Jessica Critcher

Nice to meet you.

Writing samples.

I have written extensively for Gender Focus, Hardcore Droid, and MOGUL.

I’m also co-writing a science fiction story about Ladies in Space with my good friend Katie Li.

Other writing:

Where Are You From?
Uproot Magazine, August 2018

It’s an icebreaker moment. A pleasant person seeks to know me better. They ask me where I’m from, which is apparently a casual, normal thing to ask someone. And instead of the name of a town or some other succinct answer to the question posed before me, they get a non sequitur about my father. My father the Marine. This conversation fills me with a very specific type of anxiety.

I’m from everywhere. I’m from nowhere. Do they think I’m showing off? It’s entirely too complicated. It’s altogether more information about me than they wanted, I’m sure. Read More>>

Extract(s) | Lit House Press, September 2014

I couldn’t write. I felt trapped, breathing that same hot air in my apartment, sun beating down into my front room. I packed up my journal and went for a walk, sucking cool harbor breezes into my lungs to purify my sticky, humid mind.

Boston is having a spectacular weather day. It’s bright and sun-shiny, puffy white clouds, like the city is mocking my sour mood. I hit the Greenway, head nodding along to My Chemical Romance. “I am not afraid to keep on living; I am not afraid to walk this world alone.” People never say anything to me when I walk down the street with tears streaming down my face. It’s just as well. I don’t really want to hear anything they could possibly tell me. Read More>>

The Soapbox: Your Arguments Against Our Permanent Birth Control Are BS
The Frisky (Cross posted from Gender Focus), February 2013

My spouse and I are seeking permanent birth control, and the entire process has been difficult. At this point, we are sick to death of unsolicited advice on the subject (Pro-tip: If someone you don’t know says they’re not judging you, they are judging you.) Everyone’s heart is in the right place, I can only assume. People think they are telling us new information that will keep us from making what they perceive to be a mistake. I get that they’re trying to help. But we continually find ourselves defending this very personal decision to total strangers. So to keep myself from screaming, I’m going to outline why the condescension disguised as concern is totally unfounded. Trust us. We’ve thought it through. Read More>>

Of Beds and Bugs
Katherine Press, February 2012

Depending on which boots he is wearing and how long it has been since his last hair cut, my husband is around six feet tall. In our pre-furniture weeks as newlyweds his poor feet stretched over the bottom edge of a queen-sized air mattress. After a few paydays of saving, our first major purchase as husband and wife was a king-sized bed. I watched him assemble it with his bare hands and new tools. We picked out a striped bedspread for our first piece of linen. We splurged on Egyptian cotton sheets and declared this bed to be more comfortable than a cloud made of butter stuffed with baby kittens. Read More>>

I’m Sick of Being Sick of Rape Culture
Women, Action, and the Media, December, 2011

I must sound like a broken record. I know people must get sick of hearing it, because I get sick of saying it, but we live in a rape culture. […] This latest wave of frustration was set in motion by a post on entitled “10 Ways to Fool a Sorority Girl Into Bed.” The post has since been taken down, but lives on forever in screenshots (and our nightmares). Read More>>

Animated Children’s Films: Nightmare Revisited
Bitch Flicks, November 30, 2011

This Halloween my husband and I stayed in and cuddled up with Funfetti cupcakes and a movie. We capped off our week-long 90’s Halloween movie marathon with a favorite from my childhood, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve probably seen this film a hundred times. I know all of the songs by heart. I remember watching it on VHS when it first came out, which is making me feel increasingly old. But as is the case with several things from my childhood, some of the nostalgia wears thin when subjected to critical analysis. Read More>>

Pork Underbelly: The Sexual Politics of (Lots and Lots of) Meat
Bitch Magazine, Issue 51, Summer 2011

If you know your way around an Internet meme, you’ve probably heard of the online cooking show Epic Meal Time, a Food Network–meets–Jackass celebration of heart-clogging lowbrow cuisine. Each Tuesday, its rowdy Canadian creators cook up something both imaginative (Chili Four Loko, for instance), gross (meat salad), or, more likely, both (the Thanksgiving episode found them taking Turducken a few carnivorous steps further, stuffing five different game birds into a pig). Read More>>

Living Beyond God
Freethought Today · Vol. 26 No. 8 October 2009

This essay was one of several that received an honorable mention in FFRF’s 2009 college essay competition and a prize of $250, including $50 donated by Don and Dorea Schramm.

Pascal’s wager is essentially the idea that believing in God is the safest bet. If there is no god and no afterlife, it won’t matter who is right. But if there is a god and an afterlife, devout worshipers stand to be rewarded. Therefore, according to the wager, one has everything to gain and nothing to lose by worshiping God (even just in case). Read More>>