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.
You see them everywhere—exhausted young women pouring all their spare energy into organising, encouraging and taking care of young men who resent them for doing it but resent them even harder when they don’t. You see them cringing for every crumb of affection before someone cracks and it all goes wrong and the grim cycle starts again. You can fritter away the whole of your youth that way. I know women who have. - Laurie Penny, Maybe you should just be single [SL NewStatesman]
That'swhatshesaid, a one-person play by Courtney Meaker and Erin Pike, consists entirely of lines and stage directions for female characters in the top 11 most-produced plays of the 2014-15 season. The play opened Thursday night for a four-night run at Seattle's Gay City Calamus Auditorium. An hour before curtain on the show's second night, the publisher of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews, which is featured in the production, served Gay City Arts a cease and desist order , and the publisher's VP left Pike a voicemail claiming they'd "go after" Gay City Arts if the show continued. Instead, That'swhatshesaid went on as planned--but with a few last-minute changes. Among them: every time a line from Bad Jews came up, Pike merely mimed the stage directions as someone offstage shouted, "Redacted!" Today, according to Meaker, another cease and desist has been delivered--for a play that was not included in That'swhatshesaid because it featured no women. [more inside]
A Colleague Drank My Breast Milk And Other Wall Street Tales I kept the conversation light. I shared a funny story about my first day on Wall Street, when I opened up a pizza box to find condoms instead of pepperoni slices. Unwrapped. I was “the new girl,” and the guys just wanted to see me blush. I did blush, and I lived. “It’s not that bad anymore,” I said with a laugh. [more inside]
America’s biggest toy company is changing the most famous body in the world. Classic, curvy, tall and petite; 7 skin tones; 22 eye colours; 24 hairstyles; 8 hair colours: meet the new Barbie Fashionistas.
This male-like lioness is defying gender norms (full episode) - "An African lioness that looks and acts male may be the secret to her pride's success."
Christian Ott, a young astrophysics professor at the California Institute of Technology, fell in love with one of his graduate students and then fired her because of his feelings, according to a recent university investigation. Twenty-one months of intimate online chats, obtained by BuzzFeed News, confirm that he confessed his actions to another female graduate student. [more inside]
Her Story is a 6-episode new-media series that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.The show is co-written, co-produced, and co-starred by writer and One Billion Rising organizer Laura Zak and founder of The Trans 100 and We Happy Trans Jen Richards, and also stars Angelica Ross, founder of Trans Tech Social Enterprises. (CW: One of the side characters is hella transphobic, and there's smatterings of casual transphobia.)
Why do male authors and subjects dominate history books? Digging into bestselling history books in the United States. (SLS) [more inside]
There's this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women's issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren't there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren't you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you're being rational about this? Every. Single. Time. And every single time I get frustrated. Why don't they get it? I think I've figured out why. They don't know. They don't know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing. [slhuffpo]
"But in the dark crevices of the Internet, something else was brewing: without warning, Erin Esurance became masturbation fodder for the very demographic she was designed to target." How Esurance Lost Its Mascot to the Internet.
The year 2050 is right around the corner, and yet it is hard to imagine the sweeping changes the world will confront by then. In a multimedia series, The Wall Street Journal helps readers envision how we will work, how we will age and how we will live. [more inside]
What is actually going on with men, right now? What are they afraid of and unwilling to talk about? How do the inner lives of men affect women, other men, our culture? We see men struggling to define themselves at a time when gender definitions are expanding. We see men dealing, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not, with the weight of their power. And we learn that what it means to be a modern man is just like everything else: complex, messy, and always changing. Medium presents: The Men Issue [more inside]
"That night, Soloway sat in the bathtub, while her husband, Bruce Gilbert, a music supervisor for film and television, brushed his teeth. She remembers telling him, “ ‘I don’t want to use the money to pay off our debt. I want to be a director, and I want to make a film with it and get into Sundance. I want to double down on me.’ And Bruce was, like, ‘O.K.’ ” Then, just as Soloway was making the leap to directing her own material, her father called one afternoon and came out as transgender." (SL New Yorker)
The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
Asha Leo of Refinery29 travels around the world to learn about international fashion subcultures and the way fashion affects society worldwide. So far she's met Gothic (and other) Lolitas in Amsterdam, Moroccan expat culture, hijra in India, Hasidic designers in Brooklyn, Korean matchy-matchy fashion for couples, and the highly colorful world of Japanese decora.
I want to direct good stories. I don't care whether it's a guy fighting a giant freakish eagle or he's trying to decide what to do about his divorce. I don't know why women are marginalized to talk about love and fashion.The Women of Hollywood Speak Out (NYTMag).
