened even once, and MAROON 5 is one of her top five bands of the year.

At least Kacey still got her due.

A normal human could probably manage this disappointment in a reasonable way, but given that Dame Margaret is a human who still considers being counted among the top 1% of Carly Rae Jepsen fans on Spotify in 2016 to be one of her greatest accomplishments to date, she is both bereft and furious. Having her top 100 songs of the year playlist polluted with a bunch of songs she’s never even heard is a small problem, but it really does take a lot of joy out of something that’s typically been a real pleasure. Combined with the psychic stress caused by the initial hacking experience, it’s made her even more annoyed that Spotify does not yet offer two-factor authentication for its accounts. If you feel the same way, consider heading over to Spotify’s support forums and voting in favor of the feature.

Dame Sophie’s complaints are less intense, given that on the whole, her listening habits for the year were correctly represented, but her statistics skepticism antennae were activated when she noticed that neither Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” nor One Direction’s cruelly underrated, Kelly Clarkson-penned breakup banger “Tell Me A Lie” made her list. These are weird omissions, given that, during a musical bender, she listened to both songs at least 25 times just last week. What gives, Spotify??

I mean, this is not wrong. I just want it to be fully true & correct!

Your Dames thought there could be a cutoff date sometime in late November that would account for the omission of various songs, and indeed, Dame Margaret did inquire. Would you believe that Spotify forgot (or worse, are living in defiance of!) the cardinal rule of music-tallyers here on Beyoncé’s internet, namely: never forget that Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter surprised us all by releasing her eponymously-titled album (it was called BEYONCÉ, in case you forgot) on December 13, 2013? For their 2018 year-end lists, Spotify only used data from January 1 - October 31. That’s two full months of data unaccounted for! If this had been the year of BEYONCÉ, there would be no “Partition”, no “Pretty Hurts”, no “XO” on anyone’s automagically generated end-of-year mixes!

SpotifyCares@SpotifyCares@MrsFridayNext Hey Margaret! Sorry to hear your Wrapped stats aren’t looking quite right. We pulled data from Jan 1st to Oct 31st, so your last few weeks of jams aren't included. Let us know if you have any other questions /MC

RECEIPTS! January 1 to October 31? Spotify is neglecting a full sixth of the year! Justice for the Final Sixth! (Dear Star Wars, if you want to use this as a title for one of your little motion pictures, do be in touch.)

This may sound like a minor issue -- after all, there is plenty of One Direction on Dame Sophie’s Top Songs of 2018 -- but it highlights and contributes to a larger issues, which is the problem of canon. In a music business landscape where artists make fractions of pennies per streaming play, maximizing plays is often a matter of placement on playlists. Songs that are eliminated from millions of listeners’ year-end playlists because we played them most in the last two months of the year are at a structural disadvantage. It’s not an issue for “thank u, next”, because it is, as Ariana herself puts it in the song, a smash, but it sure is for plenty of other artists. Unless Spotify intends to create a Musical Year running from November 1 - October 31 (which they absolutely could do), a whole bunch of artists releasing music in Q4 are being cheated & so are our ears.

Again, we must ask:

Livetweet Reminder: Join us for Belle on Sunday, 12/16

Truly, just to behold Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s face is a profound honor.

Contemplating our upcoming livetweet of Amma Asante’s gorgeous period drama Belle, We Your Dames realized that it makes Gugu Mbatha-Raw our very first two-time livewatch leading lady: we watched her beautiful turn in Beyond the Lights almost exactly two years ago, in November of 2016. When an actor has a face that’s simultaneously this alluring and this expressive, it’s hardly a shock that we find ourselves drawn back to it again and again. Whether you watched Beyond the Lights with us or not, we hope you can join us next weekend!

When: Sunday, December 16th at 7:30 PM EST

How: By renting or borrowing a copy of the movie.

Where: And following the hashtag #BelleDames on Twitter

NEXT WEEK: Best Books and Best Guests!

Next week, We Your Dames are hightailing it out of this joint and leaving you with some of the worst people in the world: Laura Koenig and Maggie Levine, two of the best children’s librarians the Boston Public Library has to offer. They will be providing those of you among us with children to spoil this holiday season with the best books recommendation your tax dollars can provide, and we can’t wait to see what they pick. And, if you want something to tide you over in the meantime, you can peruse Dame Margaret’s contributions to NPR’s 2018 Book Concierge and the Best of YA list she produced for The Boston Globe in tandem with librarian, accomplished podcaster, and longtime #Damespal Renata Sancken. See if you can figure out who wrote which blurbs.

