• Meet The Dominatrix Who Requires The Men Who Hire Her To Read Black Feminist Theory [Huffington Post] – Quoting “Over time, Mistress Velvet said she began “doing a lot of theorizing” about the power dynamics of a black woman holding that kind of supremacy over a white cisgender man. She began introducing black feminist theory into her sessions with clients, who’ve told her their relationship in that space has impacted their behavior outside of it.”

  • Retired From the Brutal Streets of Mexico, Sex Workers Find a Haven [The New York Times] – Read this even if it is just for the intense portraits.

  • Transgender Woman Breast-Feeds Baby After Hospital Induces Lactation [The New York Times] – I always find it intriguing how much science and technology have made it possible to help transgender individuals who are now able to experience not just their preferred gender expression, but also the biology associated of the opposite sex.

  • The Case Against Google [The New York Times] – A deep look into actions by Google that lie in the grey area between monopolistic crushing of competition and providing good service to its customers.

  • Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years [Teen Vogue] – The Parkland school mass shooting in Florida has seen an intense response (somewhat effective too, with increased scrutiny on gun laws and lobbying) coming primarily from the teenage survivors of the shooting. This is a good thing, so it’s worth pointing out another story of black teens who have been leading activism for better gun laws for a while.

  • Safe travels (if you’re wealthy and Western) [Al Jazeera] – Food for thought. As western industrialized nations turn their backs on refugees of less developed countries, how fair is it for leisure travelers from these western countries to feel entitled to travel to these counties for their pleasure?

  • Going undercover as a sex worker [Al Jazeera] – A photojournalist tells her gut-wrenching stories of going undercover in the world of sex trafficking.

  • Inside the Lives of Girls Dressed as Boys in Afghanistan [National Geographic] – A cultural practice called “bacha posh” encourages parents dress their daughters as sons for a better future. But often, it only makes life harder.

  • Police Officer Wins Settlement From City That Fired Him for Not Shooting a Black Man [ACLU Blog] – An instance of where a cop chose to not use deadly force on a black man. Instead, he used his military training to de-escalate the situation, and was nearly successful when other cops arrived at the scene and shot the man anyway. The man who was shot was holding a gun (but turned out it was unarmed all along). The article explains the rest of the story.

Movies and TV Shows

  • Black Panther – Obviously. Black Panther has been the talk of the town since it released, and I wasn’t disappointed. To the contrary, I think it set a new benchmark for superhero movies (and Hollywood in general). While some people might try to dismiss the cultural reasons why the movie is so relevant and powerful, I think it is exactly these reasons that make it a good one (we’ve had enough Captain Americas and Iron Men). Not to mention that a lot of women in the movie took on roles that were powerful and independent in their own right.

  • Lipstick Under My Burkha – Finally watched this after planning for a long time. I enjoyed the unabashed sexuality of the four female protagonists. It’s not every day that such a movie comes along that cuts through so many intersections (age, religion, class, and obviously gender in this case) fit together into a gripping storyline. It reminded me of Margarita With A Straw.

  • High Maintenance – I started watching the HBO series set in Brooklyn featuring Ben Sinclair as the neighborhood weed delivery guy. It’s the kind of laid back non-judgmental show that just flows, and ends up talking about a lot of people and things that other shows can’t because they need to stick to a theme. What I liked in particular about it was the often deeply emotional human connections that can come up in unexpected places.

  • Dirty Money – Documentary TV show covering the excesses of unscrupulous capitalism. Each episode has been dramatized for viewer engagement, but the topics it chooses to tackle are shocking regardless, especially when the scale and impact is considered. Hopefully, it would motivate everyone who works at a company to think about ethical issues.


  • A Hindi Netflix Original movie called Love Per Square Foot was released this month. While I can’t really recommend the movie, I watched at a time when I was heavily missing home, so it struck a chord. In particular, two songs in the movie struck that chord and have been stuck in my head since: Aashiyaana and Maqbool hai.
- nRT