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Active Voice

The 26-year-old activist is reimagining new social and political norms

At the time of Trayvon Martin’s murder in 2012, Brea Baker was only 17. The now 26-year-old racial and gender justice activist recalls the tragedy being a defining moment in how social media served as a catalyst for activism in the United States. Black Lives Matter proliferated on Twitter and the overall digital space, playing a key role in Baker’s coming-of-age. Though she initially pursued a degree in physics while attending Yale, Baker’s growing involvement in activism pushed her to switch her major to political science. …

Kolby LaMarche was a star in the making, but he could no longer support a party pushing the politics of division

Kolby LaMarche is in his first year at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, where he’s studying communications and law. He enjoys food, hiking, and playing with his cat — and until last week, he was the chair of the Burlington Republican Party.

LaMarche was elected to his role in January 2019, when he was 17, which (he’s pretty sure) makes him the youngest chair in state party history. But LaMarche grew concerned with the growing extremism within his party’s ranks, and posted on social media and wrote several op-eds for the local website VTDigger demanding party leaders distance themselves from…

The ‘debate’ over trans student-athletes relies on ancient — and false — ideas about women’s weakness

In the early 2000s, I used to debate feminism with straight men. It’s a losing game, and I don’t advise you to try it, but I was in college, so chalk it up to youthful experimentation. The men I spoke to did not have the most advanced grasp on the matter, and tended to stall out at the “women aren’t worse than men” portion. By saying women were equal to men, they’d ask, wasn’t I really saying women were the same as men? Weren’t there some things men were just better at? I’d ask what they meant, and they’d sputter…

Doing so only hurts both the Black and Asian communities

Last week, Laura Huang, an author and associate professor at Harvard Business School, addressed in a tweet the exponential rise in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year. “I want to see how passionately people (incl other POC) will stand up for Asians,” she wrote. “Those of you who were so vocal w BLM, where are you on the 1900% increase in Asian-directed hate crimes?”

These hate crimes, such as the assault of a 64-year-old grandmother in San Jose, California, earlier this month and the murder of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee shortly before, are part of a wave of violence toward…

As Biden signs new protections into law, anti-trans advocates prepare an onslaught of legislation at the state level

My hormones are prescribed by a doctor at my local Planned Parenthood. Most of my appointments are online, these days, but every so often, I have to come in. When I do, I see the bulletproof glass on the doors, the double and triple security checks that have to be performed before I can enter the building, the legacy of a long history of anti-abortion shootings and clinic bombings. When I walk into the clinic, I think about how many people in this country are just as outraged about gender transition as they are about abortion, and just as willing…

You Are Here

What is the perfect weapon for a break in shared reality?

Once again, I was thinking about buying a gun to cope with the possibility of having to protect my family from the armed white supremacist militias of which my state has plenty. But the morning I was headed to the gun show, it occurred to me that I’m a depressive sort with a fair amount of obsessive thinking and that if I had a gun in my house there’s a possibility I would start to think about blowing my own brains out. Before I even had the gun I found myself thinking obsessively about where the gun would theoretically be…

We fought hard, and we won. But the movement continues.

Black people have always been the doctors of American democracy. On the morning of November 9, 2016, they gave a grim prognosis for the nation.

It was a cancer that threatened to subsume the political experiment of liberalism. Donald Trump, a racist and sexually predatory real estate mogul turned reality television star, ascended to the presidency by melding all of his previous personalities with xenophobic vitriol. He quickly assembled a political legion of doom to metastasize his will while he went out to golf. Black people predicted Americans would suffer and then die under his reign. Now, in the interregnum…

Stay-at-home moms can’t hold this pyramid up much longer

It took me a full decade to realize I was part of a multilevel marketing scheme. I should have seen the signs: the business model was unclear, my participation was so costly I fell into debt, and when I needed help meeting quotas, I was forced to rely on family members and recruit other women. It didn’t feel like multilevel marketing (MLM) at first; I never had to sit in an arena and listen to Rachel Hollis tell me to clean my face. I wasn’t selling “butter-soft leggings” or shilling Amway — I was a part of Motherhood in America.

The Black Voters Matter co-founder is organizing voters ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoffs, but her work doesn’t end there

Black and white photo of LaTosha Brown against a blue and silver background.
Black and white photo of LaTosha Brown against a blue and silver background.

LaTosha Brown is exhausted after the longest election season in recent history, but she has no plans to take a breather. Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats are for grabs, and the runoff elections next month will decide which party controls the chamber. So Brown, co-founder of the organization Black Voters Matter, has been throwing herself into her work in the Peach State. …

The rich are deformed by wealth and can only sustain themselves through the suffering of these heroines

There’s a scene early in The Crown’s wildly popular fourth season, where Princess Diana meets her royal in-laws. She’s barely out of her teens and suffers from profound insecurity and anxiety; until she met Prince Charles, she was working as a part-time kindergarten teacher. Now she stands face-to-face with the most powerful people in the country—and they hate her. They stand around her in a circle, like wolves closing in on a wounded deer. They talk over her every time she speaks. She’s supposed to have memorized a complicated hierarchy of titles and greetings, and they mock her every time…

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