Avocado juice with chocolate syrup
I don't even understand the question?!? I guess I'm brainwashed
According to a survey of 1,387 students in Sociology 101 classes at a large west coast university, 25.8% of college students “somewhat” or “strongly agree” that romantic love brainwashes women. Another 20% could be convinced. Interestingly, the numbers were similar for men and women, though women were a bit more likely to agree.
Data from “Hey God, is that You in my underpants?” by Roger Friedland and Paolo Gardinali, published in Intimacies: A New World of Relational Life.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
What violates Instagram’s community guidelines? Periods, apparently. Instagram has an ugly history of policing bodies. Over the last year the social media site has come under fire for banning images of women’s pubic hair — even though, according to Mic, Instagram has tolerated men’s pubic hair.
This week, Instagram told visual and spoken word artist Rupi Kaur that her self-portrait violated the app’s community guidelines. Her crime? The photo, which you can see below, shows Kaur with a small period leak.
The photo is gorgeous — but apparently periods, like women’s pubic hair, offends Instagram’s misogynist sense of propriety. In taking down Kaur’s photos, Instagram promotes a long tradition of shaming people who menstruate, most but not all of whom are women, as though their bodies are naturally dirty. Kaur wrote on her Tumblr:
thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines i will repost it again. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified…
After Kaur spoke out, Instagram restored her photo, but its claim of an “accidental removal” rings hollow. Instagram doesn’t need to correct one mistake; it needs to shift how it understands bodies.
You can find more of Kaur’s photos from this series at www.rupikaur.com.
Samad Kohigoltapeh, 32, construction engineer, with his twins. (Photo credit: Johan Bavman / Moment / INSTITUTE)
There is a mythical place where new parents get 480 days of paid leave for every child they have. And though it might feel like it to those of us here in the US, counting ourselves lucky if we get a single paid day off at all, this place is not, in fact, a fantastical utopia in a parallel universe. It is simply a country called Sweden that decided to enact a policy to make it so.
Under Sweden’s policy, 60 of these 480 days must be used by dads (in straight couples) or else they’re lost, and some lawmakers are pushing to make the split even more equal. Perhaps even more than the generous maternity leave, this incentive for dads to take time with their kids seems to be a boon to women and the goal of gender equality (and to the economy too.) Women’s incomes and levels of self-reported happiness have increased, divorce rates are down, and, as the New York Times reported a few years ago, “a new definition of masculinity is emerging.”
Still, though most Swedish fathers take some of their leave, a minority use all their 60 days, and only 12 percent share the total leave time 50-50 with their partner. While home with his own son, Swedish photographer Johan Bävman was surprised to realize that “we are actually not so equal as we think we are in Sweden, despite how Swedes often pat themselves on the shoulder and are so proud of their gender equal system and so on.” He created the photo series Swedish Dads to highlight men who decided to stay home longer than the average, “to hear why they wanted to be home with their children and what they hoped to learn from it.”
Check it out — if you can deal with the envy better than I can.
Header image: Jonas Feldt, 31, job centre administrator, with his kids (Johan Bavman / Moment / INSTITUTE)
A few days ago, Germany’s highest court finally struck down a state law that had banned women from wearing headscarves in classrooms. But the decision, a victory after more than a decade of legal and public debate, is sadly an isolated sign of optimism within an increasingly bleak picture of Western countries marginalizing Muslim women for the way they dress.
Earlier this month, France’s women’s minister expressed support for a university-wide headscarf ban, arguing: “I’m not sure the headscarf is part of higher education.” (The fact that she is the country’s secretary for women’s rights is particularly awkward.) Her comments came as former president Nicolas Sarkozy proposed banning female students from wearing headscarves at all French universities. In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pushed to criminalize the face-covering this month, asking the House: “Why would Canadians, contrary to our own values, embrace a practice…[that] frankly, is rooted in a culture that is anti-women?” A poll released over the weekend suggests that 70 percent of Canadians support his sentiments.
Germany’s ruling striking down such bans proves what many of us already know: that criminalizing the way women dress is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women to freedom of expression and religion. But recent studies highlight even more violent effects of this marginalization. A report published last month by Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, reveals that 80 percent of the “rising” anti-Muslim acts which occur in France are carried out against women. Eighty percent.
If that’s not enough to make you sick, Newsweek notes:
[T]he term ‘acts’ covers a huge range of hostile actions…which include: Spitting, general abuse, pulling and tearing at the niqab and the hijab, plus dog feces being thrown at women, as well as bottles from passing cars and people shouting things like ‘Muslim whore’ ‘Muslim bitch’ or ‘Muzzie’.
