Five Star's 302nd Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Richard Flanagan

This week's Five Star roundup is brought to you by the arbitrariness of gendering objects and qualities, the fact that serious trolling has serious consequences, rape and shame, living in a no-win dichotomy, the silencing attacks against women online, life with anxiety, and Richard Flanagan:

by Mosman Library (Flickr) [ CC-BY-2.0 ],  via Wikimedia Commons

by Mosman Library (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

He believed books had an aura that protected him, that without one beside him he would die. He happily slept without women. He never slept without a book.
— Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North: A Novel

Happy Wednesday!

"Everything For Everybody: Doing Away With Gender In Design" by Maxwell Tielman at Design*Sponge:

I don’t want to live in a world where a four-year-old boy feels as if he needs to change who he is, because somebody has deemed his so-called “feminine” toys unsuitable. I don’t want to live in a world where women have to feel like they are somehow committing a disservice to their gender by wearing pink.

"Trouble At the Koolaid Point" by Kathy Sierra at Serious Pony:

I do think we need more options for online spaces, and I hope one of those spaces allows the kind of public conversations and learning we had on Twitter but where women — or anyone — does not feel an undercurrent of fear watching her follower count increase. Where there’s no such thing as The Koolaid Point. And I also know the worst possible approach would be more aggressive banning, or restricting speech (especially not that), or restricting anonymity. I don’t think Twitter needs to (or even can, at this point) do anything at all. I think we need to do something.

"The Girl Is Dead But She Still Speaks" at Dead Girl, Inc.:

Imagine you are told you have a body. You are a teen, responsible for its care and told that it is yours, and then told, in a thousand other ways, that it is not.

"No Apology" by Mehreen Kasana at Mehreen Kasana:

Sam Harris may not have told you but we Muslims need our homeostasis at a healthy level. While our bodies regulate our internal fanatic temperatures to remain stable, sometimes it gets a little too chilly so we pull out those diabolical scarves and wrap them around our diabolical necks and diabolically say, “Holy shit. It is cold today, Abdullah.” To which Abdullah replies, “Wallah. My ass is freezing.”

"Keeping the Lights On" by Tim Kadlec at

I have had private conversations with people who point to situations like this and say this is why they don’t put themselves out there. Fear of this happening to them is why they don’t write more, or give more speak at conferences.
We’re losing their voices. We’re turning off their lights.

"Anxiety" by Thom Hoffman at Daddy, Medium-Well:

Awakening is always a questionable proposition, and often feels the unfavorable choice. On my anxious days, I fall upwards and out of sleep, the adrenal surge something electric — like the existential equivalent of touching a bare wire while standing ankle-deep in water.

Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five StarSubmit it by Tuesday at midnight CST to nominate it for inclusion in the next roundup.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: