Maroon 5′s “Animals”—How Cultural Stereotypes Mask the Message

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By Allison Epstein It would take some searching to find an American with a radio who hasn't heard a song or two off V, Maroon 5's latest album. It's packed with the kind of earworm tracks that wiggle into your head and refuse to leave. Full disclosure: "Maps" has been stuck in my head since about mid-August. But with the release … [Read more...]

Addressing Privilege: Why It’s Hard, Why It’s Necessary

Image via Elias Schewel

By Allison Epstein, Associate Editor In my younger days, the big fads were slap bracelets and Pokémon cards. Today, it’s Buzzfeed quizzes. There’s a quiz on everything, from “Which One Of Jesus’ Disciples Are You?” (Saint Andrew) to “How Many Life Skills Do You Have?” (52/100, so apparently it’s a miracle I’ve lived to 22). But … [Read more...]

Dear Racist Yogini: It’s South Asia Calling and We Want Our Yoga Back

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By Sayantani DasGupta Dear Racist, Size-Shaming Yogini at XO Jane, It’s South Asia calling. And we want our yoga back. Okay, truth, I’m just one Indian American woman, not actually all of South Asia (where, n.b. we brown folks like to capitalize the ‘S,’ just sayin’), but on behalf of all my mystical, exotic peoples, I … [Read more...]

White Privilege and the Problem with Ani DiFranco’s Apology

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by Pia Guerrero   If you haven’t heard by now, many folks—not just Black feminists —are outraged with Ani DiFranco, singer, songwriter, activist and feminist icon. DiFranco planned her “Righteous Retreat” songwriter camp to be held at a former slave plantation where hundreds of slaves were tortured and murdered. From … [Read more...]

The Boston Attacks Unleash Viral Racism

Obama Address on NBC

By Ashley-Michelle Papon The country is still reeling from the attacks in Boston. At present count, three people have died and over 180 have been injured from detonation of the dual bombs that shook the Cradle of Liberty just a few hours into the annual Boston Marathon. The shock hasn’t worn off, even as authorities have … [Read more...]

Do You Realize How Lucky You Are?

Image ©Liliana Morawska

By Emily Heist Moss Originally appeared on Role/Reboot. Republished here with permission. Emily Heist Moss asks: Are we obligated to reject our socialization? One of my favorite yoga teachers has this routine she does at the beginning of class. We are all in tadasana, waiting for instructions. This is not a hard posture; it’s … [Read more...]

“Attention: People With Body Parts”

Image by Tails Williams

By Melissa A. Fabello "I sit on the freckled sidewalk miles and years later. You bend in the humid air, bowing down to the grass mingling between the cracks. You, like the grass, would always come back. Through the cracks, through the scar tissue of my razor-cut legs. I trace my fingertips through your misplaced feathers, early … [Read more...]

Dolls: It Matters If You’re Black or White

The Los Rebeldes Dolls (Rebel Dolls)

By Whitney, Contributor (Originally published August 2009) As a college student, I had spent most of my college career wrestling with the concept of how I have white privilege. Through my studies, I tried to learn about and deconstruct our society's power structure and my place in it. Recently, in a Northern California … [Read more...]

The Audacity of Young Black Women Who are Low-Income, Obese, Abused, and ‘Precious’

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About a week ago, I began reading an article in the New York Times Magazine called, "The Audacity of Precious".  I was so pissed by what I read in the first few paragraphs I couldn't finish the piece at that time. When Precious' plight lands her in a special school, she blossoms: the audience's initial rejection of Precious, … [Read more...]

The Curious Case of the Ambiguously Mexican Red Head

Trini, my Mexican grandmother, who had red hair.

Growing up, I didn't really fit in. My father, who I talk to almost every day, is Mexican and has never lived in the US. My mother is Anglo-American. They married in Mexico in 1967, the same year that anti-miscegenation laws were banned across the US. I was born five years later in Mexico City with red hair, white skin, and blue … [Read more...]