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Month: January 2016

Bathroom Panic Syndrome

When I was a kid, Phyllis Schlafly used bathroom panic to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have made sexual equality a constitutionally protected value. The claim was that the ERA would strip women of the “right to privacy based on sex” in “public restrooms and other public facilities.” Basically, unisex, gender-neutral bathrooms. Pro-ERA supporters at the time pointed out this was a completely ridiculous interpretation of the law, that it was totally not going to happen. I believed them. But more importantly, even if the law did lead to unisex bathrooms, I didn’t know why I was…

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Spoilers and Mary Sues

I want to talk about Star Wars, but that’s dangerous for me, because I don’t want to deliver any spoilers, but apparently I don’t know what a spoiler is. I think a spoiler is “a shocking or unexpected plot twist that’s important to the story.” Gandalf dying, then coming back from the dead — those are spoilers, except they’re not, because they were in a book that was published in 1954. That’s another part of the “spoiler” definition, for me — the story has to be recent. There are things in The Force Awakens that would be spoilers now, but won’t…

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