I recently discovered the work of today’s contributor, Mona Chabli, in the most roundabout manner. I won't bore you with the details, but it began with a tweet from a random stranger and ended with a New York Times piece Mona wrote about the age gap between men and women in relationships. In that article, Mona discusses the fact that men have an unfair advantage when it comes to dating, because, statistically speaking, so many of them date younger women, making it harder for older women to find a partner. It's a topic I've spent a lot of time thinking about during my dating life and I was sooo excited that someone was finally writing about it!! Of course, I instantly began scouring the internet for more of her writing.
I quickly discovered that Mona's official title is data editor at the Guardian (US), but that doesn’t even begin to describe the awesomeness of her work! Mona, who is an admitted numbers geek, is able to take any piece of data, no matter how large or small, and turn it into a witty, thought-provoking infographic. Not only is she writing and illustrating her articles herself, but the pieces are very often about the struggles women have with their bodies, their culture, and themselves. It’s the kind of work that will make you think, Yes! and I know! and Why isn’t anyone else talking about this??
Along with her writing duties, Mona is also the co-creator of an excellent, Emmy-nominated video series titled Vagina Dispatches, which seeks to educate women on all things vagina. You should definitely check out the episode on the vulva. Trust me. You don't know as much about the vulva as you might think you do!
You can see more of Mona's work on her website, on the Guardian, and on Instagram. Check out some of her favorite things below. Thanks, Mona!
I wouldn’t necessarily call these recommendations. They’re just a list of the things that are getting into my eyes and ears right now.
I’m typing this while I listen to Francis and the Lights. The music is unpredictable, so when you’re moved, you’re not sure where you’ll be moved to next. It reminds me of the act of trying in a relationship—it requires a willingness to be vulnerable that gets harder and harder as you get older. I listened to the latest episode of Heavyweight this morning too. It’s such a brilliant podcast.
Yesterday, I finished A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch. It’s the first book I’ve read from cover to cover in a very long time. I’m ashamed to admit that (despite knowing I’m not the only one who struggles to read at the end of a long day of reading) but I also think it’s relevant. This book was easy to finish because the plot kept on edging along enthrallingly. I also liked the fact that the protagonist was every bit as shitty of a human being as the rest of the characters—for some reason I found that comforting.
I’m really late to see Top Boy (the show aired years ago in Britain but Netflix has just agreed to do a new series, so they’ve put the old episodes online). I think what I liked most is that I’ve felt really disconnected from London lately and hearing familiar accents, recognizing buildings and cultural subtext has made me feel less alienated from a city I once loved so much.