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This is an announcement. 

Out of all the places I could have put an announcement, I will admit that it probably doesn't make the most logistical sense to put it here. 

If I'd had the opportunity to put it somewhere that makes more sense for announcing things, such as Facebook or Twitter, I promise you I would have done that. However—and please don't become too distracted by this—but the vast majority of my social media accounts were hacked sometime back by an extremely persistent individual or entity whom I have thus far been unsuccessful at defeating, so I do not currently have anywhere else to put this. 

Moving on. 

As we discussed, there is an announcement. Soon it will be upon us. But first, a warm-up announcement: 

I told you this because I thought it might lend some credibility to the actual announcement, which is that I wrote a second book. For real this time. The book is finished. It has 518 pages. There is no going back at this point. There's a super official book page and everything. 

As is tradition, a variety of ordering experiences are available.

For example, if you wish to be taken directly to the book page with no extra fanfare, please click the regular button:

If you wish to use a larger button to go directly to the book page, please click the big button: 

If you wish to have a more difficult experience, the hard button is for you: 

If you do not wish to interact with the book any further, please follow this button to safety: 

If you want to feel slightly weirder than you currently do before visiting the book page, please click here: 

If you wish for me to apologize for writing the book and/or for the bird collage, that option is also available:

If you just want to click a bunch of buttons, please go here: 


Okay. The announcement is complete. We may now proceed to the bonus phase. 

Perhaps this event was not promotional enough for you. Perhaps you wish to be subjected to a truly unnecessary level of marketing both related and unrelated to my book. Perhaps you simply wish to experience the future in whatever form it takes. If this is the case, I have great news for you: 

I recently learned how to use Instagram, and over the next several days, I intend to explore the limits of its potential, possibly even discovering new ways of using it. I will be relentless, and you will regret becoming involved, but you do have the opportunity to become involved if you wish. It's also completely possible that I decide against this and just post extreme close-ups of my belly button. Or something else could happen. One can never know these things. 

Thank you for your time and patience. I hope you can find it in your hearts to still respect me after this. 


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Allie Brosh is back!
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And so is Glenn!
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I didn't know anyone noticed! actually been lurking but generally felt like I need to disconnect from things for a while

A sweeping new bill targets California’s housing crisis

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A chat with the activist who first dreamed up SB 827.

California is in the midst of crippling housing crisis. The state’s population has steadily grown, but it hasn’t been building new places for people to live at anything close to the same rate. It now ranks 49th in housing units per capita.

The predictable consequence of demand growing faster than supply is that existing housing in the state, especially in its biggest cities, has become insanely expensive. Seven of the 10 most expensive US real estate markets are Californian. The median home price in the state is $524,000; in San Francisco it is approaching $1.3 million.

Rising prices push middle-class workers further and further from their jobs, leading to unhealthy commutes and traffic congestion. Low-income Californians are increasingly forced to choose between rent and food or health care, adding to the state’s hunger and health problems, or being pushed out of housing altogether, adding to its burgeoning homeless population. According to analysts at McKinsey, the housing crisis is costing California $140 billion a year in lost economic output.

State lawmakers are finally beginning to take the crisis seriously. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature passed a slate of 15 housing bills, which would (among other things) raise almost $1 billion a year to subsidize affordable housing. More housing bills are slated for 2018. Meanwhile, the state transportation agency, CalTrans, is aiming to double transit ridership between 2015 and 2020, in part to encourage urban density.

A tangle of land-use restrictions makes it difficult to build homes in California

But those legislative reforms are fighting against an artificially constrained market. The basic problem remains: It is difficult to build housing in California, thanks in part to a thicket of local parking regulations, building requirements, zoning restrictions, and bureaucratic choke points. The state’s (generally whiter, wealthier) residents use these tools to prevent new construction that might house (generally more diverse, poorer) newcomers.

As long as supply is artificially constrained and demand continues growing, affordable housing subsidies will never be able to keep up. As long as localities can’t or won’t build dense housing near train stations and bus stops, transit investments won’t pay off like they could.

A graph from an excellent CalMatters explainer on the CA housing crisis. CalMatters
A graph from an excellent CalMatters explainer on the CA housing crisis.

Now, there is a solution on the table that goes directly after this root cause. SB 827, a new bill before the California Senate, would require that all areas within a mile of a high-frequency transit stop, or within a half-mile of a bus or transit corridor, allow heights of at least 45 or 85 feet (depending on distance from transit, width of street, and other characteristics). That’s roughly four to eight stories, far higher than what many local zoning commissions allow.