Dame Margaret’s List of Lists

Live footage of the output of basically every publication of note at this time of year.

IT’S LIST SEASON, Y’ALL! Prior to my comically extreme distress over my inaccurate end-of-the-year playlist on Spotify, I was experiencing comically extreme distress over the Strategist’s ranking MY VERY FAVORITE pen (the uni-ball Jetstream RT, the praises of which I sang in our subscriber-only guide to our favorite things) at NINETY EIGHT on their recent list of the 100 Best Pens. Under MULTIPLE TRASH STICK PENS that NO person of taste or distinction would sully their hands with. My DARLING thus slighted for groundless reasons like, I guess, not looking as nice as some other pens, or failing to be recommended by Curtis Sittenfeld. Even worse, I still fell for their schtick and bought one of their highest-ranked ballpoint pens, using an affiliate link no less!!!, even if I did so chiefly in the hope of learning that it was NOT AS GOOD as my favorite (it wasn’t) (but it IS very pretty). It was a source of real and lasting annoyance for me-- annoyance eased by two important findings this week:

  1. the Wirecutter, MY TRUE FAVORITE HIPSTER CONSUMER REPORTS SITE, deemed the uni-ball Jetstream 2018’s best pen for most people, thereby validating my taste in both pens and product recommendation websites and

  2. I discovered that a podcast called The Pen Addict had dedicated an entire episode to detailing all of flaws of the Strategist’s list of pens and, lo, it was a joy to listen to.

Thank U, Dames

FINALLY, after weeks of pretty expert teasing…

(The pom-pom flourish equivalent of a drum roll.)

...the official music video for Ariana Grande’s objectively perfect song “Thank U, Next” is OUT! As devout lovers of the song and newly-minted Mocha Grandes (which is a name for Ariana fans that Dame Margaret swears is real but also may have made up?), we have been waiting for the video eagerly, and, for the extremely apt Kris Jenner cameo alone, it was worth the wait. And, better still, this video highlights one of the loveliest things about Ariana’s star image: her comfort in FANNING OUT over things, and not just being fanned upon. From her famous love of Harry Potter to her delight in the musical Wicked, Ariana’s fandom tends to run deep, and it shows in the tiny loving details she incorporates into this video. It’s the sincerity of this love that saves the video from Iggy Azalea soullessness and associates it instead with classics like Snuggie Countdown — while this video is every bit as glossy as the former, you get the sense that Ari would infuse it with just as much care and joy even if she’d had only snuggies, her friends, and a dream to fuel it instead of an international pop career.

This is both (a) the happiest we have ever been to see Kris Jenner and (b) live footage of Your Dames listening to “Thank U, Next”

And of course, it prompts the inevitable question:

Russell Falcon@RussellFalconWhat would your ‘thank u, next’ music video references be?

Taking as the organizing theme, “movies you watched too many times when our brains were young, soft, and impressionable,” Dame Margaret’s “Thank U, Next” films would be, in order from most to least known: First Wives Club (a fav she shares with Ari!), My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sliding Doors, and It Could Happen to You. Dame Sophie’s would be: The Princess Bride, Wayne’s World, Disney’s Robin Hood, and When Harry Met Sally. Share yours with us on Twitter!

Livetweet Anouncement: BELLE on Sunday, December 16th!

We certainly hope you think so!

Our next Dames Nation livetweet is Belle, a historical drama loosely based on the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of a West Indian slave and a British Naval Officer who was raised as an ambiguous part of an aristocratic British family. Director Amma Asante took this historical figure as the inspiration for a sweeping romantic drama and the results are deeply satisfying. The film is not available to stream for free at the moment, but is (a) of the class that any library of good standing is likely to possess and (b) only $4 to rent on a host of digital platforms. Hopefully you can obtain the film by one method or another and join us:

When: Sunday, December 16th at 7:30 PM EST

How: By renting or borrowing a copy of the movie.

Where: And following the hashtag #BelleDames on Twitter

We are extremely excited to share this one with you!

Ask Two Bossy Dames!

We will never claim not to judge anybody, but we certainly never judge you.

It’s that time again where We Your Dames play Mr. Rosso to your Lindsey Weir and answer some questions submitted to our Handy Dandy Google Form. Sit back and let us blow your mind!  

