The Pope’s recent gesture is not an about face on HIV prevention

This weekend, the Pope has drawn wide praise after comments he made in the recently released, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, that support condoms in some circumstances. But I agree with the Christian Science Monitor’s assertion; this is evolution, not revolution.

Let us first look at the context of both comments.

In March 2009, the Pope was on a plane ride to Yaounde, Cameroon during his first visit to Africa as Pope when he said, ”You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope continued ”On the contrary, it increases the problem.” While he later followed up by saying that a moral attitude toward sex would help fight ...

This weekend, the Pope has drawn wide praise after comments he made in the recently released, Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times, that support condoms in some circumstances. ...

Quick hit: Nancy Goldstein on awkward Thanksgiving meals

Specifically, the one that will take place in the McCain household later this week. In a column at the American Prospect today, Nancy Goldstein points out two truths. Firstly, Thanksgiving at the McCain house is going to be really tense this year, what with Meghan, Cindy and John all publicly taking their different stances on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Secondly, the age gap between the people making decisions about DADT (Congress and the President) and the people they’re supposedly most concerned about (the troops) is huge:

These same divisions also fuel the Kabuki theatrics now playing in Washington over DADT. The actors? Congress — where the median age in the overwhelmingly male Senate that has ...

Specifically, the one that will take place in the McCain household later this week. In a column at the American Prospect today, Nancy Goldstein points out two truths. Firstly, Thanksgiving at the McCain house is going ...

Proof that powerful feminists are enabling conservative faux-feminism

In a piece I wrote for The Nation this September, I argued that mainstream feminists’ continued erasure of young activists was paving the way for conservative appropriation of the movement:

Part of the reason Palin and her cohort are so successful at positioning themselves as the “new” women’s movement is because we fail to push forward and support new feminists of our own. This is not to say that younger women aren’t at the forefront of the movement—they certainly are. But their work is often made invisible by an older generation of feminists who prefer to believe young women are apathetic rather than admitting their movement is shifting into something they ...

In a piece I wrote for The Nation this September, I argued that mainstream feminists’ continued erasure of young activists was paving the way for conservative appropriation of the movement:

Part of the reason Palin ...

Michigan State University and the Sad Reality of Not Knowing

Last month I posted briefly about the distressing case at Michigan State University, where two basketball players were accused of sexually assaulting a female student, and even though one of them admitted that the woman hadn’t consented, they weren’t prosecuted. The incident sparked MSU students to action on campus, forming a Coalition Against Sexual Violence. 40 of the Coalition members rallied outside of the university president’s office last week, after feeling that the school was not being proactive in addressing this, or other cases of sexual violence on campus. When they students were given the chance to sit down with the vice president of student affairs and services, they presented a list of nine demands, and it looks ...

Last month I posted briefly about the distressing case at Michigan State University, where two basketball players were accused of sexually assaulting a female student, and even though one of them admitted that the woman hadn’t ...

Canadian anti-rape campaign: “Don’t be that guy”

Finally, an anti-rape campaign that targets the perpetrators, rather than the victims! The campaign, which was launched in Edmonton, Alberta, last week, is called “Don’t Be That Guy.” In a series of posters, it addresses the legal reality that a woman who is extremely drunk, or even passed out, cannot consent to sex. With messages like “just because she isn’t saying no… doesn’t mean she’s saying yes ”and“ Just because you’re helping her home… doesn’t mean you get to help yourself,” the campaign targets “opportunistic offenders,” as Edmonton Police Superintendent calls them. According to the Vancouver Sun:

The three advertisements were chosen after focus-group testing showed the messages were clearly understood by, and resonated with, young men.

Finally, an anti-rape campaign that targets the perpetrators, rather than the victims! The campaign, which was launched in Edmonton, Alberta, last week, is called “Don’t Be That Guy.” In a series of posters, it addresses the legal ...

An unabashed love letter to Ginny Weasley

Dear Ginny,

Last week the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, and that’s given me an opportunity to think even more than usual about how much I love the series. And as I was thinking about that, I realized that you, Ginny Weasley, are more awesome than Viktor Krum is surly. You are more excellent than Peter Pettigrew is cowardly. You are a badass feminist witch and I am so glad that you are around as a heroine for young women reading the Potter series.

Let’s start from the beginning. When you first got to Hogwarts, you had a huge crush on Harry Potter. You even sent him a singing valentine. Remember, “I wish he were ...

Dear Ginny,

Last week the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, and that’s given me an opportunity to think even more than usual about how much I love the series. And as ...

12 year-old girl attacked for having “boys name”

Saturday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when we remember of all the lives lost to transphobia and hate in this world. My friend Veronica points out it’s also a day to honor the resilience and trans and gender non-conforming folks, and all those who survive and thrive in a difficult world.

This story is a reminder that gender policing has serious negative consequences on all of us, in different ways, whether we are trans or not.

A 12 year-old girl named Randi was beaten by five other students in Mississippi, according to Change.org:

“They started talking about me like I was a man,” she told local news station WREG. “That I shouldn’t be in this world. ...

Saturday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day when we remember of all the lives lost to transphobia and hate in this world. My friend Veronica points out it’s also a day to honor the ...

The Feministing Five: W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell is a stand-up comic and stand-up guy (yes, that is the best joke I can manage). Bell is best known for his one-man shows, the most recent of which is The W. Kamau Bell Curve: Ending Racism in About an Hour. Bell aptly describes the show, which is constantly updated to reflect the news of the day, as “one part manifesto, one part diatribe, and several parts funny.”

Bell’s comedy focuses on race and particularly on the national conversation about race, something that it can be hard to get people laughing about. Here’s a sample of the show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX2R-ucQIHY

As you can see, Bell’s is smart, incisive comedy. As you can imagine, it was an absolute pleasure to sit ...

W. Kamau Bell is a stand-up comic and stand-up guy (yes, that is the best joke I can manage). Bell is best known for his one-man shows, the most recent of which is The W. Kamau ...

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