Last year a Latina friend of mine who's unhappily single outlined what she's looking for in a mate. She wants a man who's college-educated, socially conscious, speaks Spanish and is Latino. "It's not that I'm against interracial dating or anything," she explained self-consciously. You see, I'm in an interracial relationship, and she didn't want to offend me.
No Piers, I'm not calling you out because you routinely dis audience favorites on America's Got Talent (although seriously, dude has built his career makingpeoplecry). No no, you are hereby declared an epic D-bag for interviewing one of the most intelligent, politically savvy women in the world and asking her why she's not married and what she'd cook you for dinner.
This is the second time I've had the pleasure of interviewing the delightful RJ—you can check out my two-part 2010 interview with them here and here. After the jump, you can read their thoughts on the present and future of Riot Nrrd.
As Nadra put so well yesterday, it's likely few Americans actually spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday engaging in civil rights activism or even reflection. And like Nadra, I spent part of the day watching The Oprah Winfrey Show and her retrospective on the program's most memorable discussions on race. So much was discussed during the episode that we thought it deserved more coverage, which hopefully compliments her terrific Race Card series post.
The first time I read of a queer critique of gay marriage was in the article "Queers on the Run" in Bitch #47, the Action issue. Maybe this position has not gained much media coverage (or maybe I was just guilty of not thinking critically of the movement around gay marriage) but activist filmmakers Eric Stanley and Chris Vargas's argument that same-sex marriage should not be the ultimate goal for the queer community was deeply illuminating to me.
How did you celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday—sleeping in, cruising sales at the mall or maybe even working because you didn't have the day off? Of course, you may have actually spent the day attending a Martin Luther King Day parade or engaging in civil rights activism—for which you deserve to be commended because so few people observe the holiday by recognizing King and his work. I, for one, spent MLK Day watching the Oprah Winfrey Show to check out her roundup of programs she's done on race over the past 25 years. So, what were Oprah's most memorable shows on the subject?
I am wary when I walk into bookstores these days, because I don't need to dip into the horror section to find books that scare me. I take a look around at the white faces on the covers and think about how I'm not encountering books about people like me. Except, given how popular the whitewashing of covers is just at present, maybe I am and just don't know it.
Whitewashing book covers, representing non-white characters as white* on covers, is a publishing practice which has become disturbingly common.
Between high school English and having spent half my life treading one set of boards or another, a large chunk of my brain is devoted to Shakespeare. For whom isn't that the case, really? There's the deep horror of Macbeth, the lovely gender mix-ups of Twelfth Night, the… no, I really didn't like The Taming of the Shrew. But the thing is that Shakespeare's plays are largely about the men. My having gone to drama school has to be good for something, so let me take you through the theatrical manipulations rendering so many Shakespearian women more silent than they could be (and, arguably, more silent than the stories could do with).
Romance novels: generally not the sort of thing we might discuss as a vehicle for feminist literary icons. Many are the faces I have pulled at the quality of some of the novels supposedly aimed at me. I think, however, that writing romance novels off entirely is leaving a lot outside in the cold. Romance is, after all, the most popular literary genre in all the world. More than that, it's a genre dominated by women writers and readers, and you've got to put down some of the contempt for romance to misogyny. Accusations of silliness and inconsequentiality are, of course, some of the most insidious tools in the patriarchy's toolbox. Let's share some love for the love story, shall we?
The astronomically high pregnancy rate in majority black Shelby County, which includes Memphis, has sparked public outcry as well as an initiative called "No Baby!" run by Girls Inc. For decades, Girls Inc. has aimed to help Memphis girls improve their self-esteem. But its "No Baby!" campaign—slated to kick off Jan. 20—may do little to curb the high teen pregnancy in the Memphis area. Why? Because the campaign promotes abstinence only, according to AOL's Black Voices.