Samhita Mukhopadhyay

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is the executive editor of Feministing.com and author of Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life.

Recent Articles

But We're Not Muslims!

There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" minorities—racism affects us all.

(Flickr/ljlandre)
When news broke Sunday that an armed Neo-Nazi walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and opened fire on the congregation, killing six people and wounding three, I was flooded with memories of the Hindu temple I attended as a child. Donning traditional Indian garb, each Sunday the predominantly South Asian congregation would gather on the ground floor of a brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The scent of incense and flowers filled the sparsely decorated room as the organ played devotional music. Congregants would meditate, eyes closed, while waiting for the Swami to arrive and give his lecture. I cannot fathom violence in a space of such serenity and peace. I called my mother to see if she had heard the news. She had. “You know, Sami,” she said, “I don’t even feel like I can wear Sari in public anymore.” She and my father had just been to an Indian independence day celebration, which she now regretted attending. “It’s dangerous to mix publicly with other Indians, you...

Marrying Yourself

A radical re-envisioning of marriage, or just reinforcing the pressure to say “I Do?”

(Flickr / Sakura Photo - Dallas Wedding Photographer)
Nadine Schweigert got married this February, but there was no exchange of rings or vows. Schweigert got married to herself. At 36 years old and a mother of two she decided not only is she happy with her life—but she wanted to share and celebrate that happiness in front of a room full of family and friends. Whether she meant to or not, she also showed the world she didn’t need a man to get married. The pressure people—women especially—face to get married is severe, from women’s magazines describing the perfect wedding to every romantic comedy ending with happily ever after. Maybe no one asked you directly (which is rare), but everyone around you is getting married, so you stick out, and everyone wants to know, well, what happened to you? So, does marrying yourself offer a way to fight the nagging insistence that everyone should get partnered up, or does it just perpetuate the idea that everyone should inevitably get married? One perfect day for “one” is not exactly the “happily ever...

Was Adrienne Rich Anti-Trans?

By failing to acknowledge the late author's views on womanhood, feminists risk writing trans people out of the movement.

(Flickr/PhotoComiX)
In the last few weeks, many obituaries have praised the revolutionary poet and feminist theorist Adrienne Rich. While these homages are well deserved, what has been largely ignored in considering the legacy of Rich is her history of transphobia. With the exception of a small group of critics, Rich’s ideas about trans identity—and trans women in particular—have gone unscrutinized. It’s indicative of the larger inability within the feminist movement to recognize trans voices. Rich was a tremendous supporter of Janice G. Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male . Raymond even cites Rich in a viciously transphobic chapter, “Sappho by Surgery,” in which Raymond argues that biological sex is the same as gender ( i.e. , if someone is born with female body parts, they are always a woman). Raymond also suggests that men who go through sex-reassignment surgery are not real women but deviant men who use female bodies to enter female spaces. As a result, they are...

The White Stuff

The blog Stuff White People Like, became an Internet sensation but it's more than just a humor blog -- the site tells us something about the mostly white, affluent audience that has so enthusiastically embraced a mocking rundown of their culture.

They like running marathons and eating sushi, venerating Jon Stewart and bragging about not owning a TV. They talk endlessly about HBO's The Wire and dance self-consciously to '80s music. They're into "irony" and have a tendency to threaten to move to Canada. "They" are white people, and they're the subject of Stuff White People Like , a flavor-of-the-moment blog that, since appearing in January of 2008, boasts nearly 30 million hits. There are over 100 numbered entries, including Having Two Last Names (entry No. 22), Dinner Parties (No. 90), Arts Degrees (No. 47), and, yes, Barack Obama (No. 8). Think of it as a project to affectionately examine the classic conservative description of "latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times -reading" liberal elites. But despite the name, it's not about white people, not really. It's about a certain kind of highly educated, generally young, culturally liberal white person who has enough disposable income to discover an affinity...