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.
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]