What heck is this?
“Men Yell At Me” began in 2019 as a way to tell the stories behind the stories I write. It was a place to put the edited out bits that don’t make it into other stories, such as going to a Fundamentalist compound in Idaho, glamming up for the Miss America pageant, glamming down for a reporting trip in South Dakota, trudging through the snow to talk to candidates during the caucuses, and designing a kids page for a local newspaper.
In 2020, I began writing this newsletter full-time. That’s when it evolved into weekly newsletters, that include personal essays, interviews, and journalism, And on Friday, I pick a weekly dingus and share my internet reads and maybe a cocktail recipe (or two).
This newsletter sits at the intersection of patriarchy and politics in red state America. Think of reading this newsletter as sitting down with a friend over bourbon and yelling about politics and chatting about our lives.
The title of the newsletter is a cheeky reference to getting yelled at by Alan Dershowitz, Tucker Carlson, and Axios boss Jim VandeHei, and of course, so many others.
Joe Biden once called me a “real sweetheart.”
Alan Dershowitz called me “fifth rate.”
The Iowa GOP calls me “crass & amateurish.”
This newsletter is personal, political, sometimes funny, and always raises hell.
I grew up in Texas, a home schooled Evangelical and one of eight kids. I went to college in Minnesota and moved to Iowa, where I began my career as a writer. And by began, I mean, it took me a while.
I took a side door into journalism. My entire adult life, I’ve lived in Iowa. Where, I worked at a newspaper archive company, which was later sued for deceptive online practices. That wasn’t me, I just ran the blog and the social media accounts. I was an editor for a taekwondo magazine. A proofreader and copy editor for a marketing company, and then social media manager and section editor for a love and relationships website. For several years, I worked as an editor and then the managing editor of the literary website The Rumpus. I have an MFA in fiction. I was once a mom blogger, whose face appeared on a billboard in town. I also worked at a small-town newspaper.
I’ve written long form profiles of media figures for the Columbia Journalism Review from Gretchen Carlson to the former EIC of the Los Angeles Times. My reporting on the caucuses for my local newspaper was featured on MSNBC, CNN and NPR. I’ve written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Jezebel and so many other places.
I’m an author of two books. God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss and Renewal in Middle America is a deeply personal and deeply reported investigation into the changing role of faith in the middle of the country. My most recent book Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women is part memoir and part manifesto arguing for the bodily autonomy of all people. I am working on my third book, This American Ex Wife, which will be published by Crown in 2023.
I live in Iowa with my two kids, my cat Waffles, my wolf dog Dolly and tiny dog Jolene.
This newsletter is a publication. I have an editor (sometimes two for bigger stories). I sometimes have contributors, who I pay above-market rates. And often what I write is deeply reported, researched, and well, I work hard at this. And I do it all from Iowa.
Small newsrooms are collapsing. Bigger media companies are shedding jobs like a snake sheds skin. Pandemic isn’t helping. The political realities of community reporting means that some stories don’t get told. And I believe writing and reporting is made richer when writers and reporters can live and work in places where “big media” isn’t.
Subscribing enables me to tell big bold stories, with a voice and passion.
Paying subscribers have full access to the archive and access to all the newsletters, weekly conversation threads, and can comment.
My mid-week newsletters will always be free. I am so immensely grateful for anyone who reads and shares.