Women Under Scrutiny, compiled by Randy Susan Meyers and edited by Nancy MacDonald, is an honest, intimate examination of the relationships we have with our bodies, hair, and faces, how we’ve been treated by the world based on our appearance—and how we have treated others. The women who created the serious, humorous, and courageous work in this anthology—women ages seventeen to seventy-six—represent an array of cultures and religions from across the United States. They are an extraordinary group of women who all share one thing: the ability to tell the truth.
Bitch he says untired of counting every sin you commit at 3AM when you peel
your body out of bed
and tiptoe to the kitchen
for a sliver of chicken pressed onto a Wheat Thin
—from Kimberly Ann Priest, “Record of Wrongs”
Women Under Scrutiny grew out of Randy Susan Meyers’ new novel, Waisted, the story of two women who torture themselves and are brutalized by others around weight issues, who get caught in the war against women, disguised as a war against fat.
Skin as foreign as your native tongue
You don’t belong here
Go back to where you came from
This place is for us
Not your kind
—from Shoma Webster, “Dark Bodies”
All profits from Women Under Scrutiny will go to Rosie’s Place in Boston, Massachusetts.: Rosie’s Place was founded in 1974 as the first women’s shelter in the United States with a mission to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. Today, Rosie’s Place not only provides meals and shelter but also creates answers for 12,000 women a year through wide-ranging support, housing and education services.
The mask that I so carefully crafted out of expensive lotions, oils, and promise-filled creams is now peeling, slipping, and threatening to expose. All that will remain is the unembellished, plain and simple truth, which, for too long, has waited in the wings
— Sahar Abdulaziz, “Slipping, Sliding, All But Vanished