Shannon Weber, Ph.D

Content Writer at The Body Is Not An Apology. Contributing writer at AlterNet and Bitch Media. Anti-racist and feminist news and culture analysis to influence and change the world.

The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways to Check Your Privilege With Fast Food and Other Service Workers

My brother is a service industry worker. He works at a hamburger restaurant doing all sorts of tasks, from taking orders from testy customers who want to order items that don’t exist on the menu, to cleaning up the messes people leave behind on their tables, to cleaning bathrooms and taking out garbage as swarms of flies buzz around his face. All for ten dollars an hour. Many of the ways that poor and working-class people, as well as immigrants and people of color in general, are demonized also

Why We Need Black Feminism More Than Ever Under Trump

In April 1977, members of the black feminist Combahee River Collective—named after Harriet Tubman’s 1863 raid in South Carolina to lead more than 700 enslaved people to freedom—published a document called the Combahee River Collective Statement. In this document, they made a case for understanding how racism, sexism, class oppression, and homophobia are all connected, writing, “If black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would
The Body Is Not An Apology

What It's Like to Get a Queer Divorce After Fighting for Marriage Equality

In a few words: it sucks. Breakups are horrible things, even if, as in my case, they really need to happen. And getting a divorce, with the complications of being legally entangled with someone else and having to get government institutions involved in order to start rebuilding your life, is a unique brand of horrible. But getting a divorce after being denied the right to enter into a marriage, fighting for it in high-profile ways for years while being attacked by the Right and often mocked by
The Body Is Not An Apology

5 Undeniable Reasons We Need To Talk About Christian Privilege

When I was four years old, my parents moved me from Los Angeles to northern Idaho, where I would live for thirteen years—plus a year-long stint in heavily Mormon Utah during first grade—until I moved away to New England for college. During this time, I was exposed to a poor and working-class, white-dominated culture in which evangelical Christianity was the reigning religion, and anything that deviated from it was seen as shocking, suspect, and potentially evil. Living in Idaho meant I had a fr
Political Research Associates

Olympics Row Reveals White Supremacist Pagan Foothold

This week The New York Times reported that the uniforms of this year’s Norwegian Olympic Alpine ski team have caused a stir among those concerned about neonazi co-optation of Viking symbols. The Viking-themed uniforms include the runic Tyr symbol, used chiefly in a linguistic context but which also refers to an ancient Norse god of war. It’s also become a symbol used by the Nordic Resistance Movement, a neonazi organization founded in Sweden in 1997, with additional official chapters in Finland

Conservative Attacks on Obama-Era Education Guidelines Ignore How Racism Works

Betsy DeVos and company are at it again. The DeVos-led Department of Education is currently cooking up ways to get rid of the 2014 Obama-era guidelines for K-12 public school discipline, which was aimed at ameliorating discrepancies based on race, class and disability when it comes to how students are punished in school. In November, conservative think tanks Center of the American Experiment and the Fordham Institute helped coordinate a meeting at the Department of Education wherein teachers cr
The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways to Check Your Privilege Around Poor and Working-Class Friends

It’s important to come to terms with your class privilege and disrupt your assumptions about how your friends from poor and working-class backgrounds relate to money and wealth. As someone who grew up working-class, my idea of being wealthy was living in a two-story house. The types of extreme wealth I would encounter in adulthood just didn’t exist in the Northwest towns I lived in. Even though my parents had no health insurance or salaried jobs, and I would hear them frequently fighting about
The Body Is Not An Apology

10 Ways I Was More Resilient After 2017 Tried to Kill Us All

As relieved as so many of us were to close out the dumpster fire of a year that was 2016, most of us in the United States—and everyone around the world impacted by American foreign policy—also probably looked toward 2017 with trepidation. Whose lives would be destroyed by the monster just elected to office? Which communities already living on the edge of precarity would be thrown into the abyss? Would the world be annihilated by nuclear war? How quickly will the earth hurtle toward irreversible
The Body Is Not An Apology

Why White North Americans Need to Understand Ourselves as “Settlers”

If you’re white, this land was not made for you and me. Like many white North Americans, I grew up with a vague idea of where my ancestors came from. In my case, they were scattered across Western Europe, and I was fascinated by what their lives must have been like. But I had no real connection to what it means, culturally, to be Irish or Scottish or British or German or Norwegian. One time as a Girl Scout, my troop leader had us create a cookbook with recipes from all of our different cultura
Everyday Feminism

How to Survive the Holidays in a Cross-Class Relationship

The holidays are supposed to be a time of warmth, joy, and pulling family closer. But, as so many of us know, the reality is often far messier. For those of us dating partners who come from a more privileged class background, the holidays can be awkward and even demoralizing. The good news is that none of us want the holidays to be an alienating buzzkill or a (re)traumatizing culture shock for our partner(s). With a healthy dose of humility, a touch of humor, and a lot of self-reflection and c

Who Will Have the Guts to Pull Americans Out of the Wreckage of the Student Loan Crisis in 2020?

