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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Saturday 9th December 2017

Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.

 

Jia Tolentino discusses Ivana Trump's new book for The New Yorker this week.

Photo: AFP

The Trumpishness of Ivana, by Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker

“She implies that she’s a secret adviser to her ex-husband, and when she does insult our President it’s in the passive manner of a woman acknowledging an enemy at a luncheon: “I was too successful to be Mrs. Trump,” she writes. She rebounded with a divorced Italian man; later, she found herself on a boat, trying to choose her next boyfriend. “I sat between Roffredo, a slim, dark Italian, and Henrik, a huge Viking, and wondered, Which one shall I choose?” She picked Roffredo; seven years later, he died in a car crash. In 2006, at fifty-seven, Ivana began dating a twenty-nine-year-old named Rossano. “I’d rather be a babysitter than a nursemaid,” she writes. For one Halloween, she goes as Little Bo Peep, and Rossano as Donald.”

The Silence Breakers, by Stephanie Zacharek, Eliana Dockterman, and Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time

“This was the great unleashing that turned the #MeToo hashtag into a rallying cry. The phrase was first used more than a decade ago by social activist Tarana Burke as part of her work building solidarity among young survivors of harassment and assault. A friend of the actor Alyssa Milano sent her a screenshot of the phrase, and Milano, almost on a whim, tweeted it out on Oct. 15. "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet," she wrote, and then went to sleep. She woke up the next day to find that more than 30,000 people had used #MeToo. Milano burst into tears.”

Not All Queer Love Stories Are Called Universal, by Pier Dominguez, Buzzfeed

“In some ways, the prevailing critical focus on the film’s approach to sexuality has obscured an equally (if not more) important question: the role that gender — or, more specifically, masculinity — plays in the film. There is now a thematic pattern emerging that connects many (although not all) of the “prestige” queer films that break out of indie circuits and reach the top tier of mainstream recognition: They tell stories about queerness through the lens of masculine emotion. They are each different in many ways, not least in their attention to class or race, but they are all narratives about the difficulty or impossibility of love between men who just happen to desire other men.”

So You Married Your Flirty Boss, by Josephine Livingstone, New Republic

“The second is subtler: the strong implication that the happy ending of heterosexual marriage and procreation excuses transgression. We see this idea all the time. If a horrible and destructive affair destroys a first marriage, but the second marriage produces children and a longstanding relationship, the transgressors are forgiven because it was fairytale fated. This is a toxic concept that abets dishonesty and asserts the happiness of people who marry and reproduce over other people’s.”

The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her, by John Eligon, The New York Times

“While the talk of the town was about the housing development, the Sandbergs were talking about expanding their family. They wanted a daughter. And so they hired a lawyer, who found a woman looking to put up her newborn girl for adoption. The baby, whom they planned to name Rebecca, was born on April 19, 1962, and when she arrived at the Sandberg house days later, what they saw surprised them. She was black. Immediately, Mr. Sandberg said, he thought of the burning crosses and racist taunts, the upheaval in their community over the prospect of black people moving in. Interracial adoptions were far less common then. “I said at that point that I wasn’t going to go forward with it,” Mr. Sandberg, now 89, recalled.”

Weinstein’s Complicity Machine, by Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, Susan Dominus, The New York Times

“Mr. Weinstein’s final, failed round of manipulations shows how he operated for more than three decades: by trying to turn others into instruments or shields for his behavior, according to nearly 200 interviews, internal company records and previously undisclosed emails. Some aided his actions without realizing what he was doing. Many knew something or detected hints, though few understood the scale of his sexual misconduct. Almost everyone had incentives to look the other way or reasons to stay silent. Now, even as the tally of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds is still emerging, so is a debate about collective failure and the apportioning of blame.”



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