New Orleans Is in Trouble, Paris Welcomes Pho, 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 have a defense of pop culture feminism, New Orleans getting stilted by the feds again, an essay on the exhausting, necessary task of working against (and barely surviving) objectification, and political pho.

Ann Friedman explains in The Cut why “Pop Feminism Doesn’t Mean The End Of The Movement,” or why feminism from the sidelines isn’t any less valid.

The modern self-labeled feminist, Zeisler argues, is binge-watching Orange Is the New Black while courts continue to lock away women who were simply defending themselves against an abuser…Zeisler sees this as a failure, and she’s done a service by cataloging the disconnect between marketplace feminism and the decades-old movement for justice and equality. But as wary as I am of “empowering” undergarments and feel-good TV, it’s possible that they could be gateways to something more substantive. Maybe I’m a wide-eyed optimist, but I believe there is potential for this hypothetical woman to do more than watch Broad City in her feminist granny panties — if she realizes that realfeminist change requires more action than swiping a credit card or setting a DVR.

The new flood maps for New Orleans, which were supposed to help residents by lowering insurance costs, are actually “An Outline for Disaster,” according to The New York Times.

According to current projections, roughly 75 percent of New Orleans will be below sea level by 2050, up from 54 percent today. And all the while, canals dug by the oil industry are causing coastal wetlands — the crucial buffer against hurricane storm surges — to fall into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of a football field every hour. And yet, according to the new map, most of the city is safe. That is why a likely outcome of this new federal policy is that when — not if — New Orleans floods again, thousands of people will be worse off than they were during Hurricane Katrina: When their homes flood, they will not have flood insurance.

Being a woman can kinda take the life out of you, and Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti is here to speak on it in “My Life As A Sex Object” for The Guardian.

Of course, what feels like a matrilineal curse is not really ours. We don’t own it; the shame and disgust belong to the perpetrators. At least, that’s what the books say. But the frequency with which women in my family have been hurt or sexually assaulted starts to feel like a flashing message encoded in our DNA: Hurt. Me.

Besides being delicious and a top reason for living, pho has a rather interesting political history behind it as well, as Andrea Nguyen writes for Lucky Peach.

During the 1930s, many authors and poets in Hanoi resisted the French occupation with their pens. In 1934, one of the country’s distinguished poets, Tu Mo, published “Pho Duc Tung” (“An Ode to Pho”). A nationalistic satirist, Tu Mo wanted to convey Viet pride and eople’s desire for justice and self–determination. After espousing the unique deliciousness of pho, how it arouses the senses, and how its bone broth nourishes the rich and poor as well as artists, singers, and prostitutes, he concluded with these lines, which I have loosely translated: Don’t downgrade pho by labeling it a humble food, Even the city of Paris has to welcome pho.