While Islamophobic attacks in France have increased dramatically since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, violence against Muslim women is not new nor particular to France. Data shared by The Guardian last year also suggested that Muslim women in the UK face more hate crimes than their male counterparts: four out of five victims attacked in the street were women wearing an Islamic covering. Both reports demonstrate that Muslim women are targeted for their visibility. As Fiyaz Mughal of the think tank Faith Matters explains to Newsweek, “Visible women are the ones that are targeted at a street level. This means that women who wear the hijab are the ones that are sometimes targeted for abuse and those who wear the niqab suffer more anti-Muslim hate incidents and more aggressive assaults.” Both reports also show that perpetrators are overwhelmingly young, white men.
I would be curious to see if anyone has compiled data on the gender imbalance of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States, but I’m guessing that trends here would be no different. In a piece here last month, I pointed to the Chapel Hill shootings as an example of gender-based violence against Muslim women (and criticized white feminists for ignoring such violence when perpetrated by white men). Newsweek quotes Texas A&M Professor Sahar Aziz similarly condemning the deafening silence about these increased attacks from French feminists who had celebrated the 2011 ban on full face veils.
While a ban on Muslim head coverings is nowhere near the same thing as anti-Muslim attacks, both are rooted in a similar hostility. Clearly, we need to have a meaningful discussion around Islamophobia and gender-based violence. Perhaps a place to start might be recognizing the role played by the policing of Muslim women’s wardrobes.
Header Image: Vox.
This is a map of the countries Europe colonized, controlled, or influenced between 1500 and 1960. The purple is Europe. The orange countries are ones never under European rule. Almost the entire rest of the map — all the green, blue, and yellow — were dominated by Europe to some extent. “Influenced” is pretty much a euphemism and often not all that different than outright domination.
Max Fisher, writing at Vox, summarizes:
There are only four countries that escaped European colonialism completely. Japan and Korea successfully staved off European domination, in part due to their strength and diplomacy, their isolationist policies, and perhaps their distance. Thailand was spared when the British and French Empires decided to let it remained independent as a buffer between British-controlled Burma and French Indochina…
Then there is Liberia, which European powers spared because the United States backed the Liberian state, which was established in the early 1800s by freed American slaves who had decided to move to Africa.
More details and discussion at here.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
I really really wanna go back to Scotland
The right to speak freely is a right often confounded with other, more nebulous, unenumerated rights. Many, particularly online, conflate the right to speak with the right to be heard and the right to a platform.
But it gets more vicious than even that particular level of entitlement. Imagine, if you will, someone pinning you against a wall and screaming in your face, pushing their weight against you to prevent you from leaving. Only when they’re satisfied will your violent interlocutor release you, at a time and manner of their choosing. Is this what free speech looks like? To some petulant internet users the answer appears to be yes.
Over the last several months the reactionary, anti-feminist GamerGate movement has been pared down to its most extreme elements, still capable of organising harassment against the movement’s pet targets in spite of their vastly reduced numbers. GamerGate is now reduced to an almost pitiable recycling of their “greatest hits,” periodically resurrecting old targets and memes when they need inspiration to carry on for yet another tedious day.
The latest track on GamerGate’s golden oldies collection is the Good Game Autoblocker, or ggautoblocker, a tool developed by programmer Randi Harper that automatically blocks the vast majority of GamerGate’s Twitter activists. The tool was loathed by GamerGate from the moment it was publicly released and their rage found a new crescendo when the International Game Developers Association included it in a list of resources to combat online harassment (it is also worth mentioning that IGDA executive director Kate Edwards has been a frequent target of GamerGate as it leaves no prominent woman in the industry untrolled).
Bear in mind that what the ggautoblocker does, in practise, is prevent GamerGate tweets from showing up in ones mentions; it simply makes it harder for GamerGaters to use Twitter to contact you as an individual but otherwise inflicts no harm on anyone. It’s victimless.
But there is renewed rage about the autoblocker because, inspired by game developer Mark Kern, a newfound supporter of the movement, GamerGate wants to try to actually ban the tool and sue Randi Harper for “defamation.” In what universe does this make sense? Apparently some GamerGaters feel slighted by the supposed implication that every person blocked by the script is a misogynist harasser.
A particularly amusing thread on the GamerGate Reddit hub, Kotaku In Action, shows one user proposing to use nothing less than the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 to take down ggautoblocker. The rest of their post is dedicated to using what amounts to spammers’ tactics to circumvent peoples’ Twitter blocks.
