Ode to the man who catcalls me as I walk down the street

Oh what a miserable man are you

Just shut your mouth for a second or two


You think yourself so droll

but really you’re just an asshole. Read More »

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How the Connecticut Department of Children & Families is failing a trans girl of color

JailEditor’s note: This is a guest contribution from Chase Strangio. Chase is a Staff Attorney with the LGBT & AIDS Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and the co-founder of the Lorena Borjas Community Fund.

Jessica* is a 16 year-old transgender girl. She has been in and out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems since early childhood, surviving unthinkable trauma and demonstrating resilience and strength. As a ward of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), DCF is her legal parent and guardian, responsible for her care and well-being. Jessica was also in the custody of the juvenile justice side of DCF following a delinquency adjudication; she has never been convicted of a crime or faced adult criminal charges in Connecticut. Despite this, DCF is acting directly contrary to federal law and transferring her into the adult prison system without any criminal charges or convictions. It has been 14 years since DCF last invoked this exceptional and legally questionable procedure to transfer a young person into the adult prison system without charges. Read More »

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Stephen Colbert and the trouble with ironic oppression

This piece is cross-posted from my blog Introverted Chicago.

With the recent announcement that Stephen Colbert will take over The Late Show when David Letterman leaves in 2015, there have been a flurry of jokes about the fact that #CancelColbert seems to have “worked”—albeit in the comedian’s favor. Before the hashtag movement becomes immortalized as a simple punchline, I think it’s important to examine just what #CancelColbert was actually about and how Colbert can be a better ally on his next, bigger platform.

I am a 24-year-old white woman. I start with that introduction because when talking about race and gender in our society the context of the person speaking matters. As I follow along with the #CancelColbert controversy and the efforts of Suey Park, I do so through the lens of a person who has never experienced institutionalized racial prejudice. I also do so through the lens of a Colbert fan, a young woman about the same age as Park, a writer, an activist interested in social justice, and a feminist. That last lens has been particularly influential in my understanding of the hashtag controversy and ensuing national debate. While I have never experienced the racism endured by people of color, I support Suey Park because I know what it feels like to face the daily grind of ironic oppression. Read More »

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The price of equal work, unequal pay

“It’s not that I don’t want to have children, it’s that I’m afraid that I’ll never be able to afford them,” said a friend of mine a few days ago in a conversation in our Women’s and Gender Studies seminar on Mothers and Daughters. This week in class, we’ve been reading a book called The Motherhood Manifesto by Joan Blades — it’s a fabulous read I would highly recommend to any woman in America before you begin the process of family planning. Here are some things I’ve learned:

When this book was published, women… Read More »

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Iraq proposes law to legalize child brides and marital rape

A terrible step backwards in women’s fight for equality overseas. Iraq’s Council of Ministers has drafted a law, The Jaafari Personal Status Law, which will be voted on April 30. If passed the law would:

  1. Legalize marital rape
  2. Grant men the authority to marry girls as young as age nine

    Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

  3. Prohibit Muslim men from marrying non-Muslims
  4. Require wives to submit to sex on their husband’s whim
  5. Prevent women from leaving the house without the permission of their husbands
  6. Give automatic custody in divorce cases to fathers.
  7. Only father have the right to accept or refuse a marriage proposal
  8. Discontinues temporary marriages for sexual pleasure (called zawaj al-misyar or “traveller’s marriages”) Read More »
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