race

In which I tell conservatives I understand them because I used to be one

In which I tell conservatives I understand them because I used to be one

If I can say anything at this bleak hour, with the world splitting at its seams, it’s this: conservatives, I understand you. It may not be something you expect to hear from a liberal, but I do. I understand you. I understand you because I used to be you. Long ago, in the era of Slick Willy and the dawn of explicit labels on music CDs, I was conservative, too. I stood up for men first, considered money an inalienable right, questioned immigration, and thought abortion was the greatest moral crisis facing our lives…

This new comic book company is coming in hard with rad & diverse new stories

New comic book publisher, TKO Studios, launched just this month and has big ol’ plans to take on the comic book industry. We’re talking the inclusion of some heavy hitting creators and stories from new and diverse voices and a focus on readers instead of investors. This includes a tale of three generations of Black women in Chicago working together to pull off the heist of a lifetime by Roxane Gay and Ming Doyle…

Requiem for Tumblr: pouring one out for a fat-positive space for nudes

Requiem for Tumblr: pouring one out for a fat-positive space for nudes

Besides being a huge blow to sex workers and LGBTQ people, Tumblr’s recent decision to ban adult content from its platform is a misguided form of censorship that will remove an outlet of self-expression for those who fall outside of typical Western beauty standards. There was something else, though, and that something is what I and I think many other people will miss most now that Tumblr has moved to ban adult content from its site…

Wait, DON'T smash the patriarchy -- its pieces are seeds

Wait, DON’T smash the patriarchy — its pieces are seeds

Recently I’ve become really uncomfortable with the term “smashing the patriarchy.” Not in the comfort-zone-pushing way, but in the misaligned-self-betrayal way. So I’ve stopped using it. Because you know who runs around smashing shit?

The patriarchy. If we look seriously at the situation, I think we find that to “smash” the patriarchy is to recreate it.

Dancer’s Flame by Jasmine Silvera

Bad Romance part 3: Demanding greater diversity in who gets a happily ever after in romance

One of the big success stories in self-publishing is romance. According to popular platform Smashwords, the genre dominates the market. With a few clicks any writer can become an author. Which makes it possible that a novel most major publishing houses and quite a few small presses would have turned down, one that hasn’t seen an editor’s red pen, or even a proofreader will wind up on Amazon more than in other genres.

There’s an argument for gatekeepers, right? Not so fast. Here’s part three in this series on romance as a genre…

Dancer’s Flame by Jasmine Silvera

Bad Romance part 2: The romance genre needs better critique, not more gatekeepers

Though romance novels have always centered relationships and women, there’s no argument that issues of consent and coercion abound in the genre's shady past. Consider the conflicted relationships readers have with Kathleen Woodwiss’ The Flame
and the Flower
, a novel that is said to have started the modern “bodice ripper” romance genre. Here’s part two analyzing the romance genre in books…

Bad Romance: Yes, I’m a feminist who loves romance novels (+ a Seattle event on May 8th!)

I, like a lot of romance readers and writers, wasn’t always proud to admit that the romance genre was my passion. Contrary to popular belief, it turns out many smart, creative, thoughtful, well-educated women are reading romances (and our status as houswives, or not, is beyond the point). We raise families, nurture careers, create art, and break through barriers personally and professionally without expecting to have our problems solved by a billionaire into kinky sex. We sure as hell aren’t longing to be thrown over the back of a horse and ridden away with (though if you are, I don’t judge!). Here’s part one of how things are evolving in the romance genre…

How do I teach privilege to my able-bodied, white male children?

How do I teach privilege to my able-bodied, white male children?

My partner and I recently welcomed our miracle twin newborns to the world and we’re thrilled! But also terrified. Somehow we managed to bring two more blond-haired, blue-eyed, males into our rural Midwest society (we are both of primarily European ancestry, but we never expected this!).

We had always planned to teach our children to value diversity and to challenge the system of privilege, but now we’re looking at raising children who are the textbook image of privilege. Help! How can we do parenting right?