It should almost go without saying that during this pathetic farrago the banner of free speech has been waved until its edges frayed.
What offends GamerGaters about the autoblocker, aside from the fact that a woman found a technical solution to a social problem, is that it denies them the ability to impose themselves on targets. The idea that the women, people of colour, and queer folk who’ve comprised the majority of GG’s targets might be able to curate their online spaces and have certain discussions only with those of their choosing is repugnant to many GamerGaters. In the absence of genuine legal recourse, the worst thing you can do to a bully, harasser, or troll is ignore them after all.
Further, individual GGers are offended at the suggestion that they should be “lumped together” with the toxic elements of their movement. They’re polite and just want to debate, after all; they are the Socratic interlocutors, while nebulous others are the real harassers. How dare Randi Harper and her autoblocker conflate the two! But the reality, for those of us who have been living with this for the last several months is as follows.
For months I resisted using the ggautoblocker because I was leery of handing over judgement and control over who I blocked to a pre-existing list so long that I could not conceivably check every single account. I wanted to do exactly as GamerGate wished– judge each person I interacted with as an individual and block or not block as needed. Never mind the fact that I was attacked many times over by individual GGers who felt my block was unfair, thus driving more aggression my way from their friends. Hilariously, many GamerGaters assumed I was using ggautoblocker when I really had only just blocked a handful of people manually.
I finally relented after GamerGate dug up my deadname and began using it against me on Twitter.
The blanked out name at the bottom is my old name. Originally posted on a thread about me on 8chan, GamerGaters took to using it on Twitter.
Enough was enough, and surely it was my right to decide that.
Also, who wants to see this in their mentions all day?
This is Ralph, leading muckracker of the GamerGate movement whose website Ralph Retort has begun to specialise in outing trans women. Other great hits of his include posting disturbingly detailed pictures of Brianna Wu’s home on his site. The Randi referred to here is Randi Harper.
To GamerGate, doxing a trans woman and weaponsing their birth names is “free speech.” This also serves as a useful example of the “polite” disingenuous apologism I mentioned earlier.
GamerGate explains their dogpiling and aggression by arguing that their targets, myself included, are “public figures” who should expect feedback. While this repeats GamerGate’s favourite rhetorical slippage of conflating harassment with something noble, even on its face it’s more than a little strange because it’s precisely through being attacked by GamerGate that their targets became public figures in the first place.
Their own obsessive scrutiny becomes moral justification for more of the same.
Could anyone be blamed for using an admittedly blunt instrument to try and break that terrible cycle? Do we not have the right to choose who we talk to? Portraying this jury-rigged, last ditch attempt at victimless self defence as some grand assault on freedom of expression feels perverse considering that the GamerGate movement has, itself, striven to silence and drive out critical voices again and again. Often violently.
More than a few women online have pointed out that GamerGate’s mentality on this issue is similar to men who street harass, who catcall a woman and are then incensed when she ignores him, sometimes going as far as following the woman, touching her, or attacking her long after she made clear she wasn’t interested. GamerGate seems to be perfecting the digital version of this terrifying harassment. Indeed, it often seems they wish to pin us down and shout at us until they’re satisfied.
But this has been going on for nearly seven months. Who knows when that’ll be?
Girls do more chores than boys and are less likely to get an allowance in exchange for their work. When they do, they are paid less.
Research projects on children’s time use find that boys do 43 to 46 minutes of housework for every hour that girls do. When asked to list the chores they do, girls list 42 percent more chores than boys. Girls are as likely as boys to participate in outside chores and more likely to clean their own rooms, help prepare meals, and care for sibling and pets; the only thing boys report doing more often than girls is basic housecleaning.
Another study by the children’s magazine Highlights confirmed the finding: 73 percent of their girl readers reported being assigned routine chores, compared to 65 percent of their boy readers. Girls spend more time on chores than they do playing; the opposite is true for boys.
Not only are girls more likely to be asked to help out around the house, they are less likely to get paid. The Michigan study found that boys are 15 percent more likely than girls to get an allowance for the chores they do. And when they do get paid, they get a lower wage than their brothers. Male babysitters get paid $0.50 more an hour than females. Girls do 35 percent more work than boys, but bring home only $0.73 cents on boys’ dollar.
The gender pay gap starts early.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
I encourage everyone to go read this very smart and very sad essay from Alex Andreuo at The Guardian. It’s a condemnation of defensive architecture, a euphemism for strategies that make the urban landscape inhospitable to the homeless.
