of Kenilworth, Ill,
is now the winningest woman in Jeopardy!
history, the third winningest non-tournament player, and she isn't done. She'll be playing her 20th game tomorrow night, wherein followers hope she'll break the $400,000 mark on her steady climb.
You can catch up on her run at YouTube.
One of the champions whose records she has now surpassed is Arthur Chu
, who has also made big waves this week, speaking out on misogyny in geek culture,
in response to the murders in Isla Vista. Writes Chu: The overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to 'earn,' to 'win.'
The show's history and the iconic host's banter seem to reveal
that in terms of gender, Jeopardy!
is not, as etymology would have it, "an evenly divided game," but could this be the year things change?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur
on May 29, 2014 -
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus
' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls
, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report
just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University
as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 28, 2014 -
Chako Paul City
is a women-only city in the north of Sweden, established in 1820 by a wealthy widow. It is "a place that is respectful of women's love, but with a rule that men cannot enter"; the few who have tried have found themselves beaten half to death by the formidable Amazonian sentries at its gates. It has a castle, and its main industry is forestry, with a sideline in lesbian tourism. Of the 25,000 women, from all over Europe, living in Chako Paul City, those wishing to seek male company are allowed to leave, but may only reenter after having bathed and undertaken several other measures to avoid negatively affecting the mental state of the other residents. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Apr 24, 2013 -
Natalie Reed, who often writes about gender politics and social justice, calls out "born this way" (especially in a gender/trans* context) as its own form of gender essentialism
“Gender identity” is still gender-essentialism. It’s just a gender-essentialism where we get to continue thinking men are men, and women are women, and these are inherent parts of who you are, but we also get to ignore the uncomfortable demand of DEFINING “man” and “woman” and what we mean by that, and thereby dodge the uncomfortable fact that any such definition within any essentialist framework necessarily invalidates, undermines, insults or excludes at least some trans or intersex people. It’s a way to go right on believing that our womanhood, or our manhood, or whatever “gender identity” we have, is an immutable and intrinsic quality of ourselves, and thereby maintain the comforting belief that it’s concrete and stable and unassailable, but without having to deal with any of the difficult implications of that, without having to interrogate our definitions, without having to worry about what we mean, and without having to really think about gender beyond the generally received notions. It’s a way to be transgender but still think of our genders the way cis people do.
posted by divabat
on Mar 12, 2013 -
"Emma Stone was my dream best friend for a number of weeks. We'd see movies together. Get drinks and gossip. I remember one dream where we just texted. She resurfaced as my best friend last fall after I saw The Help. An actual friend of mine once told me a story about meeting Andrew Garfield's best friend, which meant Andrew Garfield and I were dream best friends for the following few nights. Again, there was texting." The Awl asks people: What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 15, 2012 -
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
, 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]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
"In removing the associations with genitalia, the messiness of bodies mashing together is obfuscated. Men no longer have to worry about being replaced. Women no longer have to worry about the psychic implications of being penetrated by a penis. Society doesn’t have to worry about gender norms being disturbed. And expectations of what defines sex remains stable." -- Jenny An on "The Pleasure Model"
(a jokey NSFW pic at the top)
posted by bardic
on Oct 18, 2012 -
The Sponsor Effect: Breaking through the Last Glass Ceiling (pdf)
Women aren't making it to the top. Despite gains in middle and senior management, they hold just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the C-suite, they're outnumbered four to one. What's keeping women under the glass ceiling? High-performing women simply don't have the sponsorship they need to reach the top.
The study found that women underestimate the role sponsorship plays in their advancement. And those who do grasp its importance fail to cultivate it. It's also a classic catch-22: a woman's personal choices, whatever they may be, brand her as not quite leadership material. What will it take to promote sponsorship?
posted by infini
on Sep 20, 2012 -
"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia
— or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 10, 2011 -
From the NYT Economix
blog: Are good-looking people more likely to get jobs? That depends whether you’re talking about men or women, according to a new working paper
Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of themselves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5,312 CVs in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace is a primary reason for the punishment of attractive women.
posted by krautland
on Nov 24, 2010 -
Professional philosophers have long known that there are far fewer women in philosophy than there are men. (Some quick info.
) Recently, this issue has taken center-stage in the philosophy blogosphere. First, a new study
suggests that gender plays a role in what intuitions one has to philosophical thought experiments, such as the Gettier cases
about knowledge, and The Trolley Problem
related to ethics (via
). Second, a new blog, What is it like to be a woman in philosophy?
, has exploded
as it shows the good
, the bad
, and the downright ugly
involved in being a woman in the profession. [more inside]
posted by meese
on Oct 14, 2010 -
Choice of Broadsides
is a choose-your-own-adventure game set in an alternate 19th Century world that is much like our own, where Albion and Gaul fight for naval supremacy. You can choose to be a gentleman in a standard patriarchal society, or a gentlewoman in a matriarchal one. Later on in the game you can choose your sexual orientation. Originally there were no options for a same-sex relationship, but after demands from players, it was added in
. Spoilers below the cut. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 14, 2010 -
The End of Men
, in The Atlantic. An article about the rise of women (now over 50% of the U.S. workforce), and implications of the attendant changes for both women and men. [more inside]
posted by marble
on Jun 10, 2010 -
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot finds that claims of sex differences fall apart.
In one study, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted lens. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Sep 3, 2009 -
In late 2006, Santhi Soundarajan took the Silver Medal in the Women's 800m at the Asian Games in Qatar. Less than a week later, she was stripped of her medal
by the Olympic Council of Asia after a chromosomal test. According to the Times of India
, "the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said the 25-year-old had failed a sex test, implying she had deceived the sporting world by competing as a woman when she was actually a man." The disqualification ended her athletic career, and several months after returning to her rural village in Tamil Nadu, India, she attempted suicide
. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048
on Jul 29, 2008 -
Much of contemporary liberal thought rests on the idea of the Social Contract
. In this scheme, we agree to give up a certain amount of freedom in exchange for the protection and opportunity that society provides. Our individual lives mirror this. We defer to others when politeness requires it. We assert ourselves and our needs with pleases and thank yous. Most of daily life has some power dynamic to it, expressed with the subtlety that civilization demands. And what is implicit in daily life is made explicit in the role-playing of BDSM
, based on the idea of a Power Exchange
, where one party explicitly agrees to give up a certain amount of power to another. For most people who are into this, the “scenes” are circumscribed by rules, usually discussed beforehand, such as appropriate safewords, time limits, etc. For a small subset of this group, the typical safeguards are cast aside and the slave surrenders all aspects of his or her life to the master
. The female submissive Polly Peachum has written about this lifestyle in her essay “Violence in the Garden”
about her life as a 24-7 slave and the sexual dimensions of that relationship.
posted by jason's_planet
on Oct 1, 2006 -
Near Ovulation, Your Cheatin' Heart Will Tell on You
"New research from UCLA and the University of New Mexico suggests that members of "the gentler sex" may have evolved to cheat on their mates during the most fertile part of their cycle — but only when those mates are less sexually attractive than other men."
posted by anyokerin
on Jan 18, 2006 -
or: Partnership status and the human sex ratio at birth: a paper by Karen Norberg
Could the sex of a child be influenced by the status of the parents' relationship at the time of conception? In a sample of 86,436 births in the United States, we find a small excess of sons among births to parents who were married or living with an opposite sex partner before the child's conception, compared to births to parents who were not. This is the first evidence that household arrangements can affect the human sex ratio at birth, and could explain the fall in the proportion of male births in some developed countries over the past thirty years.
(Data published on FirstCite
via The Economist
(special note for mathowie: No word yet as to whether or not those single moms can also reliably produce offspring with an astigmatism.)
posted by lilboo
on Oct 27, 2004 -