My 3 Favorite Articles of 2020

My favorite articles of 2020 all coalesce thematically around "freedom," which I am currently writing about in book form. Threading through these articles, too, is my critique of "equality."

Two articles specifically address "freedom" in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic:

In March 2020, I wrote about how the rhetoric of "freedom" is weaponized by those who wish to do harm and to dominate other people.

The rhetoric of freedom — and it is very specifically an American understanding — is code for ethical carelessness, as well as political and social dominance. "Freedom!" functions as the invincibility shield of white supremacists, who shout it like "fire" in a theater. And, like the chaos of a fire, it is tactically deployed by Republican and conservative leaders to incite civic unrest and the public's distrust of government.

You can read this article HERE.

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In August, I examined how the language of "my body, my choice" was coopted by anti-maskers.

The appropriation of “my body, my choice” maliciously equalizes two distinct issues, collapsing the fundamental difference between the two: The coronavirus pandemic is a public health crisis; abortion is a personal, medical issue....

But, it is a fact — a real, medical fact — that a deeply considered decision to have a medical procedure is not a virus. Simply put, I cannot “catch” an abortion because a friend of mine has one. And, guess what? Neither can you.

You can read this article HERE.

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In September, I wrote about the malicious, misogynistic attack on Caster Semenya — how bigots wield "equality" as a way to continue to oppress women of color, queer and trans women. It is the fallacy of equality — that all women have the same bodies, the same hormone levels, the same everything — that produces systemic discrimination.

The language of “fairness” is stunning since competition is not fair, and fairness is not the objective of any competition. (Why, for example, was Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps not barred from competition for his various “physical advantages,” including his disproportionate wingspan, double-jointedness, and low lactic-acid levels?)

Yet, this language of equality is weaponized time and again to discriminate against women (think, anti-abortionists’ argument that a fetus’ life is equal to that of woman’s). Specifically, it is used to oppress, subjugate and control women’s bodies....

When women — especially Black women — are too good, when their excellence threatens men, these men will do anything to steal that power, including positioning themselves as the saviors of “equal rights” and “fairness” for white women. This language is about dehumanizing black women in order to delegitimize their excellence, no matter their testosterone levels — if the decades of racist dog-whistling against Serena William’s excellence isn’t a firm case-in-point.

You can read this article HERE.

Thanks for reading. ~mb

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