The Girl Gang Missives Vol. 12


GGMBy Nicole BelangerThe Girl Gang Missives is a weekly report on the badass things that women are making/creating/building/writing.

[dropcap background="no" color="#333333"]T[/dropcap]his week, the women are reflecting on Islamic identity, distributing short films and changing the world with radical comic books.[wc_divider style="solid" line="double" margin_top="5" margin_bottom="5"]

  1. On cats, companionship and big life changes: Yesterday in The Cut, really awesome writer (technical term) Alana Massey wrote a really touching piece about her relationship with her cat, reflecting on the life stages and experiences that they have moved through -- together.  [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  2. Apparently there is such a thing as an "accidental half-marathon": While the rest of us were trying to muster up the energy to go to that relaxation yoga class, 12 year-old New Yorker LeeAdianez Rodriguez accidentally ran a half-marathon. She had originally signed up for the 5km race, but joined the wrong group and thought to herself "hey, might as well finish the race!" Keep running, girl! [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  3. Could it be? Mess-free period sex?! That's what Lauren Schulte, CEO & Founder of The Flex Company, is hoping to provide the bleeding masses with her new product, the FLEX. Read about her journey to becoming obsessed with periods and sex here.   [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  4. This week in "give women your money": If you've got some spare cash and are looking to back women doing innovative work, might I suggest backing the distribution of this short film (from filmmaker Keyera Williams) chronicling the experiences of Black girls living with mental illness? Or perhaps you'd like to fund the North American expansion of a radically-different mobility aid? If books are your thing, maybe you'd like to support "Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls". [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  5. Congrats to BuzzFeed's Stacy-Marie Ishmael -- a Knight Journalism Fellow! One of my inspirations, both for this newsletter and in life, received a big honor this week. Stacy-Marie Ishmael, who runs #teamnewsapp at BuzzFeed, was selected as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow! Congrats, SMI! [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  6. 111 Female-hosted podcasts: This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The awesome thing about this list is that it is sectioned off by category, making it easy for you to find your new obsession. Thanks for the list, WNYC! [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  7. Radical women changing the world with comic books: Prior to reading this piece, I had no idea about the rich history of women using comic books to affect profound social change.

Big ups to Betsy Gomez, Editorial Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (yep, that's a thing!), for all the work she is doing to produce She Changed Comics, "a book profiling over 60 women whose work changed the landscape of free expression, from the turn of the 20th century to those still shaping the future of comics." [divider type="white" spacing="10"]

  1. Exercise your empathy: ...with writing from Esmé Weijun Wang and Your Fat Friend. The first piece, by Esmé is all about chronic illness, ambition, and self-worth in capitalist society that values productivity a little too highly. The second piece is an education on the many problems with the phrase "I feel fat." [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  2. Identity, Islam & googly eyes: This week in Rookie, artist Razan Elbaba published a photography collection, Covered, which she hopes will shed light on conversations about identity relating to women's experiences wearing hijab: "I often photograph women in hijab, or Islamic headdress, to bring them into the spotlight," she explains. "[I want] these women to receive the opportunity to effectively symbolize themselves as who they truly are: peaceful individuals, who are aiming to spark a positive change in the world." [divider type="white" spacing="10"]
  3. Something giggle-worthy for the road: Please meet Evelyn From the Internets, your new favorite YouTuber.[divider type="thin" spacing="10"]

Now, over to you…

Want your work, or the work of a friend shouted out in next week’s #GirlGangMissives? Email Nicole at!

NicoleBelangerPhotoNicole Belanger is the founder of Fourth Hour, a collection of original content that celebrates and supports everyday women in their daily lives. She is the author of the ebook On Resilience, the creator of the Conversations With Her interview series and the send-er of the Girl Gang Missives every Friday morning.