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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

Feminism

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The Olympics’ sexist and racist punishment of female athletes of color makes it difficult to celebrate the contests

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

I’m rooting for 18-year-old Namibian runners Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi in the Olympics’ 200-meter competition not only because they’re incredible athletes but because they’ve been biologically discriminated against.

A couple of weeks ago, the two teens were banned from Tokyo’s 400-meter race because, according to the World Athletics, their testosterone levels were too high. No foreign substances or performance-enhancing chemicals were found in the bodies of these young women; their natural testosterone levels alone were the cause of their Olympic disqualification.

The only reason Mboma and Masilingi were tested in the first place is that Africans have spent all…


The vice president is not above criticism, but after just a few months on the job, media narratives feel especially spiteful

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

Although Kamala Harris becoming America’s first female vice president is an historical feat worthy of continued celebration, that has not made the position itself any less of a pain to hold.

Former Vice President John Adams once said of the vice presidency: “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

Another former vice president, John Nance Garner, was less interested in prose when conveying his resentment for the job. “The vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm piss,” Garner once declared; he…


And the overturning of his sexual assault conviction doesn’t make him any less of a monster

Photo: NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

The only thing worse than a rapist is a sanctimonious one that doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up and rot in silence. No reasonable person should’ve ever expected Bill Cosby to be quiet though.

Based on the Twitter profile maintained while he was incarcerated, the comedian and accused tormentor of allegedly 60 women fancied himself as some sort of political prisoner. This nigga ain’t Nelson Mandela, but sadly the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has provided this monster more material to play the martyr. …


It’s time for Black men to step up and answer the call

Photo: Emmanuel Sasu Mensah

I was raised in an abusive environment. So when I see Black women mistreated, silenced, and erased, it hits close to home.

One in three Black women will experience either physical or sexual assault at some point in their lives. That number has always felt much higher in terms of the women I knew, given the cultural, political, and economic violence targeted toward Black women globally.

Many of the women I’m close to have shared countless stories of abuse in their personal and professional lives. In some cases, we’ve been able to work together to take meaningful action. …


The Chicago mayor needs to get real about her ineffective leadership

Photo: DNCC/Getty Images

On Saturday night, the mayor of Chicago found herself the subject of rumors that made her sound like the perfect candidate for a future Mona Scott Young production.

According to Chicago Tribune, activist Ja’Mal Green, a critic of Lightfoot, tweeted then deleted a message indicating that Lightfoot was planning to leave office.

On Sunday, Green tweeted that he was “sorry” for helping to spread the rumor. “I know Lori is mad that folks have started rumors and I’m sorry I helped by saying she’s resigning but the reality is, we’ve been lied to since the beginning of this administration,” Green…


The vice president affirms my daughters’ dreams in ways no man can

Kamala Harris addresses supporters at party headquarters at the Chase Center on November 7, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post/Getty Images

One November night in 2008, I found myself with a house full of crying guests.

It’s not like the evening wasn’t festive. There was gumbo and chicken, cake and wine; we chatted and enjoyed each other’s company, even while we waited for the pivotal moment to arrive.

And then it happened: A Black man was elected president. He wouldn’t be just the president of the United States — he would be our president.

I didn’t even know most of my guests that night. I was relatively new to my suburban neighborhood and invited everyone nearby who I thought would share…


Dear Level

It’s none of your damn business

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium/Getty Images

Many years ago, I went out on a second or third date with a nice enough guy. I don’t remember his name or what he looked like. But I clearly remember why there was no fourth date.

We got to that part of the conversation where you go back and forth about… whatever. It starts with simple biographical details: college majors, first jobs, recent vacations. Then you get to the juicy stuff. Why did your last relationship end? What’s nonnegotiable in a date for you? Once the booze starts hitting, the questions tend to get more intense. Favorite place to…


Women like Vanessa Bryant and Lauren London are deserving of respect, regardless of their connections to beloved men

Vanessa Bryant speaks at the Celebration of Life for Kobe & Gianna Bryant at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Over the weekend, Vanessa Bryant logged onto Instagram to once again address a grievance on behalf of her family. This time it was about an ill-considered punchline from Meek Mill on a recent song: “If I ever lack, I’m goin’ out with my chopper, it be another Kobe.”

Bryant’s response was short and to the point. “I find this line to be extremely insensitive and disrespectful. Period,” she wrote. “I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this. If you are a fan, fine, there’s a better way to show your…


The newest Netflix obsession, Bridgerton, comes from TV’s peak pound-for-pound provocateur, Shonda Rhimes. And just like Shondaland productions Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, Bridgerton’s propulsive dalliance with the messy underpinnings of society have all but endeared fans across the globe.

But just because it addresses and seemingly brushes past issues of class, status, and rape culture doesn’t mean we as an audience cannot take them on seriously.

In Daphne Bridgerton raped her husband and why it’s important to not romanticize it,” writer Yia Vue focuses on Daphne, who so desperately wants a child that she…


After silence and outright disrespect, it’s time to excommunicate Meg’s alleged shooter for good

Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Journalistically, I’m supposed to use the word “allegedly” when talking about Tory Lanez shooting Megan Thee Stallion in the foot in a fit of rage in July. The word “allegedly” is supposed to be used because, despite the fact Megan Thee Stallion confirmed — er, accused — Lanez of shooting her in the foot multiple times, it hasn’t been proven in a court of law. Those are the rules, I guess.

Also, journalistically, I’m not supposed to advocate for Lanez getting tossed down a flight of stairs onto a stack of bear traps.

And, journalistically, I am supposed to have…

LEVEL

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