SB 827 would also waive any minimum parking requirements in those areas and prohibit any design requirement that would have the effect of arbitrarily lowering the square footage allowed on a lot.

The bill’s changes would apply to huge swathes of the state, including the majority of land in several major cities. It would unleash dense development In markets long dominated by powerful anti-housing activists (often called NIMBYs, for Not In My Backyard). It represents a housing revolution.

The bill was recently introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener, along with co-authors Assemblymember Phil Ting and Sen. Nancy Skinner. Unsurprisingly, it has drawn heated opposition from the aforementioned NIMBYs.

What remains to be seen is how the state’s powerful low-income and social-justice community will come down on it. There are fears that development will displace low-income residents near transit, increasing housing stock but exacerbating inequality; at present, the bill contains no explicit measures to prevent such displacement. (Its sponsors say they are working on adding some.)

The housing advocate behind SB 827 is spoiling for a fight

To answer that and other questions about the bill, I called the guy who dreamed it up, Brian Hanlon. A longtime housing advocate, Hanlon helped start the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund, which provides legal advice to homebuilders.

Last year, after some success helping write, push, and ultimately pass SB 167 (which strengthened California’s Housing Accountability Act), Hanlon started a new group of pro-housing advocates called California YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard). Its mission is to back a suite of housing bills including SB 187, which he helped develop and sell to lawmakers.

Despite the sweeping effects of the bill, Hanlon says the reaction has been largely positive. Among other things, SB 827 is exposing a deep split in the state’s environmental community between those focused on climate change and urban density (generally younger) and those focused on old-school preservation and population limits (generally older). “These tensions have been simmering for a while,” Hanlon says, “but I think this is the bill that’s going to force people to pick a side.”

The bill will go through several committees in the California Senate and Assembly, likely picking up changes and amendments along the way. Its final fate will be clear by September or October.

My conversation with Hanlon has been edited for length and clarity.

california sprawl Shutterstock
Not very dense.

David Roberts

According to an op-ed in the Berkeley Daily Planet, SB 827 will cause “massive damage to the global environment for thousands of years. Possibly enough to tip the balance to the extinction of the entire human race.” Can you explain to Californians why you want to drive humans extinct?

Brian Hanlon

I was hoping your first question was going to be, “Your campaign for SB 827 has the momentum of a runaway freight train. How do you explain your popularity?” [laughter]

David Roberts

The extinction thing caught my eye.

Brian Hanlon

Berklelyside is the local, online Berkeley paper. The Berkeley Daily Planet is the blog of rich local crank, Becky O’Malley, who loves to hate on all the kids nowadays and the tech industry, even though her husband made millions in the ’90s selling his tech firm.

I thought limousine liberalism was a Fox News trope. Turns out it’s a real thing.

But to answer that question seriously: I do take threats to the planet’s ability to sustain a large human population seriously, which is one of the reasons I support SB 827. There is no way California can meet its aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets [40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030] unless we get a lot more people living near jobs and transit in multi-family housing. Elon Musk is not going to save us. We are not going to EV our way out of this.

Exactly what land would be affected?

David Roberts

Okay, let’s talk about SB 827. Allow me to play devil’s advocate — I want to run through some of the objections I’ve seen and hear your answers.

First, the bill’s definition of “transit-rich areas” [to which changes would apply] is controversial. As the San Francisco planning department pointed out in their analysis of the bill, 827 defines everything within a quarter mile of a transit corridor as transit-rich, which leads to some counterintuitive results, where you’re densifying areas which are not actually that well-served by transit.

Brian Hanlon

This is a normal thing for a first draft of a bill. We’re still engaging other stakeholders. Independent analysts are helping us clarify different things, so we can define, what is a bus intersection? What if the actual stops are on opposite sides of the street, but one block away? Is that an intersection? How close does it need to be? What counts as a corridor?

All these technical issues will be worked out. I don’t think it will be in the first round of amendments, but folks have got to remember, this bill still has to go through lots of policy committees in both the Senate and the Assembly. There’s ample opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions and for us to get this bill in tip-top shape when we send it to the governor’s desk for signature.

David Roberts

Another criticism is, if you tie these changes to bus routes and bus stops, and to the width of streets, then routine changes in transit routes, transit frequency, or sidewalk widths can inadvertently trigger fairly radical changes in building requirements. It could be unpredictable and difficult for developers to plan around. Have you given that thought?

