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May 24, 2015

Yesterday, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. 

Have you heard of  “the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Trash Vortex or Trash Gyre”? Maya Weeks recasts this wasteland (which is said to float somewhere in the vicinity of Hawaii) as a myth of capitalism that should be debunked.

A short, personal note on the emotional and physical effects of the mirena IUD, that “perfect birth control.”

Tamara A. Lomax (co-founder of The Feminist Wire) “refuses the narrative that black women’s lives don’t matter or that black women’s academic oppression is particular to one institution, a personal experience or a misguided interpretation.” A heartbreaking, powerful account of Tamara’s recent resignation from her post in the academy.

New York Times covers the “Nail Salon Day of Action,” an outreach campaign designed to combat the exploitation of city’s salon workers.

“The mother of a seven-year-old transgender girl says her child’s school has agreed to let her use whatever bathroom she wants.” But, as CBC reports, don’t give the Catholic School Board too much cred for this decision. As the mother of the child notes, it was solely because of the efforts of a vocal Edmonton trustee that the decision was overturned.

Comedian Jen Grant bravely retells her experience of being publicly harassed during a performance: 

I felt like I was going to cry. Turned my head for about 15 seconds, took a sip of water, told myself to just plug through, went to talk and my voice was all warbled like I was about to cry. Realized I couldn’t talk because I was so upset. Said into the microphone “I’m sorry but I can’t do this”. Put the mic into the stand and walked off stage.

“This Mocha-Caramel-Honey Post-Racial Fantasy Is Making Me Sick” illustrates the problem with racialized beauty compliments.

The #SayHerName report was released this week, drawing international attention to police brutality against black women and girls. “In an effort to explain why it’s so easy for black women to go missing from the narrative [of police violence], Tamara Winfrey Harris explained the historical roots of the problem earlier this month: ‘Black women were believed unbreakable long before Kimmy Schmidt came along. Our assumed lack of fragility made our enslavement, overwork, torture and sexual exploitation conscionable in an era when ‘real’ (read: white, middle-class) women were thought in need of white men’s protection.’” Read more at The Nation.

“15 Quick Facts You Need to Know About Police Carding In Toronto.” (#2 The carding system is comparable to the controversial NY’s “Stop and Frisk” program.)

Kudos to the Toronto Star for mentioning the findings of McMaster University’s groundbreaking 2013 report showing that “fewer than half of workers in the GTA and Hamilton are in permanent, full-time jobs…, [that] about 52 per cent of workers are in temporary, contract, or part-time positions.” The report also offers solutions to the city’s precarious employment problem.

Inspired by Ava DuVernay’s call to social media to “name films with black, brown, native or Asian women leads,” and which were also directed by women, Women & Hollywood offers a list of 85 films.

The Cannes Festival reportedly turned away women from entering a screening if they deigned to wear flats, even flats decorated with RHINESTONES: “Multiple guests, some older with medical conditions, were denied access to the anticipated world-premiere screening for wearing rhinestone flats.”

Sarah Jaffe on why feminism needs punk: 

Feminism today could use a punk moment. It has become buttoned-up and sanitized, in thrall to capitalist ideals of success and the endless rehashing of narrow debates. Our public conversations about abortion and sexuality have been scrubbed clean of all references to bodies and blood, desire and loss—most pro-choice groups won’t even use the A-word.

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