They include benches with dividers that make it impossible to lie down, spikes and protrusions on window ledges and in front of store windows, forests of pointed cement structures under bridges and freeways, emissions of high pitched sounds, and sprinklers that intermittently go off on sidewalks to prevent camping overnight. There is also perpetually sticky anti-climb paint and corner urination guards, plus “viewing gardens” that take up space that might be attractive to homeless people:
Here are some examples from a collection at Dismal Garden:
Here’s a picture of anti-encampment spikes featured at The Guardian:
Andreuo writes of the psychological effect of these structures. They tell homeless people quite clearly that they are not wanted and that others not only don’t care, but are actively antagonistic to their comfort and well being. He says:
Defensive architecture is revealing on a number of levels, because it is not the product of accident or thoughtlessness, but a thought process. It is a sort of unkindness that is considered, designed, approved, funded and made real with the explicit motive to exclude and harass. It reveals how corporate hygiene has overridden human considerations…
If the corporations have turned to aggressive tactics, governments seem to simply be in denial. They offer few resources to homeless people and the ones they do offer are insufficient to serve everyone. Andreuo continues:
We curse the destitute for urinating in public spaces with no thought about how far the nearest free public toilet might be. We blame them for their poor hygiene without questioning the lack of public facilities for washing… Free shelters, unless one belongs to a particularly vulnerable group, are actually extremely rare.
He then connects the dots. “Fundamental misunderstanding of destitution,” he argues, “is designed to exonerate the rest from responsibility and insulate them from perceiving risk.” If homeless people are just failing to do right by themselves or take the help available to them, then only they are to blame for their situation. And, if only they are to blame, we don’t have to worry that, given just the right turn of events, it could happen to us.
Cross-posted at Pacific Standard.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Last month’s edition of Contexts had a fascinating article by Amin Ghaziani titled Lesbian Geographies. Most of us are familiar with the idea of a “gayborhood,” a neighborhood enclave that attracts gay men. It turns out that lesbians have enclaves, too, but they’re not always the same ones.
Here’s the frequency of same-sex female couples (top) and same-sex male couples (bottom) in U.S. counties. Census data tracks same-sex couples but not individuals, so the conclusions here are based on couples.
What are the differences between where same-sex female and same-sex male couples live?
First, Same-sex female couples are more likely than their male counterparts to live in rural areas. Ghaziani thinks that “cultural cues regarding masculinity and femininity play a part.” As one interviewee told sociologist Emily Kazyak:
If you’re a flaming gay queen, they’re like, “Oh, you’re a freak, I’m scared of you.” But if you’re a really butch woman and you’re working at a factory, I think [living in the midwest is] a little easier.
If being “butch” is normative for people living in rural environments, lesbians who perform masculinity might fit in better than gay men who don’t.
Second, non-heterosexual women are about three times as likely as non-heterosexual men to be raising a child under 18. Whatever a person’s sexual orientation, parents are more likely to be looking for good schools, safe neighborhoods, and non-postage stamp-sized apartments.
Finally, there’s evidence that gay men price lesbians out. Gay men are notorious for gentrifying neighborhoods, but data shows that lesbians usually get there first. When non-heterosexual men arrive, they accelerate the gentrification, often making it less possible for non-heterosexual women to afford to stay. Thanks to the gender pay gap, times two, women living with women don’t generally make as much money as men living with men.
Or, they might leave because they don’t want to be around so many men. Ghaziani writes:
Gay men are still men, after all, and they are not exempt from the sexism that saturates our society. In reflecting on her experiences in the gay village of Manchester, England, one lesbian described gay men as “quite intimidating. They’re not very welcoming towards women.”
Cross-posted at Pacific Standard.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
LET US GO
I always gotta poop alone
Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally.
They separated their results by gender and sexual orientation. When they asked people if they were worried that the hearer would “feel disgust,” heterosexual women were most likely to agree and heterosexual men the least, with non-heterosexual men and women in the middle, but flipped such that men were more worried than women.
Heterosexual men were the most likely to think it was funny and the most likely to engage in “intentional flatulence.” Almost a quarter said that they “often” did so, whereas only 7 percent of heterosexual women said the same. “Guys would say it’s raunchy and then say ‘Nice one,’” explained one heterosexual guy, “because if it’s strong it’s more manly. You know, because women would not try to clear a room with a fart.” Heterosexual women felt like they were violating gender norms if their farts were stinky: “The worse it stinks,” said one, “the nastier they think I am.”
