An Oral History of Tinder
Discussed: dealbreakers, bros, douchebags, basic, Bourdieu, DTF, Samuel R. Delaney, virginity, class, race, the business school grad who pays somebody to swipe for him, and more.
Read “An Oral History of the Tinderverse” at Playboy
FDNY is now only 99.96% male
FDNY banned women until 1982. In June, four women graduated from the Fire Academy, bringing the number of female firefighters in New York City to a grand total of 41—out of 10,400 total. ”It was the other women—the first female firefighters—who fought the system. At the end of the day I—we—stand on the shoulders of giants,” one grad told me. “Thirty-two years later and we’re celebrating 41 females in the fire department. It should be more.”
…Continue reading at New York Magazine
How Women’s Colleges Keep Trans Women Out
Today, women’s colleges are at a crossroads their founders could never have foreseen, struggling to reconcile their mission with a growing societal shift on how gender itself is defined. A handful of applications from transgender women have rattled school administrators over the past year, giving rise to anxious meetings and campus demonstrations. On April 29, the Department of Education issued new guidance: Transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX.
“We are all concerned about Title IX issues,” said Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella in a telephone interview. “At a women’s college, we have to have some criterion for admission,” she said. “In addition to academic excellence, it’s being a woman.”
…Continue reading at the New York Times Sunday Review
"The secrecy about the firm is just shady": a Patrick Henry update
The March newsletter for Patrick Henry College’s Alumni Association began with a notice that birth announcements were temporarily suspended. Instead, it was to be a “more sober edition,” devoted to the fall-out from “Sexual Assault at God’s Harvard” a story I wrote for The New Republic in March about the mishandling of sexual assault cases at the elite evangelical school. In my investigation, I uncovered allegations that the Patrick Henry administration treated sexual assault perpetrators with impunity, discouraged women from going to the police, and blamed victims for dressing or behaving immodestly. Over the past month, the school’s administration, students, and alumni have responded to the story with an outpouring of public statements and online commentary.
Shortly after the story’s publication, Patrick Henry released a statement announcing the hiring of “a specialized legal firm” to audit the school’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault and harassment. At the same time, the school maintained administrators “did not attempt to cover-up any sexual crimes” and “did not seek to blame women” for male students’ actions. “The fact is that the information provided by the key individuals at the time differs from the allegations now related in the New Republic article,” said the statement, which was read aloud during chapel. The student body responded with applause.
…Continue reading at The New Republic
Sexual Assault at God’s Harvard
The security guards were bored. It was the first weekend of May 2010—a time when students at other universities were partying before finals. This, however, was Patrick Henry College (PHC), the elite evangelical school better known as “God’s Harvard.” Here, in sleepy Purcellville, Virginia, instead of police officers or rent-a-cops, the security guards were all upperclassmen. On a good Friday or Saturday night, they’d catch freshmen trying to sneak back onto campus after an evening visiting the monuments in nearby Washington, D.C. Mostly, though, they just double-checked that all the doors were locked.
Patrick Henry College was founded in 2000, but you won’t find any bold, modern architecture on campus: Its buildings were designed in the federalist style to evoke an Ivy League school. Dress code is business casual during the week. Daily chapel is mandatory. Drinking, smoking, gambling, and dancing (outside of dance classes) aren’t allowed on campus—only wholesome, school-sanctioned hijinks, like the tradition of tossing newly engaged young men in the central retention pond known as Lake Bob: a “Bobtism.” The security guards saw quite a few Bobtisms.
That May night, Adam Fisher and another guard watched the security monitors from their post. It was long past the 1 a.m. weekend curfew, a time when campus had the still and quiet feel of a small town hours after everyone has gone to bed. It seemed like any other night, but then Fisher’s colleague called out in excitement. He’d caught something on the monitors: the dim glow of brake lights, out there in the darkness. A car was pulling up to the campus entrance.
…Continue reading at The New Republic
One shabbes in 1973, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin officiated at the bat mitzvah of future Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. The ceremony took place at New York’s Lincoln Square Synagogue, a Modern Orthodox congregation on West 67th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. A decade later, Kagan’s rabbi immigrated with a group of his congregants to the West Bank and founded the settlement of Efrat. Riskin, who came from the liberal Jewish stronghold of the Upper West Side, has served as the settlement’s Chief Rabbi ever since. Occupation is more mainstream than you might imagine.
Today, Efrat is a popular destination for American Jews. The appeal: a settlement is essentially the ultimate gated community. Across the West Bank, American Jewish immigrants love that their children can play in the streets unsupervised and walk themselves to school. In a stranger-less world of their own, they achieve the American suburban idyll. Theirs is a long white flight.
…Continue reading at The Revealer, where you can also watch my collection of funny/awful youtube videos from the settler kitsch genre.
The Long White Flight
The West Bank settlement of Hashmonaim is about 40 minutes northwest of Jerusalem. Residents of Hashmonaim enjoy manicured lawns, top-notch schools, and panoramic views of the surrounding hillsides. There’s even a baseball diamond by the entrance, just past the guardhouse.
Nearly half of Hashmonaim’s 2,600 settlers are from the New York area. With the Ben-Gurion Airport a convenient 22-minute drive away, many residents actually keep their white-collar American jobs, working remotely and commuting back as needed. Prospective settlers receive a handy FAQ sheet: “Is this area over the ‘Green Line’?” reads one question. “Geographically and tax-wise, yes,” the sheet explains. “Security-wise and politically, no.” In other words: Yes, this settlement is technically illegal according to international law. But because it’s guarded by armed men 24/7, and because the Israeli government officially sanctions the settlement, Hashmonaim doesn’t feel illegal.
Hashmonaim’s settlers are religious Zionists, meaning they see the land beneath their homes as God-given. It’s a territorial claim passionately disputed by the neighboring Palestinian village of Nil’in, the two enclaves separated by a barbed-wire fence.
…Continue reading “Living the American Dream in the West Bank” in VICE.