Brian Hanlon

Of course. There are ways around that issue as well. We could just say that this bill affects areas that have X level of service on, pick a date. That doesn’t change. Then the legislature, in its wisdom, can always amend laws and change that date in the future, if new routes come up. That would provide some clarity on exactly which areas the bill impacts.

Also, it would get at this other issue some folks have worried about: What if people just chill all their bus service to avoid this? But that wouldn’t work if you were to just pick a date.

Dense mid-rise development around Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California. Flickr/Eric Fredericks
Dense mid-rise development around Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California.

Will the bill spark a backlash?

David Roberts

What about the related issue, that this will create additional political incentive for people to oppose new transit routes because they now come with massive land-use changes?

Brian Hanlon

Communities are already fighting transit expansion! It doesn’t make sense for the state, which has limited resources, to invest in high-quality transit if we’re not able to build the housing near it to make that high-quality transit viable.

I think this clarifies the fight. It makes clear that we’re going to invest in transit where it will do the most good. It will do the most good in areas where lots of people can access it.

David Roberts

You don’t think 827 will lend intensity to anti-transit political forces?

Brian Hanlon

I think that concern is overstated. People who are fighting transit now will continue to fight it in the future.

Would this bill add further wind to the sails of transit opponents? Yeah, it probably would a little bit. But it would also do a massive amount of good that would benefit the lives of millions of Californians, not to mention billions of people who haven’t yet been born, who would really prefer to be born in a world that isn’t 4 degrees hotter than it is right now.

Politics and policy are about tradeoffs, and for folks who care about increasing equality of transit access in California, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and building an inclusive California, this bill accomplishes those goals far more than not passing this bill. [laughter] Far more than anything else on offer.

What effect will SB 827 have on low-income residents?

David Roberts

If I’m a poor person who lives near transit and I think about my community becoming more like the walkable communities I’m familiar with ... it seems perfectly logical for me to think I’m not going to be able to afford that, that I’m going to get pushed out.

Brian Hanlon

That makes intuitive sense, but when you actually look at how displacement happens in California, it is not through that process. Look at the home values for the single-family homes near the Expo line, near BART, near Caltrain. They’re astronomically expensive! No development has occurred there since prior to when those lines went in.

There’s a tremendous amount of empirical evidence showing that what makes housing really expensive is not growing it when you have a great economy and a growing population. That’s what we’ve been doing in California.

SB 827 does not override any local demolition control a city might have. If you have a law saying you can’t demolish rent-controlled housing, guess what, under SB 827, you can’t demolish rent-controlled housing.

I have reached out to quite a few low-income advocates, and I know Sen. Wiener’s office has as well. We’re going to continue that engagement process. We’re going to add in stronger anti-displacement protections to SB 827 really soon.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin District Shutterstock

David Roberts

YIMBY advocates worry that adding such protections will just give communities more tools to slow things down.

Brian Hanlon

You’ve got to be careful about the sort of protections you’re implementing. What you don’t want to do is allow wealthy, exclusionary communities in Silicon Valley to thwart all homebuilding by saying, “No, you may not demolish this detached single-family home that sells for $4M.” That’s not a good anti-displacement protection.

That said, not every community has strong anti-displacement measures. And look, even if I firmly believe SB 827 in its current form would be a huge victory for low- and middle-income Californians, I sympathize with someone who gets displaced from a current house and doesn’t have a right to remain in that area. What do they care about the larger macroeconomic issue? They just lost their home.

So I want to make sure SB 827 does not create that sort of situation. That’s why we’re taking our time and trying to craft really good anti-displacement protections that protect people who need protecting, that grant rights to people who need them, but that don’t permit wealthy localities to just stop homebuilding.

David Roberts

Another critique I’ve seen is that the bill is going to substantially raise the value of a lot of land in California without capturing any of that increased value to use for public amenities and livability. Does that critique make sense to you?

Brian Hanlon

This value that they want to capture only exists because of current state restrictions that increase the delta between the cost of construction and the market price of housing. That’s the delta they’re trying to use, the delta that is causing millions of Californians to live with tenseness in their chest and a grinding of their teeth at night because they don’t know if they can make a go of it here. It is just too expensive.

What do we care more about here: preventing landowners from making some extra money or actually providing a California that meets the needs of its residents?

I’ll add, SB 827 does not override any local inclusionary zoning ordinances. A place like San Francisco would actually see production of far more deed-restricted, below-market-rate housing units under 827, even though it could supersede the city’s local implementation of the Density Bonus Law. A lot of value will be recaptured in the form of housing for low-income people.

