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!).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Here’s the Truth About Being a Drag Queen in the Midwest

By Sophie Oswald

With our society telling everyone how to look, it’s always great to see people go against the grain. You should feel free to explore all aspects of your being without having to fit the mold that was created to make us all… let’s be real here… boring af! Those who flash a middle finger at set expectations deserve a round of applause. Here’s the thing; you’re allowed to stand out. And drag is one sure way to do that. 

Drag is a style of entertainment where performers dress up in flashy clothing and exaggerated makeup as a way of self-expression and an art. Drag doesn’t revolve around the gender or sexuality of the performer, but rather gives them a space to explore different roles.

Folks of any gender can be drag queens, but typical performers are men who get dolled up in a way that overemphasizes the feminine form. Women who perform drag are often referred to as drag kings because they’re dressing up in a way that overemphasizes masculinity. 

Continue reading

Teaching During the Pandemic is Rife with Struggles—for Teachers and Students Alike.

By Erin Gabriel
Illustrations by Kelcie McKenney

CW: Trauma and abuse

“A good teacher is like a candle, that consumes itself to light the way for others.” 

– Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

This quote is often haphazardly thrown around in the teaching profession by well-intentioned people trying to highlight how essential the role of a teacher is. However, I cannot think of any other profession, other than healthcare workers—who are paid significantly better than teachers—where you are expected to “consume” yourself to be considered great or even just good at your job. 

This is my fourth year teaching, and I am just about to turn 26. As someone young and still relatively new to the profession, I’m not surprised I ended up here. I always had a firm idea that I’d be in a helping field—plus it didn’t hurt that all the personality and career tests I took listed teaching as a top profession for me. I excelled in school (besides math which literally made me puke), and enjoyed the organization of it all, the comfort of routine, and the opportunity education afforded me. Plus, I’ve always been an avid reader, so I felt that made me uniquely suited to teach English. Overall, most teachers get into teaching for one of two reasons: They love the idea of teaching the content or they love the idea of building relationships with students. I fit into the latter category. 

Continue reading

Women Are Burnt Out—What Can We Do About It?

By Nicole Mitchell

I’m tired. In fact, I’ve been tired for years, and I’m not alone. When I ask my friends how they’re doing, most of them say they’re exhausted. How could we not be? We’re 20-somethings who work multiple jobs, lack a set sleep schedule, are in school, and more.

While fatigue can be a sign of physical illnesses, including thyroid issues or anemia, it could also be a sign of burnout. According to CNBC, 53% of women in the U.S. are burnt out and experiencing fatigue, brain fog, and chronic stress, since the pandemic hit.

One of the root causes of burnout is lack of fairness—something women are far too familiar with. Mothers typically take over most of the childcare and housework, working women have to work harder for their voices to be heard in the workplace, and high school girls are being discriminated against by their school’s handbook policies, to name a few. Being a woman is unfair in itself.

Continue reading