Why These Activists Are Protesting Hindu Nationalism in Trump’s America

On Friday, September 7th, six activists from Chicago South Asians for Justice stood up in the middle of the plenary panel of the World Hindu Congress in Chicago to voice their resistance to the Hindu nationalist political movement currently ascendant in India. Chanting “RSS turn around, we don’t want you in our town!,” the activists—mostly…

Why Are We Still Debating Whether Trump is Racist?

Defining things as racist is like that exercise swim instructors do, where they tell kids to swim to them but keep walking backwards so the goal is never actually reached. Except in this exercise, the American public is trying to agree on whether something is racist or not, and the swim instructor is the ever-receding standard for…

Letting Go of American Exceptionalism, One Harvard-Educated Banker at a Time

It has, as the New York Times reports, been the year of the lynch mob. Amid the increasing hysteria of a blatantly Hindu-supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-poor government, mob lynchings have been on the rise in India. Since 2015, reports The Quint, 68 people have been lynched, most of them Muslims or Hindus from oppressed castes. Stoked by vote-hungry politicians…

Who Gets to be Naked at Harvard University?

Every semester at Harvard University, students take their clothes off. The event is called Primal Scream, and it happens on midnight before the first day of final exams. As the hour approaches, there is a palpable buzz in the central quad, the Harvard Yard. Students gather in various states of undress: towels and trenchcoats, gym shorts…

PSA: Women in Power Don’t Necessarily Help Women

Originally published at Feministing Donald Trump and his cadre of evil cronies sure have a way of making the worst decisions, always. A recent treat: DeVos’s announcement that she will roll back Title IX enforcement. This anti-survivor plan, cooked up after conversations with MRAs, has been deemed a terrible idea by at least 100,000 student activists. The recent decision illuminates a fact…

Final Clubs, Take Two

I continue to weigh in on Harvard’s contentious debate over single-gender secret societies: The final clubs. After a recent administration-level decision to sanction members of unaffiliated single-gender clubs, I do a happy dance and offer up some analysis.    

Harvard’s Final Clubs and Cultures of Exclusivity

Check out my new piece at Time about Harvard’s final clubs — and why they represent a legacy of exclusivity that has no place in the 21st century University. Walking down Massachusetts Avenue on a Friday night was always an exercise in exclusion. This main drag through Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, Mass., has the rare…

Why Monogamy’s Not for Me

When I tell my parents that I wish I’d been less serious about my college relationships, they simultaneously snort into their spaghetti. Who, you? Our daughter who has publicly admitted to making out with half the lesbian, queer, bisexual, bicurious and questioning women at Harvard? Less serious? They’ve read my sex writing. But sex writing can be…