The jobs are out there, but culture is in the way

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 10.15.57

About 20 million men between the prime working ages of 20 and 65 had no paid work in 2015, and seven million men have stopped looking altogether.

The rage and despair of some of them helped propel Donald Trump to the White House. They may be waiting for him to deliver on his promise to bring back well-paid manufacturing jobs. Economists fear a long, fruitless wait.

In the meantime, the jobs most in demand — like nursing and nurse assistants, home health care aides, occupational therapists or physical therapists — sit open.

pub. 06/2017

Dissecting the popular image of Hillary

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 15.32.31

Appearances to the contrary, Sanders was not a union organizer, but rather a longtime member of the Senate. And if Clinton had more support from the Democratic party, that was due in large part to the relationships she had cultivated over the years, working with others – something Sanders was not particularly good at. Nonetheless, for weeks during the early months of the primary, I listened to 19-year-olds and media pundits alike lavish praise on Bernie Sanders for his bold, revolutionary message, and scorn Hillary for being a part of the establishment.

They described him as “heart” and her as “head” – a bitter irony for those of us familiar with the long history of philosophical, religious, and medical diatribes disqualifying women from leadership positions on the basis of our less-disciplined emotions.

pub. 04/2017

Misogyny as unifying political ideology

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 17.47.22

Yet we continually refuse to bring misogyny into the equation, or to see violence against women as political violence. Political commentators parse elections in terms of the gender of candidates or voters, divide issues into “economic” and “social,” divide causes or actors into “right” and “left,” rather than considering that repressing women’s participation in public life may be its own coherent political ideology, shared by men and some (admittedly self-destructive) women across the political spectrum.

pub. 01/2017

4chan, basement-dwellers, and Trump

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 15.51.12

Thus these Trump supporters hold a different sort of ideology, not one of “when will my horse come in”, but a trolling self-effacing, “I know my horse will never come in”. That is to say, younger Trump supporters know they are handing their money to someone who will never place their bets — only his own — because, after all, it’s plain as day there was never any other option.

In this sense, Trump’s incompetent, variable, and ridiculous behavior is the central pillar upon which his younger support rests.

pub. 02/2017

Maybe you’re uncomfortable with “safe spaces” because you feel safer with the status quo

screen-shot-2017-02-05-at-13-11-26

The truth of the matter is that privileged people have all of society as a safe space; our culture and even our laws are formed around their comfort. The most unequal laws of history have existed to protect the safe space of those in power — a space safe from abortions, from queer marriages, from black people and women voting, from anything that challenges their supremacy. Many of the people catered to by the entire setup of society are the same ones who would claim that life never gave them a “safe space.”

pub. 01/2017

For new activists, when old activists seem…prickly

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-18-54-13

Lesson two, which I meant to make lesson one: If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you. If it is about you, do better.

What does that mean? Well. At some point you’re going to hear a statement like “white women are racist.” Your first instinct is going to be “not me! I’m a good person!” Stop for a minute before you jump in with that comment.

pub. 01/2017