Now Playing Tracks

Consider going into a classroom and looking around, and you’re the only man there. Even if you’re totally ok with that (heck, you expected it), you notice. You feel all the women in the room notice you and see that a lot of them are glancing over at you or making comments about your presence. Ok, you knew that might happen. A woman next to you says, “Hey, cool, a guy in a CS class, good for you.”

When it comes time to form a study group, half the women in the class don’t want to work with you because they assume men aren’t as good at CS. The other half jockey to work with you, some for the novelty (“Hey, I’m in a group with the guy, “) and half because they want to ask you out.

When you go to apply for an internship, a lot of companies seem really interested in you, but you’re not sure if it’s because they like your resume or just because you’re a guy in CS and they want to look open and forward thinking by having lots of male interns coding. You meet up with a group of female interns and one makes a slightly sexual joke. Everyone freezes and looks at you - are you one of those guys in CS that is serious and can’t take a joke, or will you be one of the girls?
At your job after you graduate, it’s naturally not ok for a woman to say outright that she’s prejudiced against male coders… But maybe your boss gives you slightly different work, or it takes longer for you to get a promotion because they need more proof that you are good - you don’t get the benefit of the doubt the way the girls do. When you express a strong opinion about a tough problem, the women write it off as you being sensitive and emotional - men often are, you know. When discussing your career ambitions, your coworkers often ask you how children play into that - I mean, you’re probably looking for a wife and plan to have kids since you’re in your late 20s. Everyone knows it’s a safe bet that kids are going to derail your career at least temporarily, if not permanently. You frequently police how often you mention family at all for fear people will assume you’re expecting a kid soon…

… Does this begin to explain it, at all? Even when a company is open to women working in all areas and no one is a dick, there is still a lot of pervasive bias that affects how women are treated and perceived. Why would you notice? It doesn’t affect you.

Electrostaticrain (Reddit)

(Source: acodetojoy)

I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, Black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: ‘Dear Lupita,’ it reads, ‘I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.’

My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then…Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.

There is no shame in Black beauty.

Lupita Nyong’o

Her remarkable speech from Essence Magazine’s 7th Annual Black Women In Hollywood luncheon where she won the Best Breakthrough Performance Award. Remarkable. Just…remarkable. *tears*

Media is not arbitrary, random, neutral nor apolitical. 

(via gradientlair)


please read this excerpt from a linguistics textbook about a rich guy that decided to change the way english was spoken just because he liked it better, then continue to belligerently argue that it is “objectively incorrect” to refer to someone with singular they pronouns

"they isnt singular for a reason" no actually, nothing in language is ever for a reason ever, stop pretending this is in any way a valid or acceptable justification for enforcing gender binary language

also, aave. those excerpts of what english was like before lowth decided he was important enough to govern how a language “should” be spoken are very similar to aave today. those of us that dont speak aave are the ones that changed!

(fromkin and rodman, an introduction to language)

The Medical Community’s Hidden Abortion-Training War


While 97% of OB-GYNs encounter patients seeking an abortion, only 14% provide them. It can be extremely difficult for med students to find abortion training, thanks to a small number of providers, lack of support from their training programs, and clinic harassment by anti-abortion protestors.

Medical Students for Choice, founded in 1993 by Jody Steinauer, is working to form networks of providers and students to solve this problem. MSFC provides training in residency programs and clinics, education to students and residents, and forms new training programs for med students interested in becoming abortion providers.




Cops Beat a Deaf Man for Seven Minutes Because He didn’t Respond to Their Yelling

Pearl Pearson is a 64 year-old diabetic deaf driver who resides in the Oklahoma City area. On the evening of January 3rd, Pearl crossed paths with the wrong cops.

What’s the story?

At this time, only limited details can be provided since this case is under investigation.

1. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol pulled Pearl over late in the evening on January 3, 2014. Pearl pulled over as he should.

2. Pearl’s driver’s license indicates he is Deaf. He also has a placard in his driver’s door that says, “Driver is deaf”.

3. Pearl pulled over and rolled down his window, expecting an officer to ask for this identification. An officer struck him in the face before Pearl had the chance to do anything.  As you can see, he was struck multiple times.

4. An interpreter was never provided while Pearl was under the care of law enforcement.  Not during the booking, hospital, or time at the jail  was an interpreter provided, even through Pearl requested one.

5. Pearl was left wondering “why” the the entire time.  He has no clue why  he was beat. Pearl and his family are still not sure, but are ready for some answers.

6. Pearl’s own son is a police officer, as was his son-in-law, who is now a deputy sheriff.  He respects law enforcement and knows how to respond when pulled over.  There is no reason for someone like Pearl to be hurt like this by those who are meant to protect and serve.

[LAL Note: "respect[ing] law enforcement" is not a prerequisite for proper treatment by law enforcement.]

Yelling at a deaf man to put up his hands will not do much, except aggravate an already aggressive police officer. This is a tragic scenario of ignorance and needless escalation of violence.

Eric Foster and Kelton Hayes were the two OHP officers that were involved in what an affidavit claims was a 7 minutes altercation.

Where is the dash cam footage from the units of Eric Foster and Kelton Hayes? Wouldn’t this clear up any inconsistencies in this story?

Naturally, it’s paid vacation time:

The two officers have been suspended with pay while the investigation into this incident continues.

This is hardly the first time a bully in blue has attacked a deaf man for not listening. One other notable example: in 2010, a Seattle cop shot and killed an older, partially deaf man for holding a folded pocket knife he used for whittling when the man couldn’t hear (probably unlawful) orders to drop it. He wasn’t harassing anyone, he was just walking (see video here, as man harmlessly crosses a crosswalk minding his own business, the cop jumps out of his car and starts yelling “hey” and “put the knife down” and literally 8 seconds after the cop first called out three shots are heard). The city of Seattle paid the man’s family $1.5 million. Which means, yet again, taxpayers were on the hook for the wrongdoing of state agents. 

UPDATE (Feb 27): The cops will be cleared of wrong-doing and the deaf man will be charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

It is quite clear that the deaf man brutally and repeatedly assaulted the fists of those officers with his face, and such resistance to arrest - nevermind any probable cause - should not be tolerated. If deaf people cannot respond to the barked orders of cops, then clearly they don’t deserve to keep their faces bruise-free. This is America, dammit. Learn to hear English.

Fuck this fucking bullshit

(Source: laliberty)

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union