10 Ways to Girls’ Healthy Sexuality


We know that the sexualization of women and girls is rampant. It is the stuff of Ms. magazine’s “No Comment” section, eyes rolled at reality television, training bras for 7-year-olds and high heels for infants. But maybe we don’t realize the full effect of these images. Did you know that 92.8 percent of music videos […]

My Big Fat Feminist Wedding

My fabulous bridesmaids and I. Choosing the right women to surround you is the key to a successful, and sane, wedding. Photo by Samier Mansur.

I never wanted to get married. Yes, I was that woman. My mom loves to tell stories of how even when I was a little girl I would bemoan how much more women do than their husbands, and how they were never even thanked for their work. As an adult I became more adamant about […]

Bishop Long: Hypocrisy and Its Discontents


By now we’ve all heard that Bishop Eddie L. Long of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia has been charged with coercing several young men from his congregation into sexual activity. Long stands accused of preying on members of the elite cohort of teenage boys he “handpicked” for his LongFellows Youth Academy (yes, […]

Dating White or Dating Right?


I am a black woman who has only seriously dated black men. I am still single, but I am not insecure, co-dependent, stupid or a ho. I’m sure many women find themselves in similar situations, but LaShaun Williams is not talking to you in her recent post, “8 Reasons to Date a White Man.” Here […]

George Clooney Is a Bachelor, Kim Kardashian Is a Spinster


It’s official. As Kim Kardashian approaches her 30th birthday in October, she is joining the ranks of women such as Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson: modern-day spinsters. There’s no comparable expression for men, such as 49-year-old unmarried George Clooney, who has traipsed around the globe parading a rotating bevvy of babes. Oh wait, he’s a […]

The Other L-Word: How bell hooks Dared Me to Love


My paternal grandmother should have never had children. Instead, she had five well before leaving her twenties. On the surface, my grandmother was emblematic of the post-World War II American dream. She married my grandfather, a young, first-generation Polish American who fought his way out of poverty by enlisting in the Army and moving swiftly […]

All About Love


bell hooks’ legacy is love. No black woman scholar has theorized love as seriously as hooks has. All About Love, Communion, Salvation and Wounds of Passion personally inspired me to explore the heartaches as well as the healing powers of love. In All About Love, hooks argues that everyone wants love, yet most of us are […]

Who’s Afraid of the Single Black Woman?


It was during one of those rainy Sunday afternoons–what I call my solitude time in the comfort of my home–that I discovered William Wyler’s 1949 movie The Heiress on TCM. I surf through my cable channels oh so delicately, lest I see another image berating my existence as a black woman. Movies of old rarely […]

What Was(n’t) So Great About the 1950s? Part II: Sex!


Americans in the early Cold War period were not having good sex, apparently. At this time, many psychiatrists, marriage counselors and gynecologists worried that women were failing to perform in the bedroom. Research has shown that they saw “frigidity”–which was largely defined as a woman’s inability to have a vaginal orgasm with her husband–as a […]

Porn: Pleasure or Profit? Ms. Interviews Gail Dines, Part II


In Part I of my interview with Gail Dines, the self-described anti-porn feminist discussed sexual freedom, coercion, safety and harm. Part II continues the conversation. And this time, porn actors respond. Shira Tarrant/Ms.: Your new book, PORNLAND: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality (Beacon Press), is out this month. When readers pick up this book, […]