David Roberts

So San Francisco’s low-income requirements on developers apply to mid-rise, multi-residence buildings, and because 827 will lead to many more mid-rise, multi-residence buildings, it will lead to more low-income housing. Is that the logic?

Brian Hanlon

That’s correct, that’s correct.

And folks from Sen. Weiner’s office are working now specifically with Los Angeles, which recently passed Measure JJJ [meant to encourage affordable housing near transit]. We want to make sure SB 827 does not override that work.

According to the planning department, it seems that SB 827 will actually enhance San Francisco’s current program, but it’s not clear that it would enhance LA’s. So we are working with folks from Los Angeles, in the mayor’s office and in the Department of City Planning, to make sure that we don’t screw up this program that they just passed.

I am confident we will be able to work with stakeholders who want to make sure SB 827 does not harm their local efforts to promote affordable housing.

David Roberts

I also hear people say that the only housing options for families in cities like San Francisco are single-family houses, and if everything becomes mid-rise apartments families will be driven out.

Brian Hanlon

Okay, that’s bullshit. What’s driving families out of cities — why San Francisco has more dogs than kids — is because we’ve been not building homes for decades. High prices have driven families out of San Francisco and the Bay Area for decades. So that dystopic view of the future that some critics have, it’s already here. It’s happening.

SB 827 would enable families to stay in California by making housing much more affordable. Remember, there’s a lot of existing single-family houses. In fact, most of the housing in California is single-family housing. Seventy-two percent of the zoned area in San Francisco, the densest big city outside of New York, is zoned for single-family or duplexes.

Right now, the people living in those units are often unrelated adults. I talked to one person in San Francisco who is paying $1,900 for a room in an 8-person house. That’s dystopia.

I lived for six years in the Mission, in a three-bedroom apartment, occupied by three unrelated adults who didn’t even really like each other all that much [laughter]. I would’ve preferred to have my own one-bedroom or studio in San Francisco, I just couldn’t afford it. Part of the reason you have all these non-families living in family-sized units is that there aren’t the other smaller units for them to move into. [SB 827] would free up existing family-sized units for actual families.

Will SB 827 override local control of housing decisions?

David Roberts

SB 827 would prohibit any arbitrary design limitations that reduce square footage. What is the line between an arbitrary design restriction and one that is well suited to maintaining local livability? Who decides?

Brian Hanlon

It’s objective if you can actually write it down in a way that isn’t just based on the whims of whichever planning commissioner happened to be sitting in council that day.

But, look, if you wanted to say that the soul of the city is, you know, Spanish Colonial style, and we are gonna live that way forever, okay, fine, you can still do that. You can require a certain type of fenestration and façade in your design ordinance. That wouldn’t impact the square footage.

So, are communities going to be able to create rules that dictate what buildings look like? Absolutely! You can still do that under SB 827.

And one thing I’ll add, because there has been some confusion on this point, even among some of our friends: SB 827 does not impact the discretionary entitlement process at all.

David Roberts

What is that process?

Brian Hanlon

In the vast majority of the world, where the rule of law pervades, if a developer proposes to build something and it complies with local rules, civil servants analyze the proposal, check off the boxes, and say, “Okay, here’s a building permit!” That’s not how it works in California.

In California, we have rules, but those are just the starting point of years-long negotiations — part of the reason we’re in this crisis. And so, the Planning Commission and the Design and Circulation Committee, the Design Review Committee, the TPS Report Committee, whatever, they all get their say. Things go back and forth, there’s endless neighborhood engagement. And then it can go to the City Council or the Board of Supervisors.

827 doesn’t impact any of that. It doesn’t impact the CEQA — California Environmental Quality Act — at all, it doesn’t impact the discretionary entitlement process, all it’s really doing is saying that, given the process that already exists, you need to allow more density.

The way this bill works is, it amends something called the Density Bonus law. If developers meet certain conditions, then local governments are required to give certain statutorily defined concessions. SB 827 expands the menu of concessions required if the project meets certain conditions. It doesn’t technically change any zoning.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, at the Capitol, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.  AP
SB 827 sponsor Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), in the California Senate.

Is there a political coalition that can pass the bill?

David Roberts

Let’s talk about the politics of all of this. What does the political landscape look like?

Brian Hanlon

All the discussions that we’ve had so far have been positive. People have some concerns, a lot of them entirely reasonable, but as we move through the process, I think we’re going to get sizable support.

