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.”

Weekend reading


These graphs show the veto power of white men in politics.

Around the world, women are forced to justify their reasons for abortion.

4 damning findings from the investigation into the shooting of Tamir Rice.

Black Americans are killed at 12 times the rate of people in other developed countries.

How Section 8 became a “racial slur.”

Can we release violent criminals from prison without increasing crime? Yes.

Tim Wise on Rachel Dolezal and the creation of antiracist white identity.

What Rachel Dolezal doesn’t understand: being black is about more than how you look.

Ann Friedman asks, how do you know you’re a woman?


What happens when it’s easier to get a gun than an abortion


If you pay even the smallest amount of attention to American politics, you know that gun rights are seemingly inviolable. Even when unspeakable tragedies are committed with guns, even when the majority of people support common-sense gun control measures, it’s nearly impossible to put any barriers between wannabe gun owners and their weapons of choice.

On the other hand, abortion rights are constantly under attack, despite that fact that a strong majority of Americans believe abortion access should be legal. Abortion is a safe, common medical procedure, but the government just can’t resist getting between women and their doctors. (more…)

Weekend reading


Since some people actually need to be reminded, RH Reality Check has a great new tumblr showing you can be a parent and also support abortion rights.

A former cop on what went wrong in McKinney.

Jill Filipovic writes that what makes a woman is less important than what makes a feminist.

California legislators and activists are working to repeal a racist, classist law that punishes poor women for having children.

Florida once passed a law that required single mothers to publish ads naming their sexual partners. 

Elizabeth Warren’s perfect response to JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s condescension.

Jenée Desmond-Harris on why she decided it’s time to stop saying “you guys.”

10 black women composers to discover.

Kalief Browder, Timothy Tyrone Foster and the failures of the criminal justice system

Kalief Browder, 1993-2015

Kalief Browder, 1993-2015

This week, Kalief Browder’s all too brief life came to an end when he committed suicide. If I had greater faith in this country’s position as a moral bastion, I wouldn’t be able to believe his tragic story. Kalief, just 22 when he died, was held in jail for three years without trial starting at the age of 16 for stealing a backpack, a charge he vigorously denied. He suffered in jail all that time partly because his family could not afford bail, and after all that his case was dismissed. He spent about two of those years in solitary confinement, a practice that most reasonable people recognize as torture. The conditions he faced were reprehensible:  (more…)

Weekend reading


Charts that show how popular young actresses are paired with much older men on screen.

Why did Abercrombie & Fitch keep fighting so long in the discrimination suit that went all the way to the Supreme Court?

Outrageous: black families in Mississippi face criminal charges for cheering too loudly at a graduation ceremony.

“If Senator Sanders is a crackpot, so are the majority of Americans.

Jill Lepore on the legal strategies underpinning the LGBT and reproductive rights movements and the potential future consequences of the two different approaches.

The Guardian has an interactive feature on people killed by the police in the US this year.

How comedians became public intellectuals.

Is anti-choice ideology driving malpractice lawsuits?

Politicians, take note


I’ve heard more times than I’d care to that the US is a center-right country, and that’s why progressives aren’t winning as much as we would like. This analysis has infected the political class, and a self-reinforcing cycle ensues in which politicians are afraid to take any kind of risk because they expect blowback. Kevin Drum at Mother Jones highlighted an interesting study that calls these assumptions into question [emphasis mine]: (more…)

Weekend reading


The Stranger skewers sexist music journalism.

Cop caught on video telling black teen, “If you fuck with me, I’m going to break your legs.

A full-time minimum wage job won’t get you a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the US.

NASA thought Sally Ride needed 100 tampons for one week in space.

A statistical analysis shows that women and people of color are vastly underrepresented in New Yorker cartoons.

Funny women Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham, Gina Rodriguez and more talk about sexism in Hollywood.

Comedian W. Kamau Bell shares the story of a racist encounter in Berkeley and discusses how to talk to children about racism.

A comic that perfectly explains wealth and privilege.

A group of wealthy young people is raising money for “black liberation.”