Thanks to Cinema East for having me out last night! So happy to support my favourite thing about summers in Austin.
I’m pleased to announce that Vagina is sponsoring tonight’s Cinema East screening of Joy Kevin! This outdoor film series is my favourite thing about summer in Austin and I’m so happy to support it any way I can. Come out to the French Legation Museum on the eastside tonight with your picnic, drinks, and friends! Doors open at 7, Movie starts at 9
I’m finishing up the Summer ‘14 issue which includes a photo essay documenting my golden birthday. Half of the photos have this black spot courtesy of a dirty lens and that could bother me. But I love the picture and I’m too distracted by the light through the clouds to notice the blemish and it reminds me of the whole trip — I was heartbroken and scared, but I was too distracted by the beauty of mountains and trees and friendship to care. So these pictures will go to print just like this because why should we bother trying to erase our mistakes when there’s so much good to focus on instead?
— By Hillary-Anne Crosby
Q: Seriously, what’s a dental dam?
A: The dental dam can be used by dentists to isolate a tooth being worked on, or to protect your mouth from someone else’s anus or vagina. It’s a sheet of latex (or silicone) that you lay over the anus or vagina while engaging in oral sex. It helps reduce the chances of contracting an STD. It is also beneficial if your partner wants anal play, and you aren’t about to lick an asshole. So dental dam = mouth condom/saver.
— By Carly Osborn
Happy Women Crush Wednesday! 50% of all I <3 Grrrls sunglasses sales today will benefit the Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte campaigns —TheVaginaZine.com/Shop
If you’re in the Austin area and like what Vagina does, consider nominating the maga*zine for a Best of Austin - Non-Chronicle Publication award!
I started Vagina over three years ago with the goal of promoting women’s creative work and I’m so thrilled to see how the issues have grown from brown paper bags and yarn to barcode-boasting, full-color issues. Keep an eye out for the premier of the Summer ‘14 issue in the coming days!
Ma Jian (马建) is quite the dissident. The Dark Roadopens with a riot. Family planning officials are arresting women and dragging them to be sterilised. Pregnant mothers who do not have a state-issued birth permit are criminals and hunted down for a double punishment – a violent coercion into abortion and sterilisation. In a bid to enforce the One Child policy, even women who are beyond their second trimester are forced to terminate their pregnancies, illegal by international standards.
Neighbours are rewarded for tip-offs, properties are confiscated, rape is prevalent and often goes unreported, and families who cannot pay up fines have their houses demolished. An atmosphere of fear and death has hung over the village.
The central character in the novel is Meili and her husband, Kongzi. The couple already have a daughter but Kong wants a son to carry on the family line. With Meili’s baby bump almost visible now, they leave their village and become family planning fugitives, etching out a floating existence -literally- down the Yangtze River. After Meili loses her 8-month old unborn child in a crackdown, Kongzi is desperate to get her pregnant again (and again and again with each unsuccessful birth) so he can fulfil his filial duty of producing a male heir for the family.
But children born outside the One Child policy also face another set of problems. The child joins the ranks of ‘black children‘ and has no access to medical benefits, free education, a residence permit or subsidised housing. In short, he is stripped of his right to live, condemned to a life as an outcast.
I love #wcw, #tbt, and #fbf as much as the next gal but I’m starting a new tradition: Texas Action Fund Tuesday! All summer long, 25% of Vagina’s shop sales on Tuesdays will benefit the Whole Woman’s Texas Action Fund.
You may be familiar with the fund if you’ve come to the Vagina + Whole Woman’s Health Monthly Cycle movie nights but here’s some background: the fund helps defray the costs associated with abortion care and given the enormity of Texas and the shrinking number of clinics, those costs are often too great for a Texan seeking abortion care to handle on her own. Texas Action Fund is the nonprofit arm of Whole Woman’s Health, one of the few remaining abortion providers in Texas and a great defender of access to safe reproductive care.
