Weekend reading


A photographer looks at the things women carry to protect themselves.

Ireland just became the first country to pass marriage equality by popular vote.

85 films by and about women of color.

RH Reality Check investigates the lack of progress on processing the backlog of rape kits.

Students in Florida were called “sexy” while undergoing transvaginal ultrasounds they were pressured into doing.

The Nebraska state legislature voted to end the death penalty.

How much water are the richest Californians wasting? It’s a secret.

Congrats, you have an all male panel.

Is your OB-GYN a member of an anti-choice group?

Talk about the people, not just the politics


Despite the fact that we’re more than a year away from the 2016 presidential election, we’re already getting inundated with horse race coverage. For candidates and likely candidates, every single moved is parsed for political impact. Every policy statement is assessed for what it signals about a candidates’ intentions or desire to woo a particular demographic.

When Hillary Clinton made a statement about criminal justice reform, a couple of Washington Post columnists attacked her for committing political suicide (apparently confronting a glaring reality turns you into Michael Dukakis). Radley Balko responded by tearing apart their claims that this is not a politically viable position, but then gets to the heart of the matter:  (more…)

Weekend reading


Sabine Rear at Bitch magazine shares 6 queer lady comedians she loves.

Monica Hesse joins a woman on the long drive required to obtain an abortion.

A prosecutor in North Carolina admits to discriminating against Latinos in visa applications.

How the conservative obsession with policing poor people’s shopping carts started.

Female directors respond to news that the ACLU is calling for an investigation into gender discrimination in Hollywood.

When gender stereotypes become a serious hazard to women’s health.

The New York Times on the experience of transgender employees at the CIA.

Comedians Aparna Nancherla and Eliza Skinner talk to students on the campus of UC Berkeley about what they know about anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (disclosure: I was involved in making this video):

Surprise! Anti-choice people are sexist


Opponents of reproductive rights want people to believe that their activism stems from a concern for children. That concern is usually belied by their opposition to most programs that prevent unintended pregnancies or help children once they are born.

The truth also comes out when you examine their rhetoric about women. One does not have to do much digging to surface some disturbing views about women’s place in society. Most fierce opposition to reproductive rights comes from a backlash against the growing autonomy and power women have. Anti-choice people know that reproductive freedom leads to economic freedom and opportunity to break free of prescribed gender roles, and they don’t like it.  (more…)

Weekend reading


Tom Tomorrow on some of the most obnoxious responses to the situation in Baltimore.

Some men do not like to be told to stop manspreading.

Gay Israeli men and surrogate babies are evacuated from Nepal, while the mothers are left behind in a disaster zone.

Some cops are tired of wasting their time on white people calling in so-called “suspicious behavior” by their black neighbors.

A protester in Baltimore can’t pay his $500,000 bail, while the police charged in Freddie Gray’s death are out on $350,000 bail.

John Oliver takes on Bud Light’s spectacularly ill-advised ad campaign.

A video about birth control from Amy Schumer that’s scarily close to reality.

A trans teen fights back and wins the right to wear makeup in her DMV photo.

The disturbing differences between what men want in their wives and their daughters.

What to say when the police tell you to stop filming them.

Deleted scenes of women in disaster movies directed by men.

White fear of black riots

Photo from the gathering in downtown Oakland to protest the verdict in the Oscar Grant trial, July 8, 2010

Photo from the gathering in downtown Oakland to protest the verdict in the Oscar Grant trial, July 8, 2010

In the summer of 2010, the Bay Area was anxiously awaiting the verdict in the trial of Johannes Mehserle, a BART police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant while he was handcuffed face down on the train platform. For anyone who had paid attention to the history of unarmed black men killed by police, there was reason to be pessimistic about getting real accountability for this tragic incident. (more…)

Weekend reading


A comic that makes a great point about criticism of “riots” in Baltimore.

How Bud Light  managed to go public with its offensive marketing campaign.

A group of Nebraska Republicans wants to repeal the death penalty.

A professor live tweeted her child’s ridiculous abstinence-only sex ed class.

Fabulous singer Jose James on why Billie Holiday should be seen as a feminist icon.

New York City will start collecting racial data that could help reveal bias in policing.

Amy Schumer does it again with this hilarious parody of songs that tell women they’re beautiful without makeup, despite what our culture might tell them.


“Thugs” and “rough rides”: the hypocrisy of selectively condemning violence in Baltimore

Protests in Baltimore After Funeral Held For Baltimore Man Who Died While In Police Custody

Photo from a collection of Baltimore protest photos at Slate.

Protests over the tragic death of Freddie Gray continue in Baltimore, and like clockwork dogwhistle words like “thug” and misdirection like blaming the breakdown of the “family structure” are on the upswing. Whatever debates one wants to have about tactics, we must not forget a crucial fact: people are reacting viscerally to years of violent oppression, oppression that deserves far more attention and outrage than what’s being directed now at mostly peaceful protests. Oppression that, in the age of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd, and so many more, is clearly not going away without a fight, whatever dubious claims one wants to make about our “post-racial” society. (more…)

Weekend reading


What’s left when you photoshop the all-male bands out of festival posters.

5 things feminists should know about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.

An Alabama lawmaker is trying to shut down an abortion clinic because the anti-abortion protests outside pose a threat to children.

New laws on strangulation aid prosecution in sexual assault cases.

Hillary Clinton must go bold on abortion.

The new podcast Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race offers insightful discussion from Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby.

Meryl Streep has funded a screenwriting lab for women over 40.

A miscarrying woman was denied medication because of “conscience.”

My favorite clothing website ModCloth gets even better by spotlighting transgender comedian Rye Silverman.

A store in Pittsburgh charges women 76% of what it charges men to make up for the wage gap.