Dames Nation, as Mother’s Day approaches, we and Chris Messina have an important reminder for you:
What gift do We Your Dames and Mr. Messina have in mind this week? Well, specifically, it’s the beauty of forearms, particularly those left exposed when a rugged individual of any gender rolls up their sleeves. This issue is at the forefront of our minds because of Serena Golden’s hard-hitting (and hilarious) exposé “Men, You Don’t Understand How Hot Your Forearms Are,” which perfectly captures our shared and abiding enthusiasm for brachioradialis, a subject about which we have spent many hour shouting. For those of you thinking “Forearms? Huh?”, a selected list of forearm appeal factors:
Forearms are not showy. We are by no means immune to some well-formed upper arms or a lovely shoulder, but forearms on display are a nicely casual thing to admire. This can lead to…
…imagining those casually displayed forearms enfolding one into their loving embrace. Such embraces might be purely platonic, which are lovely in their own right, but maaaaaybe not?
Moreover, because of the very casual nature of these muscles, their very everyday-ness, they are constantly on display to be admired, and you can admire them easily without seeming like a creep.
And, most importantly, they suggest effort, not merely for their own aggrandizement, but in service to others. How could forearms be better displayed than wrapped around a bag of heavy groceries, delivered to a sick friend? Or in whittling a small toy, perhaps for a tiny orphan child? They are, truly, the most SELFLESS muscle.
Call to Action: HELP SAVE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR LIBRARIES!
Those of you who closely follow our exploits-- i.e. OUR TRUEST FANS!-- will likely have already seen the piece that I, Dame M., wrote for Cosmo about Donald Trump’s attempt to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the sole source of dedicated federal funding for libraries in the United States. The portion of the national budget allocated to this agency is _tiny_ -- approximately 0.00006% of the whole---, and 93% of that money goes directly to grants for libraries, museums, and institutions of higher learning in every state in the country. As I said in Cosmo:
A quick stroll through IMLS’s database of awarded grants does a great job of demonstrating why libraries are so beloved. They work to serve everyone, from military families to refugee and immigrant youth. They can do something huge, like developing a new curriculum model for early literacy skills, or something “small,” like teaching kids in a housing project how to make a comic book. They provide everything from first jobs for teenagers (like me — I got my start as a Boston Public Library page at 16) to comprehensive job training and digital skill development for adults hoping to return to the workforce. And they teach everything, from how parents can best foster their young children’s intelligence to how citizens can best effect change within their local communities. They help young people get a start in science, technology, engineering, and math by teaching them high-tech skills like coding and teaching them to grow their own food.
The support that libraries receive from the IMLS is what allows them to work on solving the big, societal problems that we cannot google our way out of. So if you feel, like We Your Dames do, that this organization is vital to the well-being of our republic and deserving of federal support, there’s an easy way to demonstrate it: pop your location into this widget, identify your representatives, and then call them using this handy script provided by the ALA to ask them to sign a letter urging support for federal library funding. We know you’re making many calls about a wide variety of dreadful things happening in our republic currently, but we hope you can add this issue to the list of things to mention.
VERY EXCITING June Livetweet Announcement!
SPEAKING of forearms...
Frondaloos, when we saw that Nouveau Classique Teen Film 10 Things I Hate About You, co-starring Queen of Bitchy Resting Face Julia Stiles and Beautiful Acting Genius of Blessed Memory Heath Ledger, is now on Netflix, we both immediately said, “well, that’s June’s live-tweet sorted out!” We hope you’ll join us in reviewing this film that launched a thousand feminist awakenings!
When: Sunday, June 4 at 7:30 PM ET
Where: Twitter, using #TenDames to make sure you see all the brilliant & cheeky insights from your fellow Dames Nationals
How: Netflix (or an obliging DVD)
Ask Two Bossy Dames Next Week! Send Us Your Questions!
Sometimes the best advice means getting QUITE real.
Are you looking for EXCELLENT GUIDANCE, like that offered by Ms. Perky in 10 Things I Hate About You? WELL, you’re in luck! Next week, We Your Dames are putting on our bossiest hats and providing some advice! If you have a question in need of our expertise, pop it into our Google Form and you may just be the lucky person whose every problem will solve!
Dame Margaret’s Swindle of Links
When you con a man, you con the WHOLE patriarchy.
In response to my ode to con men from last week, longtime Dames National Leticia brought two extremely important things to my attention: (1) The amazing-looking romance novel Uptown Thief, about a madam who cons shady CEOs out of money to run a women’s health clinic, and (2) this incredible essay that the book’s author, Aya de Leon, wrote for Bitch Magazine about the special, radical power of female-led heist narratives.
Here, in this Letter to the Editor of Georgetown University’s student paper, we have an account of-- perhaps-- the ONLY acceptable prank ever committed. If you have evidence to the contrary (i.e. of other acceptable pranks), please do submit it to me or us over on Twitter.
