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  There are few phrases in the English language more abhorrent, more insidious, more absolutely goddamn infuriating than these five words: They were asking for it. Rape is never, ever, the victim’s fault. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks so – as everyone from assholes on social media to tennis stars to cops play into rape culture, often questioning the victim while giving the benefit of the doubt to the perpetrator. When politicians like Todd Akin utter the words “legitimate rape,” he is operating on an idea that rape exists in 50 shades of gradations. Read More
  “One day I heard a song that made my nerves tremble and my hair stand on end," says singer Ani Cordero. And haven’t we all experienced that? Hearing a song, only to feel ourselves drifting, parting the proverbial curtain and walking into a room of perfect sounds, entirely teleported to the past, the future, or the absolutely splendid present? If you’ve never listened to Cordero – woah, get on that right now, because girl has it all: pipes, talent, a whole lotta soul. Read More
Last December, Melissa Nelson lost a case at the Iowa Supreme Court in which she had filed for gender discrimination against her ex-boss. What were the charges? She was fired because she was simply too hot, and therefore, an obvious threat to her boss’s marriage. You might find yourself asking, "Wait, WTF?" Did Nelson ever fool around with her boss, or anything else inappropriate? No. This was simply…visual. That’s right: Nelson wasn’t fired for doing anything wrong at all – except, of course, for being born a woman and looking the way that she does. Read More
  Her historical significance is held in high esteem: exalted in song, memorialized in plays by luminaries like Shakespeare. You’ve seen thrilling portrayals of her by such legendary ladies as Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, not to mention BUST Oct/Nov 2010 cover goddess, Helen Mirren.       She’s widely celebrated for her doggedness, her quick wit, her artful proficiency, and above all, her ability to bring balance and harmony to her own beloved country. Read More
Between Houston and Dallas rests a bucolic town, Jasper, with elegant pine trees dotting its landscape and a charming nickname, the “Butterfly Capital of Texas.” However, the town is home to some notoriously ugly racial history – in 1998, three white men killed a black man, James Byrd Jr., by chaining him to a pickup truck and driving around until he was pummeled to death by the town's country roads. Just last year, Jasper hired its first black police chief, Rodney Pearson, with the help of a majority-black City Council. Read More