Social Studies in a Digital World

March 7, 2012, by Cathy Fischer

Cathy examines social interaction and social change in an ever-shifting landscape

Navigating the social graph is fraught with obstacles. If I were to draw a diagram, it would probably look something like a dream catcher with extra large holes. You’ve got your Real World Friends, and you’ve got your Facebook Friends: you’ve got your Facebook Friends who aren’t Real World Friends but work associates, your Facebook Friends who are old schoolmates, but not currently Real World Friends, and then you’ve got your Facebook Friends who are inspirational, famous or dead, who you wish could be your Real World Friends. It’s as exhausting as high school, navigating the world of cliques and mean girls. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Technology | 20 Comments

Natural Beauty Tips for Humans

March 1, 2012, by Carine Fabius

Photograph by Hans Silvester from the book, Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa

Between her book and her beauty concoctions, Carine whips up nourishing potions for body and mind

My new novel, Saturday Comes—A Novel of Love and Vodou, is out, and I am the reigning queen of book autography. I am sitting behind a stack of books at a recent author event, happily writing friendly messages to Franceska and Tim, Samantha and other kind human beings, when a man named Chaz comes over, leans down very close to my face and says, “Can you tell me about your natural recipes?” It takes me a moment to figure it out. “Oh, did you read that blog I wrote on Huffington Post?” I ask him. He nods yes and waits. He wants natural, homemade beauty recipes for his face, and he wants them now.

Of all the blogs I’ve written over the last five years, this is the one that’s gotten the most attention, comments, emails and phone calls. Step aside, nuclear Iran; Obama and Mitt; scary economy and gas prices; new assault on abortion rights. People just want to look good. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Carine Fabius | 8 Comments

Girls Don’t Make Passes at Men Who are Asses

February 23, 2012, by Connie Stetson

Connie channels Lorelei Lee: picture the breathless voice of Marilyn Monroe from 1953 classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Well, wherever is a girl to start? Seeing the picture in the paper the other day of a committee of men discussing the reproductive rights of women, and hearing Republican candidate for President, Rick Santorum, weighing in on women in the military, and on sex and contraception by saying, “contraception is not okay because it is license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage. They’re supposed to be for purposes that are uh, yes, conjugal, but also procreative.” My goodness. I thought to myself, Lorelei, they must think we were born yesterday. Well golly, sometimes, given that we have to have this conversation yet again, there’s just no other possible explanation. Now, I long ago learned that men just love to be in the “sexual realm” with girls such as I, but they get so darn peevish when she shows up pregnant at their country clubs. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Politics, Rants | 14 Comments

Battle of the Flesh

February 16, 2012, by Melissa Howden

As Melissa’s mind and body challenge her conceptions, her father faces the inevitable

There are wars waging. If it is not bad enough that the GOP war on women continues unabated, I am at war with my own body. My body has become a battleground. As a Feminist I am embarrassed to confess this fact. But then again maybe this is the absolute prerogative of a Feminist—to admit to personal war with his/her body. It is after all my own, and currently I am miserable in it.

I heard a talk show host say the other day that there are parts of her body she loathes. My thought at the time was, “Right now I kind of loathe the whole dang thing”. My physical self feels like a fickle lover, a phenomenon I am all too familiar with. She is one thing then another. She is here, then she is there—she is high, she is low. She loves me. Loves me not. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Melissa Howden | 14 Comments

A Teachable Racial Moment

February 1, 2012, by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

We’re very excited to welcome guest blogger Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. Honorée is an award-winning poet and fiction writer who’s been blogging on culture since 2009. Her most recent book of poetry is Red Clay Suite.

Usually, my blog posts deal with African American community or political issues, and I talk as one cultural insider to another cultural insider.

However, I’ve realized that sometimes, well-meaning, really nice White people (of which there are many, by the way) want Black folks to talk to them in non-angry, non-confrontational, and patient ways about Black cultural issues they don’t understand.

So I wondered if it might be useful for me to write blog posts that break racial things down for good White folks who mean no harm—and who either have Black friends or are in the midst of acquiring friendships with Black people—and are just trying to navigate these racial waters that ironically (and to me, bewilderingly) have become far more treacherous since the election of our first Black president.

Sidebar: I use “race” as a shorthand because that word usually means “Black” or “People of Color” to White people. But really, “race” is not a real, like, biological thing. It does not exist except in people’s minds. What I actually mean when I say “race” is “culture.”

I hadn’t even planned to post again this week, but I’ve noticed the online furor on Black social media concerning Governor Jan Brewer’s pointing her finger very close to President Barack Obama’s face. The response from White folks? Some are upset, but I get the impression they don’t really understand why we African Americans are so troubled. Some of us are even enraged.

So I thought that it might be time to write a Teachable Racial Moment post. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Politics | 20 Comments

The Bermuda Triangle Century

January 24, 2012, by Prudence Baird

Prudence digs deep into an ocean of insight

In 1998, if you hadn’t seen The Titanic by week two of its release, you were in danger becoming marginalized; a social misfit unable to contribute to the main topic of conversation du jour—a shipwreck from 86 years before. Sheesh.

This brings me to chair number 18 at Umberto, a Beverly Hills über-salon where—for the right price—even nobodies like me can rub foiled locks with B-list celebrities.

David, my stylist and a dog show aficionado who could have walked straight (so to speak) out of Best in Show, was trying to ignore overtures from a buff young man in a tight black t-shirt sweeping up shorn locks from Umberto’s imported Italian marble floors. Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Politics, Prudence Baird | 15 Comments

What’s Wrong With Me? And Other Orgasmic Tales

January 9, 2012, by Carine Fabius

Due to technical difficulties, this has been re-posted (RSS readers will be getting this twice).

Carine explores the pursuit of big business and the big O


Do you know that you are sick if you don’t have vaginal orgasms? If your libido is kind of low, you have an illness? If you are not instantly lubricated when your partner suggests lovemaking, you are diseased? And did you know that not climaxing when you engage in sexual activity means something is wrong with you?

Listen up. Your debilitating ailment has a name: Female Sexual Dysfunction, or FSD. Don’t you feel better knowing what’s wrong with you? Now you can go to reputable sites like Mayo Clinic or Web MD or AAPF (a peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians) and read all about it. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, unfortunately, not even one of those smarty-pants scientists out there has been able to come up with the Holy Grail otherwise known as female Viagra. Ain’t life a bitch sometimes? Does God hate women or what? Read more

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health | 10 Comments

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