Oxford Book Of Essay

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The danger of opening up to an audience, though, is that there’s always more to reveal.

In mid-January, Oxford posted a photo on Instagram of her husband and their three children, with a caption that read, “Late last fall James and I mutually split up…. “We just assumed Hillary would win, and we’d planned it and it was just the right day, and James left, and the election started turning, and I was like, this can’t all be happening at once,” she says.

Oxford returns, again and again, to her struggles with anxiety.

She provides an incredibly visceral description of what it’s like to have a panic attack.

“When #notokay ignited, I saw Kelly struggle with her obligation to speak on a topic of such magnitude,” says Angela Brown, who’s been Oxford’s friend for the last two decades, after they met in an Edmonton video store.

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“She felt the weight of every single story and wanted to respect these women and what they shared.” Brown understands why people would feel comfortable bringing those stories to Oxford in particular. “Her #notokay post showed a vulnerable and honest moment on a platform she used for observation and comedy for nearly 10 years.” In her first book, Oxford shaped ridiculously funny essays from mortifying events in her youth: the time she peed her pants (at 14) and threw up (directly onto another person); the time she posed as a homeless kid in Vancouver so the Salvation Army would fly her home (she refers to that ruse as her “terrible, horrible”).

“It was really overwhelming,” Oxford says now, when I catch her on the phone from L. “The first night the hashtag started, I didn’t really move and I didn’t go to sleep until the next day.” Still, she wasn’t surprised by the sheer number of women who responded, and she has an idea of why they did.

“This is what life is: Everyone’s been sexually assaulted,” Oxford says.

The response to #notokay was swift and enormous: Women began tweeting about their assaults at a rate of two per second.

A week later, more than 40 million people had read her tweets and offered their own accounts.


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