It is not uncommon in school to learn about women’s suffrage. Most of us are familiar with the names of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton because of it. As far as feminist history, this is often the beginning and the end of the story. If we want to know about the lives of women under slavery, the role that Black men and women played in achieving women’s suffrage, the treatment of working-class women by suffragists, and the stances that Black women took on the abortion and anti-rape movements, then we have to look elsewhere. Angela Davis’s 1981 masterpiece Women, Race & Class is where you can find all this and more. High school and college classrooms around the country would do well to add it to their syllabi.Read more
At 7:00 in the morning on February 14th, 2023, Megan Phelps-Roper posted a tweet. “Last year @jk_rowling responded to a letter I wrote her. I’d asked if she’d be part of a conversation seeking to understand her perspective and those of her critics. The result is a new audio series from @thefp: THE WITCH TRIALS OF J.K. ROWLING.”
The now-complete podcast series by The Free Press, hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, purports to bring together the “two sides” of the “debate about sex and gender,” meanwhile investigating tribalism, discernment, and humanity. It seeks to do this by having an open conversation with J.K. Rowling, a legend-turned-villain who’s “been the object of intense backlash,” according to Megan.
Like Rowling, Megan “knew what it was like to be an object of intense hatred. But I also knew the value of good-faith conversation, and the role it can play in bridging even the deepest divides.” Thus, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling was born.Read more
I should have liked Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo. I loved Oluo’s first book, So You Want To Talk About Race, and I always learn so much from similar books on racism and feminism.Read more
Ruby Hamad’s 2020 book White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color is a paradigm-shifting work that combines history, personal experience, and media analysis to show how the tears of white women are far from harmless. If you think you know feminism—or even if you think you know intersectional feminism—you must read this book.Read more
One of the most notable traits of the white evangelical church today is the rampant, toxic patriarchal sexism. It is one of the many reasons that so many people, including women, are leaving the church. Notably, many women who leave their toxic churches stay religious or spiritual, but I’m not talking about them today. I’m talking about women, men, and atheism.Read more
The crimes of white supremacy have not gone unrecorded. They are etched into the bodies of brown and black people the world over. Our scars, past and present, physical and emotional, bear witness to the violence white men and women insisted they were not inflicting. White society marked the bodies of women of color as a receptacle for its sins so that it may claim innocence for itself, and, as the chosen symbol of the innocent perfection of whiteness, the white damsel with her tears of distress functions as both denial of and absolution for this violence.Ruby Hamad, White Tears/Brown Scars, p. 101
(Trigger warning: racism, colorism, fatphobia, ableism, child abuse, sexual abuse, and suicide.) 90-minute read.Read more
How many times have you heard an atheist say, “My nonbelief doesn’t hinder my values but rather it makes me fight even harder against injustice”? This is one of the things I love most about atheism. Most atheists know that since they only get this one life, they ought to use it for good.Read more
The day after publishing this post, I feel I must add a small caveat. I’ve realized since reading the book and writing this review that Katha Pollitt is opposed to the usage of gender-inclusionary language surrounding abortion. While she did not use gender-inclusionary language in the book, I tried my best to use it in my review when I could. Pollitt goes further into her justification for this in this article, but I urge you to read this response article by physician Cheryl Chastine explaining why Pollitt is not justified in excluding non-cisgender people from her abortion arguments. Chastine did an amazing job. In giving cisgender women the right to bodily autonomy, we do not need to be erasing people with diverse gender identities from claiming that same right.
After owning the book for over two years, this week I finally stopped procrastinating reading Katha Pollitt’s 2014 persuasive powerhouse of a book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Ironically, my timing had nothing to do with the recent “heartbeat bill” in Texas, but the urgency that the bill caused definitely lit a fire under me to enthusiastically jump into the book. If you want the context around the pro-choice argument, then I can’t recommend Pro enough.Read more
When I started reading books on combating racism and injustice, I wasn’t sure how to go about reviewing them. It wasn’t my place as a white woman to deem them “good” or “correct”. I’ve since decided it is better to urge my audience to read these books for themselves rather than to ignore their important messages. I also want to take a moment to step aside and let these books speak for themselves. So here are 32 of my favorite quotes from Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism.Read more
For years, I’ve considered myself a feminist. I’ve believed that feminism was part of a dichotomy where society is made up of two groups: women and men. Barring the obvious problem of ignoring nonbinary people, I hadn’t taken into account that feminism is concerned with many more than two groups. Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot reminds us that feminism is about much more than just white women paying more for razors and not being able to fit their smartphones in their pockets. Hood Feminism exposes the honestly terrible job that we white women have done in including everyone in this movement: especially women who are not cis, straight, and white.Read more