A century in the making, and now completed by Britain’s David Adjaye, the Smithsonian’s gleeful, gleaming upturned pagoda more than holds its own against the sombre Goliaths of America’s monument heartland.Preparations are in full swing for a historic opening on 24th September 2016 when America's first president of African heritage will ring an equally historic bell. Related.
Over the past few months, LinkNYC has installed hundreds of its free high-speed wi-fi kiosks in Manhattan, and dozens more in Queens and the Bronx. In addition to wi-fi, the kiosks provide USB charging for phones, and—via a small built-in tablet—free phone calls, maps, and access to the web. They'd be supported via advertising on the big HD screens on each side and would cost taxpayers nothing. Or that was the idea, anyway... [more inside]
A while back, Google's Head of HR Laszlo Bock wanted to know what makes a team successful or not? Was it being composed of highly selective stars? Was it having an efficient and serious work ethic? Turns out, once they turned their attention to group norms, that the most important indicator of an effective group was pretty simple: equality. [more inside]
"I was trying to clarify why, to me (and, I generalized, to liberals), “equal opportunity” alone wasn’t a satisfactory goal and that we should somehow take into consideration equality of outcomes (i.e., fairness or equity). I thought the easiest example of this concept is kids of different heights trying to see over a fence. So, I grabbed a public photo of Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, a stock photo of a crate, clip art of a fence, and then spent a half-hour or so in Powerpoint concocting an image that I then posted on Google+... [Afterwards], my original graphic was being adapted, modified, and repurposed in a mind-blowing variety of ways, and then shared and redistributed all over the place."
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.
"Sexual orientation discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people can only come from the Supreme Court or Congress, the federal appeals court in Chicago rules." [sl-buzzfeed article] [more inside]
In April of 1975, Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan sought a green card for Mr. Sullivan, as Mr. Adams' husband. 41 years later, "the green card, granting Anthony permanent resident status in the United States, was issued on the 41st anniversary of his Boulder, Colorado marriage to Richard — a same-sex marriage that remained in the record and which was never invalidated by Colorado officials. "
"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]
Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
Equality [internet archive] was first published in 1897: "The story takes up immediately after the events of Looking Backward with the main characters from the first novel, Julian West, Doctor Leete, and his daughter Edith. West tells his nightmare of return to the 19th century to Edith, who is sympathetic. West's citizenship in the new America is recognized, and he goes to the bank to obtain his own account, or 'credit card', from which he can draw his equal share of the national product... " (previously 1,2) [more inside]
Couple to begin court fight against ban on heterosexual civil partnerships Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who describe themselves as feminists and reject marriage as a “patriarchal” institution, will pursue their claim against the government’s equalities office on Tuesday. The case is being brought on the grounds that the refusal to allow them to participate in a civil partnership amounts to discrimination, breaching their right to family life under article 8 of the European convention on human rights. [more inside]
One day Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney googled herself with a reporter friend sitting next to her. An ad popped up inquiring about her arrest record. She had never been arrested. "It must be because you have one of those Black Names!" the friend said. "That's impossible," she replied, "Computers can't be racist." But then she started doing research. [more inside]
This is what happens when you photoshop all the men out of politics, media, music. (SLYT)
On Gawker's Problem with Women. A former staff writer describes how a media company founded on whistleblowing and radical transparency failed its female employees.
BBC: "If you're white, male and poor enough to qualify for a free meal at school then you face the toughest challenge when starting out in life. That's what the Equality and Human Right Commission (EHRC) has said in "the most comprehensive review ever carried out on progress towards greater equality in Britain"."
The day Iceland's women went on strike. "Forty years ago, the women of Iceland went on strike - they refused to work, cook and look after children for a day. It was a moment that changed the way women were seen in the country and helped put Iceland at the forefront of the fight for equality." [Via]
One mathematician’s formula suggests that all-male lineups don’t “just happen,” despite what conference organizers might claim. "...in any conference with over 10 speakers, say, it would be extremely rare to have no female speakers at all—less than 5 percent chance, depending on one’s assumption about the percentage of women in mathematics as a whole."
"There Aren't Enough Bricks in the World to Throw at Roland Emmerich’s Appalling Stonewall" - The first reviews of Roland Emmerich film about the Stonewall riots are in. They are not favorable.
The U.S. Army's Ranger School is one of the toughest courses in the world. Over nine weeks, students are subjected to tests of their ability to perform under pressure, with little food, in austere and grueling environments. Graduates include Wesley Clark, Colin Powell, Kris Kristofferson, and -- for the first time ever -- two women. [more inside]
It won't be important to everyone, most people probably won't even notice it, but Facebook's icons are changing, in more than one case specifically so that the woman isn't "quite literally in the shadow of the man". [more inside]
Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
In 2004, George W. Bush initiated a war over gay marriage when he was running against Kerry, and Karl Rove helped to extend that battle to states in 2004 and 2006, according to Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair, Ken Mehlman (previously, twice). GWB won in 2004, and voters passed all 11 bans on gay marriage. The latter shook Tim Gill, a quiet and successful software entrepreneur, who had been a political activist since 1992.
