Orange is the New Black—the new Netflix original series premiering July 11—is a prison drama. But that's definitely not all it is. Following naïve yuppie Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she enters a women's prison for a 15-month stay, this rich, tactile show delves into gender and sexuality in a deeper way than first meets the eye.
In this historic week of Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and the Voting Rights Act, we're thinking a lot about intersections. More than ever, it's clear that making America a more equal union means defending the civil rights of everyone—not benefitting one group of people over another.
This week's Popaganda focuses on those areas of overlapping identity, digging into the framing of race in media with Colorlines.com Senior Editor Jamilah King, talking with transgender ice hockey player Micah Barritt about gender dynamics in athletics, discussing the link between feminsm and biking with author Elly Blue, and exploring the political need for linking immigrant rights and LGBT rights with Basic Rights Oregon racial justice organizer John Joo.
This morning, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that a central piece of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 (or VRA) is unconstitutional.
Pretty much anyone who cares about equality has called the decision a travesty. But the person who has written the most excoriating take-down of the Justice's faulty reasoning is their colleague and American hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
• Meanwhile, the Colorado state civil rights division issued an encouraging ruling against a Colorado school that banned a transgender girl from using the girls' bathroom. In the words of the decision, telling a child she "must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive." [New York Times]
• The Food Network fired celebrity chef Paula Deen last week for admitting to using a racial slur in the past and for considering a plantation- themed wedding for her brother. Multiple people ask: Is she just a "product of her time"? [Colorlines, NYTimes]
This is my last post on the Girls of Color in Dystopia guest blog series. I've read nearly 40 books just for this series and was disappointed (but, sadly, not surprised) to realize just how many of them have few to absolutely no girls of color in them.
Like millions of Americans reared in the nineties, I grew up rather mindlessly consuming Nick's cartoons and teen sitcoms.Slimed author Mathew Klickstein prods viewers like me to revisit the influential channel's beloved shows with an eye on racial diversity, gender dynamics, and the process behind creating each show.
Two years ago, on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains, I saw a white couple at a restaurant with their Asian daughter. Though her father told her to quit staring, I felt the girl's eyes on me all through the meal. I smiled at her, feeling a strong sense of kinship, a pang of sympathy. As a child, whenever I saw another Asian person – which I hardly ever did – I used to stare, too, hungry for the sight of someone, anyone, who looked like me.
When I first picked up Nalo Hopkinson's The Chaos last summer, I thought, "Finally! A book with a young woman of color as the protagonist!" Of course, I've since learned that there are other dystopic novels with girls of color, but this hasn't ended my love forThe Chaos even after a second (and third) reading.
The Chaos isn't actually set in a dystopia. It's more of a post-apocalyptic world in which Toronto transforms from its usual racist, misogynist, able-ist normalcy to utter chaos, complete with hoodie-wearing sasquatches, escalators that ask questions about quantum physics, and Baba Yaga and her flying house.