Shanelle Matthews

Read more from Shanelle Matthews

The Soapbox: On Who Is Deserving Of The Benefit Of The Doubt & Why Black Women Choose Abortion

A world without abortion is unsustainable for Black women. The barriers that exist to basic healthcare make it a fundamental necessity to have the constitutional right and unobstructed access to terminate a pregnancy we cannot carry to term. If you hold the belief that a person should not exercise their constitutional right to terminate a…

By: Shanelle Matthews / July 19, 2014

The Soapbox: Is “Orange Is The New Black” Entertainment Or Education?

Everybody has feelings about Jenji Kohan’s “Orange is the New Black.” I have all the feelings. Since the show’s debut, we’ve tossed opinions back-and-forth about the cast of characters and the powerfully written narratives that reveal the unseen lives of American’s imprisoned women. But of the many conversations that have surfaced, the most discernible for…

By: Shanelle Matthews / August 20, 2013

The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen; Feminism Is Not Black And White

The Internet exploded in feminist calamity yesterday over the racist, sexist, patriarchal, abuse-laden behavior of Hugo Schwyzer, an allegedly a self-described* mentally ill (former) professor of women’s studies at Pasadena City College. Schwyzer divulged information that is classically tucked away behind the buttressed walls of systemic white privilege. Anecdotally, it’s akin to the ENRON scandal, the…

By: Shanelle Matthews / August 13, 2013

The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone

For the last several years, natural hair “trends” have been on the rise for African-American and other women in the U.S. Just last week, Oprah graced the cover of O Magazine donning an enormous Afro, much bigger than the one she wore in the late ’70s when she first started on primetime. Oprah’s gesture pay…

By: Shanelle Matthews / August 12, 2013

The Soapbox: Mourning The Death Of Trayvon Martin & Reevaluating Racial Politics In America

As I sit in my living room, the familiar sound of rotating blades of a helicopter whoosh above me. I can hear them, hovering. They’re following the Oakland protestors who have taken to the streets outraged by the not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. “No justice, no peace,” they shout as they…

By: Shanelle Matthews / July 16, 2013

Girl Talk: On Redemption In Fatherhood

I’ve written candidly about Mother’s Day and all the ways I think the commercialization of it fucks up our relationships with our moms. My own relationship with my mom has been easy because … well, she’s awesome. But my complex relationship to fatherhood makes both talking and writing about it difficult.

There are…

By: Shanelle Matthews / June 14, 2013

The Soapbox: On Black Women, Exercise And Our Hair

One day in college, during track practice, I wore a bandanna to my work out. I was having a spectacularly bad hair day and that thin piece of printed cloth made me feel safe from criticism. My coach, who was a hard ass, wasn’t having it and ordered me to take it off immediately. I…

By: Shanelle Matthews / May 29, 2013

The Soapbox: Just Because I’m Gay Doesn’t Mean That I’m Attracted To You

Moving through the world as someone who identifies as bisexual or queer, I’m always navigating difficult experiences that compartmentalize my sexuality. I’ve been labeled “indecisive” for not being more assertive in which sex I prefer to date. I’ve been called “disgusting” because my desire to date women makes some people uncomfortable or possibly more accurately,…

By: Shanelle Matthews / April 29, 2013

The Soapbox: Should White Women Be On The Cover Of ‘Black Magazines’?

The always-inquisitive Jada Pinkett-Smith recently posed a question that has many people scratching their heads and some folks outright upset. In short, she’s wondering if black women ask to be represented in mainstream media, on the covers of magazines like Vanity Fair, shouldn’t white women be represented on the covers of traditionally black magazines like…

By: Shanelle Matthews / March 26, 2013

The Soapbox: On Getting A Black “Bachelorette”

Pediatric dentist Dr. Misee Harris of Kentucky is petitioning to become the first ever Black “Bachelorette.” This prospect means a lot is surfacing for me regarding the harmful stereotypes reinforced by women of color on reality television. How would she be received? If she did get an opportunity to be on the show and chose a…

By: Shanelle Matthews / March 4, 2013

The Soapbox: Lisa Lampanelli’s Racist Schtick Abuses The Art Of Comedy

Insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli has made headlines again – for all the wrong reasons. Last week during the Writers Guild Awards, she shamelessly tweeted a picture of she and HBO “Girls” producer and star, Lena Dunham captioned “Me with my Ni**a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!”

The interwebs erupted with…

By: Shanelle Matthews / February 25, 2013