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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Saturday 14th October 2017

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


The allegations of sexual harassment made against Harvey Weinstein this week are explored in depth by Ronan Farrow for The New Yorker.

Photo: AFP

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories, by Ronan Farrow, The New Yorker

“Evans said that, after the incident, “I just put it in a part of my brain and closed the door.” She continued to blame herself for not fighting harder. “It was always my fault for not stopping him,” she said. “I had an eating problem for years. I was disgusted with myself. It’s funny, all these unrelated things I did to hurt myself because of this one thing.” Evans told friends some of what had happened, but felt largely unable to talk about it. “I ruined several really good relationships because of this. My schoolwork definitely suffered, and my roommates told me to go to a therapist because they thought I was going to kill myself.”’

Here's Why So Many Women Knew The Rumors About Harvey Weinstein, by Anne Helen Petersen, BuzzFeed

“Women didn’t take solace in the knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged harassment. But the gossip percolating around him became another form of knowledge, of currency in the economy of how women protect ourselves and others. And when the gossip is authenticated in the press, it just confirms the sad truth we’ve gradually come to understand, from years of gossip and personal experience: that all types of men, in all types of positions and political persuasions, develop and maintain power by exploiting women’s lack of it. Whether it’s Donald Trump or Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein or the myriad “devils in pussy hats,” the message remains: We trust men at our own peril.”

The Jury In the Comments Section, by Anna Oseran, Jezebel

“It seems counter-intuitive that the desire for justice and the desire to tell one’s story publicly are at such odds with one another when it comes to sexual assault cases. In my interview with Jordan, she repeatedly emphasized the isolation that she felt in the time between reporting her assault and Oliver’s eventual arrest. It was only when she shared her story on Facebook that she began to feel a bit less alone. “I think feeling useful is positive,” Jordan says. “For the first time, there was a certain sense of strength because women were able to stand together instead of being isolated—so many of us were rejected when we tried to talk about this in the past.”’

The Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend, by Joshuah Bearman, GQ

“Sylvia brought in a boom box so T could listen to records, including his own music. When T first heard those songs again, it felt like a discovery. “You know what?” he thought. “This is pretty good!” But then he had the strange sensation of hearing himself but not knowing the song. It sounded like someone else was using his voice. His mother also brought dozens of photos, which she taped to the wall: There was T in junior high, and Tone, all skinny and baby-faced, and Nero at 18, smiling in his graduation cap. And there was June, who T now knew was dead, although he didn’t yet remember what happened. There were pictures of old girlfriends, many of them, and hip-hop colleagues from the Boogie Down Bronx.”

Philip Pullman Returns to His Fantasy World, by Sophie Elmhirst, The New York Times

“Pullman likes to inhabit such contradictions: a man who doesn’t believe in God but does believe in magic. One of his favorite books is “The Secret Commonwealth,” by a 17th-century Scottish minister, Robert Kirk, that explores life beyond empirical reach. Fairies, witches, ghosts. Does he really believe in these things? “When I’m writing about them, yes,” he said. “It’s not naïve, but the sort of answer it requires is one of the Keats type. The negative-capability type. Both believing and not believing. Skeptical about everything but credulous about everything, too.” He gets the kind of kick out of unreality that could be dismissed as childlike if it hadn’t molded his imagination. “I like the irrational, I like ghosts,” he said. “They help me to write.”’

The First Step to Recovery Is Admitting You're a Racist, by Molly Osberg, Splinter

“Towards the end of the hour and 15 minutes, a white man who’s attending the meeting with his wife tells us about a Bret Stephens New York Times article he read recently on the subject of understanding. “We don’t disagree,” he says. “We argue…whites talk to whites, blacks talk to blacks.” His wife invokes Martin Luther King, Jr. in the spirit of understanding. The white board behind us says, “Now is the time—again!” and “We’re all in this together.” The meeting closes, like AA, with the Lord’s Prayer.”

Jessie Ware Is Still London’s Best Kept Secret, by Emma Carmichael, Spin

“At the Tenement Museum, a very patient tour guide asks the crowd if we’ve ever had the experience of going out to eat and finding that a professional chef’s recipe just didn’t quite compare to our mother’s home cooking. “I get that with chicken soup,” Ware volunteers. “I always prefer my mum’s chicken soup.” What do you think the ingredient is, asks the tour guide, and Ware thinks for a moment. “Ah,” she says, brightening. “She says it’s always, you get an old hen. You have to have an old hen’s carcass.” Our guide looks taken aback, but she goes with it. “Okay! I always think the ingredient might be… love. I don’t know?” “Oh yes, sorry,” Ware deadpans. “Yeah, that too.”’


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