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Sunday Reads: The Abortion Experience for Trans Men, the Problem with In-Game Purchases and Life After the Spelling Bee

The best of MEL from the Week That Was

How’s your Hot Girl Summer coming? Are you drinking enough water? Calling your mom? Staying moisturized? As Houston-based rapper Megan Thee Stallion confirmed in May when she released the Hot Girl anthem “Cash Shit” to critical and cultural acclaim, Hot Girl Summer is for everyone. Well, everyone but the guys who are clumsily attempting to masculinize the meme, getting the spirit completely wrong and then acting like it’s a competition. 

Maybe just let us have this one?

Must Read

“The Trans Men Who Get Abortions”
When people talk about abortion, the debate has, naturally, almost exclusively centered around the experience of women. Pregnancy, however, isn’t actually exclusive to women; in fact, though the number of cases is hard to determine, trans men have gotten abortions, too. But unfortunately, they continue to be left out of the larger conversation. This isn’t just a problem of semantics — excluding trans men from abortion narratives can have serious health implications as well. This week, Isabelle Kohn and Calvin Kasulke investigated the misunderstood, under-researched topic of pregnant men. READ MORE 

The Week In Features

Racking Up Those In-Game Purchases
There’s nothing inherently wrong with spending a few bucks here and there on boosters in Words With Friends or extra gold on Red Dead Online. These in-game microtransactions add to the fun, and only cost as much as a cup of coffee. But for some people, such microtransactions can get out of control fast, particularly among young men whose five-figure spending in some cases have left them with what’s ostensibly a gambling addiction.

Putting the ‘Con’ In Consultant
Wanna make the big bucks? Just slap the word “consultant” on your LinkedIn page. After all, few, if any, people can describe what it is consultants actually do. But they’re paid handsomely by corporate executives to come in for a couple of weeks, drop a few logical-looking-if-not-totally-bullshit “solutions” and then leave with a suitcase full of cash

Growing Up A Spelling Bee Champ
Becoming national spelling bee champ as a youngster doesn’t exactly have all the same pressures as say, an athletic prodigy or a child actor. It’s nevertheless a massive achievement, the kind that most people never experience in their lifetime. But like other stories of early success, the question remains: What happens next? To answer that question, C. Brian Smith sought out a number of past winners to see how their spelling prowess impacted the rest of their lives.

He’s ‘Special’
While becoming internet-famous for his confessional Thought Catalog essays about being a millennial before “being a millennial” was even a thing, Ryan O’Connell hid one of the most self-defining things about himself: That he has cerebral palsy. It turned out to be an unnecessary secret, too, considering that it wasn’t until he published a memoir about living with his condition that IRL fame truly arrived. A fame that has now blossomed into the Netflix series, Special, which O’Connell even stars in as himself.

Become the Buffet Master
Don’t sleep on buffets — despite their simple concept, getting your money’s worth can be surprisingly complicated. After all, you want to fill up without getting sick or seeming like a greedy asshole. And to do that, you need a plan. Lucky for you, Brian VanHooker is your man with that plan, as he took pointers from travel writers, food bloggers and buffet employees to put together an all-you-can-read guide to attacking the all-you-can-eat.

The Week in Bad Internetting

The Week in Good Internetting

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