40 Minutes That Changed My Life

Reprinted with permission from Shameless. During the fall of 2014, a large scandal broke around Jian Ghomeshi’s alleged assault of multiple women. There was talk of consent and abuse everywhere I went—from class to dinner and radios to social media, the subject was unavoidable. It was during the week this scandal broke that I ended up […]

What “Trans Panic” Means for My Family and Me

Most of us already hate using public bathrooms. There’s a reason all those news stories compare the bacteria levels of common surfaces—steering wheels, doorknobs—to the bacteria levels in public bathrooms. We’re grossed out by them. They’re malodorous caverns to which we must expose our most sensitive external organs and deposit our own smelly, bacteria-ridden waste […]

Flying in the Face of Catholic Law, These Women Are Claiming the Priesthood

In the rest of the city, people are trudging through the rain and struggling to keep their umbrellas from flipping inside out. But inside Chicago’s Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, it’s warm and bright. A small choir and a guitarist are warming up, the sound of their hymn barely filling the open space of the nave. […]

Why We Should All Talk About Our Periods

It might just be the year of the period: In 2016, the phrase “period panties” has entered the American lexicon; lawmakers across the country are fighting to eliminate the so-called “tampon tax”; and the cover of Newsweek has declared, “There will be blood—get over it.” The subhead? “The crimson tide is turning.” So it’s time to tune […]

Love in the Time of Homophobia: Considering the Use of Confidential Marriage Licenses

When I began Los Angeles County’s online marriage license application a few nights ago, I was asked to choose between either a public or confidential marriage license. I confess that it was the nominally lower price tag of the confidential option that led me to do a quick Google search. There were a few differences between […]

What Beyonce, Black Girls Rock! and Popular Education Mean for the Feminist Movement

Having been aware of celebrity DJ Beverly Bond’s nonprofit organization Black Girls Rock! and its annual awards show for quite some time, I must confess that this year was the first time I actually tuned into the BET show. And watching the parade of truly amazing black women from all walks of life, who are making an impact […]

How to Get College Men to Stop Campus Rape

The re-trial of a former Vanderbilt University football player charged with a 2013 sexual assault began this week in Tennessee. The defense blamed alcohol, technology and the encouragement of male peers for his poor college-boy behavior. This trial gives us a perfect opportunity to talk about engaging men in ending sexual violence—especially since April is Sexual […]

On Sex Work,the “Girlfriend Experience” and the Labors of Feminine Beauty

During the final year of my undergraduate degree, in a small, rural city in the south of England, I was supplementing my fragile self esteem with an over-the-counter laxative habit. I told people around me that my newly svelte frame came courtesy of my giving up alcohol (a fair-weather friend) and adopting a Japanese “eating […]

The Obama Administration Just Took a Big Step to Support Girls Worldwide

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry did something unprecedented in U.S. foreign policy: He announced a new, multiagency strategy designed not to secure American trade or security interests or stem the tide of extremism, but purely to empower the world’s adolescent girls—250 million of whom live in poverty, 62 million of whom are out of school […]

The Real Reason Everyone Freaked Out Over Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie

Whether you keep up with celebrity affairs or not, you can’t really ignore the Kardashians—and you definitely can’t avoid knowing what people think about them. When Kim Kardashian posted a nude selfie on Twitter this week, there was a smattering of “you go girl” support, but also a wave of criticism about her immodesty or […]