In the Islamic Republic of Iran — unlike any other country in the Persian Gulf region — sex reassignment is not only allowed, but also subsidised by the government. Unfortunately, it's not as rosy as it sounds.
The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey examining the experiences of transgender people in the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. (Full report. Executive Summary) The USTS was for all trans-identified people, including genderqueer and non-binary people, at any stage of their lives, journey, or transition. Participants had to be currently living in the United States or a U.S. territory, or be living abroad on a U.S. military base.
There are no straight women in RimWorld, as in, there are no women only attracted to men. Instead, every single non-gay woman in the game has some chance of being attracted to another woman. As for the men, it works a little differently. - RockPaperShotgun takes a look at the code for RimWorld and how it defines gender roles.
At Crooked Timber, philosopher Harry Brighouse links to an article from Law, Ethics and Philosophy that features a provocative article by Phillipe Van Parijs. In “Four Puzzles on Gender Equality,” Van Parijs observes: There are dimensions along which men seem to be disadvantaged, on average, relative to women. For example, they can expect to live less years; in a growing number of countries they are, on average, less educated than women; they form an electoral minority; and their greater propensity to misbehave means that the overwhelming majority of the prison population is drawn from their ranks. These disadvantages, if they are real, all derive from an unchosen feature shared by one category of human beings: being a male. Does it follow that these advantages are unjust? [more inside]
BBC News: As the sun rises over the Old World Levain (OWL) Bakery in Asheville, North Carolina, a heady, warm scent of spices floats through the air outside. In the kitchen, bakers Susannah Gebhart and Maia Surdam are working with sourdough culture, dried fruit, butter, sorghum syrup and generous measures of sherry and whisky to revive an American tradition. Bon Appetit: Werner opted for an earthy rye and buckwheat base, with bourbon-bolstered stone fruits, and a toothsome mix of poppy seeds, flax seeds, and cocoa nibs. Miscovich chose an egalitarian version filled with currants and spices, minus the booze, so that everyone can partake. Actual recipe and another recipe, and a related 2014 song from Eurovision. [more inside]
Anecdotally speaking, the number of internationally acclaimed male pianists greatly outnumbers the number of similarly acclaimed female pianists. Could it all be because of differences in hand span? CBC Radio's show The Doc Project found that this indeed may be the case. But not to worry! Piano keyboards made for smaller hands are indeed available, courtesy of a textile manufacturer in, of all places, Titusville, PA.
Liquid lead ballroom dance: "Seeing a petite woman dip a man who’s over six feet tall can strike the viewer as odd and different, but it breaks the traditional boundaries set by gender roles. It’s clearly possible for anyone to dance what has typically been prescribed for female dancers and male dancers, and it doesn’t matter who leads. In the end, it’s a negotiation."
Greg Rucka on Queer Narrative and Wonder Woman [Comicosity] [Interview] “Ah. We’re talking about the “Northstar Problem.” The character has to stand up and say, “I’M GAY!” in all bold caps for it to be evident. For my purposes, that’s bad writing. That’s a character stating something that’s not impacting the story. I get nothing for my narrative out of that in almost any case. When a character is being asked point blank, if it’s germane to the story, then you get the answer. But for me, and I think for Nicola as well, for any story we tell — be it Black Magick, be it Wonder Woman, be it a Batman story — we want to show you these characters and their lives, and what they are doing. We want to show, not tell.”
On Carefree Black Boys: Understanding the Appeal of the 'Carefree' Aesthetic to Black Male Musicians From Young Thug to Chance the Rapper [MTV] “Chance has found a slogan to represent what is irrepressible in him: #BlackBoyJoy. Following his appearance at the 2016 VMAs, he started sharing photos of himself at the event, preening, dancing, and posing, with the hashtag. He was a natural spokesman. Others followed suit, posting photos of boys and men frolicking and grinning. The #BlackBoyJoy hashtag preceded Chance’s use of it, and its origins are in the broader, voguish idea of “carefree blackness.” Like the loose digital community that bore it, this carefreeness has an ambient quality, a collection of aesthetics and identities that many laud as a generalized form of activism.”
"American Male, a short film [~6 min] from MTV’s Look Different Creator Competition, is a gritty look at how gender norms make it hard for us to be who we really are." [content warning: some violence]
In a new 32-page report, Airbnb says that it would institute a new nondiscrimination policy that goes beyond what is outlined in several anti-discrimination laws and that it would ask all users to agree to a “community commitment” starting on Nov. 1. [more inside]
Why did Yankee Doodle put a feather in his hat and call it "macaroni?" As you've probably guessed, the song is not about noodles; macaroni refers to a fashion trend in high-society England of the late 1700s. NPR's All Things Considered looked into the history of the rhyme with librarian and author Chris Roberts. But what happened to the macaroni trend? Atlas Obscura tells a story of youth culture, old men yelling at clouds, and social panic over the erosion of gender norms. (Previously: The Etymological Evolution of Dude)
"I want to see a gender-swapped remake of every movie. Literally every one. And some television shows. I will elaborate."