Heterosexual women were the most concerned that it would affect their relationship with the hearer. They were also the most likely to do things to reduce the likelihood that others would detect their bathroom activities, like go into another room to pass gas or let their stool out slowly to avoid a kerplunk. Two thirds said they would wait until they were alone to poop and only women reported flushing repeatedly to ensure that the sights and smells of their defecation had disappeared.
As a counter example, one of the heterosexual men interviewed said that the only thing he was willing to do to protect others from his bathroom activities was close the door.
Non-heterosexual men were an interesting conundrum. They were as likely as heterosexual men to think that the hearer would think it was funny, but the least likely to engage in intentional flatulence and the most likely to make sure that when they poop, they do so alone.
Non-heterosexual women were also a conundrum. They were the least likely to think the hearer would laugh at a fart, but second only to heterosexual men in the practice of farting on purpose to get a reaction.
This study is a great example of what social scientists call doing gender, modifying our behavior to conform to gendered expectations. Generally, women are expected to have better control of their body, to be more polite, and to avoid offending others. All of these things are consistent with being more discreet with farts and poops.
The interesting data from non-heterosexual men and women may be explained by the conflation of sexual object choice and the performance of gender. It’s not universally this way, but in the U.S. today gay men are feminized and lesbians masculinized. This is a stereotype, but also gives non-heterosexual men and women some permission to deviate from gender rules. As one non-heterosexual man explained:
Only around people that I’m regularly naked with would I be comfortable with them knowing what I was doing in the bathroom. I’m on the self-prescribed “pretty pill”—where you don’t fart, sweat, burp, or use the bathroom… I learned it from my diva friends.
Similarly, some non-heterosexual women may feel a little less pressure to be as girly or girly all the time.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
No it is because there are hardly any bus lanes and so the bus is always hopelessly late.
Look closely. Which would you rather ride?
Transport scholars David Hensher and Corinne Mulley asked this question of residents of six cities in Australia. They included these ultra modern examples and also photographs featuring less modern trains and buses.
They found that people overwhelmingly preferred trains to buses, even though the modern bus has a dedicated lane just like the train and identical boarding and fare collection procedures.
We associate trains with romance and leisure travel or hip, urban places like Manhattan. In contrast, buses bring to mind traffic, exhaust, and being exhausted after getting off from a second job. Members of a focus group organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, had these things to say:
I’m ashamed to tell that I am taking buses…In Europe, I wouldn’t. But here, they would think, “Did he lose his job?”
The shame factor is majorly big.
I’m just saying that when I was in L.A. and I was in the car and just looking in at the bus…the people getting on….it just seems scary…
The bus has a bad rap.
But the authors found it wasn’t that simple. People from cities with better bus service tended to feel a little better about buses. If someone had recently had a good experience on a bus — like getting a seat for the whole trip — they felt better about buses. In fact, riding buses made people like buses more. People who rode more often had a better opinion.
Basically, give people good buses, good bus routes, and good service and they will come to love buses.
So, the authors argue that cities shouldn’t let the bad reputation of buses stop them from providing and improving bus service. Often buses are a better choice than trains. Bus routes are cheaper to get started and easier to change. High frequency and dedicated lanes can make them as efficient. So, if a bus is the right thing for the city, don’t give the people what they want, show them.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Ed. note: This post was originally published on the Community site.
Brace yourself for the irony: #Beijing20 is trending on Twitter in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing (when Hillary Clinton delivered her “women’s rights are human rights” speech.) But right before International Women’s Day 2015, police across China detained vocal, young Chinese feminist activists.
Li Tingting (Li Maizi) protests against the misogynistic 2015 Chinese New Year Gala, wearing a shirt that says, “This is what a feminist looks like” in Chinese. (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)
On the evening of March 6, 2015, leaders of the Chinese feminist community were taken into police custody or put under house arrest in at least three Chinese cities: Beijing, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou. Police detained these feminists, who are all in their 20s or early 30s, on the grounds of “creating disturbance” (寻衅滋事.) According to the accounts by friends and colleagues, police broke into their apartments without arrest warrants. In addition to detaining at least ten activists, the police confiscated their phones, laptops, and other means of communication and documentation of activism. As of Sunday evening (March 8) Beijing time, five feminists remain in detention with no contact with the outside world or access to their attorneys.
Why were they detained?
The feminists had planned to publicly rally against sexual harassment on buses in Beijing and Guangzhou for International Women’s Day. The charge under which they were detained, “creating disturbance,” has been repeatedly used by the Chinese state to detain