Dating White or Dating Right?

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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!

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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

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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, […]

How to Lose Your Virginity: An Interview with Therese Shechter

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If you haven’t been following the work of documentary filmmaker Therese Shechter (left), you might mistake her newest project, How to Lose Your Virginity, for a bluntly titled self-help manual for sexually bereft high schoolers. But the adage holds true that you can’t judge a book by its cover. The title is a deliberately ironic […]

Dating While Feminist: The Veggie-Feminism Correlation

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We’ve established that there are feminist men out there who are looking for like-minded women, but what about other compatibility issues? I’d like to answer a good question I received from one of those men: I’ve read a bit of your writing (by no means all), and as a single man, I’ll admit, I was […]

Sorry, Man, You’re Too Short (Am I A Bad Feminist?)

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“He’s a nice guy. But he’s, like, two inches shorter than me.” Heard that before, either from a friend or your own mouth? I am a feminist, but as a heterosexual woman I prefer to date guys who are taller than me. I’m not the only one. I’ve automatically dismissed many a potential date because […]