Some years ago, a young man that I was casually dating invited me to a birthday party with some of his friends who all moved to New York City, from Florida, to go to college. It was a scenario I had long grown accustomed to: I was the only Black girl amongst a group of non-minority people, laughing, drinking and talking.
Then this statement came out of nowhere and immediately wiped the smile from my face: “The best way to keep America safe is to just deport all of the Muslims,” a young White boy said in between sips of a beer.
It pierced my ears, momentarily paralyzing me. My eyes darted towards my friend to gauge his reaction to the words that pierced the air like an arrow launched from a bow, striking me in my chest. He seemed completely unmoved.
“Well, we don’t have to get rid of all of them, just the terrorists really,” he responded plainly.
We never spoke after that day. Keep reading »
“Men Are From Mars, Women Are Venus,” which implies men’s and women’s brains are hardwired differently, has pit people against each other for decades — some see at as sexist drivel while others see at as a groundbreaking truth. Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist and “gender difference denier” (yes, people actually call her this) who will speak at the upcoming British Science Festival this weekend, believes books like that one cause those gender differences in the first place. According to her, the only differences between our brains can be attributed to our minds adapting to gender stereotypes and taking them on as truth. Keep reading »
This week, “The Daily Show” continued its crusade against political bullshittery by delving into the rampant sexism in Congress. After a bunch of creepy dudes weigh in how to properly “compliment” a lady, correspondent Jessica Williams (in a second video after the jump) shuts down catcalling like a boss. [The Mary Sue] Keep reading »
I was raised to play games. I was no good at being on teams and I wasn’t about to submit myself to voluntary cardiovascular activity, so it became clear early in my childhood that I wasn’t going to gain any skill for rule-following, cooperation, collaboration, brainstorming, problem-solving, or focus (much less any pleasure) from sports. So instead, I played games on the family computer, by myself or with my sister Sara or with my friends, and my dad and Sara and I played video games together at night and on the weekends.
My parents supplied us with a steady stream of educational computer games — Midnight Rescue! and Mega Math Blasters, the Carmen Sandiego games, games to help our typing skills and spelling; whatever subject they felt we needed help with at school, they got us a game. And I loved logic quests: Zoombinis was my favorite computer game, and when I played on our Nintendo systems with my sister and my dad, they fought the bosses while I figured out the side quests and puzzles. We got Myst when it came out when I was six and it was way over my head, but I watched while Sara played, read the official companion book, and drew landscapes based on its worlds. Keep reading »
Here’s what I’ve learned about men on the internet who are annoying at best and abusive at worst: They think they know the women they harass. They have access to our ideas and our creative output (i.e. writing, videos, etc.), to our faces, to basic information about us, to a few scant personal details, and from that they concoct for us fictional life stories, fictional personalities, and fictional motivations. It can be terrifying on this end of that interaction, because we don’t know who these men are at all, but they believe they know us and interact with us, talk with us, as if they do.
It’s worse for celebrities, because it’s not just compulsive internet commenters who do this — it’s everyone. We want to be able to relate to celebrities. So we take their movies, videos, music, writing, interviews, press releases, and Instagram and Twitter accounts, and we create a fiction about who they are, or who they would be if we knew them personally. To some extent, that fictional personality is something that they curate and cultivate in order both to create demand and to create distance. Keep reading »
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is publishing her memoir in two weeks, which is already dominating headlines for the ugh-iest of reasons. In Off The Sidelines, Gillibrand reveals several occasions when male colleagues have made sexist comments about her appearance and once even squeezed her stomach. (Just warning everyone now, if you squeeze my stomach, I will unrepentantly smack you.)
Gillibrand is the mother of two and, like many moms, worked hard to lose the baby weight after her second pregnancy. But the weight gain didn’t go without remarks. As per People and TIME, one story Gillibrand shared was when an “older, male” colleague approached her in the congressional gym and said, “Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” Another colleague one said to her, “You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.” Yet another colleague once squeezed her stomach and said, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby!” Keep reading »