joy reads things

August 23, 2014 11:42 am


Five Myths About Crime in Black America—and the Statistical Truths

In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death [and Renisha McBride and Jonathan Ferrell], we’ve seen a lot of discussion of the larger societal issues that play into how and when people are perceived as criminals. There were hoodies, there were marches, and there were frank talks from parent to child about how to minimize the danger of being a young person of color. On the other side, there were justifications of George Zimmerman’s actions: a smear campaign against Martin’s character, and plenty of writers explaining that statistically, blacks are simply more dangerous to be around.

That framing ignores the realities behind the numbers. Here are five myths about crime and people of color.

Shani O. Hilton

(via jessehimself)

11:26 am 11:15 am August 2, 2014 11:41 pm
The Scourge of “Relatability”


What are the qualities that make a work “relatable,” and why have these qualities come to be so highly valued? Rebecca Mead writes:

“The concept of identification implies that the reader or viewer is, to some degree at least, actively engaged with the work in…

Yes x 1000

1:51 am

Saturday Chores #8, Saturday, July 26, 2014


Saturday Chores #8, Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 15, 2014 3:05 pm

Our Taste for Cheap Palm Oil Is Killing Chimpanzees


Palm oil plantations want to expand to the same places that dwindling great ape populations call home. (source: The Daily Beast

June 25, 2014 10:41 pm 10:41 pm

Female Playwrights Get A Boost From Advocacy Group


Female Playwrights Get A Boost From Advocacy Group


In Shakespeare’s day, all parts in a play, whether male or female, were acted out by men. You see in those old timey days, women had a lot of restrictions in life in general. Not so in 2014, although there is a very legitimate war on women which is being gallantly fought by feminists and advocate groups everywhere. Phew!

In the theater world, gender disparity still seems to be a issue, and…

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10:41 pm

Daria Polatin talks The Kilroys


Daria Polatin talks The Kilroys

If you’re involved in making theater at all, you probably know that the ladies have been bitching about the lack of gender parity on American stages for some time. The lady writers are pouring out of grad schools, just like I did a few years back, and demanding that their work be taken as seriously, and produced as widely, as our gentlemen counterparts. You can google to find the fallout from all…

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10:40 pm
Inclusion, Diversity and Disambiguation: On The Kilroys and The List - Parabasis


"Not all people who call themselves playwrights are good writers.

Not all good playwrights write the kind of plays that most theaters want to do.

Not everyone who fails to get regularly produced is untalented. Or writes bad plays.

Not everyone who gets produced is talented. Or writes good plays.

Not every solution can target all problems at once. Similarly, no single diversity or inclusion effort can really afford to be all-inclusive. The more generalized and vague a solution is, the more likely it is to fail.

With very few exceptions, the goal of inclusion efforts is not that every single person is definitely included, but rather that every single person has a fair shot at being included.

Confusion over this word “inclusion” might mean that it isn’t a very good replacement jargon term for “diversity,” which, to be honest, is how it is generally used. The fact that there seems to be no word for “diversity” that white people (and in particular white men) won’t find threatening is a problem I don’t know how to solve. Although I really, truly wish I did.

The hope is that multiple co-existing efforts will work simultaneously (and with any luck, collaboratively) to attack a problem from multiple angles.

No single diversity effort has any moral obligation to be intersectional in nature. Intersectionality can be present both within individual efforts/orgs or across multiple efforts/orgs. What’s most important is that various diversity efforts not compete with one another.

Trial and error are important. Actually taking action instead of just talking about and critiquing all potential action is important.

Doing something different from other people is not a judgment of their choices. Just as my being married is no judgment on unmarried couples, the fact that there are multiple organizations and individuals trying to attack the gender parity issue through different means, lenses, frames and efforts does not mean that they are competing with one another.

This is because each efforts is going to have its own versions of (a) an understanding of what the problem is, (b) a target audience and (c) a theory of change. Just because one organization’s theory of change is different from another’s does not mean they are competing. For example, a structural critique of racism does not invalidate an intersectional one, or vice versa. “

I recommend reading all of this post. Isaac drops some truth.