Welcome to my December Treasure Box! Because it’s the season for giving, this is the biggest yet, with lots of feminism, science, Asian awesomeness, and more!
♦ Starting things off with a bang, here’s a piece for BBC’s 100 Women 2016 on the female orgasm and how sexism (who’da thunk it?) has inhibited scientific understanding of female sexuality.
♦ Continuing the theme of science and misunderstood sexuality, here’s an interesting article about what asexual people fantasize about.
♦ And for a more serious one, an article about the Gullah Geechee people, descendants of West African slaves who are now in danger of having their land taken from them.
♦ For some heart for the holidays, here’s a sweet story called “My Father, the YouTube Star,” by a second generation immigrant who stumbled upon his parents’ Chinese cooking channel.
♦ There’s been a lot of discussion this year about whitewashing and yellowface and lack of representation for Asian actors, so here’s a story about Sessue Hayakawa, a Japanese actor who was a major silent film star and one of the earliest Hollywood sex symbols.
♦ Atlas Obscura is quickly becoming a regular provider of goodies. Here’s a great article that my Biogeography professor sent me, about the disastrous Victorian fad of “acclimazation societies” with the imperialist goal of spreading species around the world.
♦ One of the worst things this past month has been seeing the (media-facilitated) rise and normalization of the once-fringe alt-right, so here’s a fun palate cleanser: a Breitbart parody by national treasure Chuck Tingle called, no shit, Buttbart.
♦ And because fighting the patriarchy predates the nightmare year that was 2016, here’s a badass article about the sukeban, Japanese girl gangs during the 70s who used DIY fashion to carve their own identity of rebel cool.
♦ Then there’s the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a novelty store in Los Angeles for time travelers–stock up on Pangaea posters and Mammoth Chunks, and best of all, it’s actually a nonprofit with all proceeds going to creative writing education for local youth!
♦ I wanted some goodies that were holiday-themed cuz I’m kitsch like that, so here’s a sweet “Winter Wonderland” cover by Glass Animals.
And here’s a video of Final Five gymnast Laurie Hernandez dancing to “The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet!
♦ More Asianness, because I can. I saw a photo on Tumblr of a Jewish refugee girl with Chinese playmates in Shanghai, and after some research (Google) I was astonished to learn that Shanghai was one of the only places in the world that accepted Jewish refugees during World War II. More on this incredible forgotten history can be found here.
♦ This fantastic piece for the New Yorker is by Yiyun Li, who might be overseeing my thesis!
♦ And because Rogue One introducing Western audiences to the awesome Donnie Yen (and Jiang Wen!) was one of the bright spots in this awful year, here’s an awesome feature on Bow Sim Mark, Yen’s mother who happens to be a Tai Chi grandmaster!
♦ Tragically, we lost another Star Wars legend (and her mother) in the inimitable Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (all my love for Billie Lourd). Because Teen Vogue has been kicking so much ass, here’s a homage to Fisher’s most badass feminist moments.
♦ Finally, my biggest wish and most Serious Issue as we leave this godawful year behind is to stay strong and stay fighting in 2017, when the horrors will really begin unless we’re vigilant. So here’s a double whammy of editorials to close out this Box and this year, by two whammies among whammies. One is by the always-amazing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, called “Now is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About.” The second is by Teen Vogue, which has been justly showered with praise and which I intend to subscribe to for 2017, and it’s called “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America.” It’s a doozy.
And that’s a wrap! See you next year.