Gender Matters

Gender Matters displayed on open laptop with Akiba Solomon to the left. Gender Reporter and Columnist Akiba Solomon writes about race, gender, the assaults on women’s reproductive healthcare and rights, and how women of color and poor women stand to lose the most.

Follow Akiba @akibasolomon


Eat the Cake, Anna-Mae

Beyoncé was decidely anti-feminist at The Grammys.

What Jezebel Gets Wrong About R. Kelly

When an allegedly feminist blog bigs up “Black Panties,” the new album by the alleged pedophile, it makes you wonder what a feminist is.

About Islan Nettles

As the clock tick tocks on the Islan Nettles case a message is being sent: Transwomen of color’s lives don’t matter.

How '12 Years a Slave' Exposes Early Rape Culture

The sexual violence against the enslaved woman Patsy reminds us that slavery lays in the DNA of rape culture

A Note About Chris Brown, Rape Culture and Our Ethics

Chris Brown recently told the Guardian that he ‘lost his virginity’ at age eight. What actually happened was a rape–a fact that deserves more than a passing mention.

What Does DJ Mister Cee's Coming Out Mean to Hip-Hop?

In the aftermath of Mister Cee’s coming out, activists, thinkers and industry insiders talk about its effect on the notoriously homophobic industry.

On Saying No to Miley Cyrus, the Habitual Twerk-Crosser

I dream of a world where black women dancers have enough options, wherewithal and dignity to just say no.

Cocoa Butter, India.Arie and Colorism Trolling in the Music Industry

R&B meets colorism meets online marketing again. It’s annoying.

On Steubenville, Guns, and Healthy Echo Chambers

Sexual violence is horrible. It’s also an extremely complicated issue to handle online. That’s why we need to help each other sort it out, take a break if needed–and allow room for the complexity of human compassion.

CNN Contributing Producer Probes Lingering Pain of the 'One Drop' Rule

CNN’s upcoming “Black in America 5” wades into the deep of black identity and skin color politics. Here, Dr. Yaba Blay, a Ghanain-American scholar whose independent work sparked the special, talks about the nuances of a topic often considered too hot TV.

Fighting HIV/AIDS Stigma the Red Shoe Way

Humor blogger and Red Pump Project co-founder Luvvie Ajayi blends fun and fashion with the serious topic of HIV/AIDS and stigma.

The Big Military Story No One Wants to Talk About Right Now: Rape

The General Petraeus sex scandal is all the rage. But we need to focus our attention on how the military is handling routine rape and retaliation against survivors in service.

Five Race and Gender Justice Lessons Learned from This Marathon Election Cycle

It’s a cliche to say that the work doesn’t end after Election Day. But people keep saying it because it’s true! Herewith, some takeaways from the past four years and next steps.

A Personal Take on the Nina Simone Biopic's Casting Troubles

The unauthorized biopic of Nina Simone has been riddled with criticism for casting Mary J. Blige and, most recently, Zoe Saldana in the starring role. Here, an (admittedly sentimental) argument for why it’s a fail.

The Cleveland Uppercut, Lil Reese and Camera Phone Savagery

Camera phone videos of black men beating up black women are all the rage. What does that say about us, the viewers?

'Binders Full of Women,' Violent Single Moms and Other Debate Moments

At least nobody can call the second debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama boring.

Why is Abortion a Sidenote in the Big Show?

Staunchly anti-choice Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan got off easy on reproductive health rights at last night’s debate. Which makes sense, since the issue was cast as a personal matter.

Collateral Damage in the War on Women

Poor and uninsured women of color are starting to feel the results after two years of relentless attacks on family planning infrastructure. Akiba Solomon reports from Texas.

We Can't Afford to Participate in a 'Justice for Some' Culture

Coverage of the case of Michelle Kosilek, the Massachusetts prisoner who will receive state-funded gender reassignment surgery, has sparked lots of vicious, vengeful, anti-trans comments. Here’s why that’s dangerous for everyone.

What's the Best Way for Hip-Hop to Criticize Itself? [Reader Forum]

Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad,” and Akiba Solomon’s take on it, kicks off a conversation at about how hiphop can take a stand while still being listenable.