Misunderstanding Feminism

We need some nuance here. We need to talk about the distinction between systemic, socialized misogyny and individuals who simply annoy us. That white man in his sixties who constantly talks at me—is he assuming that he’s entitled to my attention because I look female? Or is he a socially anxious extrovert who can’t shutContinue reading “Misunderstanding Feminism”

Bergman’s Female Characters

When I first viewed Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, I knew I had discovered one of my favorite filmmakers. Now, working my way through his oeuvre, I am deeply moved by the honesty of his female characters. The titular character in SUMMER WITH MONIKA (1953) is at first a high-spirited young woman (played by the sensuallyContinue reading “Bergman’s Female Characters”

Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You

You apologize for things you didn’t do. You feel a wave of self-doubt whenever anyone points out that maybe you just misunderstood or maybe you didn’t remember right. Maybe it’s true, you tell yourself. You’re always messing up anyway. You look at others and feel inferior—when you can muster the courage to lift your eyesContinue reading “Gaslight (1944): How Abusers Destroy You”

My Escape Plan

Leaving an abuser can be dangerous, particularly for women. In 2017, the U.N. reported that 50,000 women are killed each year by intimate partners or relatives worldwide. Four out of five victims of intimate partner violence are women. And in cases where an abuser murders others before killing themselves, 94% of those murder victims areContinue reading “My Escape Plan”

A Bangkok Wedding

PiLee and PiChai’s wedding that year was a sumptuous affair. From wealthy European investors to Thai pop stars, Bangkok’s high society drifted into the downtown hotel and gathered around the pools in dazzling gowns and tuxes. PiLee’s lacy designer gown was form-fitting and flattering. PiChai’s father, a lifelong advisor to King Bhumibol, toasted the coupleContinue reading “A Bangkok Wedding”

The Breakup

As my love of Thailand grew, so did the glaring evidence of the problems in my relationship. I often woke in the morning to find Top already gone, leaving me to go sightseeing with his brother Bop. When Top did bring me along, everyone told him in Thai how beautiful I was, and he glowed.Continue reading “The Breakup”

Grandpa

That autumn I was 20, my grandfather died. A few months earlier, he had been diagnosed with cancer. He avoided doctors for most of his life, and in the end, it cost all of us. A routine colonoscopy could have nipped the cancer in the bud. But by the time his pain forced him toContinue reading “Grandpa”