The Walter White of Wichita, Best Coast Talks Sexism, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today we’ve get a letter from Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino about her lifelong experiences with sexism, a profile of the “Walter White of Wichita,” an in-depth look at the woman who created Thinx, a company that makes period panties for modern women, and a story that imagines the future of football.

“The Walter White of Wichita” is an intriguing title, but this lengthy article from Fusion lives up to the promise of its name.

A science prodigy from a young age, Marquardt grew up in a family that fed his curiosities about the physical world. His father, he says, was fascinated by metallurgy — a product of the elder Marquardt’s business, working for a firm that made steel appliances for other manufacturers. “This was just sort of always around me,” he said. “I thought this was utterly fascinating.” It was 1964 when the curious teen first hooked up with a supplier to make illegal narcotics in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a sleepy Milwaukee suburb. “This was in the basement of my parents’ house,” he said. “A lot of chemistry was going on there.”

Over at New York Magazine’s The Cut, Noreen Malone has a long, great profile of Miki Agrawal, a “social entrepreneur” and CEO and co-founder of Thinx, a company that makes, it says, “period panties for modern women.” It’s extremely enlightening.

“I only started relating to being a feminist, literally, right when I started my company,” Agrawal told me. “Every time I thought about the word feminist, I thought about an angry, ranty … girl. When you hear those spoken-word poets and feminists, who are just like” — she made a high-pitched version of the Charlie Brown grown-up wah wah white-noise sound — “I just couldn’t relate to that. I was always on the ‘women are equal’ front and into empowerment and laughter and inspiration,” she continued.

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino writes over at Lenny on sexism at concerts, in concert reviews, at live shows, and in every other facet of her life.

I recently read a review that mostly lauded a Best Coast show — it specified how great the band sounded and how “sexy” I looked — but it bemoaned my lack of smiling. This article has, and continues to, deeply trouble me. This reviewer’s gendered critique of my presence onstage revealed how he thought a woman who he saw as “sexy” should behave. It also showed how ideas about the sexualization of women are reinforced. Many people did not see the underlying sexism of the review. In fact, in the social media referencing the article, countless people attacked me with comments like “Get over it! He complimented you! Quit being a whiny bitch!”

Finally, Super Bowl 50 is happening this weekend, so here’s a story over at Wired that imagines what Super Bowl 100 will be like, technological advances and all.

And so the VR headsets of 2016 gave way to the VR glasses of ’25, which led to VR contact lenses by the mid ’30s, which yielded to the implants of today, just as Ken Perlin predicted. Perlin, professor of computer science at New York University and the leader in multiperson immersive and mixed-reality environments, said before Super Bowl 50, “We don’t call it virtual reality—we call it future reality. Our language always evolves with technology. So in 1995, if someone was on a computer and you asked them what they were doing, they’d say ‘surfing the web.’ Now they say ‘reading.’ ” In this same way, communication devices for every player in 2066 have made the huddle unnecessary, turning what we once called the no-huddle offense into Super Bowl 100’s just plain “offense.”