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Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web

Friday 24th July 2015

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


Tavi Gevinson.

Photo: Twitter

Teen spirit: The power of Tavi Gevinson – by Jeremy Olds, Sunday Magazine

“Gevinson came to the world's attention after starting fashion blog Style Rookie in 2007, at a time when the industry was beginning to realise how important bloggers would become. Within two years she was sitting front-row at shows next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour and chatting backstage afterwards with designers including Marc Jacobs and Karl Largerfeld. Her trajectory was most remarkable because of her age: when she started blogging, she was just 11. Gevinson's story – the precocious prodigy with a wacky fashion sense who rubs shoulders with the industry elite – made her an instant media star. Her parents first learned about her blog when she asked their permission to be interviewed by the New York Times. She was 12.”

In Defence of Chrystal Chenery – by Alex Casey, The Spinoff

“Despite the now thousands of people telling Chrystal to suck it up and move on, it’s crucial that she doesn’t. She’s now one woman, abandoned by the same overlords that made her, facing a tsunami of blind sexist rage from women and men alike. In her statement, Jay Jay Harvey closed with “let’s just hope Chrystal can find peace”. Fuck that. Never find peace Chrystal, but know that many of us have found peace witnessing such a strong-willed New Zealand woman stand up for herself and women everywhere.”

The Nicki Minaj debate is bigger than Taylor Swift's ego – Nosheen Iqbal, The Guardian

In a single tweet on Tuesday, rapper Nicki Minaj kicked off a conversation about race, feminism, and the music industry that might have been ignored had it not been derailed by the planet’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift. “When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination,” wrote Minaj. Her point is one about the unspoken bias and sometimes out-and-out racism of an industry that has profited from the talent of black artists without giving them their dues. Or, at the very least, a trophy of an astronaut from MTV. Swift, possibly unable to imagine a debate bigger than her or her ego, took instant personal offence and tweeted, in po-faced hurt: “@NICKIMINAJ I’ve done nothing but love & support you. It’s unlike you to pit women against each other. Maybe one of the men took your slot.”

Chinatown decision up to Chinese – NZ Herald

“What has occurred so far in Dominion Rd has been of its own accord. What happens next should be up to the Chinese community. They reject a Chinatown on a couple of grounds aside from the lack of the usual markets, theatres and suchlike. According to the council study, Chinese shoppers, in presenting an almost totally united front against the idea, said it would “problematically mark Chinese people as different.””

‘Kids,’ Then and Now – by Ben Detrick, New York Times

“For cultural alarmists of the 1990s Clinton era, the film “Kids” represented a culmination of fears. Released 20 years ago this month, the film centers on a cabal of broken New York teenagers who spend 24 hours boozing, rolling blunts, fighting and indulging in unsafe, emotionally vacant sex. It is “Lord of the Flies” with skateboards, nitrous oxide and hip-hop. Unflinching in its quasi-vérité realism, “Kids” opens with Telly, a pale and rawboned Lothario, deflowering an adolescent girl and ends with a drug-fueled rape at a house party. There is no thunderous moral reckoning, only observational detachment.”

Fallen Angels – by Margaret Simons, The Monthly

“Eleven-year-old John* wants to be a doctor. Kevin, ten, wants to be a pilot. Francine, seven, hopes to be a teacher. Another child, Pedro, lives a little distance away in an actual house on a paved street. He wants to be a lawyer, to help himself and all these other children. All of them have Australian fathers. Some of the fathers paid to support their children, then stopped. Some never paid at all. Some don’t even know they have children. Kevin’s father was a paedophile in his mid 50s called Peter. He groomed his victim, Kevin’s mother Rochelle, from Australia using social media. He visited her for two nights of sex then cancelled his Yahoo email address, the only contact she had for him, when she told him she was pregnant. She was 14 years old.”

The motherhood trap – by Helen Lewis, New Statesman

“The “motherhood trap” exposes one of capitalism’s most uncomfortable secrets – the way it relies on so much unpaid labour, often from women, to sustain itself. This labour comes at the expense of career opportunities, and their lifetime earning power: the pay gap between men and women in their twenties is all but eradicated, but a “maternity gap” still exists, and women’s wages never recover from the time devoted to childbearing.”

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