Archives for 2012

Home Ec for Wayward Girls: Southern Posole

soupIf you weren’t lucky enough to have a Mexican grandmother—as I was, god rest her overbearing soul—then you may not be familiar with the manifold charms of posole, which for my money is the best of the great trio of Mexican soups: tortilla soup, menudo and the tragically less-well-known posole. Tortilla soup is an actual Mexican thing; you may not believe it if all you’ve had is whatever watery cilantro-choked version they’re pushing at your local Tex-Mex place, but real tortilla soup is delicious, albeit quite simple and better as a starter than an entree, in my opinion. As for menudo, I can’t figure out why anyone has even heard of this soup and have concluded it must be that band, because since when do Americans eat tripe? [Read more…]

Get Out of My Crotch

GetOut_FrontTo clarify, the above is a book title, not an imperative statement directed at you. After all, YOU wouldn’t go poking around in my ladyparts uninvited, would you? No, you would not. Which means you have much better manners than, say, the hundreds of politicians at the federal and state levels who have lately been making it their business to regulate what goes on in America’s Panties. [Read more…]

What’s the Matter with Men?

mensroomsignI hadn’t planned on weighing in on the Newtown school shootings; in fact, I had plans specifically not to discuss it—but not because I don’t care. Like anyone, I’m deeply moved and saddened by it, and I also have opinions about the other social topics this tragedy has introduced into our national conversation, like gun control and mental health services. But as to the event itself I didn’t have much to say, except that it is just the goddamned worst most unbearable thing, and everyone has already said that so I didn’t think there was anything for me to add. [Read more…]

I Don’t Give a Crap if Katy Perry’s Not a Feminist

Katyperry Not FeministOK, Internet, I’ll bite. For the past week you’ve been insisting that people like me should be outraged that, upon receiving her Billboard Woman of the Year Award, Katy Perry felt constrained to note that she’s not a feminist. Like anyone was asking, which they weren’t, but maybe “Woman of the Year” sounded too serious to someone beloved for her willingness to attach sparklers to her boobs? [Read more…]

Blind Spot (Part 2)

So now we have this: NFL player Jovan Belcher murders his girlfriend, then drives to the Kansas City Chiefs’ football stadium and shoots himself in the head. All I had to read was the headline to know that this was the awful but predictable outcome of an abusive relationship. There may not be a paper trail of arrests or restraining orders to prove it, but it’s rare for incidents like this to be the first violent encounter. [Read more…]

Blind Spot

(Part 1 of 2)

My Google alerts at work read like the clips file of an unfocused true crime writer, they’re all “husband and wife arrested,” “parent kidnaps child,” “lawyer threatened,” “pet killed.” What I’m looking for, of course, is domestic violence, which is something that’s both very visible and strangely obscured, so it can be hard to track. [Read more…]

Home Ec for Wayward Girls, Wherein I Make Jam and Refuse to Follow Recipes

Fighting for social justice can be so stressful, what with the uphill battles and the long odds, and the apparent inability of humankind to get its act together even slightly. Sometimes, at the end of a long day fighting the foes of righteousness, a girl just wants to go home, put on her slippers and seed 20 pounds of pomegranates. [Read more…]

I’m Calling to Urge Your Support

When I signed on to be a full-time activist, I didn’t realize how many phone calls would be involved. I don’t have the kind of job that requires me to show up in person to protest things—I’ve probably done that twice in nearly a decade of anti-domestic violence work—mine is more a “sit and think about policy” and “write position letters” kind of a gig. But phone calls are another matter. During the course of the average week I receive huge volumes of emails of the “Take Action!” variety, and while my first response is to mutter “I took action by coming to work, what do you want from me?” I do still often feel moved to act as an individual citizen and dial those 1-888 numbers. A polite if rather stilted conversation ensues, in which whomever was lucky enough to answer the phone in Congress Member X’s office gets to hear me read (eloquently, one assumes) from the script provided by whomever asked me to call them. [Read more…]

The Kool-Aid is Not for You

So! That election. Funny how it wasn’t even close. And please don’t start yammering at me about the popular vote, because if we decided elections that way both sides would have run totally different campaigns (e.g., no one would have gone to Ohio, ever), and there are compelling reasons to think that Obama’s team would have been just as effective under those circumstances, and that Mitt Romney would still have been Mitt Romney, which carries its own consequences. [Read more…]

Wet Dog Democrats

Americans now gauge crisis levels by the number of memes generated.

“Today we are all Democrats.” As far as I know, nobody said this as they surveyed Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, but somebody really should have. Nothing like a catastrophic weather event to remind people that, oh yeah, maybe a strong central government isn’t the bane of humanity after all! Watching Republicans like Chris Christie fawning over Obama when his Jersey ass is in the fire and “government intervention” is suddenly more than a catchphrase used to rile up excitable right-wingers, is seriously galling.

[Read more…]