Courtney Scott

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My Experience of “Awkward Gender Moments” Should Matter to People Other Than Me

My 27 birthday dinner was an awkward occasion, at least for me. My then girlfriend and now spouse and I were at an Italian place on the Upper West Side with my parents, my half brother, his wife, their two kids, and my brother’s mother-in-law. My dad had called ahead to say that we’d be celebrating …

Feminism

Blame Mindy Kaling for ‘Fromance’

Can men and women be just friends?, asked When Harry Met Sally. Sure, but the closest relationships always carry some kind of charge.<p>Having had more …

Nonviolence as Compliance

Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray's death, and so they appeal for order.<p>Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die mysteriously in some back alley …

Justice

Trainers Share the Worst Fitness Advice They've Ever Heard

It's a familiar scenario for many: you're at the gym when you unintentionally overhear the two nice women on the treadmills next to you discussing the parameters of their exercise routines, or a trainer doling out a piece of fitness advice to their client.<p>You catch something they say and to …

Fitness

Identity politics has created an army of vicious, narcissistic cowards

Has there ever been a more petulant mob of moaners than that which is currently hurling abuse at Peter Tatchell? On Twitter, which is where these people live, self-styled queers and gender-benders are insulting and even threatening to kill Tatchell, the man whose risk-taking and street-fighting …

Feminism

Mexican Carpoolers: A Photographer's View Of Truck Bed Commuters

Every day, hundreds of workers in Mexico begin their days lying down in the back of pick-up trucks.<p>Alejandro Cartagena does not know much about the lives of these "Carpoolers," whom he photographed for a year starting in the winter of 2011, heading down Highway 85 off Monterrey. But he does know …

Dominican Republic

Dear Sarah Koenig, here’s your next “Serial”

Every reporter has a case he can’t let go of. This is mine<p>Dear Sarah Koenig,<p>The two victims appeared to have fled in different directions. Xion Davidson would have been the faster of the two. He was 16, a suburban football star at a West Hartford high school. He turned south on Arbor Street right …

Crime

11 Habits of People With Concealed Depression

There will be two main types of people reading this blog: those finding themselves better equipped to understand some of the people they love and those who see their own reflections in these habits.<p>Depression often goes unseen, unrecognized, and undiagnosed. A person with concealed depression is …

Happiness

‘All About That Bass’ Parody Calls Out Meghan Trainor

While Meghan Trainor may be seeing a lot of commercial success with her song “All About That Bass,” not everyone is on board with her body shaming …

Meghan Trainor

Clowning Without Borders Aims To Give Refugees Another Way To Heal

On a cold November morning, 300 children gather in a soccer field in Zaatari, a Jordanian village next to the country's largest refugee camp.<p>Most of them are Syrians who fled from Homs with their families and now live in makeshift tents in what was already a poor rural area. But today the children …

Magic

Syrian Women Displaced By War Make Tragedy Of 'Antigone' Their Own

Barefoot in a yoga studio in Lebanon's capital Beirut, a couple dozen actresses raise voices and stretch bodies that had grown used to being quiet and still.<p>"Go on," they cry as a clapping exercise speeds up, and they fill the room with whoops and uninhibited yells.<p>But these women aren't …

America just doesn’t get it: Why police killings demand more than a “respectable” response

Cops are getting away with murder, so protesters are taking a stand. And if that makes you uncomfortable? Good.<p>On December 3, just hours after a New York grand jury refused to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the murder of Eric Garner, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Washington, …

Why can’t Britain create decent jobs? Meet the women struggling against low pay and zero-hours contracts

Britain is enjoying an economic upturn. But most new jobs are low-paid, lack security and offer no career advancement. In the latest in our series on the working poor, we speak to the women left behind by a strange kind of recovery<p>Sarah, 44, married with a son aged four, has a degree in modern …

