Texas Action Fund Tuesday benefits the Whole Woman’s Health Texas Action Fund to help Texans access safe abortion care. Treat yourself to some merch in the shop and 25% of proceeds will go toward the fund — TheVaginaZine.com/Shop High-res

Texas Action Fund Tuesday benefits the Whole Woman’s Health Texas Action Fund to help Texans access safe abortion care. Treat yourself to some merch in the shop and 25% of proceeds will go toward the fund — TheVaginaZine.com/Shop

Interested in sharing your small biz with Vagina’s international fan base? How about supporting the creative work of women around the world? Half-page ads in the Fall ‘14 are just $25! Email me at Hillary-Anne (at) TheVaginaZine.com for more information High-res

Interested in sharing your small biz with Vagina’s international fan base? How about supporting the creative work of women around the world? Half-page ads in the Fall ‘14 are just $25! Email me at Hillary-Anne (at) TheVaginaZine.com for more information

Vagina :: The Zine has changed and grown so much already this year! The Spring ‘14 issue celebrated the debut of professionally-printed, full-colour copies and the Summer ‘14 issue celebrates the debut of photo essays and subscriptions! If you’re one of the first 20 subscribers, I’ll even send you a little surprise — TheVaginaZine.com/Shop High-res

Vagina :: The Zine has changed and grown so much already this year! The Spring ‘14 issue celebrated the debut of professionally-printed, full-colour copies and the Summer ‘14 issue celebrates the debut of photo essays and subscriptions! If you’re one of the first 20 subscribers, I’ll even send you a little surprise — TheVaginaZine.com/Shop

Hey, Austin! You free tomorrow? Join Austin Zine Fest + Crummy House + Friends&Neighbors for some good old fashioned colorin’ High-res

Hey, Austin! You free tomorrow? Join Austin Zine Fest + Crummy House + Friends&Neighbors for some good old fashioned colorin’

Book Review: Meaty by Samantha Irby

When a dear friend introduced me to Samantha Irby’s blog Bitchesgottaeat a year and a half ago, I became obsessed with the author in an “I’d carry a suitcase of drugs into another country for you” sort of way. The blog’s cult following led Irby to get her comeuppance - her first book deal. In her debut novel - cheekily and fittingly titled Meaty - Samantha Irby faces the challenges of adulthood in this collection of essays.

Irby tackles the gross truths of life with dignity spawned from the healthy perspective on life afforded her by her raucous sense of humor. The author doesn’t take life, or herself, too seriously — while still a serious student of her craft. Nothing is off limits from her orphan upbringing to her fecal catastrophes to the overeating meat sweats. While the book can be off-putting, it’s only because it is shockingly relatable, wholly visceral even if it doesn’t hit home. A burning honesty like full-strength comedic Listerine exists in her prose. Meaty doesn’t simply aim for laughs; it tells a story through vignettes, one that is often heart-wrenching with an innately wicked wit that doesn’t come along often.

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Thanks to Cinema East for having me out last night! So happy to support my favourite thing about summers in Austin. High-res

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 High-res

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 High-res

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

Ask the Sexpert

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

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!

Book Review: The Dark Road

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.

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