Here’s a few new stories:
“Could the U.S. Ever Have a Viable Third Party?” from DAME Magazine
“In Protest: A Reading List for the Resistance” from Brooklyn Magazine
Keep fighting the good fight
I am thrilled to announce that I will be speaking at WikiConference 2016! The conference (as you may have guessed) is the fruit of the one and only Wikipedia, and brings together academics/scholars/very cool people who aim to make open source media accessible and awesome. This year’s conference is being held in San Diego, California.
I’ll be speaking on the topic of “How Wikipedia Can Remedy the Erasure of LGBTQ History.” My aim is to lay the groundwork for how open source media can provide a historical platform for groups who have been left out of traditional historical narratives. Fun, right?! My talk will take place on Monday, October 10th at 1:30 PM.
If you live in/around Southern California, I encourage you to check out the conference! It’s being held in the beautiful Balboa Park and literally every speaker sounds incredible. You can find more info HERE. If you can’t make it to the conference, I aim to have my talk recorded and other resources made available on or immediately after October 10th.
I couldn’t be more excited! ~
It has been the summer of Brock Turner. These already sticky months have been populated by grainy images of his wild-eyed mugshot, gruesome first-person accounts of his rape of a fellow Stanford University student, and social media feuds debating whether or not rape culture is a “real thing.”
Now, just three months later, Turner is in the news again—this time as a free man. After serving mere weeks of his meager six-month sentence, Brock Turner will be released on Friday, following reports of “good behavior.”
Though Turner may be freed of his orange jumpsuit and bunkmates, his reputation will follow. The media at large has been critical of Turner, as well as Aaron Persky, the judge who oversaw his trial. The widespread, anti-Turner outcry has proven that there are pockets of half-decent people across the country, willing to speak out against this “nice young man.”
Despite these slight positives emerging from what is quite literally a steaming garbage pile of a situation, the backlash against Turner has its own pitfalls. Often, these pitfalls emerge among the fiercest and most passionate critics of Turner and the campus rape culture that allows men like him to exist.
Networks like Tumblr and Twitter are flooded with hundreds of messages citing disgust, anger, and frustration regarding Turner’s early release. Many of these messages are accompanied by images, information, and language that may be triggering for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Indeed, the story of Brock Turner places a heavy emotional burden on everyone, but it is a burden that weighs twice as much for those who are currently surviving rape and sexual assault. This powerful burden often goes unconsidered, or worse, exploited.
There is prevailing mindset that says, “if you have been a victim, now is your time to speak out!” with more regard for bringing Turner supporters to their knees than for the individual’s own experience. An individual should never feel pressured to divulge their experiences, particularly in light of such a public situation. While there has been a rallying cry against Turner, the culture at-large continues to damn survivors every day. Though sharing stories and contributing thoughts can help strengthen a movement, it is more important for the movement to take care of its own before it takes care of itself as a whole.
Despite what some virulent Twitter users may say, shutting the Brock Turner story out of your life doesn’t make you a “bad feminist” or “useless ally” in the fight against rape culture. It makes you someone who cares about your own well-being more than crafting an enraged status update. As a survivor, it is okay to make self-care your main priority, but it is a shame that this doesn’t go without saying.
There is so much to be done in the fight against the culture that fosters rape and sexual assault. Survivors and their allies all have key roles to play and ideas that can foster real change. But the strength of a movement comes from within, and that strength can only be at its most powerful when there is solidarity, trust, and respect among the internal network.
Brock Turner is not worth exhausting yourself over. He is not worth your tears or your pain. He is not worth bitterly discussing in the comments section of a Facebook post your great aunt made. He is not worth pressuring yourself or survivors into confessional mode. He is worth nothing.
The last episode of Gilmore Girls aired on May 15, 2007. All was right in Stars Hollow: Newly single Rory was off to cover Obama’s first campaign, Lorelai was snuggling with Luke — it was one of the few shows with a genuinely satisfying, closure-filled ending to a seven-year coffee buzz.
Of course, Hollywood doesn’t like to let these things rest for too long before kicking it in the ribs and telling it to run another lap…
I have a new story up on Catapult.co titled “The Game of Kings.” It’s a non-fiction piece about the chess hustling world of Washington Square Park.
I am happy to announce that GamerGate: The Game is OFFICIALLY HERE.
I’m a habitually slow watcher. When Netflix releases a show’s entire new season in one go, I try to pace myself and watch when I can make time. Consequently, I often end up being that guy who hushes everyone by saying, “no spoilers!”
Orange is the New Black, however, presents an exception to this habit. I picked up the show during its second season and have blazed through every new 13-episode set as it premiered. I loved the complexity and variety of identities being represented in conjunction with one another. I appreciated the reality intertwined with humor and grace. Maybe I’m being gratuitous with my praise—but I did also tune out pretty much every scene about Piper and/or Alex so that made for a much more enlivening experience.
As someone who has a vested interest in this program, I immediately noticed how different season four felt from its predecessors. It’s dark. Really dark. Things at Litchfield are crumbling with no foreseeable resolution in sight. Each episode digs itself further into a hole of bleakness and destruction. Even the punchlines are cruel and unusual (see: “What was the last goldmine?” “I don’t know…the War on Drugs?”).
For the past few months, I’ve been using Twine to create something that’s a little sad, a little funny, and hopefully worthy of pissing off every Male Rights Activist on this sweet Earth. On July 1st I will debut GamerGate: The Game — a text based video game tale of one woman’s journey through the notoriously anti-female video game industry.
Check back here in two weeks for the link to GamerGate: The Game. We can all be angry together!