In the liner notes for To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story, Ed Ward wrote:
Nina Simone was one of those controversial figures American pop music puts forward from time to time. To see this African-American woman get angry about the racial situation in her country, right there on stage, was a shock to people who’d come to hear her sing ‘I Loves You, Porgy.’ Not that she cared; she figured that it was the artist’s job to deliver the truth, and if the truth hurt, so be it. Of course, events wound up proving her right, but she never stopped being prickly about one thing or another. It was just part of who she was, and part of why her music has endured while that of some of her contemporaries has faded: she’s still contemporary.
“You seem completely ignorant to the fact that if many women behave in a “positive” fashion, it’s partially because the social costs of being anything else are much, much higher than they are for men. Women who are critical, opinionated etc are still “crazy” or “bitchy” or whatever. Meanwhile, women have socialized to not make too much noise, be nice, make other people feel better about themselves — to enormous professional cost, I would argue, even if they are inherent goods for society. The successful women you write about are clearly threading that needle, and it’s working for them — but the way you described them clearly implied that it made them unserious (“to many male observers”, etc).”
“If you look to online communities outside of Facebook, strangers are forging real and complex friendships, despite the complaints of op-ed writers. Even today, I’ve met some of my best friends on Twitter, which is infinitely better at connecting strangers than Facebook. Unlike the almost gothic obsession of Catfish’s online lovers, these friendships aren’t exclusively online—we meet up sometimes to talk about the Internet in real life. They are not carried out in a delusional swoon, or by trivial status updates. These are not brilliant Wordsworth-and-Coleridge type soul-meldings, but they are not some shadow of a “real” friendship. Internet friendship yields a connection that is selfconsciously pointless and pointed at the same time: Out of all of the millions of bullshitters on the World Wide Web, we somehow found each other, liked each other enough to bullshit together, and built our own Fortress of Bullshit. The majority of my interactions with online friends is perpetuating some injoke so arcane that nobody remembers how it started or what it actually means. Perhaps that proves the op-ed writers’ point, but this has been the pattern of my friendships since long before I first logged onto AOL, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”