“Girls at War”: A Feminist Commentary on Gender

By Janel Brubaker

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“Girls at War” – Chinua Achebe

Gender roles are constructs built by communities and society to define the expectations those communities have on women and men. These constructs are often based on political and religious influence and are problematic in how they contribute to individual development and growth. Over time, these expectations serve to further divide women and men, excluding individuals from accomplishing even daily tasks because they are seen through the lens of these social constructs. Even small gender roles (assigning things like cooking to women and household maintenance to men) contribute to the continual divide between genders and impact the interactions between women and men. Chinua Achebe’s short story “Girls at War” is a commentary on gender roles, reflecting the interpersonal struggles that arise when someone does and doesn’t meet the expectations placed on them by society.

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How to Break a Young Man’s Heart

By Shelley Schenk

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To smash the tender heart of a young man, first make him yours on the rebound. The day after easy going Mark, the good kisser, breaks things off over the telephone for no apparent reason, deliberately wait outside Room 302, where David has trigonometry, and smile at him. David will be flattered and do the things a good boyfriend does. He’ll remember days of importance, your birthday, your three month anniversary. He’ll help you bake the cakes.

The day President Reagan is shot go to his house after school and stare at the flashing television. Even at sixteen, you’re enraged at this President. In your cramped neighborhood on the southwest side of Detroit, where people work like oxen and struggle to pay bills and taxes, you feel his hostility. He implies that your people are lazy and looking for handouts, even though the money he presides over is yours.

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She Only Wishes For, And Only Gets, Five

By Samuel cole

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Twelve days after Christmas, prowling the attic for her mother’s prescription pills, Melanie finds beneath the toolbox a prescription bottle filled with finishing nails. Apparently, Ativan and carpentry were so last year. She shakes the bottle, creating a manufactured hailstorm. The noise brings clarification to her New Year’s resolution to hang clothes on her bedroom walls—except for space above the headboard plastered with a 20×40 poster of Tom Selleck’s hairy-chest. She fills the inaugural wall with black pantyhose, a blue bra and lace panties, a gray mini skirt, and a zebra-print blouse and belt. Finding a new way to get high until an old high is reinstated is still a type of high. Ah-ha moment number one.

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Interview w/ RW Spryszak

By Carol Smallwood

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RW Spryszak

RW Spryszak is Editor-at-Large at Thrice Publishing and managing editor of Thrice Fiction, both of which are based out of the Chicago area. Thrice Fiction is published three times a year, and Thrice also publishes up to two novels a year. He has been published in Slipstream, The Lost and Found Times, Peculiar Mormyrid, and a host of other alternative magazines since the 1980s. He was editor of The Fiction Review in 1990-1991.

Please describe your website/social media:

I am trying to adapt my old-school notions to the modern era. The magazine website offers free copies for every issue (or you can buy a hard copy there). My personal website is pretty basic.

What is your average day as editor/writer:

Because Thrice is an indie, and we have yet to qualify for grants; it is strictly a labor of love right now. So, I have a straight job that pays the bills. I write every day in some fashion, and always have a project going. For the magazine, I go by deadlines and concentrate down on that when they loom.

Tell us about your career:

I started out in Marjorie Peters’ Southside Writers Workshop in the 70’s and attended Columbia Chicago.

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Don’t Tell

By Kellsie Kennedy

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The alarm’s shriek drills through my skull, a plastic-wrapped headache ready to go five mornings a week.  I knew before I went to bed that today is going to be shit.  Hell, knew a week ago that today is going to be shit.  Hitting the snooze button is a nine-minute relief.

I shrug on a pair of jeans, the least worn hoodie.  The box of crackers is still beside my bed from where I pretended to be sick instead of going to class.  An avalanche of ignored homework spills across the surface of my dresser.  The black and white of topographic maps, pictures of fossils, and a chart of the geologic time periods.  A bottle of weak hydrochloric acid and rock samples top the pile, evidence of college major number two-going-on-three-and-counting.

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