“Are My Pants Lowering Your Test Scores?”

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When I was a junior in high school, I received my first detention. My offense? Wearing jeans with holes in the knees. I had to, embarrassingly, walk around the rest of the day with duct tape covering them. Seems like a pretty ridiculous reason to be pulled out of school, right? Well, there’s a similar dress-code […]

Make Room On the Runway For These Transgender Models

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When you look at the photos from Barneys New York’s recent ad campaign, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters, the models are typical: natural beauty complimented by long legs or buff torsos. What distinguishes this campaign from others: All the women and men are transgender models. Similarly, Swedish jeans label Crocker features a new ad campaign […]

Dear Men, Here is a New Kind of Fantasy

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Dear Men: Here is a new kind of fantasy. It is about a new kind of man. These men are born on the campus of an Ivy League college in New England. Or at a West Coast university. Or maybe at a football-happy school on the Great Plains. These men talk to each other. They […]

Simply Divine

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“Witches!” I stood in a darkened Orthodox church almost 20 years ago while a small Cretan woman proclaimed this to a young priest in heavy, black Orthodox garb. The intense matriarch yelled in a shrill voice. The young man had no other choice than to force our all-woman tour group from the church. At first, […]

Anti-Choice Groups Target Dangerous Culprits — Girl Scouts!

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When you think of the Girl Scouts, you probably picture training-bra-burning, wire-hanger-wielding radical feminists with a serious political axe to grind, right? You don’t? Well, according to some anti-choice groups, the Girl Scouts of the USA are sort of junior league feminazis, as imagined in a Rush Limbaugh fever dream. The rest of us think […]

U.N. Takes Vatican to Task for Priest Abuse and More

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Last month, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child held a hearing for Vatican leaders to address child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the church hierarchy’s role in protecting perpetrators. Today, it issued a report urging the Vatican to take measures to prevent such things from happening in the future. The committee […]

Chimamanda and Beyoncé: We Should All Be Feminists

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Beyoncé’s new album is not only refreshing in an increasingly stale and samey pop music industry, but also a boost to feminist discourse. Some feminist discussion around the singer has characterized her (unfortunately and mistakenly) as “the wrong kind of feminist.” However, at least one song on Beyoncé’s new venture is inspired by Nigerian novelist […]

Pope Condemns Income Gap, Ignores Gender Inequality

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Not long after the white puffs of smoke blew through St. Peter’s Square in March to announce his election as head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis set many a progressive heart aflutter, especially with regard to his oft-stated concern for the poor of the world. The recent release of Evangelii Gaudium, the pope’s […]

Hey Pop Stars, Culture is More Than Skin Deep

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I’m beginning to think pop stars should be required to take a course on cultural appropriation. Katy Perry’s recently added herself to the list of celebrities who make insulting displays of cultures that aren’t their own. At the recent American Music Awards, she sang “Unconditionally” in Japanese-inspired wardrobe, hair and makeup. And that performance followed […]

Remembering Larry: Murdered for His Gender Expression

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In 2008, 15-year-old Larry King was shot and killed by classmate Brandon McInerney, whom he* had, on a dare, asked to be his Valentine days before. The new documentary Valentine Road tells the story of these two boys, both of whom who grew up in situations full of abuse and alienation. King, though, had started […]