"Reactions to that one simple gesture (a marriage proposal, from a woman) contain sexist multitudes. After all, women are conditioned from an early age—by Disney, their families, the wedding industry—to hope for marriage, but simultaneously discouraged from taking any initiative in making that marriage happen. And men are expected to fear—or at least resist—matrimony. Should they decide they'd like to wed, they're required to spend an enormous amount of financial and emotional capital to create a (preferably public) display of atypically masculine vulnerability and emotionality. The sheer popularity of YouTube proposals complete with flash mobs, tear-y eyed assembled family, and the bride's shocked gasps caught in three angles is a strong indicator of the pedestal upon which we place these stories. With the reverse proposal, all this fanfare is still required, but both partners face the prospect of a lifetime of ribbing and weird comments from strangers..."
Women haven't always gotten to play a big role in the scientific advancements, studies and cultural conversations concerning sexuality. […] But numerous powerful women have elbowed their way in, taking control over female sexuality and introducing innovations that actually what women want and need.[more inside]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
"'whether a domestic traditionalist can also be an organizational egalitarian?' The answer we posit is 'no.'"
Researchers found [.pdf], after a series of four studies that "husbands embedded in traditional and neo-traditional marriages (relative to husbands embedded in modern ones) exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that undermine the role of women in the workplace." The potential resistors focused on are husbands embedded in marriages that structurally mirror the 1950s ideal American family portrayed in the “Adventures of Ozzzie and Harriet” sitcom. [more inside]
Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life. Remember this thread from last weekend? Here is another interesting take on the dynamics of modern heterosexual relationships.
Recently an opinion writer for The Age, Catherine Deveny unleashed a firestorm of sorts when she wrote an article entitled 'Why Do Some Wives Still Change Their Names?'. The reaction to her article (from both men and women) was strong; so much so that in a recent follow up article entitled 'I Don't Give A Stuff What You Do. I'm Paid To Write What I Think' , she jokingly wrote that it had had the effect of reducing her readership to three. But when an article penned by a professional comedian employs such pointed rhetoric along the lines of "Insecure or conservative or stupid women are bowing to the wishes of their husbands", can she truly claim surprise at the level of vitriol her article generated or is this simply a case of an opinion writer trying to get opinions?
Interesting article on the Japanese "social recession" (from the back pages of USA Today) "To an astonishing degree, the sexes are going their opposite ways in Japan. Young women are revolting against the traditional role of obedient housewife, opting instead to live at home and shop and socialize with girlfriends. Startled men are retreating into solitary ways. Check-ins at the country's famed 'love hotels' are even falling. As birthrates slip, a social crisis looms."
What role gender plays in marriage, let alone custody is often debated. However in the case of the Kantaras custody case in Florida, gender just got more confusing. He used to be a she. What constitutes gender? As a transsexual, is he the real "father?" Was their marriage legal? And what's best for the children in this kind of circumstance? Further more, can we really leave it up to Judge Gerard O'Brien to make this decision for all of us? And how did some other judges feel about this issue?