Sympathy and Advice for the Now-Infamous “Mrs. Hall”

This was written in response to an open letter that circulated a few weeks ago, written by a mother of boys to their friends who are girls.  Please read that here first.Dear Mrs. Hall,I'm going to guess you've had a tough week.  Here you are, a small-time blogger (like I am) and one of your posts blows up in your face.  I'm not going to lie - I have very mixed feelings about you, the open letter you've written, and the support/backlash you've undoubtedly received as a result.  I'm not sur … [Read more...]

Modern Race Relations 101: A Primer for White People

Well before the Trayvon Martin verdict, I had seen, heard and read about white people dismissing the racial context of the case.  Some do this artfully and skillfully; others, not so much.  I've been wanting to explore some of these maneuvers more closely for a while now. … [Read more...]

Balls of Steel (Trigger warning – Abortion)

A week or so ago, I saw this on the "Being Liberal" Facebook page, and loved it.Today, I was driving down the main street of my hometown and got stuck in traffic for no apparent reason.  Then, I drove by the reason.  (TRIGGER WARNING - Disturbing abortion photos.  I am inserting many empty lines so that in order to see them, you must scroll down.  If you wish to leave this post, now is the time.)****************************************This … [Read more...]

A White Girl and the “N” Word

When I was in elementary school in 1970's Brooklyn, NY (maybe third grade?) a kid (who was white) told me I had “n*gger lips.”  It felt weird, because I wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or not, but I kind of knew something wasn’t right about it.  Honestly, I don’t remember how I responded.  Maybe I looked confused or maybe I tried to be cool about it.  I was seven or eight.  I was also kinda socially awkward and, frankly, just happy to be getting some attention from a peer - that much I do reme … [Read more...]

Moral Limbo, Political Style

A couple of years ago, when former California Governor and movie icon Ahnohld Schwarzenegger's revealed his dalliance with one of his domestic employees, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek response to the "shocking" news.  I framed it as a letter to those opposed to letting gay people marry, and suggested that the crowd to whom we should deny marriage is the group of people who, historically, had proven themselves really, really bad at it.I am talking about superstars in the businesses of ente … [Read more...]

Rape Culture Round-up

Well, folks, it's June 24, 2013, and I'd like to welcome you to a little feature I call "Rape Culture Round-up."  Progress on the War on Women front?  Let's just say any moves have been lateral at best, rather than forward.We can start with this little gem from conservative talking head Laura Ingraham.  When discussing how Plan B (emergency contraception) will likely soon be available over the counter, she opines thusly: " It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit sta … [Read more...]

The Plan B Pill: If It Were MY Daughter…

...I'd want Plan B to be available over the counter.I say this realizing there are great moral complexities involved here.  I've thought about it a lot regarding under-age girls seeking abortion.  When it comes to abortion, I ask myself, "Would I want to be notified if it were my daughter?  Would I want the doctor to insist on my consent if it were my daughter?  My husband's consent?  If my daughter was 15?  What about if my daughter was 13? 12?"  Of course the answer to all of these questions … [Read more...]

How Far Can You “Lean In” If You ARE Pretty?

Tracy Thompson wrote a great piece on the The Broad Side today, entitled, “How Far Can You ‘Lean In’ If You’re Not Pretty?” It laments the universal inequity of the role of attractiveness between the genders. Men can soar in their careers being merely average-looking, but in order for women to soar, they must be drop-dead gorgeous. A quick look at some Forbes’ “Top 20 CEOs” lists confirms her suspicion.We all know this is true. It’s played out (of course) in entertainment to the nth degree. I … [Read more...]

Silver Bullets? I’d Rather Have Chocolate Ones.

A seven-year-old boy named Myles wrote a letter to Vice President Joe Biden with his solution for gun violence. Chocolate bullets. The Vice President is completely on board with this idea, because, as he says in his letter back to Myles, “People love chocolate.”Some fellow writers at The Broad Side had very strong reactions to this story. Danielle declared “If someone shot me with chocolate…they would be my new best friend.” Karen insisted “must be milk chocolate. Dark gives me migraine.” It … [Read more...]

So, Then I Covered the President…

Yeah, so I've been fortunate enough to have some of my writing published on The Broad Side lately, and the fabulous Joanne Bamberger (publisher and editor) added me to the Facebook group of contributors where she and others leave fodder for potential pieces for the site.Last Wednesday, she posted a press release about President Obama visiting a manufacturing plant in Baltimore, and asked if anyone would like to cover it.  And I'm all, "Hey!  I live in Baltimore!" and "Hey!  I'd like to cover … [Read more...]


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