Who Will Have the Guts to Pull Americans Out of the Wreckage of the Student Loan Crisis in 2020? Donald Trump and his ally Betsy DeVos are stopping at nothing in shredding our public educational system and further perpetuating the rampant economic and education-based inequality plaguing our increasingly Dickensian society. Their latest move in attacking students is the provision in the tax bill that would tax the tuition waivers of graduate students, which for many students would increase their
Bitch Media

President Ebenezer Scrooge: "A Christmas Carol" Offers A Valuable Lesson This Holiday Season

In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol as a critique of English poverty and class oppression, especially the appalling treatment of the low-income children he visited in “ragged schools.” However, his condemnation wasn’t limited to England: His visit to America (where he was greeted as a literary hero) inspired him to write a critical treatise titled American Notes. Prefiguring many recent political op-eds, he argued that D.C. politics were poisoned with “[d]espicable trickery at elect

Southern Plantations Should be Slave Memorials—Not Storybook Theme Parks or Trump Businesses

Southern Plantations Should be Slave Memorials—Not Storybook Theme Parks, or Trump Businesses The Trump brothers, Eric and Donald Jr., have embarked on a new business venture to open luxury hotels in Mississippi as part of an effort to cash in on the state's blues music culture. These hotels will be far removed from commercial airports or interstate highways and will be in a majority black, economically depressed area "surrounded by cotton and soybean fields," according to the Washington Post.

7 Reasons Why Betsy DeVos' Latest Hire May Be Her Scariest Yet

7 Reasons Why Betsy DeVos' Latest Hire May Be Her Scariest Yet Since taking the helm at the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos has put together a who’s who of for-profiteers, regulatory rollback artists and civil rights skeptics. But her latest hire, conservative attorney Hans Bader for a job in the Office of General Counsel at the Department of Education, may be the most alarming so far. The appointment of Bader—and what we know of his most recent work as senior counsel at the Competitive En
Fodor's Travel Guide

Curses! 11 Witchy Destinations to Visit In Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts is world-renowned for its infamous persecution and execution of twenty people for witchcraft in 1692-1693. What is less commonly known is that Salem, affectionately nicknamed “The Witch City” by locals, has since become a thriving haven for real-life witches, Wiccans, and neopagans. There’s even a section of town called Witchcraft Heights! With more than a million visitors every year, there are several tourist hotspots to be found, such as the Salem Witch Museum, The Witch H
Bitch Media

Heather Heyer Exposed the Entwined History of White Supremacy and Fat Hatred

On August 12, Heather Heyer defended Charlottesville from the mob violence of neo-Nazis and white supremacists—and she paid with her life when James Alex Fields allegedly plunged his car into a crowd of protesters, killing her and wounding several others. As millions of people were reeling from the act of domestic terrorism, Andrew Anglin, editor of neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, published a blog post titled “Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old

Academia is in Crisis—And It’s Political

Cutting-edge and politically engaged scholars are leaving higher education or being pushed out just when voices championing justice and compassion are needed most. Some of the most cutting-edge and politically engaged scholars of our age are leaving higher education or being pushed out. Young academics who graduated from one of the growing numbers of Ph.D programs in women’s and gender studies, ethnic studies, and other interdisciplinary programs—programs that typically trace their histories ba
Teen Vogue

We Need to Stop Calling Emotional Abuse in Queer Relationships "Drama"

Teen girls are constantly stereotyped as more “emotional” than boys and prone to getting into “catfights” and “girl drama.” This sexist notion is particularly confusing for queer girls seeking to date other girls. Since our relationships are often already invisible in most conversations, it makes it even harder to navigate the dating world and figure out what types of expectations are reasonable in relationships. Such “mean girl” stereotyping also impacts how queer girls and women view ourselve
Patheos Pagan

Top 5 Modern-Day Mystics to Survive and Thrive in These Treacherous Times

There is much to mourn since my last piece on Patheos. We mourn the victims of the white supremacist who murdered two men trying to defend two Muslim teen girls on public transit in Portland, Oregon. One of the men killed, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, reportedly had “close ties to the Pagan world.” We mourn those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire, victims of the English government’s greed, never forgetting that the first named victim of the fire was Mohammad Al-Hajali, a 23 year-old Syrian re
Patheos Pagan

The Pagan Case Against Donald Trump

It’s time to provide a corrective to the pagans and witches who support Donald Trump. As I was recently engaging in online discussions about the ethics of participating in the anti-Trump binding rituals that have made headlines, many of them sensationalized, since Inauguration Day 2017, I came across various individuals who claimed to be pagan and also Trump supporters. While this may be naive, I must admit I was astounded to first encounter this pairing of identities. How could anyone who clai
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