What We Missed

Fuck Congress. House Republicans killed extension of the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits. Democrats have no plans to call the Senate back into session.

Beautiful post by a 1st-grade teacher about preventing gender bullying in the classroom.

You can watch The Purity Myth documentary for only $2 until the end of the day today.

Thank you, anarchists of Occupy Wall Street, for showing us a new way forward.

How Romney’s using political doublespeak to claim he opposes anti-gay discrimination.

This Dutch Christmas tradition is super racist.

Happy Hanukkah!

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

Read more about Jos

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    I really love the post from the 1st grade teacher, thanks for sharing it!

    • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ toongrrl

      If I had her as a teacher while I was a kid, I wouldn’t have absorbed some pretty fucked up views on gender that I’ve been trying to make progress with.

    • http://feministing.com/members/geek/ Ssorg

      Love this post. We have a little boy in our classroom who chooses to have long
      hair. Had to tell other students to leave him alone and try to challenge their gender stereotypes yesterday. I can remember being little and refusing to play with stereotypically girl toys and being very upset when I wasn’t allowed to roughhouse with the little boys. Now I do MMA. My mom had to sneak out just to play football.
      It is surprising how early (and uptightly) the gender stereotypes form.

  • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    My stepmother, who comes from Germany, has told me of that “Schwartz Piet” character in that part of the world. There’s also a similar folklore with Santa’s helper being “Krampus”, an imaginary devil/imp sort of character, rather than a person of a particular race. I wonder which tradition originated first?

    • http://feministing.com/members/feminister/ feminister

      Krampus is from pre-Christian Germany (so, back before Charlemagne), and Zwarte Piet in the current incarnation is from the 19th century (specifically from a book illustration around 1845 or 1850).

      • http://feministing.com/members/azure156/ Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

        Thanks for the clarification! I probably should have figured Krampus was older given his “horned god”-like attributes. :)

  • http://feministing.com/members/nissa/ Annis

    About “Zwarte Piet” – I live in a neighboring country and I’ve always been told at home and in school that he’s white during the year but on the night of 5 December he helps Sinterklaas, our equivalent of Santa, climb down chimneys all over the world to place Sinterklaas’ gifts for kids in front of the fireplace. It’s also a tradition to leave drinks or snacks in front of the fireplace to reward him, and he’s basically just an equivalent of Sanfa’s little helpers.

    But, that’s what they’ve been saying over the past two decades, it could very well be that the roots of this character are racist and have to do with Dutch colonialism. Most people here don’t know what blackface means – and the only decidedly black-looking character in folklore is Zwarte Piet. Maybe it is still quasi-accepted as a tradition because the Dutch have never had much black/white tension in their own country? I mean in the US this would’ve been banned a long time ago.

    I have never thought about him much but growing up I found him really scary and then when I first heard of blackface in the US I immediately found this character despicable, despite the chimney story.

  • http://feministing.com/members/genderqueercyclist/ Jacob

    I really wish I had that teacher as a student. It would have been nice to discover that I didn’t have to be a man 18 years ago.

  • http://feministing.com/members/tariq/ daria

    the post with the primary school teacher made me smile. it’s so important to educate kids & give them the tools to critique social constructs & children are so open minded & capable of understanding more than adults give them credit for. it’s why i wanted to teach primary(but have settled for secondary for irrelevant reasons). im saving this article for when i’m feeling bitter & need hope for humanity.

  • http://feministing.com/members/smash/ smash

    From the last article, “In fact, they became so mad that organizers of New Westminster’s Dutch Sinterklaas celebrations in Canada have pulled Black Peter from their traditional parade after complaints that the black-faced helper carried racist undertones.”

    Overtones is more like it. Seriously.