"The struggles of Friday Night Lights’ young women were most often seen through the eyes of Tami Taylor. Week after week, Coach Taylor endeavored to be a “molder of men.” But Coach Taylor’s role wasn’t unique. Beside him, Tami was a molder of women. Often laboring in her husband’s shadow in their football-mad town, she strove to help mend the broken sexual and emotional lives of Dillon’s young women. And in order to steer those women toward healthy choices, she had to steer herself away from echoing the widespread misogynist assumptions of her community. Tami’s status as feminist icon for viewers (New York’s NARAL chapter made “don’t mess with Tami” T-shirts) doesn’t come from an explicitly political or ideological stance she took—it would be strange to hear her call herself feminist or use words like “misogyny” or even “sexism.” Instead, Tami’s status comes from her own earned understanding that to help women, you cannot parrot degrading patriarchal language or assumptions. Whether she was comforting Lyla, who found herself in the position of school slut; navigating her daughter’s burgeoning sexuality (which Tami desperately wanted to delay); or, ultimately, in the show’s most explicitly feminist plot arc, sitting down to counsel a young woman seeking an abortion, Tami consistently chose empathy over being judgmental."
Smart Pop Books — “It’s Different for Girls”
My essay from “A Friday Night Lights Companion” is available for one week only at Smartpop books.
"The Innocents’ very first tableau — the image that Segal says inspired the project — exemplifies how effective her concept is. Wharton’s iconic opening scene has the protagonist Newland Archer training his opera glasses on Countess Olenska, the woman who will upend his life — sitting in the family box besides his future bride, May Welland. Segal deftly shifts this moment from the concert hall to the synagogue gallery, during the holiest, most somber night of the year, Kol Nidre. Our innocent hero, Adam, looks up from his davening to scan the women’s balcony and gaze with “certainty” upon his fiancée Rachel; beyond Rachel, he sees Ellie, Rachel’s American cousin, the family shonde, “exposing skin from clavicle to navel.” He is repelled yet intrigued; we are simply the latter. The certainty has ended for Adam; for the reader, the pleasure of a good story is beginning."
Los Angeles Review of Books - Looking Askance At The Goyim: Francesca Segal’s “The Innocents”
Very proud of this review in LARB!
I got hitched three years ago to this amazing guy.
That summer, I wrote about balancing my ideals with the decision to marry:
"Daisy may not be the technical villain of Gatsby (Tom, a proto-bro, gets that honor) but she still sucks, and if it weren’t for her a couple key players in the book would be alive at the end of it. In her honor, here are the top 10 detestable characters of literature—a brief rundown of bad guys who aren’t the bad guys."
Daisy, You’re a Drip, Dear: Detestable Literary Characters Who Are Not Technically Villains | The Hairpin
Occasionally someone writes something I really wish I’d written. In this case Ester Bloom, dear friend of dear friends, has crafted a brilliant lit-list that hits on many of my faves.