A lot of folks who represent more exurban areas, Inland Empire and parts of the Central Valley, they’re going to love this bill, even though it’s not going to allow more homebuilding in their areas. I spoke with one member in the legislature who just said, “I am sick and tired of these hypocritical, rich coastal liberals talking this good game on the environment, passing tax breaks for their rich constituents to buy Teslas, while not building any housing in their district. They’re displacing their middle-income people to my district, where they’re now driving an hour-and-a-half or two hours each way to get to work.”

You’re going to have some interesting alliances on this bill — folks like Ting, Skinner, and Wiener, who genuinely care about the environment and the housing crisis, along with members who represent outer districts.

There’s a real path forward for victory for this bill because the crisis is felt by millions of Californians. All the polling that I’ve seen — including some private polling that I was involved in commissioning — has shown that solid majorities of Californians support more homebuilding, even in their neighborhood, even if it changes the character of their neighborhood. People recognize that unless we start entertaining some of these more radical solutions, the dystopia of today will remain with us forever.

[SB 827] is radical in the sense that it gets at the root cause of the problem, but it is also eminently reasonable. The type of housing this bill would authorize is how cities used to be built: mid-rise, relatively cheap construction near jobs and transit. It’s not a crazy vision of the future with no precedent. We’re just trying to enable old-fashioned zoning again.

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2329 days ago
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The Senate Tax Vote: A Farce in Both Competence And Democracy.

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Tonight's Senate vote (51-49 for passing) on the tax plan is the most hilarious thing ever.  It is also one of the most cruel, heartless and greedy acts by the US Republican Party, ever.

Note, first, that the tax bill is almost 500 pages, and that it seems to be a first draft.  Note, second, that Democrats were not allowed to read what they were supposed to vote on.  That is perhaps not the best way to do the business of the American people, right?

But because the real goal of the tax plans is to benefit the rich Republican donors, the new oligarchy in this country, it doesn't matter that few people seem to have been able to read the enormous stack of papers:

The above tweets demonstrate sheer incompetence.

But the next two tweets demonstrate something far worse:

This is a sign of the growing concentration of power among the wealthiest Republican donors.  That people who are not elected to carry out the business of American people can slip their own wishes into the tax plan, just like that, is frightening.  The rest of us don't have that power, after all, and after the income inequalities in this country are further exacerbated, we will have even less power.  Even the power of complaining might be taken away from us with the death of net neutrality.

The hilarious part is, naturally, that both the House and Senate versions of the tax "reform" are extremely open giveaways to the rich, with a few freebies to the fundamentalists, too.  There's almost no attempt to pretend otherwise.  Thanks, Citizens United!

And thanks, all MAGA-hatted poorly informed voters (to put it kindly).  You, too, will be fucked unless you happen to own a few billion dollars, because you are not in the true Trumpian base.

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2414 days ago
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Nancy Pelosi is that woman

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Pelosi’s performance on Meet the Press is why so many women don’t come forward about sexual harassment.

I was very young when I told my boss that a colleague had showed me a video of himself in his underwear at my desk, how he called my cellphone late at night drunk, and how he turned up at my front door one night. When he asked me to meet his parents, I told her, enough is enough.

My boss groaned. That’s bad, she agreed. Then she told me how to handle it: “You can’t just reject him like a normal man,” she warned. “Just stop by his house for one round of drinks with the parents.”

It was a punch to the gut. The woman I saw as a role model, an advocate, and, frankly, a feminist encouraged me to accommodate him, instead of telling him to back off. My colleague’s behavior was an annoyance. My boss’s behavior was a betrayal.

Nancy Pelosi just did the same thing on national television to millions of women.

In an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Sunday, Pelosi declared a “zero-tolerance” policy on sexual harassment. Then she stood by Michigan Rep. John Conyers — a powerful Democrat who, it was recently reported, quietly settled a wrongful dismissal case in 2015 when a woman on his staff said she was fired for refusing his repeated sexual advances. Conyers maintains his innocence, though he announced he’s stepping down from his top Democratic spot on the Judiciary Committee while the investigation is ongoing.

Pelosi could have rattled off a set of meaningless prepared sentences to fill air and buy her party time to figure out what to do. Maybe behind the scenes she is working to oust him. But in public, on a popular Sunday show, she ran through a list of excuses for Conyers that are the very reasons women are afraid to come forward and report sexual harassment in the first place:

Conyers is the credible one. He is an “icon,” she told Todd. The woman? “I do not know who they are. Do you?” she asked the host. “They have not really come forward.” (The woman came forward three years ago, dogging her case through an opaque process in Congress that bars her from speaking about it. She spoke to BuzzFeed anonymously.)

