the soapbox - Page 4

The Soapbox: Calling Suicide Selfish Is Selfish

Selfish (adj.): Lacking concern for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
Death is not profitable or pleasurable. It’s just nothing. It’s just not suffering. It has nothing to do with benefiting or not benefiting oneself or others. Saying that someone was selfish for having committed suicide is like saying that… More »


The Soapbox: On Unforgettable Blackness

Last week, I found myself grateful for the conviction of Renisha McBride’s murderer, Theodore Wafer. This conviction did not bring back Renisha McBride. It did not atone for the miscarriage of justice that happened when George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin. It did not lay to rest my fears for my… More »


The Soapbox: Why We Cannot Have Reproductive Justice Without Fighting Police Brutality

“Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you, we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs upon the reasons they are dying.”
—… More »


The Soapbox: I Will March For Eric Garner — But Black Male Sexism Must Also Be Addressed

I recently read a piece written by Kimberly Foster titled “Why I Will Not March For Eric Garner.” The author plainly states her argument: she refuses to rally in support of Eric Garner — who died of cardiac arrest after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer — because she does not believe… More »


The Soapbox: On Trigger Warnings & Facing Trauma

When I got to my friend’s place for my self-defense lessons last week, he told me we were going to do basic self-defense techniques and toward the end, simulated assaults. The simulated assaults were walk-bys: We would walk across the room in opposite directions and he would either do nothing, or he’d very suddenly grab… More »


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… More »


The Soapbox: On The World Cup, Objectification & The Problem With Thigh Candy

When my feminist friends and I began our communal Facebook message thread, we envisioned a no-holds-barred place to discuss careers, gender politics, and the gospel of Beyoncé. But ever since soccer season took the Internet by storm, our only mentions of “Flawless” have concerned abs. In the past week alone, my “progressive” peers and I… More »


The Soapbox: Ciara’s “Inelegant” New Hairstyle And The Politics Of Black Hair

Saturday evening on her Instagram profile, R&B singer Ciara debuted a new hairstyle: waist-skimming loc extensions. The style, a temporary version of the loc-ed hair many Black people of all genders sport, sparked discussion both among fans and style outlets.

One in particular, People magazine’s StyleWatch section, posted a story Tuesday about Ciara’s… More »


The Soapbox: Black Nerds, Escapism, & Why We Need More Diverse Books

“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them,… More »


The Soapbox: Why I Don’t Love Pope Francis & Am Remaining A Lapsed Catholic

Fun facts about me: My mom’s whole family is Catholic going back centuries. It’s part of our family legacy – the Veteri Ponte (shortened to Vipond) were Catholic barons in England, and depending on who was ruling and whether they were Anglicans or Protestants, we had our land granted and taken away over and over. More »


The Soapbox: Why I’m Not Going To Stop Eating Meat

When I was 13, my 7th grade science class was assigned to dissect a fetal pig.  This made me massively uncomfortable. My teacher told us that we could opt out of doing the dissection and use approved online resources for the project instead if we wrote a convincing essay as to why we didn’t want… More »


The Soapbox: School Dress Codes Are Vehicles For Body-Shaming And It’s Time To Do Something About It

Remember school dress codes? Did they ever give you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as a teenager, or did they stay comfortably off your radar? Peggy Orenstein’s opinion piece on the subject in The New York Times brings up some of the more troubling questions about what the real purpose of those rules is… More »


The Soapbox: On The Stonewall Rebellion’s Trans History

President Obama issued a proclamation at the end of May stating that June is officially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, but June has unofficially been Pride Month for the LGBT community for decades. We place it in June, and our pride parades at the end of June, to mark the anniversary of the… More »


The Soapbox: Misogynists Hate Men, Too

The absolute dumbest argument I’ve heard in response to Elliot Rodger’s killing spree last weekend was this: Rodger killed more men than women, so this had nothing to do with misogyny (subtext: So shut your feminist pie-hole).

It takes a lot of logical leaps to make that conclusion when you look at the… More »


The Soapbox: Let’s Not Give Feminist Frank Too Much Credit

Maybe I’m just a sourpuss, but I’m having a really hard time appreciating the new “Feminist Frank” meme, just like I had a hard time appreciating the “Feminist Ryan Gosling” meme.  I guess it boils down to this for me: It’s a lot easier to say the right things and look like a feminist than… More »


The Soapbox: Why Macklemore’s Costume Matters

Last Friday, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed a surprise music concert at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. Awesome, right? Only, because it was a surprise, Macklemore wanted to go a bit incognito and donned a costume. But the costume was anything but awesome. To me, and many others, the costume looked like a negativeMore »


The Soapbox: 3 Things Not To Say To A Woman Who’s Going Back To Work After Having A Kid

After almost two years at home with my son, I’m going back to work. As I’ve told people the news — family, friends, other moms, the checkout guy at the liquor store who sold me the celebratory champagne, the customer service rep from Citibank’s fraud department who called to check on my unusual activity –… More »


The Soapbox: Powerlifting Is For Women, Too

The first time I put a barbell across my back, I was in love.
It wasn’t like I had never lifted weights before; I had, but never like this. Thanks to the myth that I needed to do high reps with light weights to get  “toned” arms and legs (because, of course, as a woman,… More »


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