After Hurricane Katrina, Home Gardeners Saved New Orleans’ Iconic Squash

“WE NORMALLY DON’T HAVE A spring crop,” says Paul D’Anna, a home gardener in Metairie, Louisiana. But this year—maybe it’s the weather or, though he’s loathe to talk himself up, maybe it’s his green thumb—he got lucky: His backyard vines have already produced around 70 fruits. Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo:  David Monniaux, CC BY-SA…

Solved: The 300-Year-Old Mystery of Barbados’s Pigs

RICHARD LIGON’S 17TH-CENTURY MAP OF Barbados shows an island surrounded by sea monsters. But the most mysterious inhabitants of Richard Ligon’s Barbados are also the most banal: five curly tailed pigs. Half of them are hairy and feral; the other half are smooth. Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo: Public Domain.

Can Nigerian Drumming Teach You to Pick the Perfect Watermelon?

FOR OGBODO NKIRUKA, THE SLAP of a hand hitting a watermelon is a welcome melody. A fruit vendor who’s been selling watermelons from a roadside stand in the Nigerian city of Enugu for 15 years, she identifies the ripeness of her wares by ear. Each melon has its own music, a deep, hollow thump—ba ba, ba,…

Interviewed for Playboy article on “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Check out Adam Howard’s great piece on the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise over at Playboy It’s a great examination of the contradictory appeal of this very contradictory franchise—featuring some commentary from yours truly: I do think it’s an interesting franchise because it’s premised on this whole idea of the forbidden,” Reina Gattuso, a columnist for Feministing who writes about gender,…

How Psychology Stigmatized Female Orgasm (and How We Got It Back)

Read the full article at Talkspace. For most of us, orgasms are, simply, awesome. Yet from the origins of modern psychology in the late nineteenth century, a combination of cultural stereotypes, pseudoscience, and plain old misogyny created an enduring notion that women’s orgasms were a problem to be solved, rather than a normal part of sexual…

How Mental Health Activists Are Fighting Racism

Find the original article on Talkspace. During the Civil Rights Movement, white psychologists invented a so-called mental illness. Dubbing it “protest psychosis,” these psychologists used the racially-motivated “syndrome” to explain away the reasonable rage of black Americans demanding an end to segregation. Sixty years later, racial disparities in the mental health care system remain, including lack of…

Broad City’s Amorphous Partiality

Read the original article at The Advocate. Adrienne Rich was not writing in an age when women could video chat each other while riding their male partners cowgirl-style. But when she wrote about existence as a spectrum of decentralized pleasure—about the hands and the clit and the cunt, about the wrists and the toes rather…