Politics & Culture

Last week, Joseph Epstein published an op-ed suggesting soon-to-be First Lady Jill Biden drop her title of “Dr.” Unfortunately, his misogynistic rhetoric is reflective of the wider cultural tendency to dismiss women’s expertise.

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Dr. Jill Biden delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention. Photo: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via Getty Images

Dr. Jill Biden is a 69-year-old woman who holds two master’s degrees, an Ed.D., and has taught diverse populations — from community college students to students with mental disabilities to residents of psychiatric hospitals — for nearly 50 years now. She plans to continue teaching full-time during her husband’s presidency, making her the only first lady to continue a professional career outside the White House.

None of this, however, stopped Joseph Epstein from addressing Dr. Biden as “Mrs. Biden — Jill — kiddo” in his recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Titled “Is There a Doctor in the White…


Politics & Culture

It’s not just about saying “yes” or “no.” Consent is inextricably linked to complex power dynamics and male entitlement

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Image Source: Google Images

At my college orientation a couple of years ago, all incoming students were shown a video called “Consent is Like a Cup of Tea.” Essentially, the video explains consenting to sexual contact by using an analogy about consenting to drink a cup of tea. The speaker draws many apt comparisons between sexual consent and tea-consent, clarifying the fact that it is no longer consent if someone changes their mind about wanting to have sex: “some people change their mind in the time that it takes to boil the kettle, brew the tea, and add the milk, and it’s okay for…


Culture

Doctors continue to belittle the pain experienced by women— and particularly women of color — which, in many cases, proves fatal

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Illustration Source: Brian Stauffer

About two years ago, after I had my first tonic-clonic seizure, I saw a neurologist who, after performing an MRI and EEG, quickly concluded that I had juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), in spite of the fact that I fit barely any of the symptoms. My symptoms only occurred when I was reading: my jaw would start to tremble, which would continue until I stopped reading. The day I had a seizure, I was reading on the beach, my jaw trembling uncontrollably, and the next thing I remember is waking up in an ambulance. My own research allowed me to discover…


Culture

Harper’s Magazine released “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” — but its message is incredibly vague, and many of the 150 signatories have a history of oppressive discourse

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Illustration: Silenced by Zabou x Alaniz

On Tuesday, Harper’s Magazine released a new letter — “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” — that includes 150 signatures by a variety of writers, journalists, and academics, all of whom have semi-prominent to extremely prominent platforms. The letter starts out sounding positive — “Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial,” the letter says. “Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts.”

But the letter’s tone quickly transitions…


Politics

White moderates continue to manipulate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism in order to criticize BLM protesters and maintain the status quo — which, ironically, is exactly what Dr. King warned us about

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Image Source: Getty

A couple of months ago, in response to the public outcry over the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an acquaintance of one of my family members claimed on Facebook that said family member was unduly taking offense and jumping to conclusions about Arbery’s death, writing “Martin Luther King was a man who did not take offense but spoke up in love and and made a difference. That’s why he is so endeared and respected today :).”

As I read this comment, I shuddered, recalling the numerous essays and speeches Dr. King wrote that clearly show he did not act just in…


Culture

In the #MeToo era, powerful male writers continue to escape the consequences of their abuse.

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Junot Díaz (left) and David Foster Wallace (right). Photo Illustration; Image Sources: Youtube, Steve Liss / The Life Images Collection / Getty

When I was seventeen years old, I attended a summer workshop for young writers. We had reading assignments each night — all kinds of poems, short stories, memoirs — and I don’t remember most of them, but I do remember writer and MIT professor Junot Díaz’s short story “The Sun, the Moon, the Stars.” I remember curling up in bed, exhausted after hours of impassioned writing, expecting my eyelids to droop shut before I reached the end. But after I started reading, I knew I had to finish the story — unexpectedly, it was a strange mixture of compelling and…


Society & Culture

In the U.S., more than half of mass shootings and about 91% of murder-suicides are committed by white men. A number of these perpetrators are self-proclaimed anti-feminists.

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Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos Getty

Alt-Right Anti-Feminism Is Everywhere

Recently, I discovered that there is literally an upcoming conference for women called “Make Women Great Again.” At first I thought it was a joke. But it’s not. The conference is taking place October 2–4 of this year. All of the speakers are men. On the conference website, feminism is referred to as “a radical assault on all traditional, positive forms of femininity.” The president of the convention, Anthony Dream Johnson, released a video about a men’s convention in Poland called “The War on Feminism Goes Global,” in which he claims that “feminism is the ultimate hate supremacist group… We…


Politics

How Misogyny Impacted Hillary Clinton’s and Elizabeth Warren’s Presidential Campaigns

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Photo Illustration; Image Sources: Kyle Grillot/Reuters, Matthew Sumner/AP Photo

Women are frequently told that, if they work twice as hard as men, then they will be just as respected and admired. This notion — that individual women can and must assume the burden of combating sexism by doubling the amount of work they perform — is problematic for a number of reasons, but I think the most glaring issue is that, in practice, it simply doesn’t appear to work. …

Faith O. Potts

Lover of literature, cats, nature, and typewriters. 🌞 She/her/hers. Writing about politics, philosophy, feminism, and disability.

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