Category: Human Rights

My Dad in the Valley of Fire

That time my dad let a man live in his car

An anecdote about my dad A while back, my dad noticed that his car had begun the curious habit of generating cigarette butts. My dad didn’t smoke. No one who he rode around with smoked in his car. He’d go into work with a cigarette-butt-free vehicle, and by the time his shift ended, there waiting […]

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Rape Culture and State Supreme Court saying a woman with cerebral palsy should have fought off her rapist

Our Rape Culture Honor Roll

We give judges the title of ‘Honorable.’ We stand up when they enter a courtroom. So we shouldn’t be surprised when this quark of authority worship leads to our blind faith in that they deserve it. In fact, we don’t question if they deserve it. Hence, the blind faith: they’re judges; they’re honorable. And I […]

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toxic masculinity in Yamaguchi assassination

Toxic Masculity: Penises in Japan and Tanks in Czechoslovakia

She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. These lines from Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being […]

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gun violence and mental health doesn't explain the rise in school shootings since the 1980s

The NRA Needs Pie: equating gun violence and mental health is poor taste

The gun violence and mental health script Dr. John T. Monahan sums up the gun violence and mental health script thusly: “Two things typically happen in the wake of a mass shooting. First, politicians claim that mental illness is the major cause of violence in America. Then, advocates for people with mental illness respond by […]

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Welcome to Bears Ears National Monument

When We Became “Welcome to Bears Ears”: A Metamorphosis

One morning, Eric and I woke in the desert from uneasy politics and found we had turned into a large “Welcome to Bears Ears” sign. For two days, some people treated us like monstrous vermin. Well, nine people did. Nine whites treated us unkindly (spoiler). Turning into ‘Welcome to Bears Ears’ Memorial Day weekend, 2017: […]

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Hollywood sex scenes leave several women uncomfortable

Grin and Bare It All: A Hollywood Sex Scene as Sextortion

A Hollywood Sex Scene A Hollywood sex scene can become iconic, revolutionary in its art-form, powerful in its critique of harmful cultural beliefs, and legendary in its impact on cinema and society. A Hollywood sex scene will guarantee fodder for news articles and talk show interviews and sofa-based debates on artistic censorship and open-mindedness with […]

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rape culture in the FBI definition of rape

The FBI celebrates rape culture and racism as a ‘legacy’

Setting its own terms: the FBI’s impact on rape culture For 84 years, from 1927 to 2011, the FBI’s definition of rape never changed. And for 84 years, human rights activists demanded that it should. That’s because the definition went like this: “carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” A translation from […]

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Can we get a graphic designer to Kansas?

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way to Say That Sometimes you see a sign and know exactly what it means. Sometimes you see a sign and are left guessing. And sometimes you see a sign and know exactly what it means, knowing also that the makers of the sign mean something completely different. A Pro-Choice […]

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Bullet holes through signs

Bullet Points: Shooting Holes into the NRA’s Echo Chamber

As if a shooting weren’t tragic enough After a shooting, we are suddenly forced into a world without our loved ones. Be it accidental or murderous, no words can soothe such violence. But there are certain words, spoken more out of reflex than out of thoughtfulness or awareness, that make the violence even worse: “Guns […]

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Celebrating the Abusive Father

The Abusive Fathers of Fences and The Glass Castle Fences (2016) and The Glass Castle (2017) are two recent examples of beautiful, emotionally charged filmmaking. Both focus on the troubled and troubling relationships between a larger-than-life, though abusive, father and their wives and children, who struggle to discover their place in the world (read: his world). In other […]

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