February was a bad month for weekend readings, but March is off to a solid start (but no promises!) Here are some readings for you from throughout the shortest month of 2014. Read and be merry:
- The Day We Pretended to Care About Ukraine.
- From the Streets of Kyiv.
- The Global Salon.
- Janet Roitman on Crisis.
- Look Who Nick Kristof’s Saving Now.
- Is Venezuela Burning?
- Death in Camp Delta.
- The Problem with Little White Girls (and Boys):
I don’t want a little girl in Ghana, or Sri Lanka, or Indonesia to think of me when she wakes up each morning. I don’t want her to thank me for her education or medical care or new clothes. Even if I am providing the funds to get the ball rolling, I want her to think about her teacher, community leader, or mother. I want her to have a hero who she can relate to – who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language, and who she might bump into on the way to school one morning.
- Prosecutors Arresting Survivors of Sexual Assault is not a Zero-Sum Game.
- The Children Lose Angeles Failed.
- A Panorama of Toxicity: On Being a Trans Woman Online.
- The Cost of Disbelief.
- What Would Make You Believe a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse?
- “I Give Up,” The Battle Cry of the Privileged.
- Who is Obama’s “Middle Class College Student?“
- Everybody’s Doing It:
[W]hat parents and educators so often labeled as peer pressure was actually the disease-like spread of ideas. It’s a degree of symbolic freedom and movement that made adults uncomfortable. The truly horrible things that happen to teenage lives are more the result of socioeconomic reality (gang violence), the failure of the mental health state (drugs, alcohol, shooting up the school), the horrific patriarchy of larger adult society (rape), or the all-around idiotic idea of the “school” as we construct it than they ever are the sole province of a teens en masse fearing social rejection.
- Guns to Surpass Car Accidents as Leading Cause of Death for Young People.
- Teaching While Black.
- Transitional Justice and the Sandinistas.
- Untucking RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- The + in Google+ is Mostly for Google.
- V-Day, Indigenous Women, and the Myth of Shared Gender Oppression.
- Gentrification, How Do We Define It and Who Cares Anyway?
- Why Can’t He Just Be Like Everyone Else?
The new law that criminalizes homosexuality is popular among Nigerians. But it shows a failure of our democracy, because the mark of a true democracy is not in the rule of its majority but in the protection of its minority – otherwise mob justice would be considered democratic. The law is also unconstitutional, ambiguous, and a strange priority in a country with so many real problems. Above all else, however, it is unjust. Even if this was not a country of abysmal electricity supply where university graduates are barely literate and people die of easily-treatable causes and Boko Haram commits casual mass murders, this law would still be unjust. We cannot be a just society unless we are able to accommodate benign difference, accept benign difference, live and let live. We may not understand homosexuality, we may find it personally abhorrent but our response cannot be to criminalize it.
A crime is a crime for a reason. A crime has victims. A crime harms society. On what basis is homosexuality a crime? Adults do no harm to society in how they love and whom they love. This is a law that will not prevent crime, but will, instead, lead to crimes of violence: there are already, in different parts of Nigeria, attacks on people ‘suspected’ of being gay. Ours is a society where men are openly affectionate with one another. Men hold hands. Men hug each other. Shall we now arrest friends who share a hotel room, or who walk side by side? How do we determine the clunky expressions in the law – ‘mutually beneficial,’ ‘directly or indirectly?’