• How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson
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    How one tweet can ruin your life | Jon Ronson

    In the early days of Twitter, it was like a place of radical de-shaming. People would admit shameful secrets about themselves, and other people would say, “Oh my God, I’m exactly the same.” Voiceless people realized that they had a voice, and it was powerful and eloquent. If a newspaper ran some racist or homophobic column, we realized we could do something about it. We could get them. We could hit them with a weapon that we understood but they didn’t — a social media shaming. Advertisers would withdraw their advertising. When powerful people misused their privilege, we were going to get them. This was like the democratization of justice.…

  • There’s more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith
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    There’s more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith

    I used to think the whole purpose of life was pursuing happiness. Everyone said the path to happiness was success, so I searched for that ideal job, that perfect boyfriend, that beautiful apartment. But instead of ever feeling fulfilled, I felt anxious and adrift. And I wasn’t alone; my friends — they struggled with this, too. Eventually, I decided to go to graduate school for positive psychology to learn what truly makes people happy. But what I discovered there changed my life. The data showed that chasing happiness can make people unhappy. And what really struck me was this: the suicide rate has been rising around the world, and it…

  • 12 truths I learned from life and writing | Anne Lamott
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    12 truths I learned from life and writing | Anne Lamott

    My seven-year-old grandson sleeps just down the hall from me, and he wakes up a lot of mornings and he says, “You know, this could be the best day ever.” And other times, in the middle of the night, he calls out in a tremulous voice, “Nana, will you ever get sick and die?” I think this pretty much says it for me and most of the people I know, that we’re a mixed grill of happy anticipation and dread. So I sat down a few days before my 61st birthday, and I decided to compile a list of everything I know for sure. There’s so little truth in the…

  • Pregnant from rape – Extended interview with Jennifer
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    Pregnant from rape – Extended interview with Jennifer

    My name is Jennifer Christie. I’m a wife and a mother of five, and I’m sharing my story of my youngest, beautiful son. I think that things were pretty much status quo. You would consider us an average family. We had four kids, felt like I was kind of at the top of my game as an interpreter. I was taking on more work and traveling. I had interpreted a few cruises, which was really cool, I thought, and I was getting to kind of see the world a little bit there, and taking some out of town work, and still for the most part being able to be home,…

  • The lies we tell pregnant women | Sofia Jawed-Wessel
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    The lies we tell pregnant women | Sofia Jawed-Wessel

    Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz We’re going to share a lot of secrets today, you and I, and in doing so, I hope that we can lift some of the shame many of us feel about sex. How many here have ever been catcalled by a stranger? Lots of women. For me, the time I remember best is when that stranger was a student of mine. He came up to me after class that night and his words confirmed what I already knew: “I am so sorry, professor. If I had known it was you, I would never have said those things.” (Laughter) I wasn’t a person to him…

  • A new way to think about the transition to motherhood | Alexandra Sacks
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    A new way to think about the transition to motherhood | Alexandra Sacks

    Do you remember a time when you felt hormonal and moody? Your skin was breaking out, your body was growing in strange places and very fast, and at the same time, people were expecting you to be grown-up in this new way. Teenagers, right? Well, these same changes happen to a woman when she’s having a baby. And we know that it’s normal for teenagers to feel all over the place, so why don’t we talk about pregnancy in the same way? There are entire textbooks written about the developmental arc of adolescence, and we don’t even have a word to describe the transition to motherhood. We need one. I’m…