It’s over, The Onion: a piece that went up today called “Adolescent Girl Reaching Age Where She Starts Exploring Stepfather’s Body” is a grenade-launch distance past the “too far” line. The humor site failed to make anything funny — like, at all — about a 13-year-old girl named Heather who is being sexually abused by her stepfather, Gary. “It will probably take time for Heather to figure out what does and doesn’t feel good to her stepfather, and she may be surprised to discover acne and hair in unexpected places on Craig’s body,” The Onion joked. “But it’s all part of growing up, and she should know that she is taking a very important step in life. It won’t be long before her childhood is gone forever.” The piece then suggests that if (if?) Heather is “confused or troubled by such experiences,” she should talk to her friends “who are going through the exact same thing.” Keep reading »
Everybody has feelings about Jenji Kohan’s “Orange is the New Black.” I have all the feelings. Since the show’s debut, we’ve tossed opinions back-and-forth about the cast of characters and the powerfully written narratives that reveal the unseen lives of American’s imprisoned women. But of the many conversations that have surfaced, the most discernible for me is of the legitimacy of Piper Kerman, the memoirist about whom the show was made.
In brief, after getting involved with an international drug dealer, Kerman (a white woman) was indicted for money laundering and spent a year in a woman’s prison – you know, the usual account of a well-to-do white woman who graduated from Smith. She subsequently wrote a best-selling memoir, which was adapted for Netflix. You can watch all of season one there now; I finished it in less than a week.
The show follows her into prison and tells the backstory of several other inmates, many of them women of color. The storyline is emotionally riveting. We’re met with race-related segregation, which mirrors the actual prison experience where racial categories and separation are often strictly enforced. Piper’s race and class privilege are checked in the first episode when it’s revealed that she “read up” on prison etiquette before she arrived. One inmate gives birth in prison and comes back to her bunk child-free, showcasing the reality that two-thirds of incarcerated women are mothers and busting the myth that women who labor in prison get to keep their babies. As a birth justice activist, I wished they’d shown the inhumane way in which many prisons shackle women during labor. Keep reading »
Nina Siahkali Moradi won an alternate seat in Qazvin, Iran city council elections fair and square. But male colleagues agree she’s “too attractive” to join them and have disqualified her from her clear winnings.
Moradi placed 14th out of 163 candidates in the elections, with almost 10,000 people voting for her. But the 27-year-old has been disqualified because members of the council think she has nothing more to offer than her youth and beauty and according to one senior official in Qazvin, they “don’t want a catwalk model on the council.” Keep reading »
When Amanda, from Kent, Washington, began sobbing on the phone to a 911 dispatcher named Candice about her wedding dress that had been stolen on her wedding day, Candice knew she had to help. Keep reading »
As, you’ve no doubt heard, Russia recently enacted an anti-gay law, banning all “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations [in front of minors], and makes any expression of real or perceived homosexuality – even something as innocuous as same-sex hand-holding – potentially illegal.” The Russian government has warned that this law against homosexuality will apply to anyone attending and/or participating in the the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
So in response, the sports/human rights group Pride House International has asked everyone to take any opportunity to hold hands in public during the Olympic games. Keep reading »