Virtual Oasis (For When There’s Nothing To Say)

I generally describe myself as an idealistic realist. This character trait allows me to do what I do for a living–lobby for social justice and civil rights–and not go completely crazy. But I have to admit that the last several months have really taken it out of me and I feel uncharacteristically despondent about the sate of the world. I have lots of thoughts on what is happening but I’m struggling to articulate them so I thought that I would use the existing Exponent Blog tradition of the Virtual Oasis to share some profound (and not-so-profound) links. 

  • Close the Boyfriend Loophole. Especially relevant for today, Samantha Bee’s prescient segment on the number one predictor of mass shootings, domestic violence. “Abused women are the canary in the coal mine”.
  • One of the things I am increasingly worried about it the growing tribalism of our society. I believe one of the reasons for this is that our society is still segregated. Nikole Hannah-Jones recently received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship for “chronicling the persistence of racial segregation in American society, particularly in education, and reshaping national conversations around education reform.” Her work is so important. Read it. Or listen to to this.
  • If you need some self-care after those heavy things, here is a worthwhile interview with Brene Brown that delves into her new book, “Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone”.
  • This seems overdue: Women behind speculum redesign say we need gynecological tools designed by people with vaginas. So fascinating!
  • On Minimization as a Patriarchal Reflex. I am still thinking about how this blog post relates to my relationships with my husband, sons and colleagues but it feels like part of the answer.
  • It’s painful to acknowledge that we have to be careful about male feminist allies. I wish this wasn’t true, but once again, we are seeing that men who claim to be allies are often wolves.  And in case you think this isn’t a problem in our Mormon circles–it is.
  • Here’s a place to escape: Inside the Joyfully Deranged Kitchen of Amy Sedaris.
  • This twitter thread is a must read. We have to stop idealizing the Civil War. We have to confront history as it actually is.
  • Have you all noticed the increase in “editorial” modest clothing? This article from the NY Times style magazine, Modest Dressing, as Virtue,  was not at all what I was expecting but was so so interesting. Every choice made by women, even our clothing choices, are fraught with history, politics and cultural meaning. It’s exhausting.
  • Oh, and a note about the picture I chose. I visited Chicago with some dear friends this weekend and had the opportunity of going to the Art Institute of Chicago which I can’t recommend highly enough. This picture by Georgia O’Keefe, which is on display at the Art Institute, literally took my breath and stopped me in my tracks . It feels like what I’m searching for–a light to make the darkness go away. I needed to see that.

So, what are y’all thinking and reading about these day? Post away in the comments!


Mraynes lives in downtown Denver with her husband and four children. She spends her time lobbying at the Colorado Legislature, managing all the things and preparing Gospel Doctrine lessons.

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3 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Mraynes, thanks for all these links. Excited to have some great reading to do on my phone when I am stuck somewhere!

  2. Wendy says:

    Yes, Mraynes I second what Caroline said. I’m grateful to you for bringing together resources to educate and inspire us, and to give us a bit of comic relief on topics that often feel overwhelming. I will be looking back to this post for weeks and months to come.

  3. Violadiva says:

    I love these! Thanks for sharing them here.

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