Conyers is the real victim. Pelosi is withholding judgment until Conyers gets “due process,” she said. But Conyers got something better than due process. Congress wrote the rules for how sexual harassment claims are handled, exempting members from requirements that most other employers must follow. The woman, meanwhile, got less. She didn’t have a right to free lawyer. She couldn’t speak about her case. And it took months. Then she couldn’t find a job on the Hill. “I was basically blackballed,” she told BuzzFeed. “There was nowhere I could go.”

Conyers is a good man. “He understands what is at stake here and he’ll do the right thing,” Pelosi said, explaining how he’s going to think about what he’s done. He’s the top Democrat on the committee that will be responsible for possible sexual harassment legislation coming soon. “A good deal of that would be done by the Judiciary Committee. And I know that John would take that into consideration.” The woman, meanwhile, first raised her complaints three years ago. Will she get to explain what’s at stake for herself?

Conyers cares about women. “He’s done a great deal to protect women,” Pelosi said, pointing out he worked on the Violence Against Women Act. How, she implied, could he have hurt a woman who works for him?

Conyers’ behavior isn’t so bad. “Was it one accusation? Was it two?” Pelosi said when talking through how she is considering Conyers’s case. In an age of serial predators, maybe one woman’s story shouldn’t count.

Congress is considering some reforms to the process by which people can report sexual harassment against its members, specifically the rules that keep the cases under wraps. Two weeks ago, five current and former female members of Congress came forward with their experiences of sexual harassment on the Hill, and Pelosi vocally backed proposed changes to make the system more transparent. She still supports them, she says.

But with one powerful man’s job on the line, she seemed to stand just as firmly by his side, at least for now. Conyers is 88, and his seat is in a safely Democratic district. There’s not much power for Pelosi to lose if she were to work to oust him. The decision feels off given the current cultural moment.

In the past year, millions of women across the globe have taken to the streets to denounce Donald Trump’s policies and treatment of women; a viral social media hashtag, #MeToo, has emboldened women to share their stories of harassment and assault without shame, and women are standing up at great personal risk to name perpetrators of sexual harassment. They’re demanding to be heard.

Will the first female speaker of the House hear them? Will she listen to one woman who spoke up?

Last year, Pelosi joked about a flap between Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, repeating Albright’s famous line: “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.”

Whatever happens next, today Pelosi is that woman.

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2420 days ago
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What Is This?

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[Content Note: Misogyny.]

In the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and seventeen, Wired published an(other) entire issue of its magazine in which every single feature was written by men.

Instead of not doing that in the first place, or acknowledging it with a serious editor's note reflecting on the regrettable lack of opportunities extended to women, the men-only issue was published instead with a cringe-inducing "humorous" note recognizing the women who made the issue possible, even though there are zero bylines for women.

The note reads: "WONDER WOMEN WHO HELPED GET THIS ISSUE OUT: My eight-months-pregnant CrossFit coach; Michelle Obama; my acupuncturist; the one and only RBG; senior editor Lauren Murrow; the moms working at Saigon Sandwich; Lexi "Poppy Seed" Pandell; new fellowship applicants; Amisha Patel and her amazing functional tags for Copilot; Lynda Carter; Coconut the dog; departing photo editor Sarah Silberg; electronic music masters Suzanne Ciani and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith; executive editor Maria Streshinsky; Thelma and Louise; Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale; Ilana Glazer; Kim from Better Call Saul; articles editor Sarah Fallon; managing editor Erica Jewell; Constance Wu; Melissa Clark; the superheroic all-female WIRED photo department."

In addition to equating actual living women who worked on the magazine with fictional characters and a fucking dog, the "superheroic all-female WIRED photo department" isn't even individually named. What's the excuse there — it would have made the list too long? Maybe that should have been the first clue that including "Thelma and Louise" wasn't a great idea.

Treating the exclusion of women from opportunities as so unserious that it can be addressed with a "joke," the punchline of which is that the editorial staff of Wired believes its female staffers contribute as much as a goddamned dog, is actually worse than not acknowledging their misogyny at all.

"Yeah, we know we did this shitty thing, but OH WELL LADIES!" is gross and shameful. On many occasions, I've been obliged to grit my teeth and bite my tongue in response to men who made a hee-hee silly joke in response to their misogyny in professional environments, and I take up space in solidarity with any woman who works at Wired and feels understandably slighted by this failful, accountability-dodging horseshit.
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2535 days ago
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2535 days ago
Get it together, Wired.


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I'm busy so read this.
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2554 days ago
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