Tag Archives: the soapbox

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

SB-kristen-stewart

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 »

The Soapbox: On Donald Sterling, America’s Culture Of Racism & Coming Home

The Soapbox: On Donald Sterling, America's Culture Of Racism & Coming "Home"

The media frenzy surrounding the racism of Los Angeles Clippers’ team owner Donald Sterling reminded me why last year, at the age of 23, I decided to leave the country I had been calling “home” for nearly two decades. As a black woman of Caribbean descent, I felt alienated and lost in a sea of endless racial divide and turmoil. Everyday in America I was drowning. My sanity and sense of stability slowly deteriorated, submerged in disillusionment. I did not want to leave, I had to leave. A fiery rage set ablaze feelings of anger, resentment, disappointment that could not be quelled. How could the country that raised me on the notion that all men are created equal, cast me into a reality of segregation and racism? The questions swarmed incessantly like a mosquito’s annoying buzz. The answers never came. Instead, I left. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: You Can Buy A Prepackaged Wedding On Gilt Groupe Now — But Should You?

gilt wedding

Gilt City Chicago is currently offering an entire wedding at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, for the low, low price of $31,000! All you have to do? Add it to your cart. The voucher gets you a wedding for up to 120 guests, and includes all of the standard wedding elements you could think of: cocktail hour, open bar, three-course dinner (standard protein or vegetarian entrée), a cake, menu cards, and more. Admittedly, there are some cool things, like a “Chicago-style lunch” for the groomsmen (hot dogs?) and an after-party included in the package. But still, am I alone in thinking a flash wedding sale is just weird? Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Porn Stars Learn They Can’t Bank On Chase

chase-bank-042214

I’ve written before about issues around payment processors and the sex industry, how businesses like Paypal, WePay and Google Wallet were shutting anyone they suspected of sex work out of using their services.

Well, turns out that a trickle down effect is happening within the banking world, as Chase recently sent letters out to hundreds of porn performers telling them their bank accounts would be shut down May 11th. Perez Hilton posted a photo of one of these letters from adult performer Teagan Presley, and while I am somewhat loath to link to his blog, I think it’s important to read the language. You’ll notice that Chase never specifically cites adult work in their decision, just that they “reviewed the account and determined that we will be closing it on May 11, 2014. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.”

I’m sure they’re terribly sorry. Just as they were really apologetic for refusing to process payments for Lovability CEO Tiffany Gaines. Her crime? Selling condoms, because they’re “adult-oriented material”. The same adult oriented material, of course, as Trojan, who could process their payments with no issues through Chase, but never mind. As long as they’re really sorry about it. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: “Game of Thrones,” Thanks for Employing Porn Stars

The Soapbox: "Game of Thrones," Thanks for Employing Porn Stars

I’m just going to say it upfront: I’m a massive fan of “Game of Thrones.”

I know it’s problematic, controversial around its portrayals of women, and arguably more violent on screen than required (see last night’s rape scene for an example). And I know there’s been plenty of excellent critiques arguing that “Game of Thrones” is feminist, or isn’t feminist, or asking if it matters whether it’s feminist or not. I’ve appreciated the commentary on racism and “GoT,” as well as in fantasy in general. Through this I have learned a great deal on how to be a fan of problematic media while still maintaining a critique; there are certain ways where the book and the show differ that make the show more sexist, and in other ways less sexist, than the original material. I’m glad, actually, because if I never engaged in anything I found critique-worthy I think I’d self-destruct! Keep reading »

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