Why Does Hollywood Have A Problem With Unfeminine Girls? [spoilers for Stranger Things]
"Joanne the Scammer lives for drama. Branden Miller is just trying to live." Performer and comic Branden Miller is a quiet young man who collects fragrances. His comic persona Joanne The Scammer is a fur-wrapped con artist moving from one stolen credit card to another and a Twitter sensation. The Fader talked to Miller about racial indenity, growing up gay, sex work, the fragility of internet fame, and getting scammed.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a role model for the modern feminist "After more than a decade of reading Buffy academia, to which Patricia Pender’s I’m Buffy and You’re History is a very laudable addition, I’m starting to know why this show continues to inspire sincere and thoughtful devotion among intellectual people who need to talk about gender and about what it means to be a woman in our world." ~ Naomi Alderman, The Spectator [more inside]
Modelling and 3D printing an anatomically correct clitoris (Vimeo). Sociologist Odile Fillod teamed up with photographer Marie Docher and digital mediator (and Blender user) Mélissa Richard (from the Cité des Sciences) to create the first downloadable, printable and open source 3D model of the complete structure of the clitoris. The model was created specifically to be 3D printed in schools (in French) in order to provide science teachers with a more accurate and less anachronistic representation of the organ during sex education classes. Short text in English about the project. (All links potentially NSFW) [more inside]
SL Glamour. "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like" by Barack Obama
Four years ago, WNYC published a series titled Women Box: Fighting to Make History (start at the beginning), looking at some women who would take part in the first year that women's boxing was an official Olympic sport. 16 year old Claressa Shields, a junior at Northwestern High School in Flint, Michigan (16 min, audio) was part of that history, probably the biggest part: she won. Four years later, you probably haven't seen her as much as you might have seen other gold medalists, because it's hard to get promotions and sponsors when you're a tough woman who fights, but she's back to fight again.
"To me, the great triumph of The Count (the ongoing study, undertaken by The Lilly Awards in partnership with The Dramatists Guild, that asks the question, “Who is being produced in American theaters?”) is that it names and quantifies a reality that without data can be dismissed as speculation. Work by women writers is incredibly underrepresented in the American theater."
Women Were Included in the Civil Rights Act as a Joke And a racist joke, at that. But working women and black civil rights lawyers had the last laugh when they brought women’s workplace rights to the courts and won.
The number of Britons taking steps to change their gender has shot up dramatically in recent years, leaving vulnerable people waiting years for treatment, reports the Guardian. [more inside]
interviewing.io is a platform where people can practice technical interviewing anonymously and find jobs based on their interview performance. Women historically haven’t performed as well as men—specifically, men were getting advanced to the next round 1.4 times more often than women, and had a 20% higher average technical score from interviewers. In an attempt to erase this difference, interviewing.io added voice modulation to their online interviews.
"The personal essay format demands that women reveal everything, often to the point of absurdity, while also allowing men to get away with vague metaphors and platitudes. On one end of the spectrum you have “I’m Glad My Friend Killed Herself,” and on the other end you have, "I Did Some Bad Shit, But All You Need To Know Is That I’m Dealing With It, Manfully."
Why I Created The #UnfollowAMan Movement - "I’ve been man-free on Twitter for six months and you can be too. I mean, it can’t make Twitter any worse at this point, right?" Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed [more inside]
The bombshell finding was that, when comparing candidates for tenure, the success rate for male candidates increased by 19.4 percentage points after stopping the clock was offered. For women, the rate fell by 22.4 percentage points. [more inside]
At Profiles Theatre in Chicago the drama—and abuse—is real. For more than 20 years, actors and crew members stayed silent about mistreatment they suffered at the acclaimed storefront theater. Now they’re speaking up, hoping to protect workers in non-Equity theaters across the country.
A new survey released by Medscape (owned by WebMD) shows that female doctors are paid significantly less than male doctors. Some of this may be due to specialty choice, but not all; the pay gap is $33,000 even among primary care physicians. A 2012 study also found that, among a study group of highly ambitious physician-researchers, women MDs make $12,000 less than men, after controlling for myriad factors other than gender (full paper).
