Blog Archives

When We Are Young

When we are young, often too young to fully understand the anxiety in their voices and the fear in their eyes, many of us listen to our parents tell us how to behave when, not if, we are stopped by the police. Usually these cautions beseech us to be aware of our surroundings, comply and assert our compliance out loud, to polite and cooperative, not combative or defiant.  They tell us the things they think will protect us. They tell us not to be alone. They tell us to be vigilant. They know what we will face. They are black, …Read more »

Time for the Supremes: Hobby Lobby and Your Boss in Your Bedroom

Sometime between now and July 4th, the Supreme Court is set to rule on two cases that will affect our access to birth control, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. In both these cases for-profit companies are using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) guarantee that health insurance plans include coverage of contraceptives. Since the ACA policy went into effect, 24 million more prescriptions for oral contraceptives were filled with no co-pay in 2013 than in 2012 and has saved women $483 million in out-of-pocket costs for …Read more »

On Jill Abramson, Race, and the Politics of Recognition

Jill Abramson’s firing from the New York Times did not surprise me. The surprise was that I couldn’t manage to care. At least not in the way I saw the feminist blogosphere erupt with anguish and rage. Righteous rage, I concur. But I couldn’t manage the energy for that kind of rage. Perhaps I remained relatively unmoved, having become cynical and hard-hearted in the face of ubiquitous sexism. Perhaps I didn’t expect Jill Abramson to be treated fairly. Perhaps because I never bought the beautifully packaged and relentlessly marketed Lean In brand of feminism as a salve for structural sexism. …Read more »

Crunk Feminist Dreams: What 2014 May Bring

December is the month of the top ten lists, reflections on the past 12 months, and critical assessments of the year and its goings on. There are even top-ten lists that curate the top ten best top ten lists. Then January comes. We recover from our exertions over the holiday season, return to our schedules, perhaps with a resolution in tow or some loose intention about being better this year, or doing more, or doing less. But now, it’s almost February and what of our intentions? What of our hopes for this year? In an effort to say things out …Read more »

The Western Gaze: On Photography in the Two-Thirds World

A note on the title. [1] A young guy with a sandy brown mop of hair, t-shirt, khakis, and sneakers crouched about 10 feet from where I stood in Dilli Haat, an outdoor crafts market in New Delhi, and focused his telephoto lens. My eyes followed the direction he pointed his camera, where I saw it to be aimed at one of the artisans who had come to sell his wooden handicrafts. About 80, the artisan is wearing a crisp, white sherwani, amidst bright pink and yellow sheets of fabric suspended from a stone tower in a pattern evocative of one …Read more »

Reproductive Injustice and the ‘War on Women’ or, An Ode to the Intersections

These days, it’s hard to read something in regards to feminist activism without hearing the phrase “war on women.” Despite important and sharp critiques regarding the limitations of the phrase, it continues to hold cache as a means to characterize the depth and fortitude of the conservative legislative attack on women’s reproductive rights. This attack, as characterized by many organizations that fight for access to reproductive rights, includes a full out state-based legislative strategy to restrict access to abortion via attacks on Medicaid coverage, earlier bans, mandatory ultrasounds, forced waiting periods, “fetal pain” bills, impossible physician and hospital requirements, mandatory parental …Read more »

The Unending Heartbreak of Great Expectations: Why I Can’t Watch The Mindy Project Anymore

Mindy Kaling is a boss. Widely regarded by her coworkers and by critics alike as the best writer for the popular sitcom The Office, since September she’s been staring in, writing, producing and directing her own primetime TV show, The Mindy Project, which just wrapped up its first season and has been picked up for a second. The Mindy Project is the first TV sitcom staring an Indian-American: definitely an historic achievement. Importantly, just a few days into the start of the season, trolls, in the form of TV-critics-who-write-under-cover-of-internet, lost their collective minds and began harping on Mindy Kaling’s smug and self-satisfied nature. …Read more »

TODAY! Grassroots Fundraiser for Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition!

Earlier this week, CF Sheri wrote “Atlanta Harm Reduction: Prevention as First Response” to shine a light on the great work of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC). Today, CFs EeshaP and Crunkadelic continue to lift up the AHRC that, like so many grassroots organizations doing direct service in our communities, is struggling with financial problems that may force it to shut its doors. If you are able, please consider giving a donation that would enable the AHRC to continue providing services to some of the most marginalized in the Atlanta community. There are many ways to create safety and …Read more »

Immigration Reform: What Queer & Trans Immigrants & Our Allies Need to Know

Guest post by Verónica Bayetti Flores Those of us who have been doing immigrants’ rights work have been hearing whispers of it coming along for a few months, and it finally seems to be here: Immigration reform is gearing up to come into full swing, and if we want this to benefit queer and trans folks, we’re going to have to stay on our toes and keep our eyes on the prize. Are you ready for this jelly? So far, what we’ve got in our hands are some very basic blueprints – one from the Senate, and one from the White …Read more »

The story that’s taken ten years to tell: On abortion, race and the power of story

Guest Post by Shanelle Matthews “Are you in college?” The doctor could tell from my face I wasn’t at all interested in having a conversation. “You speak well. I mean, you’re articulate.” The wrinkles in my forehead deepened. I wrung my fingers tightly around the scratchy, blue exam gown and briefly thought about the woman who wore it before me; what was she like? I looked at him, desperately wanting to not have to actually speak, wishing he could just read my mind. “Yes. I’m in college,” I responded shortly. I was really thinking, “That’s none of your business and …Read more »

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