Posts Tagged social justice

The Kids Were Always Alright: Breaking the Spell of Ageless Ageism

The belief that the world is bad and getting worse is one of the most venerable motifs of human civilization, appearing as far back as our record of written language exists. There are even Egyptian hieroglyphs suggesting that our next stop on this handbasket trip is Hell. Consider some of the guiding myths of our age that have been with us since time immemorial: even if you are not Christian, something about the myth of Eden and the Fall stays with you, guiding that pessimistic sense that we’ve declined ever more precipitously from a state of grace. Although the Fall myth is about a collapse from a very ancient grace that is firmly in the past, I’d argue the very idea ...

The belief that the world is bad and getting worse is one of the most venerable motifs of human civilization, appearing as far back as our record of written language exists. There are even Egyptian hieroglyphs suggesting ...

East LA yoga studio is for ALL the people

Earlier this year, XOJane published a piece by a white woman who attended the same yoga class as a fat black woman. The piece centered on how worried she was for the poor black woman, who–she assumed–must have felt horribly uncomfortable and unskilled as she attempted to perform the poses the yoga instructor described. It was a patronizing and racist, and an unfortunate reminder that yoga studios are often set up to serve very thin, white, wealthy, and heteronormative people. Sesali wrote about the piece, noting that “being fat in spaces that are created to bring attention to the body can seem like breeding grounds for microaggressions and hurt feelings.”

Now imagine a ...

Earlier this year, XOJane published a piece by a white woman who attended the same yoga class as a fat black woman. The piece centered on how worried she was for the poor black woman, ...

Beyond niceness: Further thoughts on rage

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared at Nuclear Unicorn.

By now word has spread far and wide through the various fiefdoms of social justice activism that a new conversation about rage and political practise is sorely needed, including a well-received piece by our own Veronica Bayetti Flores, and one I had written on my own blog. A noteworthy critique marshalled against my article and the others like it was that we are advocating “niceness” in lieu of robust advocacy. I cannot speak for my friends and colleagues, naturally, but in speaking for my own intentions, nothing could be further from the truth.

There can be no doubt that our political ...

Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared at Nuclear Unicorn.

By now word has spread far and wide through the various fiefdoms of social justice activism that a new conversation about ...

Cultural traditions that oppress women are not worth preserving

Writing like this makes me want to pull out my hair. In an otherwise decent New York Times story about the myriad forms of violence that women in India face on a regular basis, sits these paragraphs:

As girls age, the strict controls that many families have over their daughters cannot protect them from rape and sexual assault, since most of those crimes are committed by people known to the women, studies say. But even so, such controls have some benefits, public health experts say. Indian women have, on average, no more than two sexual partners in their entire lives, and most are virgins when they marry, surveys show. This absence of promiscuity is probably an important reason that AIDS never ...

Writing like this makes me want to pull out my hair. In an otherwise decent New York Times story about the myriad forms of violence that women in India face on a regular basis, sits these paragraphs:

As ...

CNN recognizes social justice heroes

Things can get pretty bleak out there. And sometimes also in my head. But! It isn’t all the assassination of women government officials investigating corruption and U.S. district judges saying it’s probably okay that a Christian book publisher doesn’t want to provide contraception to its employees.

No. This holiday, I’m thankful that there are extraordinary people out there doing extraordinary things. And that the mainstream media, or at least CNN, is recognizing and rewarding them.

CNN Heroes celebrates “everyday people changing the world.” For the past five years, CNN has honored several dozen social justice workers, human rights activists, and community organizers from around the world. In a hugely pleasant surprise, women and people of color have consistently been recognized in equal ...

Things can get pretty bleak out there. And sometimes also in my head. But! It isn’t all the assassination of women government officials investigating corruption and U.S. district judges saying it’s probably okay that a Christian book ...

Awesome of the Day: Colbert vs. “Radical feminist nun” Sister Simone Campbell

As nuns from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) plan to meet with the Vatican today to discuss the ridiculous investigation targeting them for being too feminist and “politicized” (because the Vatican is not politicized at all), Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK was on The Colbert Report last night in response to the Vatican’s claims — and brilliantly throws Colbert’s snark right back at him.

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Today’s meeting should be an interesting one, considering LCWR recently came out with a statement saying they ...

As nuns from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) plan to meet with the Vatican today to discuss the ridiculous investigation targeting them for being too feminist and “politicized” (because the Vatican is ...

President Obama: making news and making history

Yesterday’s announcement by President Obama that he personally believes that same sex couples have a legal right to get married was a watershed moment. It will go down as one of the great days in civil rights history.  As Rachel Maddow said last night, policy-wise, the Obama administration’s legacy on the issue of gay rights was already solid.

The administration’s accomplishments include not only repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but as The Maddow Blog lists, the administration has also

…expanded federal benefits for the same-sex partners of executive-branch employees, signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, cleared the way for hospital-visitation rights for same-sex couples, lifted the travel/immigration ban on those with HIV/AIDS, ordered the Federal Housing Authority to no ...

Yesterday’s announcement by President Obama that he personally believes that same sex couples have a legal right to get married was a watershed moment. It will go down as one of the great days in civil rights ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Normal Life

Dean Spade’s incredible book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, burns away every approximation of activism currently passing as transformative today with blindingly bright analysis. Spade is the founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the first openly trans tenure-track law professor in the U.S. (Seattle University). The book, drawing on these experiences, is about trans politics, but it’s also provides a much larger critique of the kinds of change tactics and impact measurements that we’ve come to accept as enough.

Like the huge dork I am, I read Spade’s analysis of power out loud to my partner in bed:

Power is not a matter of one dominant individual or institutions, but ...

Dean Spade’s incredible book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, burns away every approximation of activism currently passing as transformative today with blindingly bright analysis. Spade is the founder ...

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