Category: Popular Culture

Black Panther Open Thread

Shot from "Black Panther" of three women in African dress against a rocky background -- Florence Kasumba as Ayo, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, and Danai Gurira as Okoye

HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL. So I saw Black Panther last night. My reactions, in no particular order: – It was visually stunning. Literally. I was stunned at the visuals. – The story held up the whole way through. I can count…

More than 150 young women sent Larry Nassar to prison for life

Kyle Stephens was the first person to testify last week during Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing in Michigan. The former USA Gymnastics team doctor has admitted to having sexual contact with minors.

[Trigger warning for child sexual abuse, in this post and at all links]

Larry Nassar, a former doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, has been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing seven girls under the age of 15, with more charges to be addressed in coming weeks. But before sentencing, the judge heard victim impact statements from every accuser who chose to speak out. Originally, 88 women were expected to speak over four days. At final count, 156 women — empowered by what gymnast Aly Raisman called an “army of survivors” — gave statements over seven days, condemning Nassar and the systems at Michigan State, USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic Committee that failed to protect them.

Aziz Ansari is an asshole, and Caitlin Flanagan is also an asshole

Aziz Ansari standing against a blue background after receiving the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy at the 2018 Golden Globes

The world (or, at least, the part of it that I live in) has been talking about the recent expose by a woman, pseudonymously known as Grace, who went out on a date with comedian Aziz Ansari and ended up getting persistently and aggressively pursued, and aggressively kissed, fingered, and dry humped, plus a weird thing where he kept sticking his fingers down her throat, over her objections. In a statement Ansari released in response, he doesn’t dispute her account of the events of the night — he that he’d thought she was into it. There have been a lot of analyses and responses, many of which I’ll get to later on this blog. But then Caitlin Flanagan decided to jump in — because of course she did — being, as is her way, the fucking worst. So here’s some stuff about “The Humiliation of Aziz Ansari.”

Oprah won the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and her acceptance speech was everything

Oprah Winfrey delivers her acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes

Last night, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Golden Globes. She started her shattering speech by recounting a moment from her own childhood, watching Sidney Poitier become the first black man to receive a Best Actor Oscar in 1964. And her speech only became more moving and heart-wrenching and inspiring from there.

Mika Brzezinski wants to know if it’s cool to attack accusers we don’t like.

A screenshot from "Morning Joe" with Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, with chyron "Franken hits GOP for supporting Trump and Moore despite sexual misconduct allegations against them"

Yesterday, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced his pending resignation after a seventh woman has come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment and dozens of Senate Democrats have called on him to step down. This morning, on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski stood up for Franken by identifying his first accuser, Leeann Tweeden, as a Playboy model and a Republican, and asking if maybe “I believe women” doesn’t have to apply to all women. Y’know, like women who are accusing a man you like.

What men need to know about discussing sexual harassment

A shot from Game of Thrones with Arya and Sansa Stark standing on the snow-frosted battlements of Winterfell

I was talking with a group of guy friends recently, the sole woman amid a collection of dudes as they stream-of-consciousness workshopped their way to understanding the ongoing storm of sexual harassment accusations. It’s not a pleasant position to be in — I was glad to be able to help them understand things, but thinking about that stuff at that level and having to articulate it that way was exhausting and also made me want to go home and take, like, twelve showers. But they and others have asked what they need to know and what insights they need to have when discussing sexual harassment with women. So here’s some.

Yes, Trump attacks white guys. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a bigot.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver an address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on February 28, 2017 in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Trump's first address to Congress is expected to focus on national security, tax and regulatory reform, the economy, and healthcare. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images)

Anyone who ever predicted that we’d have a president who was celebrated for being an equal-opportunity asshole, stop lying, because there’s no way you predicted anything that specific. But that’s what we’ve got. Our president, who’s a fighter! and who’s going to hit back! and the people knew what they were getting into when they voted for him! might be a complete and utter dickhole, but he’s not a bigoted dickhole because he’s a dickhole to everyone.

Because We Need It: Sorry, can’t pun at the moment

It almost feels too self-indulgent to enjoy even tiny lighthearted pleasures while people are dying and people are being attacked for protesting people dying. Almost. It could be argued that We Need It even more. And We Need It to double up on awesome women.

The sacred institution of protest

They aren’t protesting the flag or the anthem. It isn’t about the flag or the anthem. And if you’re more upset about the way they’re protesting than you are about the reason they have to protest, that’s not about them or the flag or the troops or America — that’s about you.