A little background on me. I’m almost 35 years old, I went to an in-state university (UC Santa Cruz), I worked two jobs almost full-time during school, my parents helped me financially in ways that they could, and I had to take out student loans that I am not yet, but almost done paying back. I consider myself much luckier than many. I was able to find a way to afford to go to college in a country where getting a higher education has become more and more expected and less and less feasible. I do not for a second think that I am better than those who had to incur more debt in order to do so. The same cannot be said for xoJane writer Jessica Slizewski, who penned one of the most idiotic and tone deaf pieces I’ve possibly ever read on the internet, entitled “Unpopular Opinion: I Don’t Have Student Loans And I Don’t Feel Bad For People Who Do.” Keep reading »
Oh for fuck’s sake, fine, I’ll respond to the click-baiting article about yoga on xoJane. A writer going by the name of Jen Caron (her real name, Jen Polachek, was removed as the byline following the backlash to her article) has written the following essay: “It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes And I’m Suddenly Uncomfortable With It.” Caron is a self-described “skinny white girl” and what “happened to” her is a “fairly heavy black woman” attended her yoga class and seemingly had a difficult time with some of the poses. Obviously, Caron writes, the fat Black woman who isn’t as “good” at yoga must resent her, in all her skinny white yogic glory, and this (utterly imagined) racially-charged tension made Caron uncomfortable. But the discomfort, the ruined yoga class, was worth it because isn’t her essay about it brave and compassionate? Jen Caron cares. Keep reading »
UPDATE, 7/14/14: Conor Oberst’s accuser, Joanie Faircloth, released a statement today admitting her accusations were “100 percent false.”
The recent rape allegations against Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes hit really, uncomfortably close to home for me.
In the past few weeks, it’s come to light that an anonymous xoJane commenter confessed in a comment in a post thread that when she was 16, a decade ago, she had some inappropriate sexual contact with Oberst, who was in his mid-twenties at the time. The comments have since been deleted but a rape allegation was made; the commenter wrote that her husband had encouraged her to “out” Oberst as a means of empowerment. Keep reading »
Since this happened, I’ve been in hospitals too many times to count. I’ve found it impossible to love at times. I’ve gained and lost friends. I no longer dance or compete in pageants. I’m different now, and I can’t ever go back to the person I once was. That one night took it all away from me. I’m nothing more than just human, but I also refuse to be a victim of cruelty any longer. … I not only survived, I didn’t give up. I’ve been told that a special prosecutor is going to reopen the case now. This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl. I just hope more men will take a lesson from my brothers. They look out for women. They don’t prey on them.
Daisy Coleman, 14, the young woman at the center of the Maryville, Missouri, rape story, penned an “It Happened To Me” essay for xoJane about the 2012 sexual assault she endured by a student athlete and how the town rallied behind her attacker. Her rapist, Matthew Barnett, then 17, is the grandson of a MO state representative and had all charges — sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child — against him dismissed. Keep reading »
“Why does having a sexting affair with a married man or even doing porn make someone a bad person? Give me a break. I’m not a war criminal. I’m a human being who has made certain choices, some of which involve my sexuality…Yes, I’ve made thousands of dollars from sugar daddies. So?” begins Sydney Leathers in her xoJane piece, “10 Secrets For Seducing A Politician.”
Before we go any further here, I will say that I agree with this statement. Doing porn or using your sexuality in a way that feels empowering to earn money is not wrong. Lots of people do it and that doesn’t make them bad people. I have no problem with sex work. Until this moment, I was happy to defend Sydney Leathers. And then she goes on to say: “To Maureen Dowd and every other woman who thinks she knows anything about me — or anything about feminism for that matter — you don’t.” Keep reading »
Earlier this week, xoJane’s sports blogger Daisy Barringer wrote a piece called “Do We Really Think That ESPN Headline Was Intentionally Racist?” In it, Daisy argued that the ESPN headline writer who penned the “Chink In The Armor” headline — after the Knicks lost on Saturday night — might have made an honest mistake when he used a racial slur for Asian-Americans in a story about the player Jeremy Lin. The writer, Anthony Frederico, has since been fired from ESPN; he maintains that he didn’t know “chink” was a racist slur and the incident was completely unintentional. He also has used the phrase “chink in the armor” in other headlines before when he wasn’t referring to Asian-Americans, suggesting that’s just a phrase he likes to use in headlines. So, Daisy gives him the benefit of the doubt because she claims she didn’t know until well into her 20s that “chink” was a racist slur, either.
Keep reading »