Politics

  1. If you’ve ever seen people complain about singular “they” or so-called generic “he” (for the record, I am 100% for singular they and 100% against “he” as a default pronoun), or if you’re just really not so keen on gender binaries, you may have wondered what life and language would be like without gender pronouns. If you haven’t, well, you’re about to find out anyway. So put your linguist slippers on and

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  2. The first time I ever used the ladies’ room was absolutely nervewracking. I had just started presenting myself in public as a woman, and I was slowly becoming more confident in where I would go. Starting transition in the American south does not leave a trans girl with a lot of confidence about her right to exist, let alone using the pisser without being hassled. I was at a bar in downtown Dallas, and as…

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  3. My father molested me. He wasn’t the worst molester in the world, or even a particularly dedicated one (his other interests - choir, hiking, his compost heap – got in the way), but he did it and two years ago I told the police. I learned a lot that year. For example, did you know that a sex offender isn’t necessarily charged according to the most current Sexual Offences Act? They’re charged according to the…

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  4. Last week, my province made national headlines when it was announced that the Morgentaler clinic, our one and only private abortion provider, will be closing its doors in July due to lack of funding. I live in New Brunswick, a small province on Canada’s East Coast. We have a population of about 750,000, and a Conservative government. Historically though, it hasn’t mattered whether the Liberals or the Conservatives were in power; all of our…

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  5. Kathryn Funkhouser's previous work for The Toast can be found here. I almost pushed a friend of mine into traffic once. We were walking in midtown Manhattan and I had been hiccuping ungracefully for the past twenty minutes. My friend tried to scare my hiccups away with an unsuccessful series of tiny exorcisms, faking the tragic cancellation of TV shows and threatening to date jerks we knew. The hiccups persisted and I was getting…

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  6. Women are massively under-represented in physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, at all levels, firstly I will explain why this matters, then I will discuss what we can do about it. What's the problem? In the UK, female students made up about 20% of all those studying A-level physics (a qualification which is needed for most university level physics courses.) More worryingly, almost half of schools have no female students who continue to study…

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  7. Nothing makes you feel quite as old (at 26, no less) as realizing your students—all university freshmen—don’t recognize a basic aspect of your internet childhood. In this case, it was the idea that pre-search engine, websites had to be manually connected via webrings. And though they laughed at the clip I showed of “classic” internet explainer material, Moms on the Net (which we also mined for gender stereotypes), they protested any characterization of themselves…

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  8. Editor's Note: This story was published while about 500 Ordain Women participants were preparing to enter Temple Square, during the Mormon Church's General Conference on April 5. A few weeks earlier, the Church had restated its commitment to keeping the meeting males-only, and requested that members of Ordain Women and the media stay away from the area. Wearing pants to church was one of those wild, screeching ideas that barrels into an otherwise normal day. Stephanie…

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  9. This post was brought to you by a reader in memory of Katharine Hepburn but NOT Spencer Tracy. The Toast's previous coverage of trans* issues can be found here. New Year’s Eve was the first gathering of all my mom’s siblings and their children in over ten years, to celebrate my grandma’s 90th anniversary and my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. In addition to his love for ordering outdated cocktails then lambasting bartenders who…

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  10. People today are so concerned with being politically correct - it’s like you can’t say anything without someone getting offended. I know that I’m edgy, that I may go “too far” for some people, but I see the world a certain way, and society’s constraints aren’t going to stop me from getting my point of view out there. I’ll say what I believe, no matter how many feathers I ruffle. I’ll say that Millard Fillmore…

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  11. Canadian politics, eh? What’s it good for? "Fodder for novels" is one possible answer. There are two in particular that I love to bits because: They are hilariously trashy, badly written, and endlessly amusing; gifts from a friend who feeds my Canada obsession; actually do, in their incompetent way, say some interesting things about two existential Canadian fears: domination by the United States and the internal implosion of Canada. The first novel, Faultline 49,

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  12. "Whore is maybe the original intersectional insult," writes journalist and former sex worker Melissa Gira Grant. In her new book Playing the Whore, part of a series by Jacobin writers published by Verso Press, she explores the sex industry from the perspective of the workers themselves. That includes strippers, porn performers, and prostitutes, whether they work on the street, in clubs, or even at home as independent porn performers. What she found was unnerving:…

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  13. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, after a significant pause for dramatic effect, vetoed the controversial bill SB 1062. She said in a press conference that she has not “heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.” That businesses like Apple, and American Airlines, and three Republican senators initially for the bill asked her to veto it surely had no part to play. Brewer said, “I call them like…

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  14. As a current PhD student in Columbia University's Department of Art History and Archaeology, I had some thoughts upon hearing the remarks President Obama made during last Thursday’s speech in Wisconsin, as reported by Politico:

    The president highlighted the benefits of vocational training, joking that it might serve young adults better than a degree in art history.

    “A lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable…

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