Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is the executive editor of and the author of the book, It's A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Recent Articles

How 'Pick-Up Artist' Philosophy and Its More Misogynist Backlash Shaped Mind of Alleged Killer Elliot Rodger

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong Students march on the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara during a candlelight vigil held to honor the victims of Friday night's mass shooting on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif. Sheriff's officials say Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a rampage near UC Santa Barbara, stabbing three people to death at his apartment before shooting and killing three more in a crime spree through a nearby neighborhood. Women—hot young women, really—owed him sex and, because they reneged on their obligations, Elliot Rodger would get his revenge by going on a killing spree. That was the thesis of a video titled “Elliot Rodger’s retribution,” featuring the angry rantings of the 22-year-old college student before he allegedly went on a murderous rampage through Isla Vista, California, which resulted in six murders, thirteen people injured, and Rodger himself dead. “You denied me a happy life, and in turn, I will deny all of...

How to Survive a Miracle

A World AIDS Day display in Mississippi on Dec. 1, 2009. (AP Photo/MSU, Kenny Billings)
This week, a baby from Mississippi was “functionally cured” of HIV after doctors treated her aggressively from the time of her birth with anti-retroviral medications. It's the first time a patient’s system has been cleared of the disease with a regular HIV treatment regimen designed to disrupt the ability of the virus to replicate itself. It opens the door for new research that could, theoretically, lead to a cure for AIDS. But while the breakthrough illustrates how far we’ve come in treating the virus since it was first identified three decades ago, it's also a stark reminder of how little progress we’ve made in fighting the spread of the disease. In the dark days of the 1980s, AIDS patients often found themselves turned away from emergency rooms by fearful hospital administrators, and politicians debated putting HIV-positive people into permanent quarantine. The Oscar-nominated documentary “ How to Survive a Plague ,” which has recently been...

Oscar-Worthy Outrage

Conservatives pretend to care about rape on campus. It's not convincing.

If you’ve been tuning into the right-wing media this week, you might be startled to discover a seeming concern about preventing rape. But don’t get too excited: It’s nothing but a gambit to persuade the public on issues of gun safety. It all started in Colorado, where the legislature is debating whether to ban concealed weapons on college campuses. One of the favorite arguments offered by gun advocates for concealed carry on campus is that arming college women prevents rape. On the floor of the state House, Democratic representative Joe Salazar addressed this claim : It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. ... You don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out...

Stopping Domestic Violence: A Radical Feminist Idea?

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Of all the strange choices made by the GOP in recent years, the sudden opposition to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is among the most confusing. The act had long counted on bipartisan support for its reauthorization—George W. Bush signed it without incident in 2005—but now Republicans in the House seem intent on killing it. Republicans haven’t suddenly morphed into evil comic-book villains who openly support rape and wife-beating, so what gives? Obviously, Republicans don't want voters to think they have it in for victims of gender-based violence. But the objections being offered by VAWA opponents are inconsistent or nonsensical. Some say the law represents an unconstitutional overreach and takes away state and local jurisdiction over domestic violence; in fact, the act provides federal support to local law enforcement, but leaves prosecuting these crimes to local authorities. Others take issue with small provisions in the new bill extending coverage to LGBT...

The Worst State for Women?

North Dakota joins the list of states reversing decades of gains in gender equality.

Flickr/ ggolan
AP Photo/ James MacPherson In the past couple of years, so many states have passed laws restricting women’s rights it seems they’re competing for the dubious honor of being the worst place for women to live. Texas rejected federal family-planning funds and is busily whittling away subsidized contraception access for poor women. Virginia passed a series of regulations on abortion clinics aimed at putting them out of business. The governor of Mississippi has been bragging about ending legal abortion in his state. In this new year, though, another state has risen to the top of the competitive field: North Dakota. Anti-abortion activists and legislators in North Dakota have been quite busy. Inspired by a Mississippi law , the North Dakota Legislature is considering a measure that could close the state’s only clinic—the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo—by requiring that it employ only doctors who have privileges allowing them to admit patients to a...