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The Angry Teenagers: The Heroes We Don’t Deserve.

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A review of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and news outlets illustrates the Gun Debate madness: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. The conversations are the same; the talking points are the same, the outcome is the same, which is what extreme gun advocates want. And we give them what they want. Politicians follow suit, by also failing to take action. Liberals and conservatives jump on various bandwagons and fall into the trap of thinking that there is no middle ground. And on either side of the aisle, adults fail to take the lead.

I don’t claim to make comprehensive policy suggestions in Facebook posts, Instagram hashtags, or 240-character Tweets. And I certainly don’t claim to offer comprehensive policy changes in an 1154-word blog post. However, I do suggest some retorts to soundbites which were meant to and were able to, halt all sound governance on the subject of gun control.

First, let’s take the big one: “Banning all guns violates the Second Amen…

Women's Right to Vote is Not 100 Years Old: The Continued Whitewashing of US History.

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Try Googling the sentence “US Women’s Right to Vote.” The first entry, the featured one, states, "Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote."
This is false. 
More importantly, it is ignorant and harmful. And yet, we unthinkingly accept it as true, time and time again. Over the weekend I was at an American Bar Associations Women’s Caucus meeting, and a lovely speaker stood up in front of the assembled female attorneys to tell us about the wonderful things the ABA had planned to celebrate the centenary of women’s right to vote. There was clapping and silent shoulder-patting. There were three black women in the room. They were immersed in their phones. Now, I indeed cannot read their minds and I have no idea if they were simply focusing on work (as I do during most meetings) or pointedly uninterested because they knew this conversation …

Why #MeToo Has Not Gone Far Enough: Due Process and the Price of Transparency.

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Since the spark that lit the #MeToo movement, harassers and abusers have been unmasked by victims coming forward, finally coming out of the shadows, sometimes for the first time in decades. From the members of the US Gymnastics team coming forward against Larry Nassar to actresses telling their stories of victimization by Harvey Weinstein, the tree of sexual aggression has been shaken and rotten fruits are falling down left and right. The list of men accused of predatory behavior keeps growing:  Matt Lauer, Bill O’ReillyR. KellyLouis CK, Woody Allen, Russell Simmons, Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, and of course Donald Trump. Some have launched and contributed to the “Shitty Media Men” list. As described by The Daily Beast, “The accusations levelled in the spreadsheet (the versions this writer saw contained dozens of men) veer into criminal behavior, including physical and sexual assault. Some men’s names are highlighted in red, to indicated that they’ve been accused of 'physical …

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly : Coming of Age as a Sex Object -- Part III: The Good

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At 18 my husband and I were broke and in college. One thing lead to another and I ended up working at a strip club as a waitress and then as a hostess. It wasn't as bad as you think and it taught me a lot about the service industry, the adult industry and life.

While only spent seven months in the “adult entertainment” world, it left me with lifelong lessons and impressions. (I eventually left to become a Legislative Aide in the Texas House of Representatives--which is a story for another day).While working at the club I was surrounded by young women mostly aged 18 to 25. A high proportion of them were high or drunk most nights. They had complicated family lives and many of them—not all—were financially, emotionally, and physically vulnerable. We dwelled in darkness, between predatory clients, sleazy drug dealers, and the fabrication of intimacy. The “girls” walked around wearing their work clothes: enticing tops, thongs and eponymous stripper heels. Waitresses wore more but often …

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly : Coming of Age as a Sex Object -- Part II: The Bad

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While assault and violence are not always par for the course, harassment and victimization are. Harassment and victimization include non-violent acts of aggression. This is where pernicious misogyny lives. It is harder to deny a punch, a kick, or a slap than it is to deny a micro-inequity, tacit discrimination, mistreatment masquerading as propriety or, worse, flattery. The “Bad” of sexual objectification is its casual existence in everyday life. This is the truly hard part to eradicate.
I was around 20 years old when I came back from a legislative internship in the Texas House of Representatives. After spending five months on a small stipend living in Austin and commuting to Houston to see my husband, I was finally home. I was also unemployed and having no luck finding a job. By way of random connections, a Houston lawyer found me and offered to hire me. He would pay me $500 / week to work on an anti-tort reform campaign. That was fine by me. Week after week, I phone banked, block wal…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A Progressive Feminist Interpretation; Not What You Think.

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What if "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" can be framed as a reflection on current political resistance and, most pointedly, that resistance is the province of historically marginalized people of color and women? Is it all in my head? Fine. That’s where I live anyway, so hear me out. This is what happens when an intersectional feminist walks into a movie theater...

The emerging theme of the Star Wars franchise is that the past must die. Why, though, is not completely clear and each character has its own definition of what the past means. Let’s take, as a starting point, Luke Skywalker who says that the “Jedi Religion” must die. The Jedi Religion, with its absolutes, where the Light Side and the Dark Side are all-or-nothing propositions, where people must pick a side and stick to it, never wavering, is in fact problematic. As a feminist, I was always bothered by the events that purportedly pushed Anakin Skywalker to the “Dark Side” and to become the monster he became. The traditional…

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly : Coming of Age as a Sex Object -- Part I : The Ugly

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When I was eleven years old, a classmate of mine came up behind me, grabbed me by the hair, violently slammed the heavy metal locker door I was kneeling in front of on my head and walked away. I nearly blacked out. When I managed to stand up again, I went to my school counselor and reported the incident. She answered that I dressed provocatively and that my clothing elicited sexual feelings in boys my age. She explained that the only way those boys could express those feelings was through violence. So I wanted the violence to end, I needed to change the way I dressed. While she was right that I did dress provocatively, I’d be damned if let someone beat me into submission. So I kept doing my thing. I refused to accept that male violence was a natural comeuppance for my decision to feel good about myself.
At fourteen I was standing outside my friend’s house, waiting for her to finish lunch. It was summer in the Italian mountains. I was no more than six feet from her front door. A man wal…