Feminism Is for Everybody, Including MRAs

One of the more ironic aspects of entrenched male opposition to feminism is this: living by feminist principles could genuinely improve things for men. Yes, male power and privilege will be surrendered when patriarchy recedes, but so will outsize expectations about masculinity. In fact, a lot of the complaints that MRA types clutch to their chests about an allegedly unfair world would be irrelevant in a feminist utopia. … Read More

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Twitter CEO Promises to Fight Trolls — But Let’s Not Start Celebrating Yet

In the annals of stating the obvious, the internal Twitter forum post leaked to The Verge this week is destined to go down as a classic of the genre. “We,” proclaimed Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, “suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform.” Why yes, Dick. You do. You really, really do. The rest of the memo has been reported as a sort of internal mea culpa: “I’m frankly ashamed of how poorly we’ve dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO,” Costolo wrote, adding that “I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It’s nobody else’s fault but mine, and it’s embarrassing.” Perhaps the most instructive line, however, is the following observation: “We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day.” … Read More

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AOL’s ‘That’s Racist With Mike Epps’ Investigates the Stories Behind Stereotypes

It’s fair to say that AOL isn’t the first place you’d visit when seeking out fresh, original content in web videos (or in anything, really). Yet AOL On, the successor to AOL TV, has been quietly churning out some solid original series since 2012. The two most notable of the bunch are Candidly Nicole, a reality/sitcom hybrid starring Nicole Richie that went on to become a funny VH1 series (and earned a second season pickup), and True Trans, the documentary series from Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, wherein Grace talks to members of the trans community while also sharing details of her own transition. One of the newest additions to the slate is That’s Racist With Mike Epps, a docu-series where the comedian attempts to get to the bottom of well-known racist stereotypes — with surprisingly funny results. … Read More

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‘This American Life’ Episode Humanizes Internet Trolling as Only Radio Can

Just about every writer whose work is posted on the Internet has to deal with the bane of the comments section, but for Lindy West, a former Jezebel staffer who currently writes for publications like GQ and The Guardian, the comments section has become a war zone. She’s candid and funny, unafraid to criticize rape jokes or explain how airlines discriminate against fat people, and her fearlessness has made her one of the most notable voices on the Internet. … Read More

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The Last Days of Carles: A ‘Postscript’ to Hipster Runoff’s ‘Era’ of ‘Cynicism’

Who’d have guessed it? Carles, the shadowy creator of Hipster Runoff, the most ‘relevant’ alt of 2007 and the Internet’s foremost exponent of scare quotes, was an idealist all along. Our antihero has been in the news of late because he’s selling Hipster Runoff and its associated revenue streams — exactly the sort of cynical prank that you’d expect from him — and now he’s surfaced to publish a blog post entitled “Why I H8 Online Media.” (It’s the prelude to, god help us, an entire ebook, which is called Nothing Matters.) The site on which it’s published, carles.buzz, is supposedly the last we’ll ever hear from him, what he calls a “terminal pop-up art website blog where I will document my final days on the internet.” Of course, Carles being Carles, it’s hard to know how much of this is sincere and how much is ‘sincere’ — which has always been one of the most obnoxious things about reading him. But taken at face value, it’s an interesting, if profoundly depressing, insight into the bleak cynicism of HRO and its creator. … Read More

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Taylor Swift, John Boehner, and the New Intergenerational Condescension

Millennials, eh? Short attention spans, smartphones, narcissism, et cetera — how are you supposed to get through to them if you’re a good old-fashioned Republican looking to convince the majority of the American electorate to vote directly in contradiction to its own interests? (Again?) They don’t go in for patriotism, they’re skeptical of rhetoric about terrorism, and in general, they’re not big on old white men in suits. Well, unfortunately monikered House Speaker John Boehner reckons he has the answer: Taylor Swift GIFs! … Read More

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2015’s Amazon Pilots, Ranked

Amazon Studios has been going full throttle when it comes to releasing new and intriguing pilots every few months. Last year’s crop of pilots brought us one of the best new shows of 2014, with Jill Soloway’s Transparent, as well as the truly original and idiosyncratic comedy Mozart in the Jungle. To kick off 2015, Amazon has uploaded a whole new batch of pilots for viewers to watch and review. Unfortunately, most of them are strictly average — and a few are just plain terrible. Here are all of the comedies and dramas, ranked from worst to best. … Read More

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