It’s easy to roll your eyes at trolling—to say “don’t read the comments” and dismiss trolls as just a bunch of haters. But let’s talk about trolling for what it really is: disruptive behavior that seeks reinforce power over marginalized communities. The power issues that motivate trolling become especially obvious when you talk to fat-acceptance activists about their work online.
Three weeks ago, roughly 276 girls were kidnapped from a school in Northeastern Nigeria. The girls’ parents are devastated, the Nigerian government seems unable to track down the girls, and the leader of the group that has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping is threatening to sell the girls as slaves.
So why isn’t this front-page news in the United States?
I have been with my current partner for over two years now and we are happily living together with set plans to get married in the very near future. My partner has a few friends that I sometimes I ask myself how a smart and insightful person such as himself could be friends with, but I've brushed it off as nothing until today. My partner has a certain friend who is extremely (not that you can place racism on a continuum scale) racist towards Middle Eastern people.
A still from the video for Cuban rap group Krudas Cubensi's song "Los Medios."
When I came to the United States from Argentina in 2005, I lived in the South. I remember going to Goodwill and finding a vintage poster from the 1950's that said "Cuba: Holiday Isle of the Tropics." I bought it for 25 cents and hung it near my bed. Besides my touristic poster, and the music from Buena Vista Social Club, the little information I got about Cuba from the United States came from official Cuban websites in Spanish. Most of these outlets were regulated by the Communist party and didn’t mention much about anything besides official agenda news.
Christine Fox does not consider herself a social justice advocate. Using the handle @steenfox, the 37-year-old uses Twitter for fun, she says, amassing thousands of followers while simply shooting the shit with her friends. On March 12, Fox’s timeline took a decidedly different turn.
It's well known that female artists are underrepresented in art museums, but what about in our more modern and malleable institutions?
Next week, groups of artists and tech-savvy folks around the country are taking aim at gender imbalance in representation of female artists on Wikipedia. The "Art + Feminism Edit-a-Thon" being held in New York on February 1st has inspired simultaneous editing marathons in 17 other cities, all focused on adding more female artists to the public encyclopedia and fleshing out the meager entries of existing women artists.
Scottish synthpop band Chvrches has become wildly popular in the last year. That popularity has a sad, dark side for lead singer Lauren Mayberry, who wrote a column in The Guardian this week noting that she now has to sort through dozens of sexually aggressive messages every day on her band's Facebook page.