Activist Cecily McMillan at an Occupy demonstration


May 11, 2014

  • This week Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan was found guilty of assaulting a police officer and sentenced to seven years in prison. “As disturbing as it is that she was found guilty of felony assault against Officer Grantley Bovell, the circumstances of her trial reflect an even more disturbing reality – that of normalized police violence, disproportionately punitive sentences … and a criminal penal system based on anything but justice.” The Toast and The Nation also provide important insight into the trial. To help support Cecily, visit and sign this petition.
  • bell hooks  and Janet Mock talk about “liberating the black female body” in a New School lecture series (hooks is is presently the scholar-in-residence at the New School). The video has generated buzz this week because of bell hooks’s comment about Beyoncé Knowles (she calls the singer an “anti-feminist terrorist”).
  •  Following Junot Díaz’s New Yorker essay about the lack of diversity within MFA writing programs (“That shit was too white”), Salon released two syllabi for courses he taught at MIT
  • The Hairpin responds to actress Shailene Woodley and other female celebrities (Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Bjork, early-career Lady Gaga) who have publicly disavowed feminism.
  • “When Emily Letts found out she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, she had a unique idea: she decided to film her abortion procedure.” Letts, who is an abortion counselor, explains her reasons for sharing the video here.
  • This week the Nigerian government approached Canada for its assistance in locating the more than 270 schoolgirls who have been abducted by Boko Haram militants. While efforts to locate the girls include a $300,000 reward for information on their whereabouts, Erika Eichelberger discusses why the foreign press has only now decided to start paying attention to Boko Haram. On the same topic, Compare Afrique criticizes the circulation of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in the West: “Your insistence on urging American power, specifically American military power, to address this issue will ultimately hurt the people of Nigeria.”
  • A group of graduate students  at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) have formed an organization to support women who  study philosophy. “Fillosophie,” the organization’s name, “is a portmanteau of “fille” (“girl” or “woman,” in French) and “philosophie” (“philosophy,” in French).
  • In a recent interview with TransAdvocate, Judith Butler discusses the ways in which conceptual misinterpretations of gender performativity have been used against trans* people. “Gender Trouble was written about 24 years ago, and at that time I did not think well enough about trans issues. Some trans people thought that in claiming that gender is performative that I was saying that it is all a fiction, and that a person’s felt sense of gender was therefore ‘unreal.’ That was never my intention.”
  • Is it possible to have sex in a feminist way? BBC and Vice  on the feminist porn awards ceremony and conference held in Toronto last month.


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