Dear Dames,
I'm 25 and I've never really dated anyone. I've gone out for drinks with guys from dating apps, but nothing became of any of these awkward meet-ups. I don't know how else to put myself out there, since I don't really have a large group of friends. Also, I don't have any male friends because I am much much more comfortable with other women. I am attracted to men, but I find them socially terrifying sometimes, and then I wonder if maybe I'm bisexual, but then I wonder if I'm just hoping I am because that would be "easier" for me. Am I attracted to women, or am I just more comfortable around them? I guess I want some advice on how to put myself out there better so I can figure my shit out. I don't want marriage or kids, I just want some fun and companionship and also to make out with somebody I like. How do I communicate that to the world, when I generally like to keep to myself?  


Some words that, perhaps, you might find yourself shouting in earnest someday.

Dear Julia,

Perhaps unsurprisingly, for a newsletter that caters so heavily to highly bookish, female-identified readers, you are not the first person who’s written to us seeking advice on how to begin dating later in life. We wrote a whole column about it a couple years ago and I, Dame Margaret, think our wisdom therein holds up very nicely. It does not, however, address quite exactly your dilemma, which seems to consist of (1) being very unused to interacting with men and (2) being a bit confused about your sexual orientation.

On the first count: given that what you seek from a romantic partnership is companionship, not the ability to reproduce without aid from IVF, finding a man whose company you enjoy is the only reason to go on dates. Given that you’re shy and unused to interacting with new people, that might be hard. Even for someone like myself, who’s almost comically outgoing, connecting strongly with someone on a date is hard, and rare. That’s not because of their gender, necessarily— it’s more because finding someone whom you both want to talk to and want to kiss is often very hard. What could make it easier for you, though, is letting go of your assumption that all men socialize very differently from all women. If something about the way a man is socializing terrifies you, then odds are— as the meme says— he’s not your man. I don’t know enough about the culture around you and how strongly people within it are pressured to adhere to gender stereotypes, but if it’s very strong, finding one person your like may mean sifting through a fair number of bros, and you’ll just have to be patient about that. But it also means being brave to initiate exchanges with men of the type you enjoy. Rather than just saying “I’m more comfortable with women” and not investigating that, think about the qualities that make you enjoy interacting with women socially and do your best to manifest them outwards.

The easiest place to start with that? Just think of questions, a few, that you’d pretty much always be interested in hearing the answer to and some subjects that you never get tired of talking about with your friends. This is your conversational fun zone— if a person can function well there, then you know they’re a real prospect. Once you’ve figured out where your fun zone lies, work up the nerve to be the person who directs the conversation, steer it to these subjects, and see how your date fares. It will be stressful to lead the conversation at first, if you’re more used to hanging back, but as long as you take care to leave space for the other person to participate, you’ll find that most people are relieved to let someone else generate the subjects. The second thing I’d recommend is that, if the first date is merely awkward and not actively off-putting, try to commit to going on a second one. First dates are hard! The stakes can feel artificially high. Going on a second date gives you a chance to figure out what of that initial awkwardness is merely nerves, and what stems from a mismatch in personality between you and your date.

Mixtape Memoirs

Dame Margaret’s blessed vacation in England gave Dame Sophie the opportunity to smuggle in her most vintage Internet Ladyfriend & past TBD guest editrix, Karen Corday, for a fun collab talking about two of their favorite things: mixtapes and crying! You can find more of Karen’s excellence HERE and HERE. I particularly recommend checking out her appearance on fellow DamesFav Lucas Brown’s podcast, The Math of You.

BUT FIRST: A Dames Business Announcement!

Thanks to the holiday Thursday, next Friday will truly be black: We Your Dames will be reclining in a turkey coma and therefore sending no newsletter. If you miss us too terribly, don’t fret: you always have our archives!

AND NOW: Mixtape Memoirs!

Sophie: Hiiiiii, Karen!

Karen: Hello, dear Sophie!

S: Let’s just set the scene for our reader-listeners this week: you are my most vintage Internet Ladyfriend, having won your friendship heart all the way back in 1998? Maybe 1999? We both went to library school and have remained chums ever since.

K: I think it was late 1998--we were both bored at our first post-collegiate 9-5 jobs.


K: SO BORED! And we were both regulars on the Bust magazine message boards. We started talking about library school and women’s colleges and then there was lots and lots of talk about music and books and writing and we formed a little mutual appreciation society. You came from Philly to visit me in Boston, and I think we both had to explain to people that we had met on the internet, which was still kind of weird and unusual at that point? Aaaaaaaand here we are 20 years later NO BIG DEAL!

S: Happy anniversary to US! So, the idea for this week’s issue came to me from Dave Holmes’ memoir, Party Of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs, where he uses the title of a song that’s been meaningful to him as the title & theme for each chapter. We both loooooove a mixtape, so we decided to create & swap playlists and interview each other about them. As I was listening to yours, I noticed a theme and then realized that it was running through mine as well: Dancing While Crying.

Robyn isn’t crying yet, but you know she’s just about to.

K: Dancing While Crying is the mood of the decade. This came to mind immediately when I saw your genius pairing of “Oh L’Amour” and “Dancing on my Own”.

S: Awww thank you! I have to give some credit for that pairing to Sarah D. Bunting and Mark Blankenship, who just did an episode of Mark & Sarah Talk About Songs all about “Oh L’Amour”. I love that song but hadn’t listened to it in ages and had to pause the episode to listen to it in full, and realized mid-listen that it’s a grandparent of “Dancing On My Own”. And then of course they talked about exactly that in the episode! Kismet! Honestly, Dancing While Crying is such an important concept. It ought to be a new Grammys category. They should toss out a bunch of stupid, dead categories and create some good new ones.

K: I feel like I might be struck down by the Dark Lord himself for saying this but maybe it’s time to retire the Metal category and replace it with Dancing While Crying. 

S: SO MOVED. You’re welcome, Academy of Recording Artists. We will take payment in the form of cold, hard cash. Our attorney, Bernie will be in touch.

S: Let’s talk about one of our faves, Mr. Tom Petty, of blessed memory. Maybe he’s not the artist people think of first when they’re weeping on the dancefloor, but “Learning to Fly” is a certified bop and its soaring, luscious harmonies sure do make me cry. What made you pick this one?

K: When I was putting these together I was kind of thinking of songs that had personal memories or feelings attached to them. I saw Tom Petty with Jackson Browne as the opener in 2002. It’s one of the only stadium rock shows I’ve ever been to; most of my show-going experience has been confined to shows in clubs and bars, and the occasional festival show, if 90s Lollapaloozas count as “festival shows,” I don’t know. The stadium experience was like super-fancy, in spite of our bad seats, and I went with my parents and sister & then-husband. It was my first experience being in such a huge crowd of mature people quietly freaking out about how psyched they were to see Tom Petty. My mom is a huge Tom Petty fan and it was so fun to see her experiencing “her baby,” as she once called him, live and in person. During “Learning to Fly”, he stopped and let the audience sing the chorus and it was so moving and fun to be in this massive crowd of people singing along, while a tiny Tom Petty so far away on the stage was conducting us all with his little arms and my mom was crying! That slidey guitar solo is really special too and it just socks me in the feels every time.

S: Ugh, saaaame! I also love a stadium show. Marcus had never been to one until we went to see U2 on their Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour and it was transcendent. Being a good stadium act is such a skill. Since he died, “Learning to Fly” has become such a melancholic touchstone song for me. I have such regrets that I only saw him when I was in high school, on the Full Moon Fever tour. It was great, but he did so much after that and I missed it.

Live footage from just inside the Pearly Gates.

K: Now that all of our musical heroes are dying, I like to think about comforting things, like Aretha Franklin and George Michael reuniting in the afterlife and immediately launching into “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”. Obviously, Prince and Tom Petty would recreate “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from when George Harrison got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That clip went around a bunch when Prince died and so many people were like, “Oh, Tom Petty got smoked!” and yeah, he did, but he was happy about it and acknowledged all the time that Prince was The Best, so of course he smoked everyone!

S: That was just the Prince way. Show up, destroy, leave everyone thrilled. If you want to see the face of pure joy, rewatch it & keep your eyes on Dhani Harrison, who is just lit up with delight every second Prince is playing.

K: So, “Do You Wanna Funk?” (originally by Sylvester, currently only available on Spotify as a cover by Stallone, whoever they are) appears on this mix twice, bookending all the mini-families you’ve identified. I love it, but how did that happen?

S: I hate to pull the curtain this far back, but it’s actually a mistake. This entire mix started when I realized that “Do You Wanna Funk? was the musical grandparent of ZZ Top’s “Sharp-Dressed Man” and thought it would be fun to create a mix based on that premise, and things just went from there. But some licensing thing changed and the Sylvester version disappeared from Spotify and I thought I’d deleted it from the top of the mix, only to re-add it at the end when I found the Stallone version.

