Author: Caperton

Banned Books Week: Your banned-kids’-book reading list (updated)

It’s Banned Books Week, celebrating books that are absolutely, objectively horrible and mustn’t be read by anyone. They’re books that need to be blocked from school libraries, ejected from public libraries, struck from publisher’s lists and set on damn fire every time they’re encountered. Which means that most of them (although by no means all of them) are worth reading, particularly when it comes to books for school-age kids who shan’t be exposed to naughty language or mentions of sex. Because if there’s one thing that abstinence-only education has taught us is that if you never, ever mention it, kids will never do it.

So here are six banned and/or challenged children’s and young adult books to read to a kid this week in honor of Banned Books Week.

Ray Rice dropped and suspended now that the NFL can no longer ignore the truth

[Trigger warning for domestic abuse]

In February of this year, leaked video showed what appeared to be the aftermath of Baltimore Raven Ray Rice assaulting his then fiancee Janay Palmer in a casino elevator. He was given a two-game suspension. Now that another leaked video shows him actually throwing the punches, he has been released from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Because up until then, of course, there was no way of really knowing what had happened.

Robin Williams open thread

[Content note: Suicide and mental illness]

Yesterday, after a long battle with depression, Robin Williams took his own life. He left behind a family that loved him dearly and a legion of fans who loved having someone to make them laugh and cry and think, even as he himself was so frequently in a dark place. He made kids’ movies with jokes that only adults would get, he made movies for adults that made you forget he was the genie from Aladdin, he made a few zany comedies that possibly made you stupider just by watching them but were so entertaining that who cares, and he made people feel better. He gave joy.

It’s a TRAP: Targeting mandatory delays, ultrasounds, and other clinic abuse

They’re frequently identified as “Women’s Health and Safety” laws, but a growing number of laws regulating abortion providers are more accurately called TRAP laws — Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Mandatory delays, ultrasounds, “informed consent” lectures, and medication restrictions strike out at abortion by hitting women directly. If you’re the kind of person who believes in evil, these restrictions are arguably the most evil of TRAP laws.

No one is paying for my birth control but me.

Imagine this conversation with your employer:

YOU. Hey, it looks like my paycheck is $25 short.

EMPLOYER. Oh, no, that’s for Kitten Day.

YOU. I’m sorry?

EMPLOYER. Once a month, we bring in kittens for everyone in the office to cuddle for a day. Studies show that it reduces stress. It’s adorable.

YOU. I’m sure it is, but you’re paying for it out of my paycheck.

EMPLOYER. Yes. Kitten Day is part of your overall compensation package.

Lessons in smiling for complete strangers

I used to work to and from work, my mile-long round trip taking me past plenty of men from all walks of life who were very concerned with my mental state as reflected on my face. “Smile, beautiful!” they would say, or, “Give us a smile, honey,” or, my favorite, “It can’t be that bad!” I felt so bad for letting them down by showing them my actual emotional state. If only the Smile Bitch Training Camp had a branch in Birmingham.

People and Things Against Feminism

So a bunch of women are gathering on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook as #WomenAgainstFeminism, proclaiming how very much they don’t need feminism. And they get to do that. The sacrifices made by feminists and womanists throughout history have gotten us to a place where women are free to reject feminism on the grounds that since my husband is nice to me, I’m too smart and strong to ever get myself raped, I don’t personally feel threatened by street harassment, I’ve never personally been stopped from doing something I want to do because of my gender, I receive no pushback or consequences for dressing the way I want, I want and am ready to have kids, I’ve never personally been silenced, I like shaving my legs, I’m free to marry the person I love, my religion doesn’t require me to do anything I wouldn’t want to do anyway, I’m a lady, I personally find fulfillment in being a wife and a mother, I don’t even want to work outside the home, health care is easy for me to come by, and obviously nobody else is facing such issues, and if they are it’s their own fault for being big ol’ slutbags, what do I need with a movement that supports people who aren’t me? I already have everything I want! I’m not a victim and I don’t hate men, y’all.