First, Theo Pauline Nestor critiques the way “women are supposed to be” in the Saturday Essay—how they are supposed to look and act, particularly when in the company of men. A violating experience at a medical clinic leads Nestor to reconsider her own sexual history in light of male disapproval. In the process, she loses her “only known superpower,” the ability to blend into a crowd.
Then, Brandon Hicks takes an irreverent look at the cartoons of his past in his “40th Strip Spectacular.”
Finally, the hollow bones of birds symbolize Kira Jane Buxton’s vulnerability in the Sunday Essay. In the wake of her divorce, Buxton savors a moment of peace, until it is broken by a harrowing encounter with a male stranger in a parking garage. She manages to escape, though the weight of her past “sits like a bag full of broken ornaments on [her] shoulders.”