Gill became radicalized. “I got depressed and angry,” he says. “But, in the end, my response was to say, ‘Well, how am I going to fix this? These were political defeats. The way you fix political defeats is through politics. And so I thought, ‘These people are in office. We can’t have that. How do we go about undoing it?’ ”Bloomberg Politics: America’s Gay Corporate Warrior Wants to Bring Full Equality to Red States. [more inside]
The Seven Minutes In 2000 When The Clinton White House Considered Endorsing Marriage Equality (SL Longform Buzzfeed)
Univalent Foundations Redefines Mathematics - "When a legendary mathematician found a mistake in his own work, he embarked on a computer-aided quest to eliminate human error. To succeed, he has to rewrite the century-old rules underlying all of mathematics." (previously) [more inside]
Understanding e to the pi i - "An intuitive explanation as to why e to the pi i equals -1 without a hint of calculus. This is not your usual Taylor series nonsense." (via via; reddit; previously) [more inside]
A study has shown that in contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, men and women tend to have equal influence on where their group lives and who they live with. The findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, suggesting that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history. Mark Dyble, an anthropologist who led the study at University College London, said: “There is still this wider perception that hunter-gatherers are more macho or male-dominated. We’d argue it was only with the emergence of agriculture, when people could start to accumulate resources, that inequality emerged.”
An Idaho State Senator, Paul Shepherd, has called on the state to impeach federal judges who struck down the state's anti-SSM law. One mistake, though. He forgot to renew the domain for his re-election campaign, and now a gay nerd has taken it over.
"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
This afternoon, the Puerto Rican Secretary of Justice announced that Puerto Rico will no longer defend the lawsuit against the ban on same-sex marriage, which is pending at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. [more inside]
As openDemocracy.net focuses on women's voices for International Women's Day, Dawn Foster argues that we need to have a conversation about the unpaid labour that women are expected to do, and the impact it has on their lives. She presents us with some interesting statistics from the UK about the economic value of the unpaid (and often unnoticed) work that women carry out both in and around their paid jobs. [more inside]
Today, the Ontario Government released a video called #WhoWillYouHelp (TW; potentially triggering scenes in video relating to sexual assault) as part of the $41-million It's Never OK action plan to end sexual assault and harassment within the province. [more inside]
When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
An associate professor of biology with two children speaks more negatively about the effects of balancing work and family on his career: “It's a disaster.” [more inside]
Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade wrote in a brief 10-page opinion, concluding, “[T]he court finds that Alabama’s marriage laws violate the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
"Women and men should have equal prize money". Helen Wyman, UCI pro cyclist and newly-minted UCI commissaire, has been working diligently this year in her new role to ensure, among other things, gender equality in pay and treatment for women in the demanding and rapidly growing sport of cyclocross. [more inside]
Why were people sitting on other people's faces outside the UK parliament recently? A variety of specific sexual acts were banned from UK-filmed online porn videos under the 2014 Audiovisual Media Services Regulation, which came into effect this month. Protesters say some acts that show women enjoying sex are now banned while similar restrictions do not apply to men. [more inside]
It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband. A new study of Harvard Business School graduates found that high-achieving women are not meeting the career goals because they’re allowing their partners’ careers to take precedence over their own. This echos earlier advice by Xerox CEO Ursula Burns to "marry down" someone who will take care of the kids.
The lethal combination of being a woman and having an opinion is a recipe for a troll cocktail. Modeled after Jimmy Kimmel's Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, this short YouTube video shows how women who challenge the status quo are treated online on a daily basis. [more inside]
Missouri state court judge Rex M. Burlison has ruled that Missouri cannot keep St. Louis officials from marrying same sex couples. [more inside]
The Afghan Women's National Cycling Team trains six mornings a week in the quiet predawn streets of Kabul to futher their dream of one day qualifying for and participating in the Olympics. "In a country where girls have faced acid attacks just for going to school, the dangers of doing sport in public go beyond insults or the momentary impact of a well-aimed stone." [more inside]
GUTS is a new online feminist magazine. Topics from the first two issues include Canadian feminist documentary filmmaking; feminist strategies for commemorating gender-based violence; "postfeminist" parliamentary political discourse; Canadian novelist Sheila Heti's genre-bender on women's relationships, How Should A Person Be?; women's paid and unpaid labour; institutionalized gender inequality in organized sport; Indigenous women, decolonization, and institutionalized racism. There's also a blog.
"Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental." U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman posts a ruling that Louisiana’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages is constitutional. [more inside]
What's better than reading a judge ruthlessly dismantling arguments against marriage equality? Hearing the judge's own voice as he makes lawyers arguing for Indiana's and Wisconsin's bans on same-sex marriage look like fools. Previously.
Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games (28 min 33 sec; here's a pointer to the identical video at YouTube). Warning: contains graphic sexual and violent game footage. Presented by Anita Sarkeesian of the video blog, Feminist Frequency. The website version (first link) is annotated to include links and resources, an "about the series" section, games referenced in this episode, and a transcript. [more inside]
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the decision overturning Virginia's ban on Same sex marriage:
"We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance."[more inside]
Beyoncé's "Rosie the Riveter" Instagram photo is causing internet waves. The Independent has a more substantive, historically concerned article.