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Category Archive: unpopular opinions

Mar 03 2014

It’s Okay Not To Disagree With Your Friends About Politics

I’ve seen a lot of articles and discussions lately on the theme of “why you should have friends who disagree with you [about politics].” Given how uncritically this view is often presented, I want to complicate it a little. My point isn’t that you shouldn’t have friends who disagree with you about politics, or that having …

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Feb 22 2014

When Neutrality Is Really Just The Status Quo

[Content note: sexual assault] Someone who declares neutrality on a particular question, issue, or debate seems to automatically gain an intellectual (and, sometimes, moral) upper hand. While there are often social consequences for picking one side or another, declaring neutrality has a very low barrier to entry. Outside of radical circles, nobody will criticize you …

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Jan 30 2014

Unpaid Internships Are Exploitative

It’s that time of year when many people my age are starting to desperately look for summer internships so that they can eventually be qualified for an entry-level job and aren’t screwed and broke forever. Too real? Maybe a little. In many fields–journalism, politics, film, social services, and even many areas of academic research–paid summer …

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Jan 23 2014

I Check My Phone While Out With People and If You Don’t Like That Please Don’t Hang Out With Me

I recently made a Facebook status/Tumblr post that read as follows: Since APPARENTLY this has become a huge contentious debate all over Facebook, let me make my position on it clear: 1. If we’re hanging out in person and you want to check your phone, go for it. If you need to take care of …

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Oct 29 2013

In Defense of Having Big/Serious/Difficult Conversations in Writing

This post grew out of a conversation I had with Chana Messinger and was also influenced by this great old Wired piece that has resurfaced on my social networks lately. You may not think that, in this day and age, the value of digital communication still needs to be defended. Maybe it doesn’t. But the …

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Jul 31 2013

“How Do I Get My Partner To Try Polyamory?”

The title of this post is one of the most common questions I’ve seen people ask, online and off, about polyamory. “I really want to try an open relationship but my partner doesn’t. How do I get them to change their mind?” “I’ve started seeing a wonderful new person, but there’s a catch: they’re not …

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Jul 15 2013

I Am Not Trayvon Martin

When Trayvon Martin was murdered last year, I remember seeing many people post things like “I am Trayvon Martin” online, sometimes accompanied by photos of themselves in hoodies. At first I thought it was something people of color were doing as a sign of solidarity and as a reminder that they, too, face the same …

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May 10 2013

Self-Diagnosis and Its Discontents

There’s a certain scorn reserved for people who diagnose themselves with mental illnesses–people who, based on their own research or prior knowledge, decide that there’s a decent chance they have a diagnosable disorder, even if they haven’t (yet) seen a professional about it. I understand why psychologists and psychiatrists might find them troublesome. Nobody likes …

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Feb 16 2013

“Consent Is Sexy” Is Useful But Also Kind Of Sketchy

Consent is Sexy poster

I’m at the University of Chicago’s Sex Week, where I’ve seen a bunch of great talks, including one by Cliff Pervocracy! So I have sex on my mind (well, as usual). I often write about very well-intentioned principles or campaigns that have blind spots and negative implications. Here’s another example. “Consent is sexy” is one …

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Jan 11 2013

“Love Yourself”: A Beautiful But Flawed Idea

Ever since the 1990s, we–especially women–have been hearing about the importance of self-esteem. It’s associated with better mental health, relationship outcomes, academic achievement, career success, you name it. It’s part of what it means to be a mature and emotionally developed person. Much time and resources have been expended on the development of children’s self-esteem–I …

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