The XX Factor
What Women Really Think

July 27 2016 11:19 PM

Here Are the Best Dad Jokes From Twitter During Tim Kaine’s DNC Speech

When Tim Kaine accepted his party’s nomination for the vice presidency at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, he wasn’t just introducing himself to America as a politician. He was introducing himself to America as an avuncular successor to Uncle Joe Biden. And boy oh boy, did he pass that test. During Kaine’s corny but sincere delivery, with all those folksy “Can I be honest with you?” segues and that so-bad-it’s-good Trump impression, many on Twitter noted Kaine’s similarities to a well-meaning father, uncle, or high-school teacher. Within an hour, Kaine was transformed from a relative unknown to a legendary father figure on the level of Friday Night Light’s Coach Taylor.

Here are the best dad jokes from Twitter about Kaine’s speech.

July 27 2016 7:26 PM

Taye Diggs May Be Unfollowing You on Twitter As We Speak

Will Taye Diggs’ reign of destruction never end? After the entertainer’s devastating 2013 split from Idina Menzel, you probably thought the worst was behind you, that you were at least immune from having your heart broken by the man again. But no: He’s about to unfollow you on Twitter, if he hasn’t already.

Taye Diggs is best known in the real world for his acting roles (and his megawatt smile, Jesus Christ, Taye, stop it), but for several years now, here on the internet he has been the object of much head-scratching for his bizarre social media strategy of following hundreds of thousands of strangers on Twitter. “Taye ‘Short for Scott-tay’ Diggs followed me back! I’ve really made it!” you might have screeched when you realized he was following you—until you saw that he was also following approximately 600,000 other people. Including me, and I am no one! I didn’t even follow him first! He started with journalists and other influencers, but before long his standards slipped and he was following pretty much anyone with a pulse.

July 27 2016 5:05 PM

Bill Clinton’s Front Page Photos Say More About News Constraints Than Sexism

On Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton made history when the Democratic delegates in Philadelphia nominated her as the party’s candidate for president. You wouldn’t have guessed that by looking at the front page photos of some of the country’s local and national newspapers:

July 27 2016 3:32 PM

In Praise of Chelsea Clinton’s Teenage Style

America didn’t do right by Chelsea Clinton in the 1990s.

Bill Clinton became President of the United States at a time in Chelsea’s life when every adolescent experiments with her identity and the way in which she carries herself. Thrust onto the world’s most public stage at the age of 12, Chelsea followed in her mother’s trailblazing footsteps, choosing not to hide her personal style. She embraced her frizzy blonde curls, bold florals, and oversized pantsuits—a move that triggered overzealous sexism and criticism in the form of off-color jokes and analysis from conservative foes, liberal columnists and television comedians alike.

July 27 2016 1:11 PM

In 1995, Walmart Pulled a “Someday a Woman Will Be President” Shirt From Shelves

More than two decades before Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major political party for president, a T-shirt at Wal-Mart made a prophesy.

“Someday,” it read, “a woman will be president.”

Designed by Ann Moliver Ruben, a then-70-year-old psychologist, the shirt featured the character Margaret from Dennis the Menace and appeared in a Wal-Mart franchise in the Miami suburb of Miramar. A few weeks later, according to a 1995 Miami Herald article, Ruben visited the store to see how her shirts were selling. She found them taken off the racks, hidden in the back room, and asked the branch’s clothes buyer, Sharon Higginbotham, what happened.

July 27 2016 12:03 PM

A Celebrity Gossip Expert Explains the Summer of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is having quite the summer—from her breakup with Calvin Harris to the birth of Hiddleswiftto Kim Kardashian’s receipts-apalooza, plus or minus a Nils Sjoberg, she’s been consistently dominating headlines. But what does it all mean? is where many of the smart women I follow online turn for informed interpretation of the latest celebrity scandal. Lainey often writes about the story behind the story, zeroing in on celebrity hypocrisy and the symbiotic relationship between celebs and media. When Jennifer Aniston wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post recently to rail against “tabloid culture,” for example, LaineyGossip pointed out that Aniston “does not acknowledge the celebrity’s role in the ecosystem—HER role in the ecosystem. ... That’s the goal of most celebrities: to turn the ecosystem into a dictatorship.” About Kardashian’s Snapchats of a taped phone call between her husband Kanye West and Swift, Lainey had this to say: “[I]n this kind of fight, where are Mrs West’s weaknesses? What could possibly be said about Mrs West that hasn’t been said already? Mrs West already has a sex tape. ... Which is why, when she’s serving up the smut, she’s actually bulletproof.”

July 26 2016 11:11 PM

How the DNC Is Subtly Rebuking Donald Trump’s Mockery of a Disabled Reporter

Last fall, in a campaign stop in South Carolina, Donald Trump imitated a New York Times reporter who has a congenital condition that limits the movement in his joints. “You’ve got to see this guy, ‘Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!’ ” Trump jeered, jerking his hands around and distorting his voice. The Republican nominee for president is so awful toward so many individuals and groups of people that it can be easy to lose track of even his most grotesque insults. But this incident seems to have unusual staying power in the public imagination, becoming the basis of a recent ad produced by the progressive super PAC Priorities USA and of a video package shown at the Democratic National Convention.

