The Best Of 2015

Women and death, particularly the role women are currently playing in the death positive movement and as death professionals made frequent headlines this year. Here’s a recap of what 2015 had to offer from our co-founder Sarah Troop.

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Fusion’s The Death Midwife: Women Were the Original Undertakers,  exhumes (see what we did there?) death care history, offering a fascinating—and very feminist—exploration of death, funerals, and burials, and their impact on culture, economics, and the environment.

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“For me, working with dead bodies is almost like a feminist act.” Mortician and death positive activist, Caitlin Doughty was featured in The New Yorker article Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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The sobering and heartbreaking reality of what it is like being a black mother is examined in New York Times piece, The Condition Of Black Life Is One Of Mourning.

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Death & the Maiden Co-Founder and death scholar, Lucy Talbot provided a beautiful, death positive piece on the symbology of flowers in Harold and Maude for the Stems UK blog. In it, Lucy teaches her readers about Maudisim and provides us with lessons on how to truly live, as we all struggle to come to terms with our mortality. Here’s “I’d like to change into a sunflower most of all.” 

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Friend and Death & the Maiden contributor, Ivan Cenzi with an outstanding piece that endeavors to understand the male obsession with the female body or corpse in science, medicine, art and religion in his Anatomical Venuses: the obsession for the feminine on Bizzarro Bazar.

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Shawl insufficiency. Too many novels. Flirting headaches. Pony exhaustion. THE UNPLEASANTNESS. The Toast’s list of Things Women In Literature Have Died Of. Read at your own risk though, we don’t want you to die from wrist fever after all this scrolling.

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Death writer, Kelly Christian on women’s “resurgence of interest, scholarship, and professional development in the death industry” in her piece, Death Ladies for Dilettante Army.

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Writer and relic hunter, Elizabeth Harper gave us one of the most personal, beautiful pieces this year with her Appetite For Destruction, on saints, death, religion and eating disorders.  A must read on Please Hold Magazine.

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Broadly has been running some fantastic feminist death pieces this year. This one features four Women Making a Living In the Death Industry, including two of our contributors, Carla Valentine and Poppy Mardall.

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One of the richest subjects for studying various themes on death and the feminine is the role of witches throughout history. We’ve seen quite a few pieces this year as well as the release of a new book by Pulitzer Prize winner, Stacey Schiff, The Witches: Salem, 1692. Here’s a piece of Schiff’s that ran this year in the New York Times, First, Kill the Witches. Then, Celebrate Them.

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Finally, Death & the Maiden contributor and writer for Dirge Magazine, S. Elizabeth just wrapped up her series of interviews with five death positive activists, all women who “…seek to educate our repressed society regarding the various facets of death and how to cultivate a relationship with death that is liberating, humanizing, and ultimately, life-enhancing.” The series, The New Faces of Death features Death & the Maiden co-founder Sarah Troop as well as Bess Lovejoy, Amber Carvaly, Megan Rosenbloom and Carla Valentine.

 

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