I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s Payback. No, it isn’t a book about some epic feminist revenge. It’s a little known book she published just after the financial crisis about debt. It’s not a book that teaches you how to manage your money, or explains how we got into the financial crisis. It’s a book about the nature of debt. How debt is woven into religion, into sex, into power, into our sense of virtue and right and wrong going back to ancient religions and through today.
Author: Lily Herman (page 1 of 22)
I’ve spent most of my adult life being a total snob about boutique, very local hotels. Even when I travel around the world, I ferret out the locally owned, totally unique option. And there’s a lot to love. The delightful touches of the Japanese soaking tub. The phenomenally chic hotel bar.
But, well, I guess I’m just getting old. Because lately I am super into no-frills hotels. The kind that have a pantry where you can grab some mac-n-cheese and a half bottle of wine when you check in—no need to call room service. The kind where you can grab yogurt and a banana in the lobby for free, not waste time at a sit-down breakfast. The kind that has COFFEE IN THE ROOM. Many boutique hotels make you call down for coffee. Why? It’s wasting all of our time.
One of my first mentors, Laura Hine, (who I mention because I think her daughter reads this!) once told me that women network and build relationships differently than men. She was working with Catalyst, which was studying this, and I don’t know what the end solutions they proposed or came up with were. But it always stuck in my head. Because I hated traditional business networking. Don’t we all?
It’s one of those things that sounds sexist to some people who believe success is succeeding in the world the way it’s set up for men. Why should women have to do things differently?
“Facts are important to you.”
A therapist recently said this to me, as if it were a unique and defining characteristic.
As I reflected on this, I realized how right this therapist was. It is very important to me to repeat data and facts when I argue a case. Things that exist beyond the realm of speculation and opinion.
Was it because I was in love with facts that I became a journalist? Or did journalism unlock the power of facts for me? Either way, I have clung to facts whenever I’ve become the subject of scandal, gossip or of unfair smears. Facts are my protective blanket.
It took 25 hours but I finally finished Moby Dick, my 35th book I’ve read this year. I took it on for a few reasons, not least of which I wanted at least one or two crazy long books under my belt this year, along with my goal of reading 60 books.
When I said I was going to read it several mama bears chimed in with stories of woe when they tried to slog through it. Indeed, it was almost funny how plodding this book was. I mean, no one goes to sea until chapter 30 or so. It’s more than 20 hours of narration before Moby Dick is even sighted.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
My little brother goes off to college later this month, and I was very curious when my mom told me that he’d received his roommate assignment for the year and his contact information. My brother Miles, who’s a little bit of an enigma to begin with, has no interest in reaching out, and this guy hasn’t reached out to him, either. Of course, considering that this is the internet age, I decided to google the kid since my brother was never going to. But despite everyone being Very Online™ nowadays and me being an A+ internet sleuth, I couldn’t find jack squat on him. He has social media profiles but no photos or posts. His phone number is connected to a Yellow Pages business.
I grew up the youngest of five kids. I remember once when my mom said in a moment of frustration with her own family that her focus was now on her new family—her kids. I also remember hearing my sister—who is six years older than me and married young—echo the same thing. This is my family now.
As the youngest it felt a little like everyone was moving on and leaving me, but also forming new families while I clung to the only one I had. Ironically, in my 20s I would move farther than any of them, but this sort of nostalgic tragedy of everyday life stuck with me. How could a family that was everything to you growing up be supplanted in the priority list because you met someone new and had kids?
“Jesus made me a feminist.” …Go on.
“A patriarchy is not God’s plan”…Okay, now really go on.
I just finished Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, a book that’s been on my to-read pile since I found it in a book store in the South last Christmas. I grew up in a Southern evangelical family, and have incredibly mixed and emotional feelings about it, which have only become more complex witnessing Southern evangelicals getting behind a president who seemingly betrays so many of their stated values.
A note from Sarah: Last week, we hosted an amazing and inspiring Preach in San Francisco where we featured female winemakers. They make up about 7% of the industry, don’t have the access to capital that the few lucky female startup founders have, and deal with brutal fixed costs. In the Bay Area, starting a wine label is on par with buying a boat in terms of things rich white dudes do out of ego, rarely expecting a return.
In other words, the hustle is REAL.
We are always, ahem, preaching that women have to support women with every dollar they can. And so I wanted to share this note from Erin Pooley of Little Francis Wines—her “how to” guide for supporting female winemakers.
We know there is a strong predictive link between people who commit domestic violence and those who commit mass shootings. We have all read that not only was Jeffrey Epstein a convicted pedophile and sex trafficker, but increasingly his finances are coming under question, with allegations of misappropriation of funds.
But last week, Bloomberg published a study that showed that CEOs who cheat on their partners are more likely to cheat at work as well.The study came about because of the Ashley Madison data breach back in 2015. Here’s what Bloomberg wrote: