Activism

The Particular Horror of Hearing Creepy Stories About Famous Men Who Should Know Better

Between Gawker publishing rumors that beloved comedian Louis C.K. has a tendency to expose himself (and I don’t mean emotionally) to women in the comedy world and today’s BuzzFeed piece alleging that a well-known TV character actor most recently seen on Mad Men acted inappropriately in the publication’s offices, it’s been a banner week for learning that a few male celebrities whose work addresses sexist and downright creepy behavior… may also practice that behavior. … Read More

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Jay Z and Beyoncé Secretly Donate Thousands to Bail Out Baltimore and Ferguson Protesters

Jay Z and Beyoncé have, supposedly, been secretly shelling out thousands of dollars to bail out incarcerated protesters in… Read More

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The Hollowness of Mother’s Day: John Oliver and Hillary Clinton Point Out That What Moms Really Need Is Paid Family Leave

Mother’s Day has been criticized for as long as it’s been popular — not because it’s a bad thing to celebrate mothers, per se, but because of what the Hallmark holiday doesn’t even attempt to achieve. … Read More

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Miley Cyrus Collaborates With Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace on “Androgynous,” Gets Celebrity Activism Right With Happy Hippie

This morning on Facebook Miley Cyrus posted a video for her collaboration with Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace, a cover of The Replacements’ “Androgynous.” Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable three minutes of music, the video also marks the launch of a Cyrus-spearheaded foundation to aid homeless LGBT young people. As Stereogum noted this morning, “The mere fact that this video exists is pretty amazing, and so is its reason for existence.” … Read More

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Saying Goodbye to the Gendered Toy Aisle

As one half of a boy-girl set of twins, I have strong memories of splitting up from my brother so we could each hit “our” toy aisles, the pink one and the other one. I loved the dolls I found in the pink aisle, but had the unusual advantage of knowing I could play with anything from the other aisle, too. Sharing was the only option in our household. So after birthdays I always had plenty of action figures, LEGO kits, plush footballs, water guns, and other non-pink paraphernalia to explore along with my dolls and My Little Ponies. … Read More

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How Do We Fight a Culture in Which “Pretty Hurts” Workers, From Sweatshops to Nail Salons?

In the past two weeks, investigative journalism has woken us up to the price, in human terms, of cheap beauty. First, John Oliver and his team reminded us about the sweatshops, child labor, and unsafe conditions that go into our “fast fashion.” Now, The New York Times‘ Sarah Maslin Nir has published a long exposé of conditions in New York City nail salons (short answer: they’re abysmal) that is setting social media ablaze. Reactions have ranged from self-flagellation and self-righteousness among salon clientele to questions about the best way to fix the situation: Tip better? Organize? Abstain? … Read More

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‘Key & Peele’s’ “Black Utopia” Sketch Helps Imagine a World Where Black Lives Matter

“Another world is possible!” — so goes the popular activist chant at rallies and marches. Yet one of the most difficult aspects of sustaining a grassroots political movement can be imagining that other world and persisting even when it seems far away. … Read More

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Miley Cyrus’ Sexuality Is a Sexuality That Is Not Completely Hetero, and She’s Talking About It for a Good Cause

Speculation on celebrities’ sexualities is usually futile and almost always very murky territory. Two progressive arguments often butt heads while… Read More

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“Patriarchy Is Neither Universal Nor Inevitable”: Gloria Steinem on Paula Gunn Allen’s ‘The Sacred Hoop’

Feminist writer and activist Gloria Steinem has launched a book review series: “Reading Our Way to the Revolution: Each Month, a Timeless and Timely Book.” This month, Flavorwire is pleased to host Steinem’s review of The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions by Paula Gunn Allen. … Read More

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Mahatma Gandhi, Baltimore, and the Myth of Nonviolence

It’s like clockwork. There’s a riot in some disenfranchised corner of America — or, more likely, there’s a peaceful protest that turns violent on its fringes. The media beams back images of burning shopfronts and crying children. A man in a uniform appears on television, appealing for calm. There’s a whole lot of hand-wringing about the futility of violence, and then somebody posts something on Facebook about “Ghandi” [sic] — usually, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” pasted onto a nice sharable photo. There’s a long, pious conversation about how nonviolent protest is the only acceptable means of resistance in a civilized society, all involving people who have never known someone like Freddie Gray, and who have never lived in the same circumstances as the average resident of a Baltimore housing project. People like, y’know, me. … Read More

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