Mary “Unique” Spears, a 27-year-old mother of three, had just left the funeral of a relative on Saturday when a man she’d never met began harassing her under the guise of wanting to ask her out. She was on her way to the Joe Louis Post rental hall in Detroit to continue memorial services with her family. The man, 38, asked Spears for her name and her number, but she wasn’t interested. The man continued to pester Spears throughout the evening until the bar’s security staff escorted him out. Around that time is when he grabbed and hit Spears. When Spears’ fiance intervened, the harasser pulled out a gun. He shot her once, and when she tried to run, he shot her two more times in the head. Then, the man turned his gun on the crowd and injured Spears’ fiance and four other members of the family. The five other victims are expected to heal, but Spears was killed. Thankfully, the man is currently in custody and expected to be arraigned on murder charges. Her family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for her funeral.
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Politically and socially, the most powerful demographic, with the exception of White men, is White women. Though still underrepresented in key economic and power positions, White women enjoy numerous social benefits, maintain political power as a “majority” voting body, are still allowed access to the resources provided by White men through marriage or other familial ties and are protected by patriarchal ideas of fragile femininity.
This social hierarchy of “Whiteness,” regardless of gender, becomes particularly evident in the nearly male-absent world of feminism. Though feminism purports itself to be a movement that represents the needs of all women, White dominance remains stubbornly omnipresent, marginalizing the voices and needs of women of color.
For that reason, I’ve created this list to help White women better understand intersectionality and come to better grips with the hurdles that Black and minority women face. It is not meant to splinter, or further divide the feminist body, but merely written with the hope that the power bestowed upon White women, as a result of White supremacy, can be used for the betterment of others. Keep reading »
When I was just a little bitty budding activist just starting to get involved in organizing and protesting more heavily than I had in high school, I remember this conversation I had with my mom. I excitedly told her that I had found “my people” — people who cared about the same sort of idealistic things I did — like ending the Iraq War, redistributing the wealth, ending sweatshops, freeing Mumia, feminism, fighting racism, supporting unions. It felt like a big deal at the time, because up until then I’d been sort of marching all alone.
Always a bit of a downer, I remember her warning me that activist men fighting the good fight could be just as bad, sexism-wise — if not worse — than non-activist men. Because they think being counter-cultural and progressive gives them “a pass” that other men don’t have. “Don’t forget — Angela Davis.” she said. Keep reading »
Everything going on with women in the literary world right now is fucked. You might have heard about Ed Champion, the now apparently abandoned book reviewer/sexist Twitter troll, sure. But have you heard about Janey Smith and Tao Lin and peterbd? Have you heard about Stephen Tully Dierks? Short version of the story: The alt lit world is riddled with dangerous misogynists who have harassed and abused women for years, and used their pull to get away with and excuse it. Dierks, at least, published a sincere apology and furthermore bowed out from his publication, Pop Serial. The rest? Eh. Keep reading »
There’s a strange, magical little corner of Twitter and the rest of the Internet you may not have heard of unless you’re an author or an enthusiastic reader: the world of book bloggers. It’s where people get together for Twitter parties, hold cover reveals on their favorite blogs, and connect with readers on Tumblr. It’s also where some of most vicious, bizarre, and chilling wars of the Internet take place, all beneath a facade of politeness because everyone is too terrified to say anything for fear of jeopardizing their position in the publishing industry or their role in the book blogger hierarchy. Keep reading »
Last week, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office released a slew of sexually explicit emails, pictures and videos that had been discovered in email exchanges between eight staffers of Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. The imagery was allegedly circulated when Corbett still served as the state’s attorney general, a position he left in January 2011 when he was elected governor. Corbett, who is currently running for re-election, claims he had no knowledge of the emails at the time and that while he was told about “inappropriate” emails in May, he hasn’t seen the imagery in question. Attorney general Kathleen Kane, whose team made the discovery, initially refused to share the explicit emails with the public but eventually allowed a select few journalists to view the footage in the company of armed agents. Keep reading »