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…


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…


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…


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…

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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