Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged violence

Teacher at Point Blank: Confronting Sexuality, Violence, and Secrets in a Suburban School

When Jo Scott-Coe began teaching in the same suburban California high school she’d graduated from four years earlier, she had to overcome her reluctance to call former teachers by their first names. Once that was accomplished, she set out to bring new life to the literature and writing classes she was assigned. In seventeen essays Scott-Coe lays bare the disappointments and frustrations that marred her eleven years in the classroom.

Why Girls Fight: Female Youth Violence in the Inner City

Ness holds doctorate degrees in Human Development, Psychology, and Anthropology and in Why Girls Fight she blends the theories and research methods from these three fields to discuss female youth violence. Ness argues that the majority of studies tend to examine either individual factors in explaining and understanding youth violence or emphasize sociological, macro-level factors.

Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

In their near-exhaustive catalogue of violence, discrimination, and systematic abuse of LGBT people in the United States, Joey Mogul, Andrea Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock outline the specific ways that the criminalization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered people has perpetuated inequalities not only based on sexual identity but also within the complex interplay of race, class, and gender.

What A Wonderful World

In What A Wonderful World, director Faouzi Bensaidi attempts to bring together the incongruities of Moroccan urban life with elegance and intimacy. The film features a set of diverse characters whose lives intersect either by coincidence or choice. Thus, throughout the film one notices several intertwined little stories. However, the film’s main storyline revolves around a mercenary assassin, Kamel (who is played by Bensaidi), who falls in love with Kenza, a traffic officer by day and a prostitute by night.

Black Bloc, White Riot: Anti-Globalization and the Genealogy of Dissent

My fascination with the anti-globalization movement, like my own baby steps into activism, is a late bloomer. I came of age when my peers were shutting down Seattle. I was reading Marx for the first time in college when IMF protestors took to the streets in DC. Yet throughout my extended adolescence, radical politics was background noise. I never paused to find out why globalization made people so angry. Like a lot of people growing up white and middle class, militancy was excessive and embarrassing.


Coexist is a documentary that seeks to provide insight into the reconciliation process in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. The sheer scale and complex nature of the conflict provides a unique glimpse into how individuals and their communities recover from horrific experiences and the documentary questions whether reconciliation is even possible under such traumatic conditions. Recently, Rwanda was recognized for its stable political environment and for achieving one of the highest economic growth rates in the world.

Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant

On the surface, Susan Supernaw’s memoir Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant is a story about an unlikely Miss Oklahoma winner and her trip to the 1971 Miss America pageant. The true story, however, is Supernaw’s struggle to escape a childhood marred by extreme poverty and violence and earn the Native American name revealed to her during a near death experience.

We Are an Image from the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008

Consider what it might feel like if July 4th in the United States were celebrated not with fireworks and barbecue but with demonstrations and occupations to achieve a further social revolution. That's what November 17th is in Greece since a student revolt on that date in 1973 triggered the end of the dictatorship. In fact, because of the role of the students in achieving this, a law was passed by the socialist government in 1981 to establish academic asylum.

Happiness Runs

I sat through this eighty-eight minute monstrosity two and half times. And the question that I’m still asking myself is, “What the fuck?” Set sometimes during the eighties, Happiness Runs is the semi-autobiographical story of its tyro director. Happiness Runs centers on Victor (Mark L.

The Karate Kid

Age has always been a dicey variable in the Karate Kid universe. In The Karate Kid, Part III — perhaps the most preposterous entry in the series — the twenty-eight-year-old Ralph Macchio passed himself off as a “kid” abandoning college, with his character dating the seventeen-year-old Robyn Lively (thus lending a creepy and statutory quality to the relationship). This time around, the “kid” is truly a kid — even if the “karate” is kung fu and not karate.

Dark Heart of the Night

The gross reality of genocide brings one’s spirit to feel a deep sadness for groups and individuals who don't understand different cultures. Delineating a brutal world of power and defeat, the author of Dark Heart of the Night doesn't hold back and the shocking truth of this topic engenders an incredulous curiosity in the reader: how can a village not support their people, even those who are related to some in the village?

Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States

Surprise—it’s a real downer to read about prison. That glaringly obvious statement aside, Interrupted Life is quite an achievement. The book comprises eighty-seven pieces, which are written by scholars, activists, incarcerated women, and formerly incarcerated women and span breadth of generic types.


Kick-Ass, the movie, ruled. And though I thought the central character's journey was an interesting one, by far the movie appealed to me because of eleven-year-old Hit Girl. I had a big plan to dissect the movie here, but then this gal over at Jezebel totally stole my brain and wrote the most eloquent review ever.

"If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor

In 1999, twenty-four years after the original invasion and occupation by Indonesia into the former Portuguese colony, 1,500 East Timorese were killed after a referendum in which the majority voted in favor of independence. Under the Indonesian occupation, hundreds of thousands of East Timorese had already been murdered, debatably, as an act of genocide. That independence was desirable was obvious, yet Indonesian paramilitary groups worked with oppressive diligence to incite fear into hopeful hearts after the country’s landmark referendum.

