Weekend reading


15 indigenous women on the front lines of the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance

A Republican governor is using his own money to reinstate the death penalty

California restaurants launch nation’s first transgender jobs program

It’s 2016 and Kansas approvingly cited Dred Scott in an abortion case 

Why are there so many books with “girl” in the title?

New York City students tell Westboro Baptist Church that “God Loves Jazz”

We can’t just be against the death penalty when it’s easy


As we hear more and more outrageous stories about wrongly convicted people spending decades in prison, support for the death penalty weakens. According to The Innocence Project, 341 prisoners have been exonerated through DNA evidence in the last 25 years. And these are the ones who are lucky enough to have an organization with resources to investigate their cases. Continue reading “We can’t just be against the death penalty when it’s easy”

Weekend reading


Behind the photo that changed the Boston Marathon forever.

There’s no separating the death penalty and race.

Lupita Nyong’o had to remind Vogue that white actresses don’t have a monopoly on beauty.

Doctor, warned to be silent on abortions, files civil rights complaint.

Why won’t Hollywood let us see our best black actors?

Obama to name Stonewall Inn first ever national monument for gay rights.

Rape is common. So why don’t we believe rape victims?

Park Cannon, the black, queer, millennial woman in the Georgia State House, is a very vocal minority.

Weekend reading

About Elly

The best of Netflix’s “featuring a strong female lead” categories.

The patronizing questions we ask women who write.

Bitch Media recommends 12 female-fronted bands at SXSW.

Progressives oust prosecutors criticized for mishandling cases of police brutality.

Before she lost the primary, Chicago’s top prosecutor cleared killer cops 68 times.

Exonerated death row inmate challenges Hillary Clinton on her support for the death penalty.

The best explanation for Hillary Clinton’s bizarre comments about the Reagans and HIV/AIDS.

Protesting police comes with a lot of health risks.

Weekend reading


Amy Poehler’s smart girls asked the best Emmy red carpet questions.

Why do we vilify Kim Davis, but accept doctors who refuse women abortion care?

Killing a white person is almost the only reason murderers ever receive the death penalty.

This law is supposed to protect babies, but it’s putting their moms behind bars.

The AP just adopted a stronger way to describe climate change doubters.

If feminist icons lose their way, the movement continues without them.

Enough with the queer and trans films that are actually about straight people.

What Donald Trump doesn’t understand about calling women beautiful.

A transgender woman live tweets her expulsion from Orlando airport.

Brewing Hatred: Coors markets to Women, Latinos, LGBT Communities as Coors family attacks their rights.

Weekend reading


A photographer looks at the things women carry to protect themselves.

Ireland just became the first country to pass marriage equality by popular vote.

85 films by and about women of color.

RH Reality Check investigates the lack of progress on processing the backlog of rape kits.

Students in Florida were called “sexy” while undergoing transvaginal ultrasounds they were pressured into doing.

The Nebraska state legislature voted to end the death penalty.

How much water are the richest Californians wasting? It’s a secret.

Congrats, you have an all male panel.

Is your OB-GYN a member of an anti-choice group?

Weekend reading


A comic that makes a great point about criticism of “riots” in Baltimore.

How Bud Light  managed to go public with its offensive marketing campaign.

A group of Nebraska Republicans wants to repeal the death penalty.

A professor live tweeted her child’s ridiculous abstinence-only sex ed class.

Fabulous singer Jose James on why Billie Holiday should be seen as a feminist icon.

New York City will start collecting racial data that could help reveal bias in policing.

Amy Schumer does it again with this hilarious parody of songs that tell women they’re beautiful without makeup, despite what our culture might tell them.


Weekend reading

photo via The Atlantic
photo via The Atlantic

Ta-Nehisi Coates argues that criminal justice and the death penalty are inseparable from white supremacy.

TLDR holds an interesting conversation about sexual assault in virtual online communities.

Five reasons why Jill Abramson’s firing from the New York Times matters.

Why we need to keep talking about body image and weight issues.

The NYPD will stop the boneheaded policy of seizing unused condoms as evidence of prostitution, but NY and other cities and states are still criminalizing condom use.

Another thing too many cities and states are criminalizing: feeding the homeless.

Women writers and comedians on the choice to not have children.

Weekend reading


A satirical comic takes on the “not all men” argument against feminism with a character who is the “defender of the defended” and “voice for the voiceful.”

The horrifying botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma was sadly predictable.

Kiera Butler writes an open letter to her sexist dentist.

The White House recruits Daniel Craig, Steve Carrell and more celebrities in a PSA on sexual assault and promoting bystander intervention.

The air is racist.

A Wisconsin judge struck down a voter ID law, saying “no rational person” would be worried about voter fraud.

Jelani Cobb and Jay Smooth on Donald Sterling and racist words prompting more attention and accountability than racist actions.


Grasping at straws to save the death penalty


Monday night, Stephen Colbert satirized the desperation of death penalty advocates to keep executing people following the shortage of one of the drugs used for lethal injection. European companies have been pressured to stop supplying phenobarbital for executions in the US, which is causing some proponents of the death penalty to get creative. Colbert cites proposals to use untested drug cocktails and firing squads, and spins it out from there.

Fear-mongering and misinformation have kept some people supporting the death penalty, but the long-term trend seems to be moving in the right direction, with support for the death penalty at the lowest it’s been in more than 40 years.

The more people hear the facts, the better we’re positioned to get rid of this barbaric and inconsistently applied practice. I spent a lot of time on the phone last year talking to voters about a ballot initiative to replace the death penalty in California. I’m sure it sounds like a nightmare to some people to call strangers and talk to them about the death penalty, but I found it fascinating.

Aside from the couple of disturbing calls with women (I was only calling women) who wanted to pull the switch themselves, people were very open to having a conversation. And I honestly talked with people who told me that the information I gave them made them start to rethink their support for the death penalty. Many of them were genuinely surprised when I told them it is less expensive to keep people in prison–it’s counterintuitive but makes sense when laid out for people. The high number of exonerations in recent years has permeated in a way that fear of executing an innocent person is a serious consideration for people.

It might not be the high moral arguments that many of us want to motivate people to end the death penalty, but as always with organizing, we have to work with people where they are. It’s a significant task ahead of us to get the facts out to people, but I’m convinced that as we do, the trend will continue to move toward abolition.