Tasteful Rude l December 31, 2020

Hilaria Baldwin & the Perverse Myth of Reverse Body-Shaming

The internet recently busted yoga instructor Hilary Baldwin for moonlighting as a Thpanish immigrant and upon learning that “Hilaria” wasn’t born in Mallorca but instead in Massachusetts, I decided to skip her recipe for Boston baked beans estilo Madrileño. In a video clip that went viral, “Hilaria” pretends not to know the English word for a vegetable

Tasteful Rude l December 11, 2020

Introducing Tasteful Rude

Today I launch my new website Tasteful Rude, as part of the Brickhouse Cooperative, a group of journalists . I’m the editor-in-chief, and one of the writers. Tasteful Rude’s editorial voice eschews politeness in favor of truth-seeking and fun. It is Tasteful Rude’s mission to abide by Edward’s Said’s commandment: “Criticism must think of itself

Luz Media l December 9, 2020

From Persephone To Tara Reade, Rape Victims Are Relegated To Everyday Hells

As Wagatwe Wanjuki lip syncs, “Actual goals, AF!” her TikTok performance unfolds to the tune and lyrics of Eva Gutowski’s Literally My Life. Clad in athleisure, Wanjuki flashes a grin and a thumb’s up sign. Glitter splashes across the screen and she imitates a victory dance while this message hovers overhead: “Me finding out my rapist graduated law school and became a lawyer.”

Those of us who are the victims of rapists experience the ramifications of sexual assault across our lifespans. One of the ugliest and most painful dimensions of rape’s aftermath is exactly what Wanjuki so brilliantly communicated through TikTok. Rape culture requires the majority of sexual assault victims to co-exist in a society where our rapists do more than move freely. In a rape culture, our attackers thrive.

Believermag.com l December 2, 2020

Chismosa Bitch

Several weeks into attending my graveyard-adjacent nursery school, my parents noticed something weird. When I got home from school, I’d grab Mom’s or Dad’s hand and take them on a tour, introducing them to household objects. “This is the television. This is a chair. This is a sofa. This is a plate. That is a lamp. This is its switch. The lamp is now off.” My behavior mystified Dad until he realized what I was doing and burst out laughing.

“Bebé,” he called out, “Myriam’s teachers think she can’t speak English! They’ve been trying to teach her! That’s why she acts like a parrot when she comes home! She’s parroting the ‘lessons’ they’re giving her.” He chuckled as hard as he did when he watched Saturday Night Live.

Luz Media l November 18, 2020

Racial Pretendians

After taking a sip of wine, Dad explained that certain Americans like inventing stories, especially tales that turn them into native people. Dad’s thesis illuminated nothing. The girl’s behavior still made no sense. “But why?” I demanded. “They think it’s exotic,” Dad over-asserted the word exotic to heighten its vulgarity, “and, it eases their conscience. It makes

November 13, 2020

‘A Harm-Reduction Strategy’

K Romero*, a Mexican immigrant living in Pennsylvania, remains vigilant. After the 2016 election, Romero became active with a local progressive organization, but a commonplace obstacle soon emerged. The organization privileged the needs of white Democrats above everybody else’s, leaving women of color, like Romero, out in the proverbial cold. Racial exhaustion triggered Romero’s flight

Luz Media l October 29, 2020

When Pornography Invades Privacy

In my latest for Luz Collective I discuss Jeffrey Toobin, the myth of the “accidental assault”, and the pervasiveness of the ‘oops’ defense. “I taught high school for over a decade and my years spent working with U.S. teenagers taught me that many girls’ first experiences of sexual assault now happen through screens. One way

March 28, 2020

Rice a Rona

My little brother has a nameless iguana. I could tell the iguana about how in high school, in my economics class, for extra credit, I wrote a research paper on the Black Death. My econ teacher gave me a B. I told myself that it was okay that I got a B even though I wanted an A. I told myself, “F is for Fabulous. B is for Bubonic.”