To be a woman takes guts

By Kelcie McKenney

This poem was first published in Tessellation, a poetry and photography zine with all proceeds benefiting Barrier Babes—a Kansas City nonprofit that strives to promote inclusive and unapologetic sexual health education. Read more about the project.

To be a woman takes guts
Guts that leave blood stains on silk dresses and middle school seats
Guts that spill when you share the name of your crush at a slumber party after too much mountain dew and nail polish remover
Guts that leave a cold stain down your thigh after one missed period

To be a woman takes guts
It’s standing up for yourself after the room has spent the whole meeting talking over you
It’s learning to walk back to your car with keys between your knuckles every night
Its wiping the mascara from under your eyes and telling the reflection you can be both soft and strong

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The new, sexy FDA-approved way of protecting against STIs

By Nicole Mitchell

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved latex undies brand Lorals’ Lorals for Protection underwear as STI protection devices. Lorals for Protection protects its users from STIs during oral sex while being worn similarly to underwear.

The team of designers at Loral spent three years creating the latex undies for safe (and pleasurable) sex, and spent the last two years adapting the product to make sure that it met FDA and ISO standards, according to its website.

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Here’s the Deal with Mansplaining and Why it Needs to Stop

By Sophie Oswald
Illustrations by Matthew Vargas

“Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t,” Rebecca Solnit remarked in her essay Men Explain Things to Me. While Solnit didn’t specifically use the word “mansplain” in her popular essay, she was one of the first to discuss this phenomenon. Conversations surrounding her essay shortly resulted in the term appearing in a comment section online.

Most women, maybe even all women, have been there. Men have been explaining things in patronizing ways for centuries. 

Generally, mansplaining involves a conversation between a man and a woman, but sometimes it can happen between two men or with a man and a non-binary person.

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Words and Whiskey Podcast Goes Full-on Romance this Valentine’s Day

By Kelcie McKenney

Buckle up romance readers, we’ve got a Valentine’s Day treat for you.

Words and Whiskey, an intoxicating book club podcast, covers books that are worth reading and drinks that are worth drinking. Hosts Krossland Shaw and PJ Heller have been working their way through Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn as of late, but decided to spice things up with an episode covering the romance genre.

“That’s right, this week we’re tackling the ROMANCE Genre, and attacking it with as much panache as possible. Kross is joined by an incredible group of guests who really want to get your gears turning, and help you understand why the Romance Genre is as big and as important as it is.”

Those guests include a host of hard-core romance readers (including Catcall Editor-in-Chief Kelcie McKenney—hi!) who cover everything from soft and sweet YA and historical romance to, *cough*, well, monster fucking. So strap in and strip down for this two-parter romance ride (with Part 2 dropping later today!).

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Women Are Making Their Place in the Streaming Community

By Nicole Mitchell
Illustration by Katelyn Betz

It’s no secret that the online streaming platform Twitch is made up of mostly men. Featuring a variety of categories including sports, food & drink, travel, gaming, and more, Twitch is a space where everyday people can livestream their lives online for the whole world to see. One of the most popular livestreams is in the gaming category, with streamers like Ninja, Sykkuno, and Trick2g being some of the most well-known Twitch creators.

Streaming or not, the gaming industry has always been a harsh place for women—from inappropriate comments to a complete distrust in their gaming capabilities. In fact, 44% of women in gaming have experienced gender discrimination in the last year, according to a report from esports giant Evil Geniuses. “As someone with an identifiably female voice and name, [harassment] is one of the reasons I refrain from playing online games,” a woman shared in the report. This idea that women are less-than has, unsurprisingly, seeped into the gaming community of Twitch. In fact, only 35% of streamers on the platform consist of women, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

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