Tag Archives: the soapbox

The Soapbox: Why Macklemore’s Costume Matters

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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 negative stereotype of a Jewish man.

For his part, Macklemore denies that he purposefully intended to mock Jewish people with his costume. Late yesterday, he took to Tumblr to issue an apology.

“My intention was to dress up and surprise the people at the show with a random costume and nothing more. Thus, it was surprising and disappointing that the images of a disguise were sensationalized leading to the immediate assertion that my costume was anti-Semetic. I acknowledge how the costume could, within a context of stereotyping, be ascribed to a Jewish caricature. I am here to say that it was absolutely not my intention, and unfortunately at the time I did not foresee the costume to be viewed in such regard. [...] I truly apologize to anybody that I may have offended.”

Keep reading »

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 – I’ve been taken aback by some of the responses. I assume the inappropriate reactions were simply people being dumbstruck by my good fortune, so I created a guide of what not to say when a woman tells you she’s going back to work.

Here they are, in a very particular order: Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Powerlifting Is For Women, Too

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, I wouldn’t want to get too “bulky”), I had dutifully curled my tiny hand weights a million times. I never got strong or toned. All I got was bored. So I always quit. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: My American Dream — A Minimum Wage That Allows Everyone to Prosper

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When I think of the American Dream, I don’t just see images of white picket fences and fathers kissing their children before they leave for work.

I see an African-American mother of two dropping her children off at school and driving to her place of employment with the confidence that she’ll have enough gas to get to work and enough food to cook dinner. I imagine a Latina mother able to save enough money to help her son go to the college of his choice regardless of the rising cost of tuition. I see an America where working 40 hours a week allows women of all backgrounds the opportunity to gain prosperity and success. But how can anyone achieve such a dream on $7.25 an hour? They can’t.

We need to raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10 to help hardworking families who are struggling to scrape by. In tough economic times, there are few policies that could have as immediate, and as dramatic, of a boost for American workers, particularly for women of color. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Hating On Social Media Is Trendy, But It’s Also Wrong

Alone But Still Connected

It seems like lots of people lately wax poetic about the good old days before we were all staring at computer screens. Take, for example, the popularity of the “Look Up” spoken word video. I hear these complaints from mostly people my age, maybe a bit older, so we’re not that far apart in our experiences. Yet somehow they hold this belief that social media has led all of us down a path to “forever alone” hell that we’ll never recover from. Or something? I’m not entirely sure, as it’s pretty infrequent that these arguments actually point to data, but rather appeal to emotions. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Why We Shouldn’t Assume Kristen Stewart Is A Lesbian

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I first fell in love with Kristen Stewart 10 years ago. I was 12.”Catch that Kid,” a classic of our times, has a criminal 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Anyone who would review this film poorly is a joyless weirdo.

Stewart played Maddy, an adventurous tomboy whose skillset included climbing very tall things and emotionally manipulating boys. Her dad needed an expensive surgery, so she enlisted her two best guy friends to help her casually rob a bank. They aren’t feeling it at first, but then she gives each of them one half of a heart necklace with a promise that she loves him and doesn’t give a shit about the other guy. Bingo. Kristen Stewart’s Maddy is strategic, powerful, and a ruthless heartbreaker. 12-year-old me thought, What a dreamboat.

As far as mainstream kids’ movies go, “Catch that Kid” is a total queerfest. Maddy herself is an unfeminine little boss who is -20 percent interested in the romantic affection of preteen boys, while her mother is played by Jennifer Beals, aka “The L Word’”‘s power dyke, Bette. So, ever since Kristen Stewart was in this super great, super queer flop of a film, I’ve associated her with my own lesbian awakening – and I therefore feel weirdly protective whenever her real-life potential queerness comes into cultural question, and she’s run through the celebrity gossip meat grinder.

Which is happening now. Again. Keep reading »

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