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Cruel Compendium #33 🌈
Navigating the triangle of horniness, America's drinking problem, and staying soft
I’m Jillian Anthony, and this is Cruel Summer Book Club, a newsletter about change, heartbreak and healing. In the Cruel Compendium I send out links to everything I’m reading, listening to and thinking about. Last week, I wrote about the seven simple self-care steps I’m taking to feel better. Thanks for being here.
The triangle of horniness by Sable Yong
Be hot enough to love your own reflection. Know enough to stay out of trouble. And honor your emotions equally and without judgement.
Banish anxiety about your post-lockdown looks by A.C. Shilton. I know I’m not alone in struggling with body anxiety lately. This is a reminder of how to accept your body as it is, and remember all it does for you.
¡Hola Papi!: I think I’m ugly by John Paul Brammer
To a certain degree, we have the power to name ourselves, to determine what we make of the hand we’ve been dealt. When I feel ugly, Undercover, it’s exactly that. A feeling. A story. A way of seeing myself, a method of moving clunkily through a world that doesn’t want me. That’s real. That’s unpleasant. It’s a place, and I’m a regular.
In life, though, we visit many places. I’ve also felt desirable. I’ve felt capable of giving and receiving pleasure, of being enchanting, of holding a secret gravity at the center of my existence, one that draws others in quite effortlessly, and why wouldn’t it? The fact that I can’t pitch my tent here, in this place where I feel good, is unfortunate. But movement is inevitable. We either learn to go, or suffer as we’re dragged.
I asked my rapist for $10,000 by Alexandra Walling. This is a tough and shocking read, but I’m deeply inspired by how Walling molded an unjust world to meet her own needs.
America has a drinking problem by Kate Julian. The dark ways we’re drinking today, and how we used to drink.
Why don’t we care about misogyny? by Jill Filipovic. Why do progressives and feminists give discriminatory religions a free pass on misogyny?
I’m listening to
Unfuck Your Brain: Creativity, Positive Thinking, and Self-Love. So much wisdom I needed to hear this week about accepting the realities of our humanity.
Happy Pride! Here’s NPR’s useful guide to gender identity terms.
I wish I could have attended the Brooklyn Liberation March again this year. (Check out photos in Vogue and The New York Times.) The march was “an emergency action in response to the more than 100 pieces of legislation that have been filed in over 34 states. There have been more anti-trans bills passed this year than in the last 10 years combined.” I’m holding space for the 28 trans and gender non-conforming people—nearly all Black and Latinx women—who were killed in 2021. You can donate to GLITS—in support of health and housing for the LGBTQIA+ community—here.
In April I attended a webinar through Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ)—a home for white people working for justice—about defunding the police with abolitionist Mariame Kaba. This month I’m reading Kaba’s book We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice. Join me?
I joined Austin’s SURJ chapter, and you can learn more about SURJ and look up your local chapter here.
Questionable self-care advice
⭕ The circle of friendship shows how we organize relationships (and how many we can keep going)
🏊🏽♂️ Comedian Chris Duffy got a part-time job as a lifeguard at his local pool for research, and he had the time of his life. His experience is a delight to read, and a reminder for me that so much of the good stuff in life is found when we choose to do off the wall things simply for the pursuit of joy.
🫂 The “Keep Going Song” really had me tearing up
☁️ Let these crocheted clouds sing to you
🗞️ You can create a group newsletter for just your friends and family to stay in touch
An interactive, calming piece exploring the female gaze of impressionist paintings
📚 The literary tarot deck
🤷♀️ What you clicked on most in the last Compendium: Nothing matters!
Speaking of straight hell: Make sure you’re in the right place spiritually to read about what happened when a woman tried to get her husband to take on the full mental load of feeding his own dog
It’s Minerva’s 9th birthday!!! June 15 is the made-up birthdate I gave Minerva when I adopted her as a kitten, but I celebrate faithfully every year. Adopting her remains the best decision I’ve ever made.
“Texas Sun” by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges
Check out the full CSBC playlist
Thanks to the wonderful Katie Hawkins-Gaar for the kind shoutout in her newsletter, My Sweet Dumb Brain. Katie teaches me more about how to hold on to the good in life all the time. You can read our CSBC conversation here.
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