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Waiting To Be Seen, Drowning Meanwhile.

“I am water
soft enough
to offer life
tough enough
to drown it away”

– from ‘Milk and Honey’ by Rupi Kaur

I started my week off by interviewing Ijeoma Oluo about systemic racism and the representation of women of color in the media.

Ijeoma talked about how, at its core, when people with privilege “do nothing,” even with all the good faith and intention in the world, it constitutes oppression.

The conversation was incredibly important and inspiring and ground-breaking.

I also walked out of the room very broken. For a variety of reasons; discussing these issues in a public forum where the room was primarily white was challenging, the examples of casual racism were so painful and familiar.

We barely scratched the surface.

Because, how do you cover centuries of oppression in an hour-long conversation?

How many examples do we need of how people of color aren’t considered worth defending, worth listening to, worth being considered human, before people in power take notice?

Will it be after a book by a white woman continues to receive fanfare despite being journalistically indefensible and morally repugnant?

Will it be after a newspaper publishes a full-page recruitment ad for the KKK?

Will it be after Bill Cosby gets locked away — rightly so — but the definition of justice continues to be very different for white monsters like Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinstein?

How much longer after “far too late,” will those in power — those with privilege who could actually do something — start caring?

With love + solidarity,
Ruchika Tulshyan
Founding Editor

What Happened That Made Us Numb To These Deaths?

By Asma Gaba

The police say that this man was stalking her after she had turned him down multiple times. If that story was correct, I knew nothing about it.

She never told me about a guy persistently asking her out on dates, or that he was following her. I wondered why.

Every time I walked outside and saw a man holding an object, or walking a little too fast, or with his hands in his pockets, panic began to brew in my chest.

Theoretically, I knew that every man wasn’t a potential school shooter, but there was a small part of my mind that totally believed that every man was.

Bernie Sanders And My Mom And The Attack On Sex Workers

By Lorelei Lee

People care a lot more about whether or not Bernie Sanders might have said something mildly sexist 35 years ago to a “porn star’s mom” — as a Newsweek story about my tweet put it — than they do about whether sex workers live or die.

Even after many years of living in the world as a sex worker, after the deaths of so many friends and coworkers — some of them uninvestigated and unreported, others followed by online comments like “good thing she’s dead” — the passion with which people will apply themselves to protecting (or destroying) the reputation of a politician, while ignoring the impact of legislation he supports, still surprises me.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Costume Designer Wants To Fuel The Fire With Visuals

By Peg Aloi

There’s a lot of bad stuff happening in America now. Do you think regimented clothing or dress codes for women or other groups may soon become a reality?

Ane Crabtree: I think those in power are trying to take things in that direction, and I don’t think they’re going to get very far. I don’t know why I’m saying that, because we have already seen so many changes; but in my mind, I am completely optimistic.

We’ve been through so many things in my lifetime. I know someone from a country that experienced severe repression of women in the late 1970s, I’ll just leave it at that without identifying the country by name. She wrote to thank me for the design of the Handmaid costumes, and she thought that I took the idea for that design from her country as a metaphor for those times of regime change.

But in terms of that kind of thing happening here, I think it would take years and years, and I don’t think we’ll get there. Because I think women will just become stronger and stronger and will fight against it.

Heroic Men Share Stories Of Times They Didn’t Sexually Harass Women

By Ginny Hogan

Here, I ask brave, upstanding men to share stories of encounters with women that did not involve sexual harassment.

“I was waiting in line at the grocery store, and I noticed the girl in front of me has a nice ass. Well, I say ‘girl’ because she was extremely sexually attractive to me — she was probably in her late twenties with a successful career, eh, if I had to guess, I’d say she ran a team of software engineers, based on the fact that I took a photo and Google-imaged her and found her Linkedin. Anyway, I stared at her ass for a long time, but whaddya know — I didn’t grab it.”
 — The Hero John Monroe

“Do I have a story about not sexually harassing a woman? Ha, yeah, funny you should ask. It happened today, actually. I was walking my dog, and another woman was walking her dog, and we just walked on past each other.”
 — The Venerable Mark Wallace

Unpslash/ Li Yang