But since a serendipitous Spotify glitch left a ghost of it there for you to see, I’m going to put the Stallone version in at the top, too, because surprise, surprise, it leads in beautifully to New Order’s “Temptation”, too!  I really feel “Do You Wanna Funk?” is a musical grandparent of so much high-emotion dance music. I think so often, artists aren’t consciously aware of their influences. Can we chalk it up to the collective unconscious? Sometimes it’s obvious that they do know -- whoever wrote the keyboard wash at the beginning of “All That” clearly is trying to invoke the vibe of “Do Me, Baby”, and the overachieving trivia monster in me definitely included it as a clever asshole move. Anyway, you can totally enjoy the Carly Rae song on its own merits, but that keyboard wash is a wayfinding Easter egg for music nerds of a certain vintage. It signals that what you’re about to hear is a contemplative, seductive, electropop gem! Settle in for a journey!

S:Now, let me ask you about Gloria Estefan.

I love her, obviously, but I would have chosen the more obvious and well-known “Conga” if I were in your shoes. What’s the role of “1-2-3” in The Story of Karen?

A Blue Wave Worthy of Hokusai

Well, well, well, Dames Nation. We all did it!

O, our prophetic gif selection! GIF by Libby VanderPloeg.

The Blue Wave flipped the US House of Representatives to the Democrats, shifted a bunch of governorships, and managed to hold the Republican leadership in the Senate to a minimal level. To say nothing of all the amazing successes in down-ballot races around the nation, and the careful tallying that’s yielding some later-breaking wins and potential recounts or runoffs. After a long day of waiting and reconciling herself to a likely close loss, Dame Sophie nearly lost her damn mind over Andy Kim’s soon-to-be-official victory here in NJ. We’re pulling for you, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Bill Nelson, and Kyrsten Sinema!

We asked you for your Election Day experiences and per usual, you wildly exceeded our expectations. This week’s issue consists of your wonderful, soul-nourishing reports and a particularly high-quality rerun of one of our best Bossy Takes. Enjoy!

We salute all the canvassers among you! DamesFav Olivia traveled far & wide:

I voted! I was lucky enough to get to work with the good folks over at Flippable and got to help canvass in Florida and Pennsylvania in the weeks leading up to the election. Here's my favorite photo of Flippable team member Cher-Wen DeWitt, who got an undercut for the weekend.  

Hardworking Kiana, whose entire family got involved in canvassing for Beto O’Rourke, on something her home state of Washington has got down pat:

And something that I LOVE about Washington State is that since we are entirely vote by mail (with pre-paid postage for the first time this year), we are on track to have the highest voter turnout EVER for a midterm, passing a record set more than 30 years ago at 70%. We can't be stopped by weather, hacking, faulty voting machines, or long lines--and while you don't get a sticker, you can bring your ballot to the bar to fill out in style, with a side of cocktails. It'll be interesting to see where turnout numbers end, but as of yesterday morning more than 45% of ballots had been returned across the state. Pretty darn amazing.

Jessica set a great example for her son by taking him canvassing with her:

Zoe got involved in two races in Georgia that you may have heard a little something about:

I participated for the very first time in text-banking! I did not realize this was a thing. But there are in fact people behind the text blasts that are sometimes sent to your phone, not bots! And I was one of them.

We text-banked for Stacey Abrams [who we hope will get her deserved run-off -- Eds.] and Lucy McBath [whose successful run was inspired by the horror of losing her son Jordan Davis to someone who shot him for playing his music too loud and being Black in Public -- Eds.] thanks to an event hosted by Higher Heights for America, an amazing organization that supports black women candidates running for public office. It was truly a moving and inspiring experience. The other volunteers were wonderful -- thoughtful and funny and passionate about reaching out to the people of Georgia. Some responses to our texts were full of frustration or asking to be taken off a list or, occasionally, spewing some kind of hate. But I've been blown away by the kindness of many strangers responding to these texts, their excitement and their drive to use their voices and make a change. The best has been the people sending in selfies with their "I Voted" stickers -- which, in Georgia, are printed in the shape of a peach.

