Intro, June 3, 2016

Some folks have been asking me to post my Lenny intros here, so here you go. This is from Lenny No. 37.

​Hello Lennys,

Over Memorial Day weekend, I spent a few days at the beach with a group of women (and one man!) I love and admire so much it almost hurts. We did every cheesy beach thing you can think of: running into the ocean as a group, drinking umbrella drinks in the middle of the day, making s’mores on the grill. We also enjoyed some more idiosyncratic activities: a candlelight memorial for a dead cat, several discussions about Anohni’s recent concert, and a pizza night that included vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. I came home exhausted and full of feminist light.

Though I appreciate a weekend of group bonding, I’ve also had wonderful solo trips — like a glorious trip to the Middle East several years back — which is why I appreciate this week’s essay by Lisa Goldberg about traveling alone. She perfectly captures the anxiety, unexpected triumphs, and serendipitous joys of making your way through uncharted territory on your own. And I love that while Lisa is testing her limits, her mother — though worried — comes to appreciate the emotional stretch that such journeys can provide.

Robin Thede — head writer of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore — has some sobering stats in her piece about the dearth of minority and women writers in the entertainment industry. A couple of examples: only 28.7 percent of television writers are women, and only 7 percent of film writers are minorities. (And it must be noted that the categories “women” and “minorities” are not mutually exclusive.) Happily, Robin brings news of a concrete policy solution that you can help support.

It’s been almost three years since the #BlackLivesMatter movement launched in response to George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Francey Russell traces a related project, one that documents the racialized murders of the past. Constructing memorials and markers for lynchings is a necessary step for us to remember and acknowledge these events, and let them inform our relationship to the present.

Our latest installment of Rumors I Heard About My Body has Jess dropping some Truth and Science about our old friend the pill. It definitely has the word mucus in it, and it’s definitely worth a read, if you’ve got the body parts and the sex life that make the pill an option for you.

Finally, take a virtual vacation with the photographs of Melissa Forde. Melissa’s work often appears on her best friend Rihanna’s Instagram, but it deserves a stand-alone look. In addition to the many images of RiRi, there are also what feel like meaningful pauses in a nonstop adventurous life: a moment pulling into port, or a shot of an airplane soaring away, having dropped you onto yet another island. (Do they ever get sick of islands?) As Lena puts it, Forde “appreciates and captures both the natural world and the artifice of stardom.”

Personally, I’m hungry for more island life — dead-cat rituals and all. Please pass the candle.


Mikki, Lenny’s editor at large

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