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7 Essays To Read: Getting Ghosted, No Sex 'Til Marriage, And Sexist Books

This week, Bim Adewunmi interviewed a couple that is abstaining from sex until marriage. Read that and other essays from Literary Hub, Catapult, and more.

Posted on November 20, 2015, at 7:35 p.m. ET

1. "The Five Stages of Ghosting Grief" — The New York Times / Via

Getting ghosted hurts, and it can send you down a spiral of self-doubt. In an all too relatable piece for The New York Times, Rachel Fields documents the five painful stages of getting ghosted. "I put my phone facedown with the ringer off. Now I couldn’t see if he texted, and I could start living my life. I was single, empowered and ready for anything," she writes. "No, that wouldn’t work. If the ringer was off and the phone was facedown, I wouldn’t know if he did text. The best solution was to keep the phone faceup, ringer off, so I could see the phone light up if he texted — but not be bothered by the ringer." To comfort you the next time you're ignored by a prospective significant other, read Field's essay at The New York Times.

2. "Students Have a Legal Right to Safe Spaces" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images

The student protests at Mizzou, Yale, and elsewhere are fights for economic equity — because a campus that only pays lip service to diversity means unequal access and undue work for students of color. For BuzzFeed Ideas, David Palumbo-Liu breaks down what's at stake for students of color in economic terms. Black athletes, for example, "put their bodies on the line for their schools’ popular and lucrative athletic departments." Inside classrooms, students of colors are asked to be unpaid instructors on their race and identity. Read Palumbo-Liu's essay at BuzzFeed Ideas.

3. "80 Books No Woman Should Read" — Literary Hub

AMC / Via

You may have stumbled upon Esquire's list of 80 books for men at some point or another. In a Literary Hub essay, Rebecca Solnit proposes a lovely alternative list: "80 Books No Woman Should Read," denouncing anything by Charles Bukowski and Ernest Hemingway, among many others. "I just think some books are instructions on why women are dirt or hardly exist at all except as accessories or are inherently evil and empty," she writes. "Or they’re instructions in the version of masculinity that means being unkind and unaware, that set of values that expands out into violence at home, in war, and by economic means." Read it at Literary Hub.

4. "My White Neighbor Thought I Was Breaking Into My Own Apartment. Nineteen Cops Showed up." — The Washington Post

Kyle Monk for The Washington Post / Via

Something insane happened to Fay Wells in her own home. Last month, after she'd locked herself out of her own apartment and after a visit from a locksmith, Wells opened the door to 19 police officers. One of her neighbors had reported a burglary at her apartment. "I had never looked down the barrel of a gun or at the face of a man with a loaded weapon pointed at me," she writes in a Washington Post essay recounting the terrifying experience. "In his eyes, I saw fear and anger. I had no idea what was happening, but I saw how it would end: I would be dead in the stairwell outside my apartment, because something about me frightened this man with a gun." Read it at The Washington Post.

5. "No Sex ‘Til Matrimony" — BuzzFeed Ideas

Rebecca Hendin / BuzzFeed

What's it like to love someone enough to want to be with them but not act on that love? Bim Adewunmi interviewed born-again Christians Ore and Eugene, who are currently dating and abstaining from sexual acts until marriage. The two explain their motivations for abstinence and their faith. What they reveal is strangely relatable even for someone not abstaining from sex. "In the past I’ve been in situations where the foundation of the relationship wasn’t really strong because it was based on a physical thing," Eugene explains. "Physical things can change. Your faith is what you believe, what you stand on. That’s who you are." Read it at BuzzFeed Ideas.

6. "Vows" — Catapult

Gazette du Bon Ton, Rijksmuseum / Via

For a writer like Jaya Saxena, writing her wedding vows should have been a simple task — but she wanted them to be perfect. For Catapult, Jaya Saxena recalls the days leading up to her wedding day and the unexpected obstacles she faced when writing her vows. An excerpt: "The beauty of a modern wedding is the ability to define marriage for ourselves. I was all for not giving too much away—but giving nothing? I’m a writer, and part of that is wanting to make things clear, to lay everything out and show the world truth. Part of planning a modern wedding is the same thing—it’s about showing everyone just how your relationship really is. I wasn’t just going to plagiarize some other couple’s eternal promises. They needed to be ours in some way." Read it at Catapult.

7. "The Invisible Foreigner" — The Toast

Angela Qian / Via

Angela Qian is Chinese American, but she lives and works in Japan, where people mistake her for being Japanese. There, she's able to blend in with the locals, but she's still very much a foreigner. But while her appearance allows her to fit in while in Asia, in America, it singles her out. For The Toast, Qian contemplates the notion of being foreign. "It is hard to be always doubting myself, to doubt my belonging. I’m tired of feeling like I halfway fit in and halfway don’t," she writes. "Feeling foreign means feeling like an outsider. Feeling foreign means feeling lonely." Read her essay at The Toast.

Want to read more?

Erin Chack recalls what exactly happened when she was in the audience of The Late Show — the night Paris was attacked. Anne Helen Petersen explains why a fake quote and an old photo of Meryl Streep went viral. Lara Parker reveals what it's like to date when you have a medical condition that prevents you from having intercourse. After her visit to The Gentlemen's Expo, Scaachi Koul contemplates the slick rise of vintage masculinity. Susan Cheng (sup!) and Nina Mohan, along with a few other children of immigrants share their moving reactions to Master of None. Kaela Myers explains how dying her hair blue helped her claim her identity as a woman of color. And finally, Meredith Talusan remembers the first murdered trans woman she mourned.

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