It is worth contrasting Trump’s casual cruelty with the tone the DNC has set on disability issues so far. On Monday, disability rights advocate Anastasia Somoza delivered a powerful speech in which she said she felt sorry for Trump. “I honestly feel bad for anyone with that much hate in their heart,” she said. “Donald Trump doesn’t see me, he doesn’t hear me, and he definitely doesn’t speak for me.” Somoza, who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, delivered her talk from a wheelchair to the roars of an approving crowd.


In his keynote speech on Tuesday, Bill Clinton acknowledged Somoza in the audience as he talked about his wife’s early work on equal educational access for children with disabilities. Hillary “never made fun of people with disabilities,” he said, alluding not-so-subtly to her opponent. “She tried to empower them based on their abilities.”

On Tuesday, the 26th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, several other disabled people took the stage in Philadelphia to share their stories. Lawyer and activist Dynah Haubert, who uses a wheelchair due to a condition called Friedreich’s ataxia—which causes progressive damage to the nervous system—spoke briefly along with others involved in issues including adoption and education. “I became a lawyer to advocate that disability is not a problem to be cured but a part of our identity and diversity,” she said. Later, Ryan Moore, who has a rare form of dwarfism, spoke about his long friendship with Hillary, which started when he was 7 years old and she picked him up and held him throughout a speech on health care reform. (Referring to dwarfism as a disability is disputed within the dwarf community, but the condition is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.)

Among the convention’s many grand themes so far—criminal justice, the economy, the folksy charisma of Bill Clinton—these occasional grace notes will hardly stand out. In any other year but this one, they would hardly be worth remarking on. But this is not just any year.

Early in the evening on Tuesday, former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin took the stage for a presentation on the ADA, which he co-authored and championed in Congress back in 1990. Harkin learned sign language from his older brother, Frank, who was deaf, and he took the chance on Tuesday to teach the assembled delegates one particular word. He led the crowd in taking their fingers and knitting them together, and then moving them in a circle. “That, my friends, is the sign for America,” he said. “It’s a beautiful sign. Think about it, we’re all together—we’re all together, no one is left out.” No one, that is, but Donald Trump.

July 26 2016 5:20 PM

Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal to TBS on Sexist Tweet: “Delete Your Account”

For a few blessed moments on Monday night, the stars of Samantha Bee and Michelle Obama fell into alignment. Less than two hours before Obama applauded Hillary Clinton for sticking it out in public service while haters mocked her looks and laugh, Bee took her own television network to task for comparing the Democratic presidential nominee to a yelping hyena.

July 26 2016 4:56 PM

Meet the Allens, the “Off-Grid” Family That Wants Your Support to Survive

The first thing the Allens, a British family of four, want you to know about them is that they are followers of something they call off-grid parenting. This includes common, and sometimes questionable, alternative parenting practices like homeschooling, avoiding vaccinations and modern medicine, co-sleeping, and extended breastfeeding. There are also less common ones like “lotus birthing” (letting the placenta and umbilical cord fall off naturally) and avoiding shoes for their children. Still, all this is not enough for the Allens. They yearn for a family life even further off-grid, and have hatched a plan that will help them move closer “towards self sustainability and being a bit more free range and less institutionalized.”

July 26 2016 3:55 PM

Channeling Trump, Italian Politician Compares Colleague to a Sex Doll

Proving that America has no monopoly on gross misogyny—as the GOP nominee for president Donald Trump might make some believe—on Monday the leader of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party, Matteo Salvini, compared Laura Boldrini, the speaker of the lower house of the Italian parliament, to a sex doll. In his speech at a rally near Cremona, Italy, his supporters held a blow-up doll behind him. Referring to it, Salvini said “Boldrini's clone is here on the stage.” He offered no explanation as to why he made that particular comparison.

Salvini has long been opposed to Boldrini’s political views. Before being elected to parliament, she served as Italy’s spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Since her election, she has been appealing for the humane treatment of immigrants in Italy—a view that the anti-immigrant Salvini clearly opposes. When asked by Sky Italia television if he would apologize for his sex-doll comparison, Salvini went so far as to say, "You must be joking, it's Boldrini who should apologize because she is a racist towards Italians."


The doll joke received much laughter from his supporters in the crowd, but as soon as it appeared on social media, Salvini began receiving criticism. Emanuele Fiano, a deputy for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party said that “Salvini misses no opportunity for insults and vulgarity, but with this rally he has passed every limit of decency.”

Sound familiar? Turns out Salvini found something of a role model in Trump when the two met in November of last year.

(Translation: Renzi chooses the spectacular disaster of Obama & Merkel, I prefer the law and order proposed by #Trump2016!)

The bromance makes a lot of sense. Though Trump hasn’t gone so far as to compare Hillary Clinton to a sex doll (yet), he has participated in his fair share of gendered criticism. He’s accused Clinton of playing the “woman’s card” on multiple occasions, saying that “If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.” And Trump has even said that "The only thing she's got going is the fact that she's a woman."

This, of course, is a ridiculous statement. But it’s totally on par with a sexist worldview—one shared by Trump, Salvini, and many individuals—that treats women as empty, disposable shells. Salvini might wish that Boldrini was more like a mute sex doll, but in reality, she is an accomplished politician who allows her ideas to speak for her—and such a basic comparison isn’t going to stop her anytime soon.