Tiana Parker And Our Black Hair

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Someone once said that men invented makeup and fashion so that women would spend all their time thinking about what was on top of their heads and not what was inside them. While I think that trivializes the hard work and artistic creativity involved in these two design fields, I get the point. When Tiana […]

My Feminist Name Quandary

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When I, Careen Shannon, took David Solomon to be my lawfully wedded (now ex-) husband, I also walked into a feminist name dilemma. But unlike Pamela Paul, who recently wrote in The New York Times about the difficulties of using her maiden name professionally and her married name in other venues, I never considered changing […]

A Guy Is A Man Is A Guy

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When a society is organized around the idea that one group of people is inherently better than another, it goes without saying that injustice and unnecessary suffering will be the main result, with patriarchy and male privilege being the oldest living example. Gender inequality is everywhere, from who cleans the house and takes care of […]

How to Teach Technology to Girls: Advice from Ghana

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Regina Agyare looks like any other Los Angeles professional, sitting in one of the many posh storefronts found downtown, working on a laptop. But this space is a temporary one, a “pop-up” storefront that was vacant only a few days before. And Agyare, a software developer, has come here from Ghana to share with others […]

When a Wife/Partner Succeeds, Men Lose Self-Esteem

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Not long ago a friend’s first book was published, so when I arrived at her home for a visit I eagerly voiced my enthusiasm and congratulations for her accomplishment. Moments into the interaction, her husband strode across the living room to a bookcase and returned with a copy of a book he authored 15 years […]

99 Ways to Respect Black Women

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This year marked 100 years since the death of Harriet Tubman, the former American slave who proved great heart and courage in rescuing other slaves. This fact was commemorated not with a holiday or a monument but by our very own brother Russell Simmons thinking it would be wonderful to make a “Harriet Tubman sex […]

Challenging Abstinence-Ed in Illinois

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This fall, 6th- through 12th-grade students in Illinois will no longer learn exclusively about abstinence in their sex-ed classes. Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign HB 2675 into law, requiring schools with sex-ed programs to also offer “age appropriate, medically accurate and complete” lessons on birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STI). Taking effect January […]

Feminism and “Real Men”

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[See Update at bottom] Can men be feminists? Absolutely. But recent media maneuvers and blogosphere blow-ups have put this confident answer to the test. For those outside the feminist bubble, here is the nutshell version: One self-identified feminist man with a history of confused intent and mental illness hijacked an extraordinary amount of attention. That […]

Should Feminists Be Critical of Compulsory Monogamy?

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In 1980, Adrienne Rich broke new ground in her essay “On Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence,” in which she argued that feminism need not merely include lesbian voices but actively critique compulsory heterosexuality as a patriarchal institution. More than 30 years later, feminist support for gay and lesbian rights has become commonplace, and is frequently […]

Misogyny at the Wailing Wall

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Every month for the past 24 years, a group of Jewish women of many denominations meet at the Western Wall, a holy site in Jerusalem, to pray and worship together. They have been met with violent opposition, including tear-gassing, thrown chairs and brutal police arrests. These brave women call themselves The Women of the Wall, […]