The Seth MacFarlane creation that is "Family Guy" has built a reputation on poking animated fun at everything from race to religion to sexuality issues over the course of its seven seasons on the air. However, according to a press release from last week's Comic Con there is one issue that is just too taboo, even for a show that routinely makes rape jokes. That issue? Abortion.
If you think politics today is a boy's club imagine 1860s America. The Civil War was beginning, slavery was not yet illegal, and women were still a good eighty years from receiving the right to vote. Yet one fiery young woman was able to become a national celebrity through her impassioned speeches on social reform. Anna Elizabeth Dickinson had her first anti-slavery piece published at the age of fourteen. As an advocate for black suffrage in addition to emancipation, and equal opportunity and pay for women in addition to the vote, Dickinson was one of the best-known reformers of her time.
Alert the office manager: We need to order some new parchment from the office supply company, cuz there were so many sports-related Douchebag Decrees to be handed out this last week, we can't keep up. You'll be glad to know, for instance, that gamblers aren't getting all bent out of shape about Ben Roethlisberger's rape accusation.
But what really brought out the douchebag in people was the Erin Andrews situation. Take, for instance, the mind-shredding audacity of Deadspin.com, particularly the site's former editor Will "All-of-a-Sudden-I-Feel-Sort-of-Guilty" Leitch, who after years of gleefully providing a forum for a particularly creepy—and tediously predictable—brand of hipster-jock misogyny, now is trying to distance himself from the whole Andrews debacle.
One of my secret favorite things about the internet is the abundance of fan and homemade videos. I can spend hours watching low-budget versions of musical routines, celebrity reaction videos, and home movies featuring animals. As you may know, I am also a self-taught student of the Twilight craze, so fan-made Twilight videos are like the frosting on my internet cake. There are SO MANY. Here is one that I watched yesterday:
Damon Linker recently blogged on the New Republic about a "deeply disturbing" Alternet article by Byard Duncan, My First Abortion Party. Linker's response was inspired principally by Conor Friedersdorf's blog on The Atlantic, an excellent response focusing on what Linker called the "neglected aspect of the story"—the "exclusion" of the boyfriend, and generally, a man's role in abortion proceedings.
that Alternet article Duncan describes attending an "abortion party"
hosted by a 22 year-old college senior in Indiana he calls Maggie.
If there's a silver lining to the bizarre arrest of prominent Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, it's his newly-inspired interest in exploring and exposing the racism that exists in our nation's prison system. Police arrested Gates this past Thursday after a neighbor saw him trying to push open his jammed front door, assumed (ostensibly because of his skin color) that he was an intruder and reported him accordingly. The event was a reminder of our justice system's tendency to disappear minorities, which is one of the unfortunate consequences of advanced corporate capitalism that deserves to be examined under a microscope by as many brilliant minds as possible (Angela Davis can't do it alone, people!)
Gates says that his arrest was a huge eye opener for him, and he has declared his intent to research and film a documentary that deals with racial profiling. He told the Washington Post that the project will ask, "How are people treated when they are arrested? How does the criminal justice system work? How many black and brown men and poor white men are the victims of police officers who are carrying racist thoughts?" I personally can't wait to see it, but if I could make one small request to Professor Gates, I would ask him to not forget about the women.
The Welfare Rights movement of the sixties and seventies rarely receives the amount of historical attention it deserves, and as a grassroots movement that addressed class, race, gender, and consumption issues all at once. Although made up of thousands of women around the country, Johnnie Tillmon was one of the main activists, who rose from a reluctant welfare mother to Executive Director for the National Welfare Rights Organization.