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This week I saw photos of special education teachers making PPE, specifically, protective face shields out of Velcro strips and laminate sheets. The photos were sent to me from a teacher who works at a very expensive private school in Manhattan for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A teacher reported to me that the water fountains were removed — when the teacher asked why he/she was told, “students put their mouths on them, so they were taken out to stop the spread of saliva.” No follow up plan mentioning how to provide staff and students with water throughout the day…


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Image credit: Dawn Mann

As a tween, I often spent time topless in front of my bathroom mirror examining my breasts. The urge to study them cropped up unannounced, so most nights I stood half dressed in jeans, pajamas bottoms, or sometimes in pink ballet tights and a pulled-down leotard. I’d scrutinize my breasts in contrast to the ones I saw in the pages of my American Girl book,The Keeping and Care of You, which was a preteen guide to puberty. The book housed a few pages concerning breast development, and it displayed cartoon pictures of breasts in a variety of shapes and sizes…


Examples defined by a Jewish Lesbian

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Since straight, white people are continuing to have difficulty dechipering the meaning of camp, here is a list of camp and not-camp examples, defined by a Jewish lesbian:

Camp:

1. Troop Beverly Hills, Shelly Long

2. Sonja Morgan

3. Paula Abdul, Opposites Attract music video

4. The Stepford Wives, Nicole Kidman

5. Sister Act, Whoppie Goldberg

6. Fourth of July parades

7. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 1

8. The Wizard of Oz & The Wiz

9. Diana Ross

10. Fran Fine

11. BenDeLaCreme

12. Roller skates

13. Missy Elliott circa late 90s…


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Depending on your vantage point, Sigmund Freud’s legacy resides somewhere between father of modern psychology and misogynistic addict. As a professional in the field of psychology and a person who benefits from mental health services, I can’t wholly deny his additions to the field. As a feminist, however, my lens considers Freud from a more toxic and destructive angle. This destruction can be seen in his often-overlooked relationship with Virginia Woolf; a relationship that seemingly killed the depressed writer.

Everyone knows Woolf as a brilliant yet tortured writer who committed suicide. When others speak and write of Woolf, it’s often…


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She stands five inches taller than me and easily weighs ten pounds less than I do. Her legs look like long, tan matchsticks, and her arms hang so lanky that her hands easily overlap if she gives herself a hug. It’s hardly dawn when she shoves me awake and nods towards the door. Her body is alert, as if she’s been awake for hours. No evidence of sleep, not a sheet mark, early morning eye crust, or yawn exist on her. At our first sleepover I started dozing off around midnight and told her I didn’t understand how she was…


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I had a hunch scrolling through human men to purchase wouldn’t be as carefree as perusing the J. Crew website for new fall boots. Upon first glance two things were clear: 1) Human men were far more expensive than boots 2) There was no return policy or lifetime guarantee on these guys. I didn’t even want to shop for sperm in the first place. Ideally, I wanted to conceive a baby from both my wife’s and my DNA, a baby who would be an amalgamation of our best and worst parts. …


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The following is an excerpt from Putting Out: Essays on Otherness by Samantha Mann. Pre-order here, or buy March 2019 wherever books are sold.

Before pop culture, boys, and the “shoulds” of our mothers overpower us, girls have a window of time to engage in their most natural curiosities. For many of my friends and me, our early hobbies included nature exploration, light witchcraft, and repetitively creating our own sacred spaces in the forms of outdoor forts, basement clubhouses, and our bedrooms. Although they can’t be accurate, I have memories of playing the game light as a feather, stiff as…


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Expect to start living with a real-life sour patch kid. Your wife is trapped on a 24 hour a day emotional roller coaster, so you better buckle up and hold her hand. Get ready for screaming and laughing and sometimes crying. Expect your wife’s variable feelings to directly impact how she acts towards you moment to moment. There will be times when she’s the sweetest she’s ever been, and she’ll need you more than ever before in the sincerest way. It will feel amazing to be needed so much, and you’ll wonder if this mirrors the experience of being a…

Samantha Mann

Samantha is the author of Putting Out: Essays on Otherness. Her writing explores LGBTQ life, feminism, mental health, and motherhood.

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