Author Archives: Caperton

New book supports Marissa Alexander’s legal defense

Marissa Alexander appeared in court Friday morning to request a new Stand Your Ground immunity hearing, hoping for a chance to demonstrate that the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband justified her use of a warning shot to defend herself. To support her legal defense, Prison Culture will be selling No Selves to Defend: A Legacy of Criminalizing Women of Color for Self Defense, an anthology of stories, poetry, and original art about women of color who have been imprisoned for defending themselves. Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Law, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | 4 Comments

A big day for marriage equality in Oregon and Utah

On Monday, a federal judge threw out Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage, on the basis that the state’s marriage laws violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The judge put his ruling into effect immediately, and couples began marrying across Oregon immediately after that, having lined up outside courthouses around the state in anticipation of the ruling. Also on Monday, a federal judge ordered that Utah recognize 1,200 same-sex marriages performed after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned, but before the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the original ruling. Monday was a big day for love. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Law, Marriage | 3 Comments

The strengths and weaknesses of #BringBackOurGirls

Currently circling the social media globe with the force of impassioned clicktivism is the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Sometimes it’s accompanied by photos of African girls (not always Nigerian), sometimes by photos of Nigerian mothers gathered in protest, sometimes by links to news stories, sometimes by nothing at all. It offers solidarity and raises awareness — but it isn’t without issue. We need to show solidarity, raise awareness, and hold those in positions of power accountable. We also need to understand what we are and aren’t accomplishing when we retweet. Continue reading

Posted in Media & Media Literacy, Religion, Terrorism | 12 Comments

Game of Thrones: Someone explain to me what happened with Jaime and Cersei

[Trigger warning for rape]

[Potential spoilers for Game of Thrones S04 E03, as well as for A Storm of Swords]

I mean, I got what was happening — most reasonable people watched that scene and were, like, “I get what’s happening here.” But I just don’t, like… get it. So if you have insight on what’s going on there, jump on in. Continue reading

Posted in Entertainment, Literature, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , | 99 Comments

David Choe totally hates rapists, is only guilty of bad storytelling

[Strong, strong trigger warning for rape]

In the March 10 episode of his podcast, David Choe recounted in lurid and self-satisfied detail his activities of the night before, in which he raped his masseuse at a massage parlor. On Friday, shortly after the story came out on Gawker and xojane, he insisted on his blog that he was totally joking, that he hates rapists, that his art is controversial, and that all he’s guilty of is bad storytelling. Call me a humorless feminist, but I’m not laughing. Continue reading

Posted in Art, Class, Racism, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged | 52 Comments

The Jameis Winston rape case was criminally mishandled, and it will always matter.

Last week, the New York Times provided a breakdown of a breakdown — an accounting of the investigative errors that turned rape allegations against FSU quarterback Jameis Winston into a non-event.

I’ll give you a minute to try and contain your shock. Continue reading

Posted in Rape Culture, Sexual Assault, Sports | Tagged | 7 Comments

Girls weigh in on “bossy”

The Sheryl Sandberg-driven movement that is #banbossy has its fans and its detractors — and rightly so. There are those who agree that yes, language like “bossy” is often applied to girls in response to behavior that would otherwise be seen as strong and assertive. Then there are those who point out that “bossy” can also be applied to overbearing, inflexible, rude behaviors that aren’t conducive to leadership. In the end, though, if you really want to know how “bossy” affects girls, do what SheKnows did and just ask them. Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged | 32 Comments

Westboro Baptist Church founder dies

Fred Phelps, Sr., despicable human being and founder of the notorious hate group Westboro Baptist Church, has died.

Family members have said that Phelps, who one estranged son says has been excommunicated from the church, will have no funeral to picket. Continue reading

Posted in GLBTQ, Race & Ethnicity, Religion | 51 Comments

Eating disorder awareness: Myths, facts, truths, and anecdotes

[Trigger warning for eating disorders]

This week has been designated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and the tagline for 2014 is I Had No Idea. It recognizes the fact that eating disorders are more prevalent and more dangerous than many people recognize and that they touch every aspect of life. Talking about eating disorders is always a question mark for me — for some women, simply discussing it can be immensely triggering, and in areas of education, one girl’s cautionary tale can be another’s instructional video. (I’ve mentioned in the past that my introduction to bulimia came through educational efforts.) But for a week like this one, raising awareness — and, as part of that, dispelling myths — makes it worth the risk. Because a lot of people really do have no idea. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Health, Media & Media Literacy | Tagged | 30 Comments

Checking Privilege, Take #452: This Time, It’s Illustrated

Discussions of privilege are always interesting to me because they tend to generate a greater defensiveness-to-rationality ratio than almost any other sensitive subject. The most reasoned, non-accusatory approach can result in so much pushback and protestations that I didn’t ask to be this way, so why should I be ashamed of it and be punished for it? Robot Hugs’s webcomic explanation of privilege should, by all rights, explain the concept without generating defensiveness, but probably won’t, because People. Continue reading

Posted in Feminism | Tagged | 27 Comments

AL HB31: Where saving a woman’s life becomes a question of conscience

Conscience laws. Fucking conscience laws. In this case, the fucking “Health Care Rights of Conscience Act,” Alabama HB31, which would allow the entire hospital staff, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and social workers, to refuse to provide medical care in situations that would “violate their conscience.” Continue reading

Posted in Law, Medicine, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | 45 Comments

Marie Claire Australia wants you to love your body.

Mainstream women’s magazines, despite their protestations to the contrary, are rarely an outright bastion of body positivity for any woman of non-model proportions and facial features. So it’s admirable that it was Marie Claire Australia that commissioned six ad agencies to create print ads encouraging women to love their bodies. But is it enough? Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Body image, Fashion, Media & Media Literacy | 45 Comments