‘I felt like a piece of trash’ – Life inside America’s food processing plants

A new book offers a damning insight into conditions for low-paid, non-union, immigrant workers helping to feed our huge appetite for cheap meat<p>Maria Lopez will never forget that day. It was 2004, the middle of an ordinary shift on the line at Hormel Foods – a sprawling brick-and-concrete complex on …

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

The voices in the <i>Whiteness Project</i> vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.<p>"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father …

Activists' lives, romance and a nation's change

MIAMI (AP) — On a bright New Year's Day in 2010, a small group of immigrants including a young couple in love laced up donated sneakers for a 1,500-mile march from Miami to Washington.<p>The goal was simple: to call attention to the plight of youth like themselves living in the United States …

Immigration

Daily hits and misses in pop culture

Widespread problems on Rikers Island tough to fix

NEW YORK (AP) — Victor Woods shook uncontrollably, his body wracked by convulsions, as fellow inmates held him in their arms and shouted for help.<p>Amid the chaos inside a Rikers Island dormitory, surveillance video showed a lone figure of relative calm: a jail guard watching it all unfold as he …

Bill de Blasio

How I became homeless

One mistake (not mine), and I’m inside a nightmare. Three kids, no house and too many nights on borrowed mattresses<p>My eviction did not come with a dramatic pounding on the front door, like it happens in the movies. Just an unceremonious letter, lumped in between credit card offers and credit card …

20 Books That Changed The Way We Felt About Ourselves As LGBT People

"It's in literature that true life can be found," Nobel Prize-winning author Gao Xingjian was once quoted as saying.<p>The Chinese novelist and playwright may not have been speaking directly to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, but to those of us in the community, he might as well …

The chilling rise of American militarism

Chuck Hagel’s ouster signals a shift in foreign policy. Welcome to the new Washington, where peace is a dirty word<p>It was the end of the road for Chuck Hagel last week and the Washington press corps couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about writing his obituary. In terms of pure coverage, it may …

America’s white millennial problem: Why the next great generation might not be a liberal one

The future of economic liberalism depends on younger voters embracing a change. Here’s why its unlikely to happen<p>Nearly anytime Democrats lose an election, there is a pervasive narrative that, just around the bend, there will be an “emerging Democratic majority.” Originally projected to occur …

We need to talk about death: Why ignoring our darkest fears only makes them worse

It’s a universal human experience. So why do we act like we need to confront it alone?<p>“I don’t want to die. It’s so permanent.”<p>So said my terminally ill grandmother, a kick-ass woman who made life-size oil paintings and drank vermouth on the rocks every afternoon.<p>This isn't an anecdote I’d be …

The creation of William Shakespeare: How the Bard really became a legend

Shakespeare wasn’t always a literary icon — or even the most popular writer of his era. Then how did he get so big?<p>Ladies and gentlemen, the Bard is back. With the recent discovery of a previously unknown First Folio in a French library, Shakespeare has once again been thrust into the limelight (as …

Thomas Frank: The New Republic, the torture report, and the TED talks geniuses who gutted journalism

Zillionaire new media barons think themselves geniuses, not say, really lucky to’ve been Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate<p>Between the crumbling of a landmark Rolling Stone story and the dynamiting of The New Republic, these have been a bad couple of weeks for journalism. But with the release of the Senate …

Survivor Of Mexican Student Attacks Tells Of Bullet-Riddled Escape

In Mexico, authorities continue the investigation into the kidnapping and presumed murder of 43 students from a college in the southern state of Guerrero.<p>On a recent afternoon at the teaching school in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, I spoke to one man who says he survived the attacks on Sept. 26. NPR …

50 Groundbreaking Female Film Artists We’re Thankful For

Too often, women occupy under-appreciated roles in Hollywood, bolstering a system that either takes them for granted or doesn’t celebrate them like …

Charlie Chaplin

She risked her life to defect from North Korea — now she wants the world to hear her story

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has not been seen in public since Sept. 3, when he attended a concert with his wife. The lack of reliable information out of North Korea has led to rumors about the dictator's whereabouts.<p>But one defector says there is much too much focus on the country's leader — …