Shani Hilton

Shani Hilton is associate editor of Campus Progress. You can find her blogging here.

Recent Articles

Renaissance Fair

In an era when female artists top the music charts, do we need a women's music festival?

Gabby Glaser of Luscious Jackson at Lilith Fair, 1999. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
In March, two of the biggest musical stars in the world, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé Knowles, released the much-anticipated music video for Gaga's song "Telephone." The video, which debuted on the E! Channel and online on a Thursday at 11:30 P.M., had 500,000 views in its first 12 hours. (It also pushed Lady Gaga to the fore of Internet video viewing -- "Telephone," coupled with her two previous hits, "Bad Romance" and "Poker Face," made her the first musical artist to reach 1 billion video views online.) The buzz around the video was a reminder of how much times have changed for women artists. The "Telephone" hype focused on the budget, the fashion, the cameos, and the sets. That the song and video featured two women artists was the least remarkable part. Thirteen years ago, things were different. Few concert lineups featured two women back-to-back, and radio stations were reluctant to play two female-led songs in a row -- even as the Spice Girls' first album, Spice , went seven times...

Black Women Don't Need Billboards

Black women are not targeted for abortions. But poor women and women of color do need more reproductive health services.

(Flickr/Timothy K Hamilton)
In Atlanta, Georgia, a billboard campaign that started this month proclaims that "black children are an endangered species." On the campaign's Web site,, the Radiance Foundation alludes to Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's support of eugenics and cites the disproportionately high number of unintended pregnancies and abortions among black women. The campaign is part of a new push by anti-choice advocates to exploit unequal access for reproductive-health services and black-genocide conspiracy theories (including the problematic history of Sanger) to further their agenda. As a quote displayed prominently on another anti-choice Web site,, reads, "The most dangerous place for an African American to be is in the womb of their African American mother." Poor women have four times as many unintended pregnancies as women who live above the federal poverty line. Among black women -- who are more than twice as likely to be poor than white women --...

As I'm Leaving.

This has been a fun, challenging, educational week, and I want to thank you all for reading my posts. And of course, I appreciate The Prospect letting me write about everything from paid sick leave to Rupert Murdoch to chocolate milk. I'm sending special shout-outs to Adam , Phoebe , and most especially Alexandra (whose kidnapping I've been planning since mid-week) for her helpful editing. I'd try to get her to come back with me to PostBourgie legally, but we only pay in grape drink . Catch you all later! -- Shani O. Hilton

That Sure Is A Nice Social Service Contract You Have There... would be a shame if anything happened to it. That's basically what the Catholic Church is telling the D.C. city council, in an effort to get them to drop an anti-discrimination clause in the same-sex marriage bill that's going to a vote soon. The Church's social services division currently serves 68,000 Washingtonians, including a third of the homeless who use the city's facilities run by the Church. According to the Washington Post , "fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city." Taking on the Church's attempt to strong-arm the city council, Jamelle Bouie explains how the politicization of the Church has shifted in recent years: Conservative evangelicals have been thoroughly politicized for nearly three decades and the focus of their rage has always been the nation’s “moral decline,” in the form of reproductive freedom...

On the RNC and Abortion Coverage.

Yesterday's big righteous-anger-for-progressives moment came when Politico reported that the Republican National Committee has been covering elective abortions through its Cigna health-care plan since 1991. But, says RNC chairman Michael Steele , this will not continue! "Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled." I think this might be a bad move for the party. As Kate Harding notes at Broadsheet, the GOP is already repulsing women voters in myriad ways, and the number of women candidates in the party is falling. Take a look at the GOP's "Young Guns" program , which was created by Minority Whip Eric Cantor to promote a group of handpicked representatives tasked to "fix Washington." Of its 22 members, 3 are women. And it's definitely bad for the women who work for the GOP. I suppose something could be said for women who work...