Past TBD Guest Editrix Miranda Popkey tells us:

For a very brief period (two to three hours on the night before the primary), I became overly invested in a hyper-local race (Governor's Council) (I live in Massachusetts) (something something recommends judges?) and went down a rabbit hole that ended at a badly misspelled LinkedIn blogpost in which the current seat-holder was accused of falling asleep during meetings. The challenger (for whom I voted) lost, so I guess this isn't a victory, but the animus around the race did briefly delight me, and I have made a promise to myself to learn more about county and city-level elections going forward, so that evens out to above-neutral, I think.

Obviously, we love reports from polling station. Alicia kicked things off with this vignette:

I just wanted to shout out, I think her name was Flora. She were working at my polling place, which around 8:40 this morning was a complete zoo. People were filling out their ballots in line to get them scanned, the line was out the door, not enough pens, not enough of the folders for ballots, and two of the scanners were jamming. Anyway, she was amazing with just having an amazing attitude and keeping everything going. People wanted to take photos with her (I didn't, but now I wish I did) and at one point she announced how happy she was that we all came out and how she knew we needed to get to work/on with our day and how they were working to make it happen. She really made my morning.

Emily has made us cry and given us reason to consider signing up to work the polls in our respective districts next time around:

I serve as an election judge in my county, and this year, I became the provisional voting judge for my polling place as well. That meant that every time we couldn’t find someone in our precinct’s polling book, they came to me. Sometimes I could give them information on their correct polling place and sent them on their way! Sometimes, I could set them up to vote provisionally so that as long as they were registered to vote in our state, their vote would be counted. But sometimes, folks who weren’t registered to vote showed up, hoping there was a way to vote and have their voice be heard.  I had to tell them that our state doesn’t have same-day registration, but that it was on our ballot today. Hopefully, today we all voted to improve voter access so that next time, we don’t have to turn anyone who wants to vote away. I worked a 15 hr day today so that I could make it as easy as possible for everyone in my district to vote, and so did hundreds of thousands of other election workers today. That gives me hope.

Erin in Kentucky shared this charming tableau from her polling station:

Today at my suuuuuper packed polling place an elderly woman was sitting at my table voting with her baby boomer daughter. The mom happily said, "So many women!" About the candidates on the ballot and I almost lost it. No matter what, I am taking heart that women are showing up to vote AND showing up to serve!

Tana’s report from Denver County, CO, is a marvel of civic tenacity:

Denver's ballot was the longest in its history: 3 pages, front and back, of initiatives, one prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude for everyone, including those who are incarcerated. One was about whether judges up for reelection should be grouped together under one banner of "Shall the following be retained" or listed separately: "Shall XXXXX be retained?" "Shall XXXXXX be retained?"  

Those judges, by the way, each had a short narrative analysis in our voter guide (which was easily 50 pages long -- 25 English and 25 Spanish) to assist us in deciding how to vote. One woman's said that the committee advising was split on her, 6-3, and that as she's relatively new, they are confident she will improve, especially as they have seen the "strategic plan she has for improvement." That just seemed so thoughtful! And plans for improvement are exactly what we encourage our students to create, so it's nice to see it's advocated at a county-judge level, as well.

It took me two hours to work my way through the guide and look up more information online where necessary, but I was exhilarated when it was done.

Laura’s tale of waiting in a very long line to early vote in Chicago highlights how long lines at the polls are a form of voter suppression and the delights of voting in our nation’s greatest public amenity, a library:

Anecdotal Voting!

Hello, Civic-Minded Sprites!

Here’s the outcome we’re hoping for with today’s election, courtesy of Libby VanderPloeg.

As all of you likely know— for Dames Nationals are always informed, even when they are not U.S. nationals— today is ELECTION DAY here in the United States , and We Your Dames have voted, and canvassed, and phonebanked our little hearts out. And we’d love to hear from those of you who’ve done the same.

The next few hours and days are going to be stressful. Big races in which we’ve invested time, energy, and money are, inevitably, going to go the other way. So we want to dig deep and make sure we count every small triumph we can. So, reply to this email and share yours with us!

  • Did you learn anything fun about your district or another by canvassing or phone-banking?

  • Did any candidates at the state or city level particularly delight you?

  • Were there any ballot questions, levies, or other easy-to-overlook legislative victories that you want to share with us?

  • And, of course: did you take any “I Voted” selfies, and were they glorious? If yes, plz. send pics.

You’ll hear from us again on Friday, and until then, take good care of yourselves. Remember that watching the results does not change them, so feel free to give yourself the night off without guilt.

Yours in Citizenship,

Dame Margaret and Dame Sophie

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