Time to stop running from abortion rights


Democrats have been playing defense on abortion rights for years. They embraced what felt to them like a reasonable compromise with “safe, legal and rare,” but that formulation ignores the reality of women’s need to access abortion care. Contributing to a framework that implies the only “correct” response to an abortion is regret and emotional turmoil reinforces abortion stigma and feeds the cycle that prevents us from having an open and honest discussion. As Katha Pollitt adeptly argues in Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rightswe should embrace abortion as a critical medical procedure that empowers women and contributes to our social and economic equality.  (more…)

Weekend reading

Comedian Liz Miele invents feminist sex positions.

Brittney Cooper on “Selma” and the clueless white gaze.

Why “Selma” is more than fair to LBJ.

Bjork calls out sexism in the music industry.

A teacher in Mississippi found a creative solution to get around prohibitions on demonstrating proper condom use.

In another reminder about why focusing so much on women’s drinking is problematic, a football player’s lawyer is blaming “campus drinking culture” for rape.


42 years after Roe, some people want a fetus to have more rights than you


Forty-two years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled that women have a legal right to obtain abortions. You would hope that after that many decades, a woman’s bodily autonomy would be respected and the issue would be settled. Of course, there are still many people out there who think a fetus deserves more rights than a full-grown human being.


Weekend reading


Rachel Rinaldo on how Islam and feminism are not at odds.

The hilarious Jenny Slate talks about reproductive rights in the acceptance speech for her well-deserved Critics’ Choice Award.

What Cosby, “Selma” and Hebdo reveal about white liberal consciousness.

A pastor in Colorado stopped a woman’s funeral when he found out she was a lesbian.

How “Selma” is a horror movie.

The Toast tears down tropes of bad interviews with women writers.

There are only three countries where your boss is more likely to be a woman.

Aziz Ansari trolls Rupert Murdoch over Islamophobic tweets.

“I Just Had an Abortion”: A Black woman on making the best choice for herself, despite the stigmas and shaming attempts.

Diving into the men-only swimming pool: the history of women in the US Senate


The female senator who kept to herself was derisively called “Silent Hattie.” The one who made a point of engaging and having a near-perfect record for voting was said to have a “fetish” for it. It should come as no surprise that the first women in the US Senate struggled to find their place in a male-dominated institution. Liza Mundy’s fascinating piece for Politico about the history of women in the Senate shows the trajectory from those early twentieth century days to the significant but incomplete progress we’ve made today.  (more…)

Weekend reading


Essence Magazine devoted an issue to Black Lives Matter, with pieces by Angela Davis, Melissa Harris-Perry and more.

The creator of BoJack Horseman on comedy’s “default male” problem.

The subtle racism and sexism that makes even diverse college campuses hostile.

To get an Oscar nomination, it’s still best to make a mediocre movie about a white guy.

Mike Huckabee’s stupid, racist attack on Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Republicans are forcing women to have abortions, then telling us it’s too late.

Miranda July’s favorite recent books by women in which women have sex.

18 badass women you probably didn’t hear about in 2014.

The Pittsburgh Police Union got outraged about a sign promoting challenging racism at work.

Corporate accountability does not equal slut-shaming.

Here’s hoping progressive are successful in their attempts to assert control over the Democratic Party.

Why are you an activist? Reflections on one year of blogging.


Two meaningful moments from my time as an activist: with children from the Casilino 900 camp outside Rome in 2002, and with peace activists from Miles for Peace in Tehran in 2009.

I’m often asked how I became an activist. I appreciate the question, but I always feel like I should have some clever story. There should be a watershed moment to point to, like a smaller scale version of Rosa Parks’ impromptu decision to fight on a bus in Montgomery. But of course, that Rosa Parks is a myth. She was a long-time activist and part of an organized campaign to fight for civil rights.  (more…)

Weekend reading

TamirRice_Web_Aaron Josefczyk-Reuters

19 photos that show how post-racial America doesn’t exist.

Leading feminists on what they want to accomplish in 2015.

Jezebel has a great roundup of hilarious women you should get to know.

How low income New Yorkers are benefitting from the NYPD’s work stoppage.

Meet the architect who is working to make abortion clinics more beautiful.

Margaret Lyons offers recommendations for one of my favorite categories of TV shows, British women getting it done.

Favorite women-centric films of 2014


While there’s still a lot of work to be done for better representation of women in films and behind the camera, 2014 gave us some fantastic films that offer complex, compelling roles for women and have interesting things to say about gender. If you’re looking for something to watch over the holiday weekend, here are some of my favorites, some of which might have flown under your radar.  (more…)

Weekend reading


Why 2014 could be a turning point for the US’s racist criminal justice system.

Black cops get racially profiled too.

Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism.

Indiewire’s best women-directed films of 2014.

Twitter isn’t taking rape and death threats against women seriously.

Why “Selma” is a great biopic that also speaks to our current moment.