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]
The US Department of Education has released the College Scorecard, matching financial aid data to federal tax returns. At some expensive colleges, the salaries of students 10 years after enrollment are bleak, and there is an earnings gender gap at every top university. [more inside]
Picture yourself as a stereotypical male "As it turns out, there is zero statistically significant gender difference in mental rotation ability after test-takers are asked to imagine themselves as stereotypical men for a few minutes. None. An entire standard deviation of female underperformance is negated on this condition, just as a man’s performance is slightly hindered if he instead imagines himself as a woman."
In its all-too-brief 3½ year run, Comedy Central's sketch comedy powerhouse Key & Peele burned brightly, leavening Peabody-award-winning social commentary with sublime silliness and Hollywood-quality production values, all centered on the impeccable character acting of co-stars Jordan (Peele) and Keegan-Michael (Key). By the time its end was announced, characters like the Substitute Teacher, the East/West College Bowl players, and Obama's Anger Translator had captured the popular consciousness, while skits like TeachingCenter and Negrotown deftly spotlighted our most pressing problems. With the finale airing tonight, and the dynamic duo free to tackle other projects, why not revisit the program's concentrated brilliance in the form of ~100 of their very best short bits available on the web, sorted loosely by topic. [more inside]
"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..."
Once a Pariah, Now a Judge: The Early Transgender Journey of Phyllis Frye.
Useful resources for participating in the discussion: Ohio U's Trans 101* : Primer and Vocabulary guide; and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program [more inside]
Useful resources for participating in the discussion: Ohio U's Trans 101* : Primer and Vocabulary guide; and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program [more inside]
The Village Where Men Are Banned (and accompanying photos). Julie Bindel at the Guardian writes about the Kenyan village of Umoja, where for 25 years, since the village was founded by survivors of sexual assault, only women and their children have lived.
Your Sex is Not Radical In queer radical circles and in much of the left, the worlds in which I operate, there’s a widely held idea that one’s political radicalism can be attached to one’s sexual practices. This is why those who practice BDSM and are variously “sex positive” are often equated with left politics. But the sad truth that many of us learn after years in sexual playing fields (literally and figuratively) is that how many people you fuck has nothing to do with the extent to which you fuck up capitalism.
Attractive entrepreneurs get more funding – but only if they're male. The research paper "Investors prefer entrepreneurial ventures pitched by attractive men", written by researchers at Harvard, Wharton School and MIT, found the gender and attractiveness of entrepreneurs have a significant effect on whether their business ventures will receive funding. [more inside]
Mic article on Resting Bitch Face EJ Dickson article about people constantly telling her she looks angry and discovering that her "RBF" is a symptom of her anxiety.
What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name: I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called “Mr.” and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.
"Pajubá is one of the many queer anti-languages of the world. People study them in 'Lavender Linguistics'. It's hard to study those languages because their usefulness vanishes if they are not secret anymore. Pajubá is a moving target, evolving so rapidly that it can't be documented." — Pajubá: The secret language of Brazilian trans women [via mefi projects]
Facebook's bias training: "There are different forms of unconscious bias that can prevent us from cultivating an inclusive and innovative workplace. In these videos, we discuss four common types of biases: Performance Bias, Performance Attribution Bias, Competence/Likeability Trade-off Bias, and Maternal Bias."
"Games offer a way to simulate and view complex systems from the outside, to pick them up and play with them as a child might play with a toy machine, to understand what they are able to do and where they are broken." Bea Malsky at The New Inquiry writes about casual time management gaming, Marxism, affective/emotional labor, worker alienation, and whether just maybe Diner Dash is doing subversive feminist work.
Why can't men be Olympic synchronised swimmers? - by William Kremer (BBC News Magazine)
Conchita Wurst (previously) might have made bearded drag famous with her 2014 Eurovision win, even popularizing it to an extent by inspiring mainstream outlets like RuPaul's Drag Race. But there's more to bearded drag and genderfuck drag than Conchita Wurst. Beards in drag have been around since the 1970s, notably as performed by The Cockettes and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (previously). Here, bearded queens Lucy Stoole, Grace Towers, and Jeff Poulin speak about why they incorporate beards into their performances. (NB: drag queens are not synonymous with trans women.)
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]
It's possible you don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe you're a moderate drinker who baby-sips two glasses of wine and leaves every party at a reasonable hour. Maybe you are one of those lucky people who can slurp your whisky all afternoon and never disappear. But if you're like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.An excerpt from Sarah Hepola's new memoir: "Everyone has blackouts, don't they?" [more inside]
New research into the pain processing of mice has found male and female mice process pain differently, and the discovery may also apply to other species, including humans. Scientists are now questioning what this means for the future of medical research, which until now, has had a strong bias towards experimenting on male mice. [more inside]
"..Research also shows that diverse teams are better at solving complex problems and enjoy more dynamic workplaces. So at Facebook we’re serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics.” Facebook only hired seven black people in latest diversity count.
In an new episode of the Charlie Rose Brain Series, the topic of Gender Identity is discussed. Participating in the discussion are Ben Barres, chair of neurobiology at Stanford University, Norman Spack of Boston Children’s Hospital, Catherine Dulac of Harvard University, Melissa Hines of University of Cambridge, and Janet Hyde of University of Wisconsin. (SL Video) [more inside]
This Is What Ruby Rose Thinks About The Entire Internet 'Going Gay' For Her - Erin Whitney, Huffington Post | Girl On Girl: Why We Never Talk About Male Sexual Fluidity by Morgan Cohn, The Frisky | We Heart: Ruby Rose on Gender Fluidity - Emma Niles for Ms. Magazine
Why More Men Are Drinking Pink "You go to a table where people are sitting outside and they're like, 'I'll take a magnum of Bedell,' and maybe it's seven dudes and you're a little surprised. You thought you were going to be talking to them about scotch, but they want some Provence rosé, and that's totally cool."
StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" Project features short videos of people from all walks of life slowly stripping down to their underwear, while giving revealing interviews intended to show that 'style is not the clothes one wears, but spirit, and comfort in one's skin.' Topics covered are as diverse as their subjects, and include beauty, fashion, disability, diseases and chronic conditions including albinism and cancer, career, gender, identity, body image/dysmorphia, abuse, miscarriage, etc. The majority of the subjects are women. Some videos may be NSFW. (Via)
Math edutainer and MeFi favorite Vi Hart reflects on how her beliefs about gender, personal expression, "political correctness," diversity, and sincerity have matured over the years.
Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index covers journal articles, book reviews, and essays in books about women, sexuality, and gender during the Middle Ages. [some pages may contain medieval nudity] [more inside]
"The average monthly income in Ethiopia is about $300-$400, less after taxes. She is running to take $4,000 home. You do the math. All I am going to take home are some sore legs, a cheesy medal, and a fierce hangover from partying with my brothers. I got nothing to lose so I let it all hang out. We don’t speak the same language, but running is universal, like music."
"Let’s have a year of publishing only women." ~ Kamila Shamsie [The Guardian] [Books]
It is clear that there is a gender bias in publishing houses and the world of books. Well, enough. Why not try something radical? Make 2018 the Year of Publishing Women, in which no new titles should be by men.[more inside]
For those at the top, James Brown’s observation that it is a man’s, man’s, man’s world still holds true. Some 95% of Fortune 500 CEOs are male, as are 98% of the self-made billionaires on the Forbes rich list and 93% of the world’s heads of government. In popular films fewer than a third of the characters who speak are women, and more than three-quarters of the protagonists are men. Yet the fact that the highest rungs have male feet all over them is scant comfort for the men at the bottom.
The New Republic interviews Josh Levs, a CNN reporter who "has written a book, All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses – and How We Can Fix It Together, arguing that it is incumbent on men to become part of a conversation about gender equality in homes and in workplaces." [more inside]
"The record store, the guitar shop, and now social media: when it comes to popular music, these places become stages for the display of male prowess. Female expertise, when it appears, is repeatedly dismissed as fraudulent. Every woman who has ever ventured an opinion on popular music could give you some variation (or a hundred) on my school corridor run-in, and becoming a recognized 'expert' (a musician, a critic) will not save you from accusations of fakery." The World Needs Female Rock Critics, by Anwen Crawford for the New Yorker. Discussed in the piece is Jessica Hopper's new collection of essays, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, which has been greeted with glowing praise. Here's an interview she did with Hazlitt: 'Am I Womansplaining To You?' And here she speaks to Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy: "Being a fangirl is all the qualification you need. And don't wait for anyone to give you permission. They won't. And you should do it anyways." [more inside]
Quiverfull of shit: a Guide to the Duggars' Scary Brand of Christianity - Gawker, Jennifer C. Martin
"In 1985, a writer named Mary Pride published a book called The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, which detailed her journey away from the second-wave feminism of the '70s and into what she perceived was a woman’s Biblical place in the home, and the commandment to fill the house with as many of her husband’s children as possible.
"Pride insisted that no woman could possibly find true happiness without submitting to her vision of Christianity: Relinquish control of your womb to God, and exist only to please your husband, give birth, feed everyone, and educate your children in the home—almost certainly without having received any formal higher education yourself."
17 Pathbreaking Non-Binary and Gender-Fluid Novels | You might be sexually fluid and not realize it — or even care
"D’Eon exploited this remarkable situation to transition to womanhood, getting both the English and French governments to declare that 'Monsieur d’Eon is a woman.' The press closely followed these announcements and, starting in 1777, d’Eon lived her life legally recognized as a woman. In Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, d’Eon is held up as one of the most remarkable women of her century." Transgender celebrities are not new. Just read London newspapers from 1770, The Guardian
My approach in shooting the portraits was to create a community experience. I set up open calls for women and female-identifying individuals to have their photographs taken holding whatever made them feel most safe walking home alone.Iowa-based artist Taylor Yocom presents: Guarded. [more inside]
Transgender Lives: Your Stories (NYT). As part of a series of editorials about transgender experiences, we are featuring personal stories that reflect the strength, diversity and challenges of the community.
While work-life balance is generally seen as an issue mostly affecting women, many men also struggle with balancing work obligations with family. In companies which expect an "ideal" worker to produce 60-80 hour work weeks, men use a number of strategies to conserve time and shorten work weeks--with vastly different consequences depending on transparency.
Every April for the past several years, Fantasy Cafe has published a series of guest posts for Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month. This year, the article that generated the most discussion was "'I am ... ?': Representation of Mature Women in Fantasy" by Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian, who asked, "So where are the older women in fantasy? Mature women who are the hero of their own story?" The many other guest posts this year offered an interesting range of questions, observations, and reflections--often by well-known names in the field. [more inside]
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]
The borders between butch women, masculine genderqueer people, and trans men are clearer in theory than in practice. In order to find out more about how people in these categories experience gender, I spoke with individuals from across the butch/trans spectrum, from female-identified butches to formerly butch-identifying trans men, and found commonalities, as well as differences, among them.
Bruce Jenner Says He’s Transitioning to a Woman [New York Times]
Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and member of the Kardashian family, ended months of speculation Friday night when he announced during an ABC television special that he identified as a woman and was making the transition from male to female.[more inside]