Femmostroppo Reader – June 8, 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.

  • Get Back in the Kitchen
  • – “The notion that (pro bono) cooking is women’s work is popping up all over the food movement.”

  • Et Tu, Helen Thomas?
  • – “as though this was a case of media censorship. He completely ignores the fact that she wasn’t gagged—she was fired. That’s not a violation of free speech—as Greenslade seems to believe—it’s the natural consequence of saying stupid, offensive shit that discredits you and embarrasses your employer and colleagues.”

  • Apply A Medical Approach To That Gushing Wound of Oil
  • – Yup.

  • THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE: Advice for Deleted Commenters, From a Puppy
  • – Seriously, you all need to meet Tiger Beatdown’s ADORABLE puppy moderator, Hector.

  • The Boyfriend Myth – Culture – The Atlantic
  • – “If the facts backed Flanagan up—if withholding sex for boyfriends could actually solve the problem of girls being hurt by sexual partners—I would join the crusade against the hook-up culture tomorrow. But boys aren’t treating girls badly because they have sex; they’re treating them badly because we live in a culture that encourages disrespect toward girls.”

  • Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign Centers World Cup and Misses Its Mark
  • – “The worst problem of all, though, is that the poster does seem to apply blame to someone other than the World Cup. It applies blame to the victim.

    Don’t let the World Cup leave its mark on you. Don’t let the World Cup leave its mark on you.

    According to this poster, someone who is abused by a partner “because” of the World Cup has let it happen. According to this poster, it is the potential victim’s responsibility to ensure that she doesn’t let it happen. According to this poster — which, again, does not so much as include a mere mention of a perpetrator — it can only happen if she lets it.”

  • Wake Up, Fauxgressive Dudez
  • – “I’m surprised (ahem) at the cavernous void of outrage across the progressive blogosphere at this affront to women. You’d think the male-authored blogs at which protecting Roe is such a huge issue during elections would be prominently featuring coverage of this assault on women’s basic bodily autonomy.”

  • Helen Thomas: Our heroes are human
  • – “Now, I’m afraid that this is the legacy Thomas will be left with: Because she wasn’t perfect, she was terrible. In fact, of course, Thomas is neither perfect nor terrible. What she represents is that uncomfortable reminder that our heroes are not infallible. They are not everything we want them to be, no matter how much we pretend otherwise. Our heroes will disappoint, sometimes egregiously.”

  • No more Frock Watch Mia, please
  • – “She is continuing to advocate for body image in the most ass-backwards way by posting photos of celebrities and inviting comment on what these women look like.”

  • Do lesbians have healthier kids?
  • – Are lesbians better parents, or is the difference more that all these pregnancies are PLANNED?

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 general.

Categories: linkfest

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7 replies

  1. I wish, for once, for ONCE, the mass media (and bloggers, come to that) would distinguish between “unplanned” and “unwanted”.
    I want to know more about the methodology here, too. I’ve poked around news article after news article, and nothing’s said about the selection/inclusion/exclusion criteria or the control group. Were these lesbians who were conceiving with ART compared to other ART families (in which case they’re all “planned”, thankyouverymuch), or to some random population sample (in which case there are likely to be far more differences between the groups than whether or not the pregnancies were planned).?
    As far as I can see from the abstract, it was a highly self-selected sample was compared to “their age-matched counterparts in Achenbach’s normative sample of American youth”. What else was different about them? We could be discovering something like “lesbians receiving ART services and enrolling in long-term behavioural studies 17 years ago and not lost to followup were richer/more privileged than average”, which is hardly likely to be revelatory.

    • Good point. There’s plenty of people I know of who have been utterly delighted by a totally unplanned pregnancy.
      Tying into your “richer/more privileged than average” point, it’s likely that fully planned pregnancies either through ART or otherwise are going to demonstrate a socioeconomic bias effect from their parents’ financial readiness for children – obviously childrearing is going to be easier at least in the material aspects if you’ve already lined up your ducks in a row regarding living in a home you feel is suitable for children, feeling that your employment status can cope with time off for parental leave, etc etc etc.

  2. OK, I’ve read the full paper now. Here is the selection method:

    Between 1986 and 1992, prospective lesbian mothers who were inseminating or pregnant through DI were recruited via announcements that were distributed at lesbian events, in women’s bookstores, and in lesbian newspapers throughout the metropolitan areas of Boston, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

    The authors note in the discussion:

    […] recruiting was limited to the relatively small number of prospective mothers who felt safe enough to identify publicly as lesbian, who had the economic resources to afford DI, and who, in the pre-Internet era, were affiliated with the communities in which the study was advertised.

