It doesn’t much matter what line of argument you take as a woman. If you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it—it’s the fact that you are saying it.

– Mary Beard, speaking at the British Museum in February. Rebecca Mead profiles the Cambridge academic and “troll slayer” in this week’s issue. (via newyorker)

(Source:, via guardian)


After Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, the opinion departments of Guardian US and the St Louis Post-Dispatch partnered to gather readers’ stories from around the world of being racially profiled by police. Our hope is that this sampling will help spur empathy – and then action, everywhere. 

You can read all 18 stories at Comment is free. Do you have an experience to share? Tell us using the #FergusonVoices hashtag. 

The debate about ISIS almost automatically becomes a debate about who’s to blame for it: who started the Iraq War, who withdrew from it, who supported Nouri al-Maliki, who didn’t support the Syrian rebels, who helped to create ISIS, who failed to see ISIS coming, whose policies turned Muslims into jihadists, who has a right to say anything at all. These arguments are a sweet substitute for the thankless task of formulating honest answers to the questions raised by ISIS, which would inevitably mean advocating morally dubious actions with no certainty of a good outcome, as well as having to repudiate many of one’s earlier views.

We have ‘white people’ problems in America. White people problems. You know what that is? That’s where your life is amazing, so you just make shit up to be upset about. People in other countries have real problems: ‘Oh shit — they’re cutting off our heads today!’ …Here we make shit up to be upset about. ‘How come I have to choose a language at the ATM machine? This is bullshit! I’m American!’