Category Archives: Holidays & Celebrations

Just a few reminders before you buy those “50 Shades” Valentines

[Trigger warning for sexual violence and emotional abuse]

Valentine’s Day is coming up! That day of romance, of togetherness, of coupledom, of… domestic abuse… Valentine’s Day is the release date of 50 Shades of Grey, that sensationalistic movie based on the “How to Spot an Abuser” pamphlet in your college guidance counselor’s office. Women and men who have read the book and know perfectly well what the story is about will flock to theatres, either a) dreaming of the day that they’ll be stalked and violated by someone as dreamy as Christian, or b) hoping to score on Valentine’s night with the person they took to the movie. And while people are free to get their rocks off to whatever they want (within certain limits), it’s important to acknowledge that what may (for some reason) come across as sultry and sexy on the page would, in real life, be a Razorbacks halftime show’s worth of red flags. Continue reading

Posted in Domestic Violence, Holidays & Celebrations, Literature, Movies, Rape Culture, Sexual Assault | Tagged , , | 94 Comments

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everybody. I have a hard time with New Year’s Eve and Day, myself.  It’s one of a trio of holidays that tend to make me depressed (the other two, in case you’re wondering, are Thanksgiving and … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays & Celebrations | Tagged | 10 Comments

Don’t you get sick of those damned poor trick-or-treaters in your rich neighborhood?

This week, an actual win from advice columnist Dear Prudence:

I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets — mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. … Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?

Continue reading

Posted in Class, Holidays & Celebrations | 17 Comments

Open Black History Month Thread

Some starter links for positive discussions on outstanding people and events, and thoughts on the annual “bbbbut wheeeen is White History Month?!?” tantrum-throwers. Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays & Celebrations, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is always a good day to re-read not just the I Have a Dream speech, but King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Today is also a day when lots of great writing on race and equality tends to get published, so link what you’re reading in the comments. Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Holidays & Celebrations, Politics, Poverty, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | 6 Comments

Happy New Year!

Hope you all celebrated and had a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog — December was a big month of travel for me, often without great internet. One of those trips was to Malawi, which is a fantastic country in East Africa, small and extremely poor but the locus of some really innovative development efforts. I met a lot of bright, interesting girls doing fantastic advocacy and activism work in their communities. Unfortunately, they’re looking at being defunded: Endemic corruption in Malawi is a national scandal, with millions in donor aid plundered by politicians. Now, many Western governments are suspending funds. I wrote about it for the Guardian, so click over and read the whole thing. I’m happy to start 2014 with a reminder that there are some pretty amazing young women advocating for their own futures all over the world. Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Feminism, Holidays & Celebrations, Politics, Poverty | 14 Comments

Keeping Saturn in Saturnalia

Hot on the heels of Arizona news that one Christian woman was assaulted by another Christian woman in Phoenix because she said “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” (!) comes a New Jersey report that two men attempted to burn down a “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” billboard put up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (to counter a “Keep Christ in Christmas” banner hanging over Pitman’s main thoroughfare). It’s not the first attempt to deface/destroy the FFRF billboard since it was unveiled last week. Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Holidays & Celebrations, Law, Religion | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

Bartolome de las Casas Day, October 14

Christopher Columbus was a greedy, violent, colonizing monster and celebrating him with a national holiday in the same way we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., is ridiculously messed up. In anticipation of Monday’s U.S. Columbus Day observance, The Oatmeal lays out the true history of Columbus’s “explorations,” particularly his decimation of the Lucayan natives of the Bahamas, and suggests a better candidate for a national holiday. Continue reading

Posted in History, Holidays & Celebrations | 36 Comments

Happy birthday, TigTog!

You are the best and we love you. Hope your day is especially joyous! Continue reading

Posted in Holidays & Celebrations | 21 Comments

Women’s Equality Day Open Thread

Today is Women’s Equality Day, marking the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. Ninety-three years later, women in the United States have more rights than ever before, but are still a long way away from true equality with men. The feminist movement has never directed all its energy at a single issue (nor should it), but if you could set the agenda, where would you focus feminist efforts for the next several decades? Continue reading

Posted in Feminism, Holidays & Celebrations, Politics | Tagged | 29 Comments

This Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Saturday 8/24/2013 8:00AM Rally at the Lincoln Memorial begins at 8:00 AM followed by the march to the King Memorial. The NAACP is organising the 50th Anniversary Rally and invites those who cannot make it to the Mall in Washington DC to join a virtual march to show their support. Continue reading

Posted in Discrimination, Events, History, Holidays & Celebrations, Labor, Racism | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Memorial Day

Hope those of you in the U.S. are having a pleasant one. I am currently in Malaysia for the Women Deliver conference, and will be blogging some updates from here. So prepare for a few days of maternal health news! Also please prepare for slightly slower moderation over the next month, as Malaysia time is 12 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, so I’ll be asleep while many of you are commenting. On the Memorial Day tip: As long as we’re honoring fallen American soldiers, we should maybe also honor those who are currently serving by having a real zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual assault. When 26,000 soldiers were sexually assaulted last year — up from 19,000 in 2010 — there’s clearly a cultural problem in the military. Continue reading

Posted in Admin, Blogging, Holidays & Celebrations, Politics, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights, Sexual Assault | 2 Comments