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Tag Archive: culture

May 26 2013

Small Things You Can Do To Improve Mental Health In Your Community

[Content note: suicide, mental illness] A few weeks ago Northwestern lost yet another student to suicide. There’s been pressure building all year for improved mental health services on campus, and I think that pressure will soon culminate in real, helpful changes on campus. At the same time, some have been saying that what we need …

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Mar 23 2013

Viewing History Skeptically: On Shifting Cultural Assumptions and Attitudes

I’ve been reading Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, Lillian Faderman’s sweeping social history of lesbians in 20th century America (this is the sort of thing I do for fun). At the beginning of the chapter on World War II, Faderman makes this insight: If there is one major point to be made in a social history …

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Mar 09 2013

Blaming Everything On Mental Illness

The Associated Press has revised their AP Stylebook, the guide that most journalists use to standardize their writing, to include an entry on mental illness. Among many other important things that the entry includes, which you should read here, it says: Do not describe an individual as mentally ill unless it is clearly pertinent to …

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Feb 27 2013

“We Saw Your Boobs” and Distorted Views of Female Sexuality

I’ll leave it to others to thoroughly excoriate Seth MacFarlane’s performance at the Oscars. What I want to address specifically is his gloating “We Saw Your Boobs” video, and the interestingly skewed notion of sexuality that it presents. If you believe MacFarlane, and others who think like him, sex is a sort of competition between …

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Feb 14 2013

I Really Strongly Dislike Valentine’s Day!

The only good thing about VDay: condom roses.

Hey everyone! I’m going to poop on your parade. Don’t worry, I’ll be cheerful about it. I’m not going to say I hate Valentine’s Day, because hate is a strong word and I reserve it for things I really mean it for, like coffee and misogyny. I was going to just let today go by …

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Jan 28 2013

How To Not Be An Asshole To Immigrants

Saying 'what kind of an idiot doesn't know about the Yellowstone supervolcano' is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.

Growing up as a first-generation immigrant in the suburban Midwest is weird. I was often the only person my classmates knew who had been born in another country, who didn’t have American citizenship, who spoke a language other than English or Spanish fluently, who wasn’t a Christian. I think people often unintentionally treated me as …

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Jan 08 2013

The Role of Feminist Criticism

In one of my recent pieces, I criticized a particular aspect of the love stories often found in popular books and movies. Whenever someone critiques pop culture–especially from a feminist perspective–it raises a lot of questions for many people. Questions such as: Does it really matter that this work is “problematic”? Can you even have …

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Dec 25 2012

Christmas From The Outside

Just some personal reflections on Christmas from an outsider. It is impossible to be a person living in the United States, of any ethnicity, religious affiliation, or national origin, and not understand the meaning and significance of Christmas. It’s a religious observance. It’s a sparkling monument to consumerism. It’s a celebration of family, of charity, …

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Dec 16 2012

Stop Comparing the United States to Israel

Among the many insensitive, uninformed, or simply ridiculous responses to Friday’s tragedy that I’ve heard, one that continues to befuddle me is the suggestion, made mostly by Libertarians, that everything would’ve been okay if only the teachers had had guns too–if, in fact, carrying concealed weapons were a standard practice among American citizenry. Leaving aside …

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Dec 13 2012

How You Know They’ve Run Out Of Arguments

Steven over at WWJTD informed me of this nonsense: The newest argument against homosexuality has arrived. It turns out it prevents straight dudes from being friends. Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition explains: “But there is no such thing as absolute freedom when it comes to sexuality. The moment we celebrate or endorse certain behaviors, we curtail freedom …

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