Category Archives: Class

Time magazine: I can’t even.

Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist. Continue reading

Posted in Body image, Class, Discrimination, Domestic Violence, Feminism, Health, Media & Media Literacy, Popular Culture, Rape Culture, Reproductive Rights | 14 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

Quick publicity: Detroit Water Project

If you’ve been following US news recently, you have probably read about Detroit Water and Sewage shutting off water to thousands of homes, some of which owing as little as two months’ worth of bills.  It’s a perfect storm of … Continue reading

Posted in Class, Health, Life, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Poisoning Black Children

Edited because, I’m sorry, I forgot TW: medical racism and exploitation, child abuse.   I just want to make sure that we’re all aware that twenty years ago, decades after the Tuskegee syphilis “experiment,” scientists affiliated with Johns Hopkins partnered with … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Poverty, Racism | Tagged , , | 8 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 Dark Power of Fraternities

Can’t say I’m usually a huge Caitlin Flanagan fan, but this investigation into American fraternities is very very good. Frats not only cause a whole lot of serious injury to college students, but they protect themselves quite thoroughly — even to the detriment of their own members. Do read the whole thing. But if you don’t read the whole thing, read the lede, which is possibly the best lede I’ve ever read. Continue reading

Posted in Class, Education, Law | Tagged | 15 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

Invisible Child

This long-form feature and photo essay on Dasani, a homeless girl in New York City, is a phenomenal piece of journalism. And it sheds important light on the many dysfunctions of this grossly economically unjust city. Continue reading

Posted in Class, Economics, Politics, Poverty | 25 Comments

Beyoncé’s Break from the Shell of Respectability

As one blogger asked, where were you when Beyoncé’s self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013? The world was shell-shocked when the Beytomic bomb exploded on the musical landscape. After this initial shock and awe, fans of her music have been able to digest her masterpiece in all its glory. We can surely talk for days about her more explicit sensuality. Or her refined ratchetness. Or how this coincides with her shift in musical expression. I’d like to explore the latter of these two. And what it means for her as black woman who grew up middle class in the south. They are these intersections of race and class—not to mention gender, which has already been talked about a good bit in feminist spaces—that make Beyoncé so fascinating and, as one of my homegirls and Melissa Harris Perry (my homegirl in my head) put it, will doubtless be the album that launches a thousand woman’s studies papers. Continue reading

Posted in Class, Feminism, Guest Blogging, Music, Popular Culture, Race & Ethnicity | Tagged | 49 Comments

Welcome back

For U.S. readers who had a long weekend, welcome back to the grind. For everyone else — those who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, those who don’t get holidays off — welcome back as well. To start your Monday, here’s a piece on raising the minimum wage, which we absolutely need to do. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Class, Politics, Poverty, Work | 3 Comments

We need to imprison fewer people.

The ACLU released a report on life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the shocking numbers of inmates who are incarcerated for the rest of their lives with no hope of getting out — for committing non-violent crimes, usually drug-related. There are money interests in keeping people incarcerated, but there are also cultural and psychological ones. Long sentences are entrenched in the law through mandatory minimums, but they’re also seeded in our national psyche as “normal”: Continue reading

Posted in Class, Crime, Law, Politics, Poverty, Race & Ethnicity, Racism | Tagged , | 96 Comments