Indigent defense funding: A major and underappreciated issue

Terminology note for this post: When I talk about public defense, I mean the defense, in a criminal case, of someone who can’t afford a lawyer, by a lawyer whose job it is to defend indigent clients. When I talk about indigent defense, I mean both the public defense system, and the common system, used […]

Valuing labor in the anti-violence sector

This post comes out of a conversation that I had with a friend the other day.

I volunteer for a bunch of organizations, including rape crisis and domestic violence organizations. Those, and LGBTQ anti-violence programs (which help LGBTQ people who have experienced interpersonal violence, and work to prevent such violence), could collectively be referred to […]

Steelmanning and responding to trigger warning arguments

This post was spurred by the discussion about trigger warnings in academia over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

Over the last year and a half or so, there have been a lot of terrible arguments about trigger warnings in college classrooms. Opponents of trigger warnings have depicted students with triggers as whiny, mollycoddled, censorious babies, […]

The LGBTQ and feminist movements are natural partners, not competitors

I’ve been seeing an increasing number of “Look how well LGBTQ issues are doing compared to feminist issues!” pieces lately, perhaps inspired by the success of same-sex marriage and the last couple of years of onslaught against abortion rights and access. There’s also been some anxiety coming from major left-leaning writers like Monica Potts and […]

That safe-space room was actually well-done, please stop mocking it now

I’m not going to go deeply into the now-famous Shulevitz op-ed in the New York Times about how students are “hiding from scary ideas” and trying to “self-infantilize,” though I have many thoughts on it. I want to pull out a small bit of it and explain why the mockery of what’s described in that […]

Radicalism is not an excuse to disrespect survivors either

There was a session I went to at Creating Change on how to mobilize against unfair treatment of LGBTQ people interacting with the criminal justice system. The panelists came from a variety of organizations in Southern California, many of which mostly serve LGBTQ people of color, and indeed many of the panelists were themselves people […]

Creating Change quick recap

I’ve spent the last few days in Denver at Creating Change, the huge annual LGBTQ activism conference. This is my third time going, and, as always, it’s been a lot of fun. This post has a short list of observations from the conference. It’s not complete, but it’s a few things that come to mind […]

“You’re just an Internet activist” is a bad argument

I was originally going to write a response to the much-discussed Jon Chait “political correctness culture” essay that so many people have been talking about. But, well, so many people have been talking about it, and I’m not sure I have a lot of points to make that haven’t been made in someone else’s essay […]

Bystander intervention and fighting oppression

The debate over bystander intervention has gotten some press lately, with Lauren Chief Elk and Shaadi Devereaux writing an essay against it, and Jesse Singal writing a response to them at Science of Us. Both make some points that I agree with, and neither’s characterization of bystander intervention really describes the bystander intervention workshop that […]