Seasons of Your Day is Mazzy Star’s long-awaited, first full-length release in seventeen years. Comeback records can often be bitterly disappointing, but it’s immediately clear from the album’s opening organ notes, that the duo has lost none of their power. Hope Sandoval’s languid drawl is just as smoky and sweet as ever, and David Roback’s sprawling guitar work is alternately sparse and lush, with a characteristic heartstring-tugging twang. In fact, judging from Roback’s psych-tinged, meandering accompaniment and Sandoval’s rich, hazy murmur, it seems that time has only ripened and enriched their sound. Seasons of Your Day doesn’t deviate much from Mazzy Star’s previous work, instead building upon their distinctively atmospheric, spooky tone. It’s like they picked up right where they left off in 1996, and the result is a dreamy, nuanced record that figures perfectly into their catalog.
— By Nada Herbly
Do you love being single? Do you feel like celebrating that? Then grab some of your favourite single ladies and join Vagina for a bachelorette party at Upstairs on Trinity!
We’ll be celebrating our single, sassy selves over cocktails under the chandeliers of this downtown haven. There’ll even be a special treat for the first 15 gals to arrive!
So come treat yourself to a drink and maybe even some truffles, and let’s have a good time being single girls out on the town! Just don’t forget to tip those darling servers well.
This isn’t only about Hobby Lobby. It’s about Hobby Lobby and the 71 other companies that this ruling directly affects — ranging from law firms to manufacturers. And while birth control is plenty welcomed among those of us hoping to avoid pregnancy at any given time, it also treats a number of conditions, some of which require surgery to otherwise handle. And while I’m happy not to work at Hobby Lobby and thankful that I don’t work at the other 71 businesses, this does in fact set a dangerous precedent in which any company can claim religion to avoid paying for employees’ health care — whether that be birth control, blood transfusions, antidepressants, products that involve gelatin, etc. Again, I’m glad that I don’t work at any of those companies but I also know that were I in the position that many of their employees are now in, I couldn’t just afford to quit and assume I’d find another full-time job that pays benefits and respects my healthcare needs.
— By Hillary-Anne Crosby
Summer ‘14 submissions are due tonight! See TheVaginaZine.com/Submitting for more info. I can’t wait to see y’all’s work!
Don’t forget that submissions to Vagina's Summer '14 issue are due tomorrow! Visit the Submissions page for more information on what to share and how to share it.
Oh, Trucker Sue.
“Five-foot-two, eyes of blue, name of Sue,” she rapid-fire spits through the nubs of her teeth, mostly gums really, sticking her wiry hand out to shake mine. Firmly.
She smokes Seneca Menthol 100s, the kind she picks up on Indian reservations as she makes her way through the country, hauling loads of God-knows-what in her shiny white truck.
She lives in that truck, all her worldly possessions on the top bunk, and shares the tiny bottom one with her two cats. One of ‘em blind, both of ‘em fat.
Not Sue though. Skinny as a string bean, short grey hair cropped close to her head. When I meet her she’s got on an oversized tie-dye hoodie, offers me a cigarette. We sit at a bar studded with keno machines, sipping Budweisers in the Gold Strike Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi.
Tunica — a flashback to Vegas before what happened there stayed there, back when the casinos all had low ceilings and windowless walls that boxed in and recycled the endless smoke from cigarettes balanced between gnarled fingers, un-ashed.
We were down there for a truck driver convention, but we snuck out, bored as hell, and found the bar by the lobby. We drank beers and smoked the Senecas while she speedily barked out her past: She had been a crack addict and a prostitute. She had two children, whom she saw sometimes. One of them had been what she called a “trick baby.” She said this with some measure of sadness, but matter-of-factly all the same.
Sue was shriveled up, a tiny woman, and she was self-conscious about her teeth-nubs. She looked right at you when she talked, hard blue eyes. She was smart; she could read a situation, and although she came off as having a few screws loose, she gave me the impression that she knew herself well.
"You are a force to be reckoned with and we are going to do some reckoning on November 4th!"
Wendy Davis at the 2014 Texas Democrats State Convention