social justice

Precious Mettle: The myth of the strong black woman

In a society that finds little to praise in black women, other groups’ appreciation for perceived black female strength can feel like a reductive appreciation. Strength becomes one of few positive adjectives black women can own. Read more »

This Week, Groups in 24 Countries Stood Up to Street Harassment

An anti-street harassment protester in Kathmandu this week. Photo via ... Read more »

A Great Artist Kills His Wife—Now She's Just a Quirky Footnote in His History

Poet Joan Vollmer was killed by her husband, William S. Burroughs, before she even turned 30.  This year is the hundredth anniversary of the birth of celebrated novelist William S. Burroughs. The date, as centenaries do, occasioned new biographies and appreciations. Read more »

The Cost of Kale: How Foodie Trends Can Hurt Low-Income Families

Last month, I sounded off about the new Whole Foods campaign rebranding collard greens as the next big superfood. Their efforts have resulted in public backlash over cultural appropriation and... Read more »

If the Choice is Between “Toxic” Criticism and the Status Quo, I’ll Take Toxicity, Thanks

My own belief is that Twitter and other social media allow feminism to grow in crucial ways. These platforms do away with the gatekeepers of media, creating a platform where people whose voices are often left out of the discussion can be heard loud and clear. That discourse forces those... Read more »

Dylan Farrow's Letter Tells Us What Our Culture Needs to Learn: To Believe Survivors.

Dylan Farrow, daughter of filmmaker Woody Allen, did an incredibly brave thing this weekend: She told the story of how Woody Allen sexually abused her when she was seven. In doing so,... Read more »

#FoodGentrification and Culinary Rebranding of Traditional Foods

Since the beginning of January, Whole Foods has been screaming it from their Facebook pages, corporate blog, news affiliates, and tastefully designed signage: “Collards are the new kale!” While at first glance this just seems like a flash-in-the-pan and downright lazy line of ad copy, its casual,... Read more »

How Steampunk Screws With Victorian Gender Norms

Two bearded ladies take a stroll at a Louisiana steampunk festival. Photo credit: infrogmation, via Creative Commons. During the quarter century since novelist K.W. Jeter playfully invented the term... Read more »

All About Eve on Ice: Creating a New Olympic Rivalry Between Blonde Girls, Just in Time

Ashley Wagner is a two-time national champion who missed qualifying for the 2010 Olympic team by a hair, a story that was emphasized by the background commentary in this year’s Nationals. Her nerves were apparent at the Nationals, and her long program seemed irrevocably marred by two... Read more »

R. Kelly Reveals Our Country's Unfair Sex Laws

The music and entertainment industry and mainstream media need to stop enabling, excusing, and euphemizing R. Kelly’s sexual abuse. Read more »


Politically Correct Language Isn't Just About Being Polite—It's About Survival

Photo by Phillipe Leroyer (Creative Commons). Two weeks ago, Jonathan Chait published the lengthy essay “Not a Very P.C.... Read more »

Douchebag Decree: Anti-Choice Hidden Camera Edition

Tool-in-pimp's-clothing James O'Keefe's laughable costume and douchebag seduction methods have mostly discredited his conservative... Read more »

House Proud : The troubling rise of stay-at-home daughters

“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope 
of their father. As long as they’re under the...

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A Conversation About Transgender Representation in Pop Culture

Janet Mock, on her MSNBC web show, is one of a handful of transgender people who has recently gained international visibility. Recently, we... Read more »