Hello, My Name Is: Facebook Policy Disrupts Transgender Identities

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Facebook’s heavily criticized real-name policy is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rules and regulations affecting the lives of non-cisgender individuals. For those who didn’t follow the recent brouhaha, the Facebook policy requires users to identify themselves by their “authentic name” or legal name on their personal page. Members of the LGBTQ […]

Time to End Sex-Testing of Female Athletes

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When are we going to stop the nonsense of sex-testing female athletes? Because of an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) policy, Dutee Chand, an 18-year-old Indian sprinter, was blocked from competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games because her body makes too much testosterone. She has been prohibited from competing […]

Me, Myself and Bi

MarriageEquality

Fifteen years ago, I met the love of my life, Lucinda Atherton. Then, as now, I was a spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, an organization that is pro-feminist, gay-affirming and anti-racist. Then, as now, I worked to stop men’s violence against women, drawing the connections between homophobia and sexism. A proponent […]

Too Sexy to be the “Perfect Feminist”?

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Whatever debates have occurred among self-identified feminists about Beyoncé’s brand, there was no  bolder statement than from the pop star herself when she stood on stage in front of the brightly lit word “FEMINIST” before an audience of millions watching MTV’s VMA show broadcast on Aug. 24, 2014. As Ms. associate editor Anita Little notes: Beyoncé is invaluable to feminism […]

Empowering Femininity

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Early on in my first book Whipping Girl, while discussing the tendency within some strands of feminism to discourage women from engaging in acts and pursuits that are considered feminine, I argued that “We should instead learn to empower femininity itself.” While many people who read the entire book appreciated my stance on femininity, I […]

Laverne Cox Epitomizes Growing Transgender Rights Movement

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When transgender actor Laverne Cox graced the cover of Time magazine this month, the magazine was showered with accolades for featuring her story. But the article also ignited a predictable torrent of outrage from those unwilling to accept what most major medical associations in the United States have already acknowledged: that being transgender is not […]

Is Your Yoga Studio Feminism-Free?

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Come to a comfortable seated position; use the blanket to elevate your hips so you can sit with the spine straight. Close the eyes and rest the hands gently in the lap. So begins the yoga class. And just yesterday, as we sat quietly, receptively, in a meditative pose, the teacher said, Everything in your […]

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 […]

Chimamanda and Beyoncé: We Should All Be Feminists

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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 […]

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 […]