Chavisa Woods' Books

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Nonfiction Articles

Essays, Reviews, and Opinions 

by Chavisa Woods



Electric Lit- 10 Books for Country Goths, a reading list by Chavisa Woods

Chavisa Woods breaks down the essential books for class-conscious readers who like their literature dark and rural

I was born and raised in a small, rural farm town, and was a queer punky goth teenager. So, I know what it’s like to simultaneously feel right at home, and yet, totally alien. But the country is ripe with all sorts of contradictions. It’s a place of natural abundance, but many country-folk are just scraping by. The country is peaceful, but it is also known for unregulated violence. The country is a place of extreme isolation, but it is also a place where anonymity is impossible. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. People who live in the country are thick. And if you’re an outsider coming in, you are made quickly aware that everyone knows, you’re not from around here, are you?

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The Brooklyn Rail: Gentlemen Close Your Legs


Aside from being disrespectful, rude and downright annoying, most of you are also being:

All of our lives, most of us women are taught to take up as little space as possible. Aside from metaphysical space, we are taught to take up less physical space by thinning down, keeping quiet, and yes, crossing our legs. It’s just not ladylike to spread your legs wide in a skirt or dress, or otherwise, for that matter. (People would look at us like we were crazy if we sat like that). I see women on the subway every day, regardless of their size (and yes, sometimes women are bigger than men), hunching their shoulders, folding their arms and crossing their legs to make room for the men sitting next to them or, god forbid, the two men spread out on either side of them. 

Men do not make room for women. You seem to think you are entitled to our space. Aside from displaying daily that you feel entitled to our attention, consolation, to our bodies, to our privacy, you actually seem to think you are also entitled to a portion of our seats. We don’t really need it. We’ll make room for you. Right?

Unfortunately, you are. We do make room for you. Even when I try pushing you over, you just stay there, your leg pressing against mine, your foot crossing in front of my foot, your arm on top of my arm. You don’t mind touching a woman, and never stop to think about whether or not we mind touching you. But you do make room for other men.

You make lots and lots of room for other men, because you are...

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Essay: Poverty Today..

 Poverty Today,

(The Neo-liberal Gap, Milton Friedman vs.

Marx and the Fable of Welfare Fat Cats)


Whether back home or in New York, I still hear people complaining about welfare mothers (you know, the ones who had so many kids just so they could get a free ride on the government dole),…

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A Useless American



It's about fourteen feet tall, olive green, and squarer than square, man. Its white border is meant to remind one of a “Got Milk?” advertisement. But this two dimensional reminder of never forgotten untruths bears the absurd inscription, "JESUS," as if  perhaps this pop ad will: 1. lead t…

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A “Gay-Panic” argument brought a mistrial and possible downgrade from Murder to Manslaughter for the fourteen-year-old boy who brought a gun to school and shot and killed a fifteen year old gay boy who had been making verbal advances toward him. The idea that someone who is not your gender preferenc…

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STOP calling it “BULLYING”

STOP using THE word "BULLYING"


When my church tried to pray the homosexuality out of me, was I being “bullied?” When my preacher stood on the pulpit and compared me to child molesters and murderers in front of people I loved dearly and they nodded in agreement, was that “bullying?” When my cl…

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Rants: Gay Liberation , Glenn Beck and the 'Righting' of the Left

Here you are out in the middle of the ocean, can’t swim, worried about someone in a bathtub, can’t swim.” –Malcolm X

“This progress, at the very least, calms my Agitation. You told me you had to cross the ocean to escape the rising waters. You told me I had to be open, to understand, to giv…

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Coffee With Eve Ensler

A Review of the Good Body

 (2004) by Chavisa Woods



“ Sweet vanilla illegal melting into me.

I eat ice cream for the women in Kabul

and Kandahar and Mazar-e Sharif.”  - Eve Ensler


And in the Good Body, eating ice cream may have been the only thing Eve Ensler did for the women in Kabul, Kandahar, and Maza…

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It Was Bad to See

What I Saw at McCarren Pool


What I Saw at McCarren Pool

by Chavisa Woods 

 Part  One and 1/2  
(Briefly Stated)


It was one of the hottest days of the year. I went to McCarren Pool at six oclock. I’d always imagined what it would look like as an actual pool. This was beyond my expectation. It looked like a par…

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