These are the things that got me thinking this week:
What Happens When Reality Enters the ‘Reality’ of the Bachelorette? (NYT)
I watch The Bachelorette (and I know it makes me garbage), and this piece about the current season is great, because it delves into the actual reality of what is transpiring on arguably the most manufactured thing on television:
Our Bachelorette was visibly upset that her family didn’t seem as charmed by Bryan as she has been. Her mother’s response: “You are in a bubble.” Rachel and her suitors are seeking to get engaged before ever (1) hanging out off-camera; (2) getting to spend the night together unsupervised more than once; and (3) performing a quick Google search that could reveal a potential partner’s reality-television pedigree or pseudoscientific marketing scheme of choice.
It’s Never Been about R. Kelly. It’s Always Been About Black Girls (Bitch Media)
This is a short, horrifying piece about R. Kelly and male abusers in general, and how we as a society see black girls:
While R. Kelly is in the eye of the storm, as he should be, it’s never just been about the “pied piper,” the creepiest name he could’ve chosen. It’s about the vulnerability of Black girls, and an incessant need to deny them the protection they need from predators. There’s a reason why R. Kelly purposefully prowls schools in the poorest communities of Chicago. Those girls are even more vulnerable: They attend schools that routinely push them out; are surrounded by violence borne from lack of resources; and are burdened by intergenerational poverty. R. Kelly knows they’re easily malleable.
It’s worth a read, and it’s worth reading the pieces the article links, to, too.
Foster Care as Punishment: The Reality of ‘The New Jane Crow’ (NYT)
This is probably the must-read of the week: an in-depth look at what happens when CPS gets involved in the removal of children from their homes. The article looks at demographics who are specifically targeted: poor, young women of color.
“It takes a lot as a public defender to be shocked, but these are the kinds of cases you hear attorneys screaming about in the hall,” said Scott Hechinger, a lawyer at Brooklyn Defender Services. “There’s this judgment that these mothers don’t have the ability to make decisions about their kids, and in that, society both infantilizes them and holds them to superhuman standards. In another community, your kid’s found outside looking for you because you’re in the bathtub, it’s ‘Oh, my God’” — a story to tell later, he said. “In a poor community, it’s called endangering the welfare of your child.”
Snopes Faces an Ugly Legal Battle (The Atlantic)
Snopes has been around for what feels like forever, and I remember using it back when it was one of the only internet hoax debunking sites around. I have a tremendous fondness for the site, and I’ve been following the publicity of the site’s troubles this week with interest and a bit of dismay.
This piece offers a bit of insight into the legal troubles the site is facing, and what could happen if things go even further awry.