Is Michele Bachmann a gaffe machine or a serious candidate?

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially kicked off her 2012 presidential campaign Monday in Waterloo, Iowa and, as she has done before, screwed up the history of the city she was in. In one interview, clearly trying to charm the locals, Bachmann promised to “mimic the spirit of Waterloo’s own John Wayne.” In fact, there is a John Wayne from the town of Waterloo, Iowa, but it’s not the iconic movie star. It’s the serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. In defense of her gaffe, Bachmann said she’s “not perfect” and makes mistakes. Ya think?

Previously, while in New Hampshire, Bachmann proclaimed that she loved the state because it was where the shot was heard around the world in ...

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially kicked off her 2012 presidential campaign Monday in Waterloo, Iowa and, as she has done before, screwed up the history of the city she was in. In one interview, ...

Bristol Palin and the challenge of calling rape, rape

“What you have just described is rape.”

Those were the words that the detective said to me as I sat in a Brooklyn precinct on a hot summer night four years ago. The sign outside read “Special Victims Unit” yet the set up looked nothing like the popular Law & Order television version and there was no Olivia Benson to greet me at the door.

It was the first time I had heard those words. Rape. Up to that point, as I went through the process of a rape kit in the hospital, and gave my initial statement to the uniformed officers, the word “rape” didn’t leave my lips. It was too ugly a word and nothing that ...

“What you have just described is rape.”

Those were the words that the detective said to me as I sat in a Brooklyn precinct on a hot summer night four years ago. The sign outside read “Special ...

Swedish pre-school fights gender bias

Pretty interesting stuff.

The whole place is set up to put all kinds of stereotypically gendered behavior on equal footing, e.g. putting the Legos next to the kitchen set.  They’ve got comments from ye olde concern trolls- a UC Berkeley psychologist is quoted as saying, “The kind of things that boys like to do — run around and turn sticks into swords — will soon be disapproved of.  So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness,” which ignores possibilities like the girls might want to run around with stick-swords too– but they seem to be handling what’s a fairly radical idea (relative to what’s already in existence) as well as they can.

I’m not sure about the whole removal of ...

Pretty interesting stuff.

The whole place is set up to put all kinds of stereotypically gendered behavior on equal footing, e.g. putting the Legos next to the kitchen set.  They’ve got comments from ye olde concern trolls- ...

The 21st century underground railroad

As the conversation continues regarding Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who came out in The New York Times as an undocumented immigrant, I wanted to highlight one of the most touching parts of his message. He’s making the media rounds arguing that our current immigration system is so broken that is has created “a 21st century underground railroad” of parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, and mentors who are caring for and protecting undocumented immigrants–especially kids. I met one such activist recently–a Spanish teacher who lives in the Philadelphia-area–and he told me about the joy he gets from advocating for some of the Mexican immigrants in his community regarding labor and housing issues, educational opportunities, and so much else. ...

As the conversation continues regarding Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who came out in The New York Times as an undocumented immigrant, I wanted to highlight one of the most touching parts of his ...

Healing trauma through violence

Mac McClelland, journalist and badass, has a jarringly honest, deeply powerful, and potentially triggering piece over at GOOD about how violent sex helped her deal with post traumatic stress disorder. Here’s an excerpt in which she talks about her obviously insightful therapist’s views on trauma:

‘Being aware and understanding what’s going on in your system and then literally working it through your body, like retraining your body how to calm down, is really useful,’ Meredith says. For many of her trauma patients, it’s a long and intense process. And if it goes untreated? ‘A lot of people don’t heal, and it manifests in a lot of different ways throughout their lives. There’s a study they did with Vietnam vets ...

Mac McClelland, journalist and badass, has a jarringly honest, deeply powerful, and potentially triggering piece over at GOOD about how violent sex helped her deal with post traumatic stress disorder. Here’s an excerpt in which ...

Welcome Zerlina Maxwell into the mix

We are beyond thrilled to announce our new summer guest blogger, Zerlina Maxwell.

Zerlina is a staff writer and political analyst for The Loop 21. She writes and speaks out on topics as varied as political communications and strategy, domestic violence, sexual assault, racial and gender discrimination, and pop culture. In 2008, she took a hiatus from studying law at Rutgers Law School to work as a field organizer managing Barack Obama’s “Campaign for Change” Hampton University office in the battleground state of Virginia. Her writing has appeared in This Week In Blackness, The Urban Politico, TheRoot.com and Salon.com.

Look for her posts starting this afternoon.

We are beyond thrilled to announce our new summer guest blogger, Zerlina Maxwell.

Zerlina is a staff writer and political analyst for The Loop 21. She writes and speaks out on topics as varied as political ...

You go (shy) girl!

“I think it’s important for shy girls to be able to be seen as leaders too,” said the, no doubt, shy girl sitting among a circle of 20 or so middle schoolers at a girls’ leadership summer camp. We were brainstorming a list of leadership qualities that we–not the media, not parents, not teachers, not even friends–deemed critical.

I thought this point was not only brave, but very astute. As I make the rounds of girls’ leadership development programs and camps this summer (I’m thrilled to be headed to The Girls Leadership Institute next month, co founded by one of my favorite human beings, Rachel Simmons), I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of leadership model we are ...

“I think it’s important for shy girls to be able to be seen as leaders too,” said the, no doubt, shy girl sitting among a circle of 20 or so middle schoolers at a girls’ leadership summer ...

What We Missed


Photo: WNYC

Here’s a great slideshow from this weekend’s NYC Gay Pride Parade.

“I’ve never sent anyone a thanks-for-finally-getting-it-together-to-support-my-basic-human-rights card, and I’m not going to start now.” That’s Nancy Goldstein, writing at The Nation, about the New York same sex marriage victory.

Similarly, the New York Times editorial board is telling President Obama, whose views on gay marriage are “evolving,” to evolve faster.

At Slate, June Thomas is writing a series on the possible demise of the gay bar.

Today is National HIV Testing Day.

A color-coded illustration of just how much American maternity leave policy sucks.

Women in the Colombian town of Barbacoas are staging a Lysistrata-style protest in order to get a road fixed.


Photo: WNYC

Here’s a great slideshow from this weekend’s NYC Gay Pride Parade.

“I’ve never sent anyone a thanks-for-finally-getting-it-together-to-support-my-basic-human-rights card, and I’m not going to start now.” That’s Nancy Goldstein, writing at The Nation, about ...

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