The Sunday Post for March 6, 2016

Born a slave, Emma Ray was the saint of Seattle’s slums

A great history, by Lorraine McConaghy, of an early Seattle activist, who used her faith as a driver to help people.

Emma was very pretty, describing herself as somewhat vain; she wore false hair to frame her face, loved fancy clothes, played cards, went to dances, and wrote of sharing a “bucket of beer” with a friend in Seattle, as the two women commiserated about their errant husbands. But she was deeply dissatisfied with her life, her marriage and herself. She began to attend the African Methodist Episcopal Church and found friendship there, though she didn’t dare attend evening services because she “was afraid to leave Mr. Ray for fear he would go off to the saloon.”
Watching And Reading About White People Having Sex Is My Escape

Earlier this week, Paul looked at Romance Novel: the Movie. For a different look on the genre, Esther Wang, takes a clear-eyed, and very personal, look at why romance and porn can offer a break from the racial politics and aggressions, micro and macro, that an Asian-American woman sees ever day.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that A Knight in Shining Armor was like a drug to me. Other books gave me a contact high, but this cheesy, over-the-top romance about time travel and a hunky British medieval earl and the hapless American woman who loves him and solves the mystery of who is trying to kill him and ends up not only saving his life but rescuing his reputation for posterity (I know, I know) shot through my young veins and straight to the pleasure center of my brain. I swear my body must have hummed through the entire book.
The writer who made me love comics taught me to hate them

Susana Polo looks at her relationship with Batman, and Frank Miller. What's it like for a girl to read those comics?

I realize that I have never read a Frank Miller book with an original female character who didn't fall into two categories: sex worker — or victim of a brutal beating or murder. Even the first female Robin gets sliced up by a bad guy in the climax of The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Come to think of it, Miller also seems to enjoy characterizing his extra-creepy male villains as having ambiguous sexuality or gender. You're not threatening, it seems, until you're sexually threatening to a straight guy.
She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’

A. Hope Jahren illustrates an email she received from a former student with the sad reality that women in the sciences, especially graduate studies, have to put up with innapropriate abusers again and again.

Brilliant men make for good copy, even when they fail at their jobs. Recently, reports of sexual harassment and assault within science departments at the University of California, Berkeley, Caltech and the University of Chicago have been in the news. Academia will have to respond. A great chorus of formal condemnation shall be lifted up, and my male colleagues will sputter with gall, appalled by the actions of bad apples so rare they have been encountered by every single woman I know.