Good reads

Posted in links on May 30th, 2012 by steph – Comments Off on Good reads

Here are some links to articles I have enjoyed recently, for your reading pleasure:


“Pennsylvania Doctors Worry Over Fracking ‘Gag’ Rule’ “:

“A new law in Pennsylvania has doctors nervous. The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what’s in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals. But the new law also says that doctors can’t tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what’s in those formulas. It’s being called the ‘doctor gag rule’.”


“To Save Some Species, Zoos Must Let Others Die”, via Hoyden ABout Town:

“To conserve animals effectively, however, zoo officials have concluded that they must winnow species in their care and devote more resources to a chosen few. The result is that zookeepers, usually animal lovers to the core, are increasingly being pressed into making cold calculations about which animals are the most crucial to save. Some days, the burden feels less like Noah building an ark and more like Schindler making a list. ”


“It Happens All the Time”: a conversation about Rookie staff about street harassment.


“I’m Choosing to Be Sterilised, But Not Everyone Does”: I recently read two excellent books on the history of eugenics (“Better for All the World: The Secret History of Forced Sterilization and America’s Quest for Racial Purity , by Harry Bruinius, and “War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black) and think it is important that when we talk about the choice to not have children that we don’t forget about people who had that choice stolen from them.


I freakin’ love Aasif Mandvi: “Whitewashing, a History”

“Take a minute to walk to your limousine in my Gucci shoes, and you’ll realize that I’m just trying to make people smile. Mickey Rooney with buckteeth and a crazy accent in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? It’s so much funnier than finding a real Chinese actor just talking like himself. Then you’d have to get a screenwriter to actually write genuinely funny lines for that character. You get so much more comedy bang with buckteeth and a funny accent. I mean, it made me laugh. Many people, including myself, were also convinced that Charlton Heston truly was a Mexican/Native American/Egyptian/Ape who talked to God. And I think I convinced a lot of Asians that Genghis Khan really did look like John Wayne back in the ’60s. “Short Circuit” was one of my biggest hit movies and I was completely convinced that Fisher Stevens was Indian. Who knew he was a Jewish guy from New York? That accent was spot on!

My point is, I’m not the bad guy. I’m just the rich guy. When you look at it through my studio executive lens, you understand how important it is that both white people and non-white people believe that Indians, Asians, Mexicans and Arabs are truly just white people in brown makeup. I don’t like thinking that way. I just don’t have the luxury not to. I’m a businessman.”


(via Racialicious)


“Death and Disarray at America’s Racetracks”, via Sociological Images: A very depressing article about the utterly cruel and messed up horse racing industry (a mainly US-centric focus).

” ‘In humans you never see someone snap their leg off running in the Olympics. But you see it in horse racing.’ “



Aaaaaaand…….Strong Female Characters are back!! Kate Beaton is AH-MAY-ZING.






Posted in links on June 1st, 2011 by steph – 2 Comments

First and foremost, a major shout out to Boganette for organizing The 37th Down Under Feminist Carnival; check it out because there is so much good stuff to read.


Via Sociological Images (a great site in general): I’m not racist, but… , which catalogues some instances of shitty justification for racist statements. They’re not racist, they’re just stating facts!

And, an affiliate site: I’m not sexist, but…


An article on Ms. magazine blog by Michael Kimmel: “Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the Myth of Consent”. I particularly like this bit:

The question is how many groupies are actually out there? In the Colorado case, one of the attorneys for the raped women asked the football players a most telling question:  “How many female students here at CU would you consider to be ‘football groupies’? One running back said, “About half.” Another player, a wide receiver, answered “a majority.”

In these guys’ minds, every other female student at Colorado would have sex with them, any time and anywhere. But I’d say it’s more likely that, at any one moment, only a handful–oh, let’s inflate wildly and say one-half of 1 percent, or about 72 women on the campus–might actually be classified as groupies. That would put these football stars off by about 14,300.  In other words, their celebrity so distorted their vision that they misconceived the sexual interest of women they encountered on a daily basis–“misoverestimated”–as our former president might have said–by a factor of 10,000 percent.


“Too Young to Wed” by Cynthia Gorney on the topic of child brides.


I also recently got around to watching North Country (directed by Niki Caro), which has been sitting in my MySky pile for ages, and I highly recommend it. And yes, I totally cried.


Posted in links on May 26th, 2011 by steph – 1 Comment

Ben Stein wrote a repugnant defense of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and reminded us all that of course a wealthy, educated professional couldn’t be a rapist because rapists are deranged wild-haired strangers who lurk in the bushes with a knife

In life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.

Of course an economist couldn’t be a rapist, silly. Oh, wait. Apparently those things are not mutually exclusive. Here are more examples of why the “well-off educated person is clearly not a criminal” trope is fail- although, as is pointed out, these weren’t all violent sexual crimes, so obviously Ben Stein has won this point.


An old piece from Shakesville, but one that was a bit before my time as a consumer of feminist writing on the internet: The Patriarchy is Bad for Everyone. It gets a bit tiring having to explain to people why the sexist bullshit about how men are wild, rapacious animals who lack control or emotions is not ok and does a huge disservice to men, and it’s always nice to read things that discuss this.


This piece from Hugo Schwyzer, “Words are not fists: on male strategies to defuse feminist anger”, is also a bit old but I have just come across it now, and I like dicussions about the legitimacy of anger and the way in which people try to defuse and delegitimize it.


An excellent piece by ScubaNurse (here on her own blog, and here at The Hand Mirror) on Slutwalk and the absurdly stupid comments by Paul Quinn on Backbenches about drunken women being on the streets early in the morning when he is righteously heading off to the gym. Slutsssssssssssssssssssssssss. Booze. Putting themselves at risk. The usual. Sigh.