The Problem With SlutWalk’s New Name

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As a woman pushing 30, I’ve been called a slut more times than I care to think about.

Most women have. Cruelly by partners. Casually by gossips. Playfully by friends. Randomly by strangers.

I’m not sensitive to many words, but this one has always bothered me, has always lingered in the air a couple extra seconds. Drop the dreaded “C word” on me and I won’t blink, but “slut” — a tidy little package of judgment, shame and manipulation — has always felt unusually heavy.

When SlutWalk Philadelphia debuted in 2011, I didn’t necessarily like the name. It made me, like a lot of people, uncomfortable at first — and it should have. Like the word, the SlutWalk has pretty uncomfortable origins: A protest march that eventually went global, it began in Toronto after a police officer advised women to “avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” Instead, women decided to take a little stroll together in fishnets.

I have no real interest in “reclaiming” the word – you can keep this one, among others. But if it’s going to be used against us, I’m personally in favor of harnessing its power to call noisy, unladylike attention to the idea that what we wear somehow determines that it’s OK to harass us.

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Buzz Bissinger Owes Nick Foles an Apology

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline – USA Today

Long before the cheap shot on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles by Washington Redskins 325-pound nose tackle Chris Baker, Buzz Bissinger launched his own cheap shot at Foles. Baker attacked Foles’ body; Bissinger attacked his character.

Bissinger penned the cover story on Foles for the July issue of Philadelphia magazine. Bissinger, frustrated that Foles refused an interview, lashed out like a petulant child. In the article he called Foles a “one-dimensional choirboy caricature.” He said Foles has “fragility embedded into everything.” Bissinger, always Mr. Class, even called Foles “chicken shit” and said he needed to “man-up.”

But of all the quotes in the article, one paragraph stands out as especially foolish now that Foles has bounced back from a hit that would have sidelined most quarterbacks.

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Can’t a Guy Get a Beer in This Town Without Freaking Football Blaring in the Background?

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During football season, Eagles talk — and also Eagles shouting, Eagles yelling and Eagles screaming — hangs in the air with a ubiquity rivaled only by oxygen. It dominates your television, your radio, your phones both smart and dumb, your already-fucked-up Facebook feed. It soaks into workplace asides, sidewalk encounters, waiting-room chats, barroom blather. It is everywhere. And for a large percentage of Philadelphians, this is an invigorating and compelling reality. We’ve waited all year, and it’s finally here! E-A-G…

For a much smaller portion of the population, however, the return of the National Football League spells hell. Living in Philly and rooting for a team other than the Eagles is an interesting existence, as we’ve recently discussed. But what about those who detest not only the Eagles, but the entire NFL and the controversial culture it’s spawned?

Joey Sweeney, founder and editor of the long-running city blog Philebrity, wants you.

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Rich People Are Stupider Than You and Me

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Rich people, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, are different from you and me, and there was a doozy of an article in the New York Times last Thursday that proved it. The story was about rich people who send their kids away to ritzy boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those boarding schools so they can stay close to their kids.

Let me repeat: These rich people send their kids away to boarding schools and then buy or rent houses near those schools so they can stay close to their kids. This shows precisely how rich people are different from you and me: They’re batshit insane.

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Are We Really Ready to Boot the SRC?

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So the folks who want a public vote on dissolving the School Reform Commission are one step closer to their goal. (Though as the Inquirer pointed out Sunday, any vote is likely to take place in May, not November.)

One’s first instinct is to throw in with the anti-SRC activists: It’s hard to point to gains made under the state’s stewardship of Philly schools since the takeover.

Still, there’s never much point to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. So here’s three questions for the anti-SRC activists:

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Is This the NFL’s Next Commissioner?

Should Condi Rice be the next NFL commissioner?

Should Condi Rice be the next NFL commissioner?

It seems clear that Roger Goodell is finished as commissioner of the NFL.

His silence on the arrests of NFL players Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Ray McDonald and Jonathan Dwyer has been deafening. The man Time once dubbed “The Enforcer” is persona non grata since his fumbling of the Ray Rice case.

The public relations impotency of the once-heralded Goodell has forced owners to do something they hate to do – talk to the fans about team problems. That’s what the commissioner is supposed to be for. He is a useful mouthpiece when things are bad.

The NFL investigation of the Ray Rice debacle is a formality. Roger Goodell will be fired or he will resign, not because he didn’t take domestic abuse seriously, but because he hurt the NFL brand and almost cost the league billions in endorsements.

So who is in line to replace Goodell when he is kicked to the curb?

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It’s the End of the War on Drugs as We Know It

Kids, gather round. Let me share with you the horrors of my youth.

Behold:

And:

Back in the 1980s, these commercials were on a near-constant loop — especially on Saturday mornings and any other times kids might be watching TV. It was a steady drumbeat: Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs. Somehow, people kept doing drugs.

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Rihanna Was Right to Tell Off CBS Over Thursday Night Football Decision

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There is nothing that is — or perhaps can be — written about Rihanna without talking about the events that transpired on Grammy night in 2009. Similarly, there is rarely mention of Tina Turner without an acknowledgment of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband Ike. Domestic violence leaves a mark long after the bruises fade — and usually on the reputation of the abused.

The NFL’s reputation is taking its own beating, first with the release of the video capturing Ray Rice’s violent physical assault against his then-fiancée, next the child abuse allegations against Adrian Peterson. In efforts to demonstrate some long-absent self-awareness, CBS opted out of the network’s planned opening sequence, which included a song by Rihanna. It can be argued that the network opted to refit the opener with a more appropriately somber tone, though CBS executive Sean McManus did point to the singer’s previous bouts as a domestic violence victim as part of the deciding factor to pull the song last week.

True to form, Rihanna took to Twitter to express her displeasure:

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What Would It Take for You to Ditch Your Favorite NFL Player’s Jersey?

Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. on May 23rd, 2014.

Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. on May 23rd, 2014.

In the never-ending struggle between athlete worship and self-dignity, take a wild stab at which won out last week in Baltimore amidst the lingering fog of the Ray Rice scandal.

Yep, Ravens fans displayed their Rice jerseys proudly, a middle finger to the world as a show of support for their deposed halfback, who only days before had been suspended by the NFL for the season. After all, Rice had been one of the heroes who brought the town a Super Bowl. And how could anybody be heathen enough to forget that, even when you measure it up against the menacing left hook that knocked his girlfriend out cold.

A woman — yes, a woman — was interviewed by the network televising the game and she said that Rice’s girlfriend hit him too and that if you hit a guy then you better be prepared to get it back, or something as obtuse as that. My Twitter started humming the day after when, on my radio show, I railed into the Baltimore fans for being so spineless.

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