Our readers sound off on MCA, gay marriage, and life sentences for teenagers.
Sara Hildebrand: Mandatory life without parole sentences are only part of the problem. A more fundamental problem, I think, is the fact that this young girl was on the streets because of abuse at home, that she was suffering from mental illness that went untreated, and that our institutions did not support her by helping her circumstances, but instead reacted to her accident by putting her in jail for the rest of her life without even a chance to tell her story.
In response to Liliana Segura’s “Throwaway People: Will Teens Sent to Die in Prison Get a Second Chance?” May 9, 2012
Laura Sabransky: We need to keep pushing for more awareness of this. The election is expected to be close, and the few thousand votes that could be lost because of suppression could make the difference. I would like to see more concrete suggestions, such as getting the phone numbers of local elections boards/attorney advocates in key states in every voter’s hands for election day. Wisconsin has published some good videos of suppression in action, so people can see exactly the type of BS they might encounter and how to respond.
In response to “Help Defend the Vote.” May 10, 2012
gaslighter: I remember a post on Feministing made by, I believe it was Samhita, about listening to misogynistic hip-hop as a guilty pleasure. I listen to old Beasties as a similar guilty pleasure and to dissect machismo. I’ve also learned that appropriating this machismo as a woman and directing it back toward men makes them uncomfortable and can open up dialogues about feminism. As in, "You wouldn’t like for me to demand you go outside and fix the roof so why is it okay to tell women to cook you a meal or do laundry?" Once you plant the seed, it is up to the individual to foster it and let it grow. But it is there. I think the Beasties do this and continue to. You only hold a mirror up to your own issues when you debase women. I hope that, in conjunction with being a philanthropist and pioneer of hip hop, that the feminist seeds they planted grow in people all over the world. Thank you, Jessica.
In response to Jessica Valenti’s “MCA’s Feminist Legacy.” May 8, 2012
stoop kid: It’s not just a non-misogynistic voice in hip hop that she was speaking of, it’s that it was the non-misogynistic voice of MEN. Men that had previously sung lyrics like "And I’m always out looking for a female companion. I threw the lasso around the tallest one and dragged her to the crib. I took off her moccasins and put on my bib."
Men speaking out against sexism and violence against women is inspiring because it’s still so rare. Men commit over 99% of rape and most domestic and sexual violence; we need our male allies to stand up and say that it’s wrong and it needs to end, because sadly, men listen to men more readily. And because the men that perpetrate those acts need to know that other men won’t stand for it, and men that are afraid to speak out, need to know that they aren’t alone. Just like I, as a women, like to know that I have sisters AND brothers in arms.