What we must remember after Ferguson

photo via slate.com

photo via slate.com

Every time there is a tragedy like the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, we are reminded of the many lessons our society has sadly failed to learn. It’s wrenching to watch yet another family grieve a young person who paid the ultimate price thanks to racism and institutional failure. As we fight for justice for Michael Brown and others, we must also highlight the lessons that will help our country prevent these tragedies in the future.  (more…)

Weekend reading

photo via philly.com

photo via philly.com

The news this week was dominated by the disturbing events in Ferguson, Missouri. More on that to come soon, but in the meantime some other weekend reading recommendations:

Mo’ne Davis became the first girl to throw a shut out in the Little League World Series.

Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to ever win the Fields Medal for mathematics.

Install this extension on your browser to see where members of Congress get their campaign funds as you read about them in the news.

Another reason to like John Oliver.

How women are affected by benevolent sexism.

Art that aims to change the conversation about abortion.

6 feminist TV shows you should go binge watch now

We have amazing access to so much culture right now that we can choose television shows that give us interesting, nuanced roles for women and compelling examinations of gender issues. When I get excited about a movie or a TV show, I like to evangelize, and I’m sure I could make a very long list. To start, here are 6 feminist TV shows you should check out:



Weekend reading


Celebrating Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 21 years on the Supreme Court.

A male CEO explains why he’s quitting for better work/life balance and discusses the double standards around career and gender.

The perfect response to people who say they don’t want Muslims on their flights.

A new billboard campaign teaches tourists about states’ poor treatment of women.

15 pioneering women in computer science.

The interim president of Kentucky State University is giving up $90,000 of his salary to give minimum wage workers a raise.



We’re not just daughters

It’s a story that’s become familiar in our cultural and political conversation. A politician supports anti-gay policies until his son comes out as gay. A woman is vehemently against abortion rights until she has an unintended pregnancy. Someone has an epiphany thanks to a brush with real-life experience. While anything that influences people to support more just, progressive policies is positive in a way, it’s frustrating that it often takes stumbling into a situation like this to change people’s minds. Kat Stoeffel takes on a version of this phenomenon that can be particularly annoying:  (more…)


Weekend reading

This handy chart shows you when a woman owes you sex.

Esquire offers a remarkable profile of a remarkable man: Dr. Willie Parker, who travels to Mississippi to perform abortions in its only remaining clinic. Go read it now.

7 studies that prove that mansplaining is real.

In preparation for the Facing Race conference, 11 reasons we still need to talk about race.

Women who served time in the prison that inspired Orange is the New Black rally to end mass incarceration.

Check out this profile of ingenious comedian Maria Bamford and her struggles with mental illness, and then watch her hilarious standup.


Women won’t be fooled by GOP attempts to hide anti-woman policies

In the understatement of the century, the New York Times reports that “Republicans acknowledge that their communication on women’s issues has been inadequate.” Their solution involves training candidates to try putting a sheen on their unappealing policies:

It was not on the public schedule for the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting at the stately Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. But inside a conference room, a group of conservative women held a boot camp to strengthen an unlikely set of skills: how to talk about abortion.

They have conducted a half-dozen of these sessions around the country this year, from Richmond, Va., to Madison, Wis. Coaches point video cameras at the participants and ask them to talk about why they believe abortion is wrong. 



Weekend reading

A performance artist satirizes the use of scantily clad women as accessories.

John Oliver and some muppets explain the US’s broken prison system.

More discrimination in the name of religion: the Department of Education grants a religious exemption for a university to deny on campus housing to a transgender student.

A chart that shows the rapid rise in incarceration and racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

Fill up your Netflix queue with 50 essential feminist films.

“I’m terrified of dying like Eric Garner.”

A luxury apartment building in New York is creating a separate “poor door” for low income residents.

The Detroit Water Project lets you help poor residents who have had their water shut off by directly paying their bills.

A nurse-midwife who refuses to dispense birth control sues a family planning clinic for not hiring her.

A new documentary series honors “Queer Black Visionaries.”

The education of street harassers

You have to wonder at the thought process (if there is one) behind catcalling. What does a guy expect is going to happen? The few times in the past that I’ve confronted people who’ve sexually harassed me, the main reaction was utter surprise that someone was responding to them at all, particularly in an angry manner. They cowered and offered apologies, but I never dug in to the question of why.  (more…)