For Amy Poehler, Writing is Hard, Feminism Comes Naturally

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You’ve probably heard the saying, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Well, Amy Poehler makes comedy look easy, but her new memoir, Yes Please, nearly killed her. Or so she says at great length in the preface (aptly titled “Writing is Hard”). Anyone who has ever written anything will relate to her account of the procrastination, […]

The Private Life and Natural Feminism of Sally Ride

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  When astronaut/physicist Sally Ride passed away in 2012, her obituary revealed for the first time publicly that she was a lesbian. In the recently published biography, Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, Lynn Sherr fills out the story of this American hero, who worked tirelessly during her lifetime to encourage girls and boys […]

Joan Rivers: Certainly Unforgettable, But a Paragon of Feminism?

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Since her death a week ago, a number of tributes to Joan Rivers have called her a “feminist icon“—mainly, it seems, because she was a trailblazer and door-opener for women who wanted to make it to the major leagues of comedy and because she was so unstoppably driven in her own ambition. On the other […]

The American R/Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

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Activist Grace Lee Boggs is finally getting the national attention she has long deserved, thanks to a new documentary, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, airing tonight on PBS’s POV series (and then streaming on POV’s website from July 1-30). At age 99— her birthday was this past Friday—Boggs is still going strong. […]

The Case Against 8: Love Conquers All

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This time last year, the nation held its breath waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on two major marriage equality cases—and on June 26, 2013, SCOTUS declared both the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. In the months since that decision came down, support for marriage rights for […]

Utah Marriage Equality on Hold: What’s Next?

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UPDATE: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s office has announced that the state will not recognize the same-sex weddings that have already taken place there. “Shameful. Game on,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights’ executive director Kate Kendell on Facebook. NCLR has announced it will be a co-counsel in the Utah marriage appeal. The news yesterday that […]

The Marriage Equality Victories of 2013

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UPDATE: Today, a federal district judge struck down as unconstitutional Utah’s 2004 ban on same-sex marriage, and the Salt Lake County clerk’s office has started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples! This year will long be remembered as a watershed for marriage equality in the United States. With big wins at the Supreme Court, and […]

Moms and Mr. Moms: Funny and Smart

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Calling all Comedy Central junkies, SNL fans and lovers of The Colbert Report: If you care about the history of comedy, then you need to know about Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and unless you’ve done your humor homework, chances are pretty good that you don’t. Moms Mabley (born Loretta Mary Aiken) was one of the biggest comedy […]

Want to See More Women Writers in The New York Times?

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If The New York Times—or any other publication—wants to include more women as writers and sources, here’s simply what it has to do: Pay attention. As the Ms. Blog reported in early August, a recently launched website, Who Writes for the New York Times, keeps track of gender imbalances in a way that could help the Times’ editors […]

A New DIY Movement: #SmartFeministsofTwitter

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Best-of lists are always controversy magnets. By definition, they elevate some at the expense of others. Earlier this week, when Fast Company published a list, compiled by Ann Charles, of “25 of the Smartest Women on Twitter” that failed to include a single woman of color, the Twittersphere responded immediately. Within a day, the hashtag […]