Our readers sound off on MCA, gay marriage, and life sentences for teenagers.

From Facebook:

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

From TheNation.com:

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.

At least, that’s what I got from this article. That and you know, the Beastie Boys were super fly.
In response to Jessica Valenti’s “MCA’s Feminist Legacy.” May 8, 2012

AKLady1983: Law for the rich, by the rich. Had Trina’s family been among the upper 1%, and white, she would not have gone to prison. Our public defender system is under funded and overworked. PDs are not bad lawyers, they simply do not have the time, money or other resources a case may need.
In response to Liliana Segura’s “Throwaway People: Will Teens Sent to Die in Prison Get a Second Chance?” May 9, 2012

Pjcasey: A good article and one hopes that the new French Government will be a success, but the EU and the Euro Zone are strait jackets run by technocrats formerly associated with investment banks. The EU and the Euro Zone are creatures of the investment banks. Greece may be forced out of the Euro Zone, which may eventually destroy or reduce the size of the Euro Zone and the EU. It is going to be messy!
In response to Andy Robinson “Can the Euro Avert Collapse?” May 9, 2012

Marry Carroll: Marriage IS regulated by the states (and by local governments as delegates of the states), not by the federal government. So what needs to happen is for gay couples in states that limit marriage to "one man and one woman" to sue their local and/or state government for marriage rules that violate the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. That’s how the courts ultimately threw out laws that refused to recognize interracial marriages.

And for those who think we’re going to hell in a hand basket, there IS an alternative: every level of government could eliminate every right and privilege granted to heterosexual couples based on their marital status, so there wouldn’t be any discrimination. I’m not gonna hold my breath….
In response to Richard Kim’s “Obama Endorses Gay Marriage—Kinda. Now What?” May 9, 2012

CaitrinM: Yes, no other president has ever come this close on GLBT issues, which is super important, but the guy basically gave the cop out "state’s right’s" argument, saying essentially that equal protection under the law when it comes to same gender couples should be subjected to a vote, the way it was for different race couples when his parents had him &mdash:when Obama was born, his parents could not legally get married in all 50 states. Now how about that for irony? As someone who plans to marry a person of the same gender in a year in one of the handful of states where it is legal, but whose fiancée was (and her family still is) originally from North Carolina, I think his statement was welcome but a bit cowardly, still.
In response to Richard Kim’s “Obama Endorses Gay Marriage—Kinda. Now What?” May 9, 2012

Scubaguy: Now what? Now get to work. Work at the state level like we did in WA to pass marriage equality. Work to get a sufficient majority in the House and Senate to support relevant legislation. Barney Frank is projecting 8-10 years to get it done.
In response to Richard Kim’s “Obama Endorses Gay Marriage—Kinda. Now What?” May 9, 2012