Hotel Iris

Having been forced to drop out of school to work at her family's seaside hotel in Japan, a young woman named Mari suffers through days marked by routine. She cleans rooms, minds the desk, and attends to the needs of the guests. The novel Hotel Iris explores what happens when a girl breaks free of a life of controlled repetition, only to fall victim to an even more brutal cycle of submission and domination.

Girl Trouble

Girl Trouble gives a glimpse of the underbelly of The City By the Bay. Set in San Francisco, this is not a story about the hippies of Haight Asbury, nor is it a tale of the modern liberal Mecca so many of us assume it to be. In fact, Girl Trouble could be set just about anywhere in the United States. The film follows three young women whose lives are entrenched in cycles of violence and who can barely keep their heads above water, let alone enjoy the splendors of the world around them.

Weapons Grade: Poems

Reading Terese Svoboda’s poem “Vets” title to finish reminded me of a story of an older friend who marched against Vietnam early, before others had marched, and who told me of the veterans. Those veterans of earlier wars would march with the students, the protesters, the young, and the naïve. These veterans would encircle the protestors to protect them from those who tried to stop them. The police dared not stop the veterans—those people who lost their youth as they (once again) protected the innocence of others—now in their own cities.

From Paris With Love

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent — Isaac Asimov Luc Besson is credited with the “story” for this violent comic book of a thriller that is an insult to Paris. Years ago, Besson wrote Le Dernier Combat and The Fifth Element, flicks that are still worth seeing.

Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse

Author Linda G. Mills is a scholar, lawyer, social worker, and the founder of the Center on Violence and Recovery at New York University. In Violent Partners, Mills challenges the tenets of the battered women’s movement.

Blood Sistas: The Chronicals of Black Uptown Girlz Growing Up in the Hood

As a White girl growing up in rural Wisconsin, I had no idea what city life was like. Post-college, I traveled, hoping to broaden my horizons and learn a bit about urban living. After that, I thought I had some pretty good ideas about what growing up in the city was like: living in an apartment, going to the laundromat, shopping at the small supermarket down the street, and hearing traffic and sirens twenty-four hours a day. After reading this book, I can tell you I know absolutely nothing about the intricacies of inner-city life.

Women, Violence, and the Media Readings in Feminist Criminology

At times, much like a good teacher, this book had my full attention. At other times, I nodded off. When I was three-quarters the way through, I began to wonder why it sounded like one of my old college text books. When I finished the 279 pages and went back to the preface, which I had long forgotten, I learned why: it was written for college students. That explained it.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a shocking and heartbreaking story of female oppression. The film, adapted from the 1994 book by the late Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, is based on a true story.

Insects Awaken

Death Sentence: Panda! seems like a ridiculous name, right? Pandas are cute. They look like plush dolls. They eat bamboo, which is, like, a totally cute plant. They are fuzzy and have paws. Death by panda sounds like it’s just about as probable as being mauled by a herd of unruly kittens. Unfortunately for us weak and easily fooled humans, all of that cuteness is a ruse. Panda teeth are actually carefully honed and specialized not for eating leafy greens, but are actually made for gnawing on human flesh.

Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South

Hannah Rosen's Terror in the Heart of Freedom is an essential historical document. This text is a detailed analysis of the connection between gendered rhetoric, sexual violence, and the oppression and resistance of freed people during the reconstruction era.

Breaking Poems

In her third book of poetry, award-winning Palestinian American poet Suheir Hammad explores the resilience of women’s bodies across borders in a fluid set of poems entitled Breaking Poems. Hammad embraces life at the border, refusing to translate her identity to fit a bounded-identity construct of what it means to be Palestinian or American. She uses a diasporic language, blending anglicized Palestinian Arabic with English.

Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power

Men Speak Out is an important book for feminism.

When the Prisoners Ran Walpole: A True Story in the Movement for Prison Abolition

Those of us who spend a lot of time lollygagging in the distant pass frequently encounter scenes of horror — people being tortured for their religious beliefs or identities, for example - and find ample evidence of our capacity for cruelty and inhumanity littering the landscape of human history.

Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War

A book about women's involvement in war that shows, in part, their commitment to nonviolence? It may seem contradictory, but it's just one of the fascinating aspects of this well-researched book, Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War. Jensen presents case studies ranging from female physicians and aid workers to women in combat, delving into their relationships with the state and the dynamics of violence.

Blue Rage, Black Redemption

In the midst of our current pop culture’s street gang glamorization and mafia worship, the Nobel Prize-nominated work of late Crips gang founder Stanley “Tookie” Williams is a flash of clarity and a voice of reason. Executed in 2005 for the murder of four people, Williams claimed his innocence until the end. Perhaps even more importantly—and certainly the legacy we hope he is remembered for—Williams was believed to have been reformed as he spent much of his sentence in California’s San Quentin prison writing and working on peace plans for our badly torn nation.

When Push Came to Shove: Mormon Martyrs in an Unrelenting Bible Belt 1821-1923

William Whitridge Hatch originally started writing on Mormon relations in the South as a graduate student, and his work has become a life-long quest.