    The participants, both parents and children, seem to have known they were in a study looking into the behaviour of children of lesbians, and both parents and children were asked specific questions about lesbian stigmatisation.
    The groups were similar in economic status, but, as the authors note, they neither matched nor controlled for race or region – and their sample was far more likely to be white and far more likely to have Northeastern heritage than the “control” group (there were almost no midwesterners or southerners).
    There is nothing in the discussion involving, specifically, whether or not pregnancies were planned, and as far as I could find, no information about this in the Achenbach sample. Rather, the authors say this:

    These findings may be explained in part by the NLLFS mothers’ commitment even before their offspring were born to be fully engaged in the process of parenting. During pregnancy, the prospective mothers took classes and formed support groups to learn about childrearing. They were actively involved in the education of their children and aspired to remain close to them, however unique their interests, orientations, and preferences may be.

    And then… this.

    The lower levels of externalizing problem behavior among the NLLFS adolescents may be explained by the disciplinary styles used in lesbian mother households. The NLLFS mothers reported using verbal limit-setting more often with their children. Other studies have found that lesbian mothers use less corporal punishment and less power assertion than heterosexual fathers.

    So what we have, in fact, is better reported behavioural outcomes amongst the children of privileged white urban community-rich politically-engaged parentally-engaged parents who don’t hit. And are lesbians.
    I’m all for research demonstrating what we know to be true (that gay parents aren’t inherently OMGawful for kids), but it would be nice to have a little rigour both in the science and in media interpretation the results.

  3. Did anyone see the article in the Green Guide re a documentary on a ‘false rape’ charge? http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/a-parents-worst-nightmare-20100602-wyxx.html
    I cringed when I saw the article because I didn’t think the world needed another story about false rape allegations – so much more interesting, apparently, than credible rape allegations where the accused gets off on the flimsiest of grounds!
    On reading the article, I became even more pissed off – I may be missing something, but this seems to be saying it was a false allegation because procedure wasn’t properly followed. The author doesn’t seem to even consider the possibility that the allegation was not false AND the police screwed up procedure.
    Maybe the doco gives more nuance – but this sounds like “nice guy, says he never even met this girl, who says he did it, but there’s no valid evidence because police stuffed up the process, so she’s obviously lying.” Which chain of thinking I am having trouble following.
    Sorry to drop this in this thread – wasn’t sure where to bring this up.
    Am I reading this right? Is this another ‘women are always accusing totally innocent guys of rape’ story?

    • Thacky, it’s a bit hard to tell exactly what the story about the girl is going to be from that short summary, but I agree that the claims about her changing her story several times do seem to be framing her as a liar (ignoring the possibility of a traumatised person having memory gaps which are gradually restored). They even excuse the boy for being a proven liar who changed his story about having never met the girl as just “panic” at being caught up in the accusation – there doesn’t seem to be similar generous interpretations given to a girl who could also be panicking after an assault.

  4. This case seems like it deserved some attention – if evidence relating to a violent rape allegation was not handled properly, that’s a serious concern on its own, regardless if some ‘nice boy’ and his concerned parents were caught up in it. But the case of a white, middle-class boy being treated poorly (assuming that happened) is apparently of major concern but the case of woman’s complaint about an attack going nowhere is just business-as-usual. The tease for this story was something like “Australians think they can trust the justice system..” and I thought – “All too many of them know they can’t …” – especially survivors of rape.

  5. I had the same reaction to the stories about that doco (although also haven’t seen the doco itself). I saw it first in a preview thing a few days ago, and the headline didn’t just say “Every Family’s Nightmare” but “Every Family’s Worst Nightmare”. I accept that getting caught up in an investigation is pretty horrendous, especially if you didn’t actually commit the crime and you end up spending time in prison and so on. But worst nightmare? Come on. I would think that (1) every family (indeed, every person!) would have different things they would find the most fearful/horrific – and for that reason, as well as the fact that some experiences just can’t be compared, I’d hesitate to call any particular experience “the worst”; and (2) surely a family member dying (or, indeed, being a victim of rape rather than falsely accused of a crime!) would be significantly worse than this!
    Having said that: yes, there are real concerns with the investigative procedures. Richard Ackland discusses those (he refers to WA and in NSW – probably because the doco was about WA and he’s writing in the SMH – but it’s entirely likely that at least some other states use the same procedures).
    However, he also buys the line that the complainant (to whom he refers as the “victim”, complete with scare quotes) “concocted” the “story” (he did not use scare quotes for those words). He also doesn’t explicitly come out and admit that the boy lied about never meeting the girl (but he clearly accepts that the boy did lie, by saying that he “initially denied” meeting her).
    Ackland is usually a bit savvier than that! I’m quite disappointed.

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