As the time approaches when those of us in academia say goodbye to our favorite graduate-and-otherwise students for the summer, it seems only appropriate to remind all of you that the snake fight portion of the traditional thesis defense is not optional, and that the size and strength of the snake students are required to fight is determined by the quality of the thesis they submit. Let us all pray for this year’s crop of defendants.
If they survive both their defense and manage to secure a position in the well-nigh impossible academic job market, they may just eventually earn the right to wear a garment like Diane Keaton’s Crisp White Shirt, whose indelible monologue was brought to my attention be one Hottie Christina this morning.
Speaking of impossible things, have you taken a moment lately to reckon with the incomprehensible and deeply misogynist dress code policies that our nation’s high schools inflict on teen girls? Because Buzzfeed’s Kristin Chiricodid, specifically with an eye to PROM dress codes, and the results are hilariously conveyed but infuriating to contemplate!
Want something to ease your fury after confronting the trash way our society policies teen girl’s bodies!? Well, have I got a treat for you! How about you read this deeply unseasonal, rather old story about former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis’s fervent devotion to homemade turkey soup and resulting affection for turkey carcasses, whose careless disposal leaves him so horrified that he provided HIS HOME ADDRESS to anyone considering throwing the carcass away-- “Tell your readers under no circumstances should they do that. They should use the carcass. And if they don’t want to, tell them to come to 85 Perry Street in Brookline. We’ll make full use of it, believe me.” And readers, they did: by the end of the week, 26 carcasses had been dropped off at the Dukakis residence. Because not ALL our public servants are venal, wasteful, hateful idiots!
And finally, want a little extra Margaret in your week? Then look no further than this week’s episode of the podcast Gilmore Guys, where I sat down for TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS to chat with hosts Kevin and Demi about episode 15 of Bunheads’s lone season, whether Drake would be a good babysitter, and also why men aren’t funny.
Dame Sophie’s Ranty-yet-Zippy Link Buffet
Spider-Man: Homecoming still seems mostly unnecessary, but these kids? They're all right.
Chris Molanphy, who writes so ably & engagingly about Billboard’s charts for Slate, has a new piece out about how Bruno Mars has managed to ride the changing waves of pop tastes so successfully for nearly a decade. Hint: having great taste & knowing your musical history makes it easier to predict (and in some cases guide) those changes. Bonus 1! Chris has a new monthly podcast for Slate, Hit Parade. The crackingly good first episode is out now, tracking how UB40’s cover of Neil Diamond’s “Red, Red Wine” became a viral radio sensation years after its original release. Bonus 2! If you haven’t seen it yet, treat yourself to Zendaya and Tom Holland’s triumphant, gender-swapped Lip Sync Battle performances featuring Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella”.
Last week’s Met Gala was not my favorite one ever, mostly because at the end of the day, I prefer for fancy gowns to be beautiful rather than thought-provoking, but even I could see that Rihanna won the entire thing again, by a very comfortable margin. Reading this piece on the math & engineering know-how required to create a really excellent fancy garment both validated my instinctive understanding and pushed me to appreciate how much work goes into making clothes that make us look our best (or most outrageous, if that’s what we’re going for). It’s also real explicit in its support of viewing traditionally female domestic pursuits as baking, sewing, and knitting as 100% part of much-vaunted STEM initiatives, seeing as how they’re chemistry, applied math, and computer programming done by hand.
Here’s one for all of us who may have sprained our diaphragms trying not to sigh loudly & irritatedly every time we heard someone say “gosh, I never expected something so deep from the likes of Teen Vogue!” when Lauren Duca’s piece on how Marla’s Ex is Gaslighting America ran in February. DamesFav (and past guest editor!) Julia Carpenter has given us all a gift by writing Teen Magazines Have Always Covered More Than Fashion. Send it to your favorite mildly surprised uncle, aunt, or cousin!
AND FINALLY, This Week in Harry Styles, he did all the things, lavishing us with So! Many! Looks! He played a tiny album release party and attempted his first stage dive, bless his heart (it didn’t go well; stage-diving is a symbiotic skill between performer & audience. The spirits were all willing but the flesh was completely out of practice). He performed on the Today Show in a hot pink suit, charming Al Roker and Hoda Kotb and the entire city of New York. He sat in on his bestie Nick Grimshaw’s morning show on BBC Radio 1 in a plaid suit I can only describe as Casual Dandy At His Favorite Auntie's Lavish Annual Summer Picnic. He performed a mini-gig somewhere else in London in a silky champagne bomber jacket with a rainbow appliqued on the back. Oh, yeah, he released his debut solo album and I don’t have a hot take yet because I’m trying to break myself of the habit AND because I’m still digesting it all, but per usj, Rob Sheffield has the only review you really need and Anna Leskiewicz has the best critical assessment of his celebrity image.
Just LOOK at this suave-ass Bertie Wooster impersonator.