News & Cultural Criticism

How Conservatives are Using Cis Women's Bodies to Destroy Trans Women's Lives

It’s obvious that the GOP is projecting their own unresolved issues about gender and sexuality onto transgender people as a way to score cheap political points with their base. In turn, this enables them to avoid having a substantive tackling of the very real crisis of sexual predation going on in households across the nation, from Main Street to their leader at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Stormy Daniels' 60 Minutes Interview Points Out Something Hugely Problematic About How Women Have Sex

Consensual sex is sex where both parties are in open communication about their desires. Consensual sex is not a power imbalance in which a famous and wealthy 60-year-old businessman perches on a bed, assuming the 27-year-old woman in his bathroom will have sex with him because she has agreed to enter the premises. An encounter that felt like a "bad situation" to Stormy Daniels ideally should not be defined as consensual sex.

Why White North Americans Need to Understand Ourselves as “Settlers”

I ... remind other white people that those of us in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa aren’t simply Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and South Africans; we are settlers, descended from those who came across in boats, as part of the project of settler colonialism ... As white settlers, we have an obligation to challenge the vicious racism and xenophobia that continue to animate anti-immigrant and anti-refugee debates daily.

Southern Plantations Should be Slave Memorials—Not Storybook Theme Parks or Trump Businesses

Plantations weren’t “storybook worlds” for black people; they were living nightmares and centers for generating the intergenerational white hoarding of stolen labor and riches that continues to manifest today as the racial wealth gap. To ignore this fact, and to set up these historical sites like adorable boutique hotels is to desecrate the memories of the millions whose lives and humanity were sacrificed in the name of white profit.
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Lifestyle & Mental Health

When the Gender Binary Puts A Damper on Date Night

Underneath the laughter lies my partner’s daily discomfort. Discomfort with the mistaken identity of being read as an inauthentic version of themself. Discomfort with having people’s baggage around gender projected onto them. Discomfort with feeling like there’s no emotionally sustainable or fair way to take it all upon themself to do the exhausting public education around non-binary identity in each and every stinging situation, each casual misgendering, each denial of what makes them feel like their best self walking through this often dehumanizing world.

Self Love Isn't Easy: 10 Difficult Things I Do to Practice Radical Self Love

We are more than the struggles we face, the money we don’t have, the dreams we haven’t fulfilled, the people who have failed us, and the unfair expectations we place upon ourselves ... Self-love isn’t something you “figure out” once and then possess, like a shiny object you can purchase. It’s a relationship with yourself, and like any good relationship, it has to be consensually worked at, respectfully reworked, compassionately tweaked, and lovingly embraced despite its idiosyncrasies.

What It's Like to Get a Queer Divorce After Fighting for Marriage Equality

The long fight for same-sex marriage in the U.S. illustrates how simply living our lives and making important decisions about our relationships was turned into something else: a literal referendum on the legitimacy of our relationships, the worthiness of the families we made, the right for us to take up space in this society so premised on heterosexual male control of women. In the midst of all that, a lot of queer people, myself included, operated from a place of scarcity, where we decided to take what we could get when we could get it, marrying because it might not be there the next day. That’s a tragically absurd place from which to approach a huge life decision like marriage, and when someone is in a toxic or abusive relationship, it makes for a particularly distressing combination.

How to Survive the Holidays in a Cross-Class Relationship

At their core, cross-class relationships force us to confront who is bestowed with power from birth, who has access to resources to thrive, and the undeniable grief that comes from having to be face-to-face with class-based reminders of how our lives and the lives of our families of origin could be so much easier ... It’s about more than feeling weird about your trust fund: it’s about the deep injustice of a society that continues to step on the backs of hundreds of millions of hard-working people while simultaneously rewarding those who happened to be born into wealth.

Spirituality

Turning 20: Practical Magic Travels Through the Realm of Outsiders

Twenty years ago, Alice Hoffman's 1995 novel Practical Magic was adapted into a heartfelt film that—along with other pieces of '90s pop culture such as The Craft, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Charmed, and Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation—kicked the renaissance of empowered, female-driven witchcraft into high gear. And America has been enchanted ever since, with interest in witchcraft continuing to surge in recent years.