"Every day I experience how language can bring people together and build power. But language can also be divisive, dangerous, and exclusionary... I got to work on a Progressive Style Guide, (pdf) that would help guide fellow campaigners and writers in the progressive movement on using inclusive language."
Couples who have sons are more likely to stay together. But why?
Women, literally, have more drive than men. Nowadays, only 16% of car trips are for commuting. The majority of the remainder are spent running errands, and it's women who account for the lion's share of those hours behind the wheel. The same holds true in cities where more trips away from home involve travel by public transportation. Yet most transit plans aimed at easing traffic congestion target work commuters through options such as telecommuting and hub-and-spoke public transit designs. [more inside]
"I'm proud to say that moments ago, I introduced legislation, Bill C-16 ... that would ensure that Canadians will be free to identify themselves and to express their gender as they wish while being protected against discrimination and hate, because as Canadians, we should feel free and safe to be ourselves," said Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould in Ottawa. [more inside]
Anohni's new album, Hopelessness , has a lot to say. She grapples with the surveillance state, ecocide, drone warfare, gender, and more in a more electronic setting than her previous work with Antony and the Johnsons. "A big part of [the album] is an examination of my own complicity and my own inability to truly extricate myself from the brokenness of the system that I'm a part of. It's that chasm, that denial that I wanted to model, an inquiry into and within myself." [more inside]
Canada's census has returned after a 10 year hiatus. And when the number-crunchers at Stats Can link this event to the Battle of Hogwarts [Stats Can Facebook], you've gotta know it feels like a new era to those who dwell in the world of evidence based policy. Canadians seem to agree with the statisticians' enthusiasm, crashing the census site with their nerdy rush to participate and end the data drought. Meanwhile the Beaverton covers the Tory response to this egregious end of privacy. Meanwhile, gender analysis has evolved since the last census, so here is your guide to answering binary gender questions in the census (stop gap until this can be reviewed).
Twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill stood before 20 million people and testified that then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her while she’d worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. [more inside]
Lesbians Touch Penis For The First Time! By the women who brought you Gay Men Touch Vagina for the First time (featuring Stevie), Straight Women Touch Another Vagina For The First Time and Straight Men Touch Another Penis For The First Time
Rust, a popular multiplayer survival video game, has just added female character models to their game. In an interesting twist, rather than being able to choose your gender, one is randomly assigned to your Steam account, permanently, when you first join. They did something similar previously with skin colour and body shape. Some players are not happy. (NSFW warning: screenshots contain pixelated CGI nudity, since players are dropped into the game naked and must, among their first objectives, find clothing) [more inside]
Fetishizing Family Farms Broken families, underground vice, and sexual variance - not stability - characterized the American family farm for most of its history, argues historian Gabriel Rosenberg. [more inside]
Science is desperate. It needs to believe itself honorable. It's threatened by the fact that it's not safe for so many of us. Period. It's just not safe.- A. Hope Jahren, in an interview about women in science and advancement in plant biology.
Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest [NYT]: "By the time many young men do reach college, a deep-seeded* gender stereotype has taken root that feeds into the stories they have heard about themselves as learners. Better to earn your Man Card than to succeed like a girl, all in the name of constantly having to prove an identity to yourself and others." [more inside]
Groundbreaking visionary of contemporary spatial design, Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away. The British designer had a heart attack while in hospital in Miami, where she was being treated for bronchitis. One of the most sought-after architects in the world, Iraqi-born London-based Hadid was first woman to be awarded the prestigious RIBA gold medal in her own right, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.
Writing women characters into epic fantasy without quotas, an essay by SFF writer Kate Elliott. [more inside]
The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons." [more inside]
It's hard to imagine Frank Miller anticipating that his story, with that introduction, would ever fall into the hands of an 11-year-old, mixed-race girl. Susana Polo (Twitter) begins with reading Batman: Year One at 11, then follows Miller's output, and her career and life, from there.
The Peer Perception Gap. The Washington Post describes a study in PLOS One which had a goal of identifying peer gender bias in the biology classroom: Men over-ranked their peers by three-quarters of a GPA point [...] In other words, if Johnny and Susie both had A's, they’d receive equal applause from female students — but Susie would register as a B student in the eyes of her male peers, and Johnny would look like a rock star.
From The Chronicle of Higher Education: An interactive look at the demographics of more than 400,000 professors at 1,500 colleges, showing where those of each rank, gender, race/ethnicity, and tenure status can be found. [more inside]
The Testosterone Takeover of Southern Food Writing In which Kathleen Purvis asks why male voices have come to dominate big-market Southern food writing and pokes at the genre's resulting obsessions with "bourbon, barbecue and pork belly." From The Bitter Southerner.