Here at Seal, we proudly publish radical, original thinkers and their groundbreaking books. Our authors write more than books, however, and we want to make sure their words are seen. Please check out what our authors are saying about recent events involving gun violence, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for United States president, North Carolina’s bathroom bill, and the Stanford rape case.

Newspaper photo by Daniel R. Blume.

Photo © Daniel R. Blume, licensed CC BY-SA 2.0.

On Orlando and Gun Violence

Helen Boyd, author of She’s Not the Man I Married and My Husband Betty, writes in a blog post about finding joy in the small things amidst the climate of hate and violence against LGBTQ bodies and people of color after the Orlando shooting.

“Take some joy in some small thing. Cry. Keep finding beauty and joy in places others don’t look. Find each other, at vigils and rallies and, yes, in bars. Dance. Give someone else safe harbor, a hug, a thought.”

Amanda Marcotte, of It’s a Jungle Out There, argues that that what happened in Orlando was not only a product of anti-LGBTQ hate and religious radicalization, but also a result of what she calls “toxic masculinity.”

“The horror story of Orlando lays bare what damage that this kind of dominance-oriented masculinity does to our society, right during an election when a overcompensating bully who is completely immersed in the discourse of toxic masculinity is the Republican nominee for president. It’s a stark reminder of why we, as a country, need to get past the politics of tough guy posturing and move towards a more thoughtful, inclusive society.”

Courtney E. Martin, co-editor of Click and author of the upcoming The New Better Off, examines the power of feeling in the period after the Orlando shooting, one of reflection, questioning, and mourning—all of which encompass the idea of what it means to be an aware individual and responsible citizen.

Jessica Valenti (Yes Means Yes!, Full Frontal Feminism, The Purity Myth, and He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know) writes about the intersection of guns, gender, and gun violence and how important it is that Hillary Clinton is “citing gun violence as a women’s issue.”

Julie Zeilinger, author of A Little F’ed Up: Why Feminism is Not a Dirty Word, interviews Alex Sierra about the context and significance of queer spaces like Pulse in Orlando on MTV’s “The Stakes.”

On Hillary Clinton

Marianne Schnall, author of What Will It Take To Make a Woman President?, observes that Hillary Clinton’s Democratic nomination for this year’s election is as historic for the nation as it is for women everywhere. She explores what it means for the United States if, come November, we elect Hillary Clinton as President. Most of all, as a mother of a daughter, Schnall knows the importance of gender representation in politics, especially for young women of all backgrounds.

“Having a woman break the presidential barrier would have an undeniable positive impact on women and girls in this country. The symbolism alone would be incredibly powerful, especially for young women and girls who would see first-hand that it is possible for women to be successful, respected leaders — especially the highest leadership position of them all.”

Jaclyn Friedman, author of What You Really, Really Want, covers the kind of criticism women face as Hillary supporters. She astutely writes that it is not just about representation, but really it is about visibility and how it “changes what we can imagine.”

“Symbols are powerful. Visibility matters. We’ve decided to risk it because we want the next generation to grow up thinking nothing is special at all about women wielding power. Just imagine the new questions they’ll ask their parents. Imagine the answers.”

Courtney E. Martin expresses the hope she has that her daughters will perhaps, in ten years’ time, be able to see women in politics and elsewhere and not be shocked. She challenges the normalcy of the pervasive sexism within American politics that has made Hillary Clinton out to be an anomaly. Why do we see women in positions of power as outliers? Martin wants girls and young women like her daughters to be able to forget all the ways in which women are constantly faced with reminders of sexism in their daily lives.

“I hope, most fundamentally, that power is disentangled from sex in a way that frees you up to see your own gifts, and the gifts of other women, without the scales of sexism that have so long obscured all of our vision.”

Amanda Marcotte celebrates Hillary’s historic moment after her nomination as the first female Democratic presidential nominee and highlights the manner in which the Clinton campaign is embracing feminism as part of their message.

On North Carolina’s House Bill 2

Jessica Valenti interrogates the faulty logic at the core of North Carolina’s HB2 “banning transgender people from deciding what bathroom is most appropriate and safe to use.” Like many other opponents of this bill, Valenti strongly challenges the assumption made by many of HB2 proponents that transgender bathroom-goers are predatory and deceptive. Instead, she argues, they should be afforded a law that actually serves to protect an already vulnerable population.

“Given the substantial political capital McCrory and others are risking – Ted Cruz used his presidential campaign’s last breaths on the issue – you’d think there was an epidemic of transgender people attacking bathroom-goers. But no, that number is just about zero.

In fact, the population who is at actual risk in public restrooms are transgender and gender nonconforming people themselves, 70% of whom have been harassed in a restroom. The danger that the GOP has invoked in this battle is one that lives solely in their minds – minds that aren’t willing to evolve and progress with the rest of the country. A country that doesn’t much care who uses what bathroom.”

On the Stanford Rape Case

Julie Zeilinger examines how the United States justice system protects rapists and undermines the experience of the rape victim in this article When Jail Time Isn’t Justice, and discusses the option of “restorative justice.”

“For many, jail time equates to justice; violating another human being warrants months, years, a lifetime behind cement walls. But others see imprisonment differently — as a racist, broken solution that doesn’t actually address the problem at hand, and that may even make it worse. They’re left wondering: Is this the only way to imagine justice?

An emerging movement suggests it’s not. “Restorative justice” poses that, for many, true justice after sexual assault may be found outside of the criminal justice system altogether.”