Prejudiced against our will

Table or results from an online Implicit Associations Test.

Table of results from an online Implicit Association Test.

Very few people think of themselves as racists. It’s painful and awkward to acknowledge our prejudices. In the United States, our culture teaches us things about people who are different from us from the day we are born. Even if we are raised by parents who make a sincere effort to teach us that prejudice is wrong, we can’t help but have these cultural narratives seep into our subconscious. Pretending this isn’t true throws up major obstacles to attempting to correct our biases, and the recent tragic killings of unarmed black men shows we can’t afford to ignore this problem.  (more…)

Weekend reading


Old posters warn about the dangers of letting women vote.

14 women of color who rocked 2014.

President Obama only called on women at his last press conference of the year.

Not only did a cop think this was OK to say, but he thought it was smart to say it to a reporter.

Two women who met as Ferguson protesters just got married.

In a reminder that it’s not just about class, Barack and Michelle Obama share some of their personal experiences with racism.

From climate change to abortion, why conservatives mislead about facts.

Glynnis MacNicol on coming to terms with not wanting to be a mother at 40.

From Ferguson to UVA, we have to stop blaming the victim


How many times have you heard the excuses? She shouldn’t have had so much to drink. Her skirt shouldn’t have been so short. She shouldn’t have been at that place, at that time, with those people.

The same urge to blame the victim is in full, outrage-inducing force with the recent high profile cases of police violence. Michael Brown was a thug. Eric Garner was obese.  Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was a threat.


Weekend reading


The story behind basketball players’ “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt protest.

6 victories for reproductive rights you might not know happened this year.

Why do women in apocalyptic fiction have shaved armpits?

Shonda Rhimes on how shattering the glass ceiling was a group effort.

Gifts for the social justice warrior in your life.

One of many problems with the “cromnibus”: it gives the Pentagon as much money as it got during the Iraq war.

“I can’t be forgiven for Abu Ghraib.”

16 awful abuses from the torture report.

Einstein’s letter to Marie Curie defending her against trolls.

Want to know what’s going on in the world? Ask a comedian.


I know I’m not the only one to say I wouldn’t survive an election cycle without The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (mourning that loss already). There is a long history of comedians saying things others can’t or won’t say, analyzing our society in ways that cut more deeply than what we see in the news, while also making us laugh. Those efforts can reverberate in ways small and large, from Amy Schumer changing policy on the use of the word “pussy” to Hannibal Buress pushing the Bill Cosby allegations back into the spotlight. 

I spend hours listening to comedy podcasts, watching funny TV shows, going to live standup performances both because it’s just fun and healthy and energizing to laugh, and because hearing people find a compelling, amusing way to comment on injustice is cathartic and necessary. There are so many wonderful comedians out there who do this every day. Here is a small selection of some who have made the case for the value of comedic voices on these issues just in recent weeks.  (more…)

Weekend reading


This is a week where we all need some uplift, so here are 39 feminist moments of 2014.

From Transparent to Broad City to Scandal, it’s a good year for female-centric sex on TV.

Victoria Law at Bitch on reading 50 books by people of color this year.

Chris Rock offers great insights on race and politics in this New York Magazine interview.

Parents publish a “retraction” of their birth announcement to show support for their trans son.

A German student was killed after defending girls from harassment.

A gaming journalist forwards rape threats she receives from boys to their mothers.

Activists from Ferguson meet with President Obama.

Are we overemphasizing the importance of beauty while trying to encourage body positivity?

Required viewing: 5 tips for being an ally.

It’s about race

photo via

photo via

If you know enough white people, you’ve probably heard some complaint over the last few months that the situation in Ferguson isn’t about race. It makes you want to yell and rant and tear your hair out that people are oblivious to something that is so present and undeniable.

One reason for this disparity is a lack of understanding of the constant onslaught people of color deal with in this country, from microaggressions to deadly violence and everything in between. It’s a familiar dynamic to anyone who’s had an argument about racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on. I won’t pretend to understand what it’s like, but I make it my business to learn, and I believe people of color when they share their experiences.  (more…)

Weekend reading


WalMart workers organized their biggest Black Friday protest ever.

When everyone is a feminist, is anyone?

Students at Eckerd College issued a powerful rebuke to their president’s victim-blaming.

Jelani Cobb examines the complicated intersections of the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, stereotypes about black men, and moralizing about black culture.

How long does your state give rape survivors to pursue justice?

Yes, Ferguson is about race.

Vox offers a rundown of the facts about the tragic killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by police in Cleveland.

“Violence is not the answer but neither is peace”: Ferguson roundup

Slate Magazine has a great collection of photos from the protests here:   http://

Photo from Slate Magazine’s great collection of photos from the protests here.

The news that a grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was devastating. That devastation is compounded by the fact that it’s a reflection of a system that continues to devalue black lives, as seen in the recent tragic killings of Tamir Rice and Akai Gurley.

I’m still hearing helicopters flying overhead in Oakland as our city joins others around the country in raging against injustice. As we process what happened and plan for continuing the fight,  here’s a roundup of some of the best commentary I’ve seen in the past few days.  (more…)

I don’t think that means what you think it means: anti-choice protesters edition


Anti-choice protesters make a lot of claims about the intentions behind their aggressive opposition to abortion rights. They would have you think they have the best interests of women at heart, and are politely offering them alternatives to abortion. The fact that this is blatantly false will come to no surprise to anyone who follows their tracking of license plates and rejoicing in blocking access to healthcare. Jill Filipovic recently spent some time with protesters in Massachusetts, and her article paints a clear picture of the gauntlet women have to go through there to access care.

From listening to the protesters explain what they’re doing, it’s obvious here are some key concepts that they just don’t understand, so let me help clear some things up: