Femmostroppo Reader – March 20, 2010

Items of interest found recently in my RSS feed. What did I miss? Please share what you've been reading (and writing!) in the comments.

(Oops, shared more links than I thought! They’re all after the cut)

  • Requests work better than orders, even when we're asking or ordering ourselves
  • – “This isn’t the only study to show that subtle grammatical shifts can sway our intentions and behaviour”

  • on journalism
  • – a quote from the much-missed Molly Ivins – “The smug complacency of much of the press – I have heard many an editor say, ‘Well, we’re being attacked by both sides so we must be right’–stems from the curious notion that if you get a quote from both sides, preferably in an official position, you’ve done the job. In the first place, most stories aren’t two-sided, they’re 17-sided at least. In the second place, it’s of no help to either the readers or the truth to quote one side saying, ‘Cat,’ and the other side saying ‘Dog,’ while the truth is there’s an elephant crashing around out there in the bushes.”

  • Sean Carroll on Colbert
  • – “His particular interest is the flow of time, and why it goes from the past to the future. That may seem like a weird thing, but in fact we don’t understand why we remember the past and not the future. Space goes in all directions, but time is a one-way street. Why?”

  • Dear Imprudence: The Unmannerly Doctor
  • – “As Miss Manners rightly pointed out, the doctor did not behave appropriately. The patient was well within her rights to be upset.”

  • Pretty ugly: Can we please stop pretending that beautiful women aren't beautiful?
  • – “So, what does it mean when even the “ugly” women on our screens are conventionally beautiful? Firstly, it means that the bar for female beauty is being set higher than ever: if Tina Fey, Lea Michele and America Ferrera are “ugly,” what hope is there for the rest of us?”

  • "You don't belong here": why powers of attorney and health care proxies aren't enough
  • – “All it takes is for one person in a position of authority to ignore your valid contracts, and you might find yourself dying alone instead of in the arms of your loved one.

    “But that never happens!”, cry the cold-hearted anti-family activists. Oh, but it does happen. Case in point: Sharon Reed and JoAnn Ritchie.”

  • Abusive Men Overestimate the Rate at Which Other Men Abuse
  • – “First of all, while currently unknown, it’s entirely possible that abusive men’s disproportionate likelihood of having grown up abused and/or living in an abusive home is related to their likelihood to overestimate the general rate of IPV. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to improve our ability to identify children who are being abused and/or exposed to abuse, and to provide them with support, resources, education, and counseling. We need not first know conclusively whether or not exposure to abuse is connected to one’s views on the normalcy of abuse in order to do this work; regardless of its effect on one’s propensity to go onto commit abuse oneself, these services are simply the only right way to treat any human being, potential abuser or not.

    Secondly, while the study’s authors note that it’s currently unknown whether correcting abusers’ perceptions on the rate at which other men abuse will alter their own behavior, it is known that this misperception allows abusers to help justify their own actions. While entirely possible that abusers would then find another method of justification, the fact is simple: there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to allow this particular justification to go unchallenged.”

  • Does Pink Stink?
  • – “If you read different parts of the site, it’s clear that pink is a stand-in for the socialization of girls into a particular type of femininity, and the campaign is attempting to combat the narrowing of girls’ aspirations and role models. But it brings up an issue I face whenever I’m trying to pick out clothes for my 3-year-old niece: how do you reject the trappings of that socially-approved version of femininity without devaluing femininity, girls, and women themselves?”

  • Gay Teen Whose Prom Was Cancelled Because She Wanted To Bring Her Girlfriend Receives Scholarship On The Ellen Show
  • – “This does not make up for the discrimination that she has faced, but it will go along way to helping her to continue to believe and fight in the name of justice. “

  • Contraception in the media
  • – “There is a huge role for better contraceptive education for all genders, for more sex education for all genders (which is far, far bigger than instructing women about contraception), for discussing ways to achieve these things.

    This article? Sneering at women? Making a baseline assumption that longer GP-woman chats are the optimal way to achieve contraceptive ed? No.”

  • Little Kitten – The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks On Colbert Report
  • – The Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) story keeps on rolling on

  • Cop the spite
  • – “So who the hell is spitefully turning to Lara Bingle, sneering “cop that!” as if Clarke’s success teaches her some kind of lesson? And what lesson in particular? What precisely is she “copping”, and why? For whom is the Herald Sun speaking, apart from its apparently malicious editors?”

  • What’s in a name #2
  • – “But that’s the problem with corporations: they reckon they’re the most important entities in the community, and demand that offences against them be treated more seriously than offences against any ordinary person. After all, they’ve got so much more money! They employ people! Therefore, whatever they want, they should get. That’s why copyright terms keep getting extended – it doesn’t matter that it decimates the public domain, that it completely contradicts the purpose for which copyright was devised in the first place, all that matters is that some inhuman sponge gets to own and control more of our common heritage.”

  • Suffragari!
  • – an excursion into a foreign voting system

  • Women buy 55% of movie tickets
  • – “It happens all the freaking time, people. Free markets are beautiful things, but buyers can only purchase what’s offered. And even when they do spend, if the people in charge are so incapable of reason that they look for ways to explain that spending away, it doesn’t change the industry’s scope like it should.”

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in genera

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