An Open Letter to Amanda Marcotte

March 4, 2013
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An Open Letter to Amanda Marcotte

By Tara L. Conley Dear Amanda. Resting uneasily in this contentious, but necessary space, I write this letter to you. Gloria Anzaldúa calls it a nepantla space of consciousness, one of which is characterized by discomfort; a ‘psychic and emotional borderland,’ a threshold space where transformation can occur. I also offer this letter with feminist activist and online organizer Brownfemipower’s work and legacy in mind. In the spirit of...
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Op-Ed: Nicholas Kristof and the Politics of Writing About Women’s Oppression in Darker Nations

March 3, 2013
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Op-Ed: Nicholas Kristof and the Politics of Writing About Women’s Oppression in Darker Nations

By Sunil Bhatia On February 13, 2013, Nicholas Kristof gave a talk at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. His talk, titled Striving for Global Justice, was based on his bestselling book and documentary, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women World Wide. I applaud Kristof and co-author Sheryl WuDunn for focusing on three crucial gender related issues in Half the Sky: 1) sex trafficking and forced prostitution; 2) gender based violence,...
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On Beyoncé, Benedict, and the Volition of Women

March 1, 2013
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By Lisa O’Neill At a school mass at my all girls’ Catholic High School, the priest said a homily about chastity, and in particular, sex before marriage. “Let’s say you are about to get married and you are going give your husband a gift, the gift of yourself and your sexuality,” he said. I was listening.  I always liked metaphors. “And so you give him this box and he...
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In Mourning

February 28, 2013
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By Isaiah M. Wooden This…for Hadiya Pendleton.                                    I used to love marching bands. Not the kind that show up on television screens across America on Thanksgiving mornings every year, but the ones that would unexpectedly assemble on the streets of my east Baltimore neighborhood on random spring nights with a robust drum line,...
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A Black Crip’s Perspective on Fashion and Embodied Resistance

February 26, 2013
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A Black Crip’s Perspective on Fashion and Embodied Resistance

My mentor Darnell L. Moore’s recent piece, Black Freaks, Black Fags, Black Dykes: Re-imagining Rebecca Walker’s “Black Cool” jolted my consciousness about the ways in which our aesthetic, as bodies transgressing societal norms, can be a site of empowerment. Several years ago, I made a conscious decision to dress to the nines every time I appeared in public. For as long as I can remember, I have loved fashion...
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It’s a Wrap: After the Academy Awards

February 25, 2013
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It’s a Wrap:  After the Academy Awards

The 85th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. According to some, including my 11-year old daughter Mason (a TFW Collective Member), the show was the “worst ever.” I have to agree; it was spectacularly awful, from Seth MacFarlane’s not-so-edgy sexist, racist, and just plain ugly jokes, to strange blasts from the past, to an odd, deer-in-the-headlight affect shared by many presenters. It was, overall, a good night for...
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Sacrifice, Religion and Exclusion: On Parade in Little Saigon

February 25, 2013
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Sacrifice, Religion and Exclusion: On Parade in Little Saigon

By: Duane Bidwell In 1954, the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision made it clear that “separate” is not “equal” when it comes to the practice of the common good in the United States.  Maybe it’s time to remind those who plan the annual Tet parade in Little Saigon. A few weeks ago, they banned the Partnership of Viet Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations from...
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Femmes, Pulling the Pieces Together: A Keynote Address by Pratibha Parmar

February 24, 2013
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Femmes, Pulling the Pieces Together: A Keynote Address by Pratibha Parmar

Last August, award-winning filmmaker Pratibha Parmar delivered a keynote address at FEMME Conference 2012: Pulling the Pieces Together, in Baltimore, Maryland. We are thrilled to offer here the text of her previously unpublished talk. As part of our forum on the Academy Awards–that quintessential culture machine that more often than not reproduces sameness–it feels vital to us to offer non-dominant, non-normative perspectives on identity, politics, culture, and art. In...
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Op-Ed: The Dangerous Limits of Race at the Academy Awards

February 24, 2013
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Op-Ed: The Dangerous Limits of Race at the Academy Awards

By Roya Rastegar We are far from a “post-racial” society. The films nominated for Best Adapted or Original Screenplays reveal an intensifying compulsion to engage race in America. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Lincoln. Django Unchained. Argo. Zero Dark Thirty. Flight. The high profile of these films positions them at the nexus of popular discussions around race, politics, and society.  But since each of these films is told through...
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Zero Dark Thirty and the Problem of Pakistan

February 24, 2013
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Zero Dark Thirty and the Problem of Pakistan

Zero Dark Thirty has been the subject of heated debate since its early release on Christmas Day last year. A number of reviews have focused especially on the film’s deployment of torture as a plot device, and a few Hollywood stars have even organized an appeal against the film ahead of the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony because of this. I agree with some of the reviews (the best, in...
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Drunk On A Plane: Or, Why I Loved “Flight”

February 23, 2013
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Drunk On A Plane: Or, Why I Loved “Flight”

Almost a decade ago, I eagerly awaited the release of Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, thinking it was a boxing movie. It wasn’t, really—any more than Flight is a movie about flying. Yet both films are very much about gravity: the histories, behaviors, demons, dreams, and failures—technical and otherwise—that can pull people fast, flat, and hard to the earth’s surface and wreck them. In Flight, we watch Denzel Washington...
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