"Young women could now do more than read about feminist issues and discuss them in class; they could find communities of women on Twitter or Tumblr whose experiences they could relate to—or who could open up new vistas for them on what other women’s lives are like. They could participate in the creation of a new feminism—one that would be a far cry from Friedan’s. By 2011, the writer Flavia Dzodan was famously declaring on her blog: “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” Her words became a rallying cry."
Nintendo still won't make Link a girl, but they'll put him in a dress and call him 'Linkle'. [Kill Screen]
There's is no conceivable lore reason for why Link can't be reincarnated as a girl. As the Zelda Wiki states, Link is, "the name shared by the main protagonists of The Legend of Zelda series." There are many different reincarnations and iterations of the Link character, "each possessing the Spirit of the Hero, with some of them being blood related as well," but, most importantly, all Links are connected by the fact that they were "chosen by the Goddesses to protect the land from evil whenever deemed necessary."[more inside]
In the war against campus sexual assault, why are we not talking about drinking? "It bothers me that the conversation about alcohol and consent seems to be debated mostly by women—fought by women, argued about by women, the emotional burden carried by women. I’m ready to see more focus on how drinking changes men: how sex and aggression can get cross-wired, or the frightening way alcohol can smear their good sense away. Not “how much did she drink” but how much did he?" (slTexasMonthly) [more inside]
In Ann Leckie’s novel Ancillary Justice (Orbit Books: 2013), the imperial Radch rules over much of human-inhabited space. Its culture – and its language – does not identify people on the basis of their gender: it is irrelevant to them. In the novel, written in English, Leckie represents this linguistic reality by using the female pronoun ‘she’ throughout, regardless of any information supplied about a Radchaai (and, often, a non-Radchaai) person’s perceived gender. This pronoun choice has two effects. Firstly, it successfully erases grammatical difference in the novel and makes moot the question of the characters’ genders. But secondly, it exists in a context of continuing discussions around the gendering of science fiction, the place of men and women and people of other genders within the genre, as characters in fiction and as professional/fans, and beyond the pages of the book it is profoundly political. It is a female pronoun. When translating Ancillary Justice into other languages, the relationship between those two effects is vital to the work.
“Word Embedding Models let us take a stab formalizing an interesting counterfactual question: what would the networks of meaning in language look like if patterns that map onto gender did not exist?” [more inside]
The Lost Girls: 'Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.' Part of Spectrum's Sex/Gender in Autism special report. [more inside]
26-year-old radio producer Ana Adlerstein was walking in Oakland when she was catcalled by 51-year-old Jerome. She pulled a microphone and her, Jerome, and Jerome’s son’s mother had a short conversation.
After some wrangling, Ana got Jerome into the studio and the conversation continued. Love + Radio presents: “An Old Lion, or a Lover’s Lute”
After some wrangling, Ana got Jerome into the studio and the conversation continued. Love + Radio presents: “An Old Lion, or a Lover’s Lute”
"Though there appears to be no definitive research on gender and gibberish, it became clear to me that girls are drawn to gibberish and the dozens of other secret languages and language games, also called argots and ludlings, because using them builds social bonds." Jessica Weiss, "The Secret Linguistic Life of Girls: Why Girls Speak Gibberish." [more inside]
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."
Robert Crumb talks to The Observer about misogyny, sex, fame, cartooning and getting older in a sprawling interview.
In 1992-1994 and 2005-2009, Yuka Makino studied the lopping practices in the oak forests of Garwhal, Himalaya. Her PhD dissertation (PDF) contains a fascinating prologue describing the practical and ethical issues for conducting ethnographic research in an area where distrust of outsiders runs high and where gender and caste norms are strictly enforced. One afternoon, several children came and were chatting with us when a 10-year-old girl joined us. Though she still took part in the conversation in a loud voice, she stood at the edge of the veranda, far away from the door. (...) I realized that she was a Scheduled Caste girl and if she had stood at the doorway her shadow would have fallen into the room and may have touched my assistant’s plate of food, contaminating or polluting it. I let her stand there so that neither she nor my assistant would feel uncomfortable. [more inside]
How Poker Player Annie Duke Used Gender Stereotypes To Win Matches - "By the time she got to that championship game 10 years later, she had also figured out a way to make people pay, quite literally, for the stereotypes they had about her." (previously)
The extraordinary case of the Guevedoces. "Johnny lives in a small town in the Dominican Republic where he, and others like him, are known as 'Guevedoces', which effectively translates as 'penis at twelve' ... Like the other Guevedoces, Johnny was brought up as a girl because he had no visible testes or penis and what appeared to be a vagina. It is only when he approached puberty that his penis grew and testicles descended." [more inside]
"As long as 'feminine' is treated as a synonym for 'weak,' girls are going to continue to be underestimated and boys are going to continue to be bullied when they step out of the gender box they've been put in." Why does gender neutral clothing always mean 'boy' clothes for girls? [more inside]