The only adults I know who write—and in a way, read—poetry are poets. It kind of narrows down to the people where that is actually their style of writing and their medium. When you’re a teenager, it’s easier to dabble more. … Also, in a way, you’re protected. When I think about the poetry I wrote in high school, I felt protected because I felt like I was taking on a tone and an understood amount of drama as opposed to when I was just trying to write a personal essay, and it was straightforward. To use certain writing devices that I had used in poetry seemed melodramatic.

 Tavi Gevinson, in an interview with Ruth Graham for Poetry

Judith Butler addresses TERFs and the use of theory against transgender people

This is a really good (and actually understandable) interview with Judith Butler in which she clarifies her positions on trans people undergoing transformation and surgery (”brave” and “there is nothing more important than for transgender people to ) the use of social construction theory against trans people (”a false, misleading, and oppressive use of the theory”) and TERFS (she rejects them, even calling their actions against trans lives a “kind of feminist tyranny.”) The interview ends with this perspective on her own work:

Gender Trouble was written about 24 years ago, and at that time I did not think well enough about trans issues. Some trans people thought that in claiming that gender is performative that I was saying that it is all a fiction, and that a person’s felt sense of gender was therefore “unreal.” That was never my intention. I sought to expand our sense of what gender realities could be. But I think I needed to pay more attention to what people feel, how the primary experience of the body is registered, and the quite urgent and legitimate demand to have those aspects of sex recognized and supported. I did not mean to argue that gender is fluid and changeable (mine certainly is not). I only meant to say that we should all have greater freedoms to define and pursue our lives without pathologization, de-realization, harassment, threats of violence, violence, and criminalization. I join in the struggle to realize such a world.

I can recommend reading the interview in full. (via @hagalope)

Judith Butler addresses TERFs and the use of theory against transgender people

Floyd Mayweather Is A Domestic Abuser And Katie Couric Smiles

Floyd Mayweather is an arguably great boxer who is about to be part of a ludicrously lucrative brawl. He is also a terrible person and known domestic abuser. He was recently interviewed by Katie Couric, who asked a half-hearted question about the accusations against him, she sits patiently by as he smears at least one of his victims. Deadspin published a comprehensive article about that which ends: 

Couric’s failure to question Mayweather is worse. Mayweather’s track record of violence is both significantly longer and better documented than that of Rice, and Mayweather was allowed to smear his victim to a national audience without any cross-examination as Couric’s smiles, nods, and compliments—even a hug—tacitly communicated to a national audience that Mayweather was at worst redeemed, and quite possibly the real victim.
Maybe that’s what it takes to land an interview with Mayweather these days. 

When Rachel Nichols pressed Mayweather on his history of domestic violence, he was so flustered that hewalked out of the interview and cancelled all his remaining press appearances. No one was going to risk that happening before the Biggest Event in Boxing History™. It was inevitable that Mayweather was going to find someone to play the sympathetic ear, but it shouldn’t have been someone like Couric, a ground-breaking journalist who damn well knows better.

(Emphasis mine.)

Maybe someone like Katie Couric shouldn’t interview him then. Maybe people shouldn’t spend hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to watch him punch and get punched.  It’s not a great event if no one watches. Mayweather told Couric “Hopefully the world watches.” Let’s crush that hope.

Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/178478475/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

Jesse Thorn’s interview with Mavis Staples on Bullseye is a treat.

In a stunning conversation, Staples talks about her life and work, from growing up singing gospel in churches with her family as the Staple Singers, traveling through the Jim Crow South, meeting Martin Luther King and getting involved in the movement, finding secular success (but always “inspirational,” being church people) and working with Prince. 

Women are supposed to be the ones on the balcony, not the ones down below professing their love. We don’t think the female romantic is romantic. We think she is a predator. We think she is desperate, unstable—Fatal Attraction, the cougar, the spinster, the troublemaker. But deep emotion in this age is a radical act.

Masha Tupitsyn in this incredible Bitch interview on Love Dog (via marginalutilite)

I already had a quote from the interview on my blog last summer. I can still recommend it. Masha Tupitsyn’s work is great.