Must-Read Links: Judy Blume Is Back, the Woman Behind Letterman, + More

The most compelling stories from our favorite sources.

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Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets

Susan Dominus’s New York Times profile on the original YA icon, in advance of her new novel for grown-ups, will make you love the woman who initiated us into adolescence with her secret-spilling books even more.


Merrill Markoe, the Unsung Hero of Late Night with David Letterman

Letterman’s final signoff this week marked the end of an era. Dangerous Minds offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on the show, by sitting down with the woman who helped him create it, comedy writer Merrill Markoe.


Topless Black Women Are Shutting Down San Francisco’s Busiest Streets During Rush Hour

Fusion’s account of the Blackout Collective’s traffic-stopping protest is a moving reminder that Black women are victims of police brutality too. #SayHerName


Why Feminism Needs Punk

DAME contrib Sarah Jaffe uses The Slits’ Viv Albertine’s memoir as a portal to the history of women in punk, and why today’s feminism is in desperate need of that zero-fucks attitude.


2 Women Moved to Write Stories Uncover a Surprisingly Personal One

Lizzie Valverde and Katy Olson were two students enrolled in the same Columbia writing class. That, they soon discovered, were also sisters, born to the same Florida mother who had placed them for adoption. This New York Times account of their reunion will blow your mind.


Girl Scouts Welcomes Transgender Girls

The Girl Scouts’ policy isn’t new, but this CNN piece about the ire it’s raised shows just how tired conservative groups’ bigotry is.


Orlando’s Valencia College Sued Over Forced Vaginal Exams

Female students were required to undergo transvaginal ultrasound procedures…in front of an entire classroom. Yes, you read that right.


Cannes Film Festival Won’t Admit Women Wearing Flat Shoes

“Flatgate”—it’s as ridiculous as you think it is.


The New Mad Max Film Is So Feminist My Scrotum Killed Itself

This hilarious piece by “A Hysterical Man” on Jezebel nails the absurdity of Men’s Rights Activists complaints about this “crotch-kicking misandrist fantasy,” and destroys them, one zinger at a time.


Mattress Protest at Columbia University Continues Into Graduation Event

Emma Sulkowicz didn’t put her mattress down, even as she crossed the stage during her commencement at Columbia. This New York Times piece details what went down (a snub from the Dean!) and what comes next (a museum spot for the mattress?).


Everybody Calm Down About Breastfeeding

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Emily Oster pulls back the nursing bra on breastfeeding’s “advantages,” methodically breaking down the unreliability of the studies they’ve been culled from.


America’s Oldest Park Ranger, 93, Is a Fierce Advocate for Young Women of Color Everywhere

One read through this Huffington Post piece by Cameron Keady and you’ll fall in love with nonagenarian Betty Reid Soskin too.


How to Have Fun When They Say You Can’t Conceive

Kristina Wright’s honest and heartening account of her path from miscarriages to motherhood, and all the sex that got her there, is an excellent read whether you want children or not. 


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