Weekend reading


RH Reality Check’s infographic shows the people behind manufactured attacks on Planned Parenthood.

7 ways to turn your anger about Sandra Bland into action in support of incarcerated (and formerly incarcerated) black women.

Actor Jesse Williams breaks down Sandra Bland and racist hypocrisy in 24 tweets.

11 essential facts about guns and mass shootings in the US.

Houstonia magazine writes an editorial telling racist readers they can take their business elsewhere.

Instagram banned the hashtag #curvy, while allowing #thin and #skinny to stay.

How conservatives and liberals misappropriate #BlackLivesMatter.

#BlackLivesMatter and the “new civil rights movement”


It’s become increasingly clear that #BlackLivesMatter is a movement that won’t be ignored. Sadly, it seems that every day brings another reminder why it exists, and we learn the names of people like Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray only because of the tragedies that befell them. While the #BlackLivesMatter may be still developing and coming into its own, there’s no question that it’s making an impact. Elizabeth Day at The Guardian has a great piece about the origins of #BlackLivesMatter (including the prominent role played by women) and what she calls the “birth of a new civil rights movement.” (more…)

Weekend reading

John Lewis at Comic-Con 7-14-15

Member of Congress and civil rights hero John Lewis recreated the Selma march (including his original outfit) at Comic Con.

What some pregnancy centers are really saying to women with unplanned pregnancies.

Nate Silver says being black in the US is about as perilous as living in Myanmar.

23% of black voters can’t legally vote in Florida.

A former state executioner talks about the emotional toll of killing 62 people.

Can we just, like, get over the way women talk?

The 5 most absurd arguments made against women’s choice at the Right to Life Convention.

Police shot and killed people on all but 12 days of the year so far.

Rebecca Cohen draws comics that show why we still need feminism.

This is what preventing war looks like

meeting with Miles for Peace activists in Tehran

meeting with Miles for Peace activists in Tehran

Six years ago, when hope was high after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, I traveled to Iran with a people-to-people diplomacy delegation. Scarred by years of war and devastation in Iraq and Afghanistan, people in the US and abroad hoped that the candidate who stuck up for diplomacy on the campaign trail would take us down another path. (more…)

Weekend reading


Female film directors put together a list of must-see films directed by women.

Lowering the Confederate flag is one small step in the right direction.

Cutting all the white people out of many Hollywood films makes them under a minute long.

The governor of my home state of Maine appears to have accidentally extended more benefits to immigrants.

Why straight men should go watch Magic Mike XXL.

Craft beer has a sexism problem.

Obama will be the first sitting president to visit a prison.

Americans own 42% of the guns on the planet.

The left needs to celebrate to survive


Anyone who has spent time organizing for political change knows it isn’t easy. You have to deal with setbacks, rejection, long hours, seemingly insurmountable challenges. But we finds ways to persevere and recognize that major social change is a long-term project. Some people get discouraged and don’t stick with it, and the great Rebecca Solnit identified how some people in the movement contribute to that problem in”letter to my dismal allies on the US left“: (more…)

Weekend reading


The Dissolve put together a list of the 50 most daring film roles for women since Ripley.

Kudos to a Girl Scout troop that turned down $100,000 from a transphobic donor.

Nearly half of black and Latina scientists mistaken for janitors or assistants.

A man writes about spending two weeks eating food marketed to women.

Girls with working moms may do better when they grow up.

26 times celebrity men stood up for feminism.

Affirmative consent is still confusing for college students.

Weekend reading


Meet the first same-sex couple to get married in Dallas, Texas, who’ve been together more than 50 years.

White Americans think protesting improves our nation–unless black folks are involved.

25 famous women on the best advice they’ve ever given or received.

Medical examiner rules Freddie Gray’s death a homicide.

The number of people who use a gun in self-defense is pretty much negligible.

A border agent allegedly claimed that a three-year-old crossed the border to “look for work.”

Lisa Wade: “I am a white woman. No more murder in my name.

Study shows how men overcompensate when their masculinity is questioned.

Students successfully got Columbia University to divest $10 million from private prisons.

Online harassment is real and devastating

Just about any woman or person of color who has expressed an opinion on the internet knows the wrath of online trolls. It’s frightening and real, yet the response is lagging far behind the technology. As John Oliver points out in another brilliant segment for Last Week Tonight, law enforcement often doesn’t even know what Twitter is, leaving women without recourse when they are getting very specific rape and death threats. More people need to understand the gravity of the situation, and the show does a great job of making the case for why we all need to take this more seriously (featuring a fabulous parody of an old AOL ad featuring Rob Huebel and Colin Hanks).

There is some progress being made, with some states taking action to punish purveyors of “revenge porn,” but there needs to be more action. As Oliver points out, “If you’re thinking, come on, [online harassment] doesn’t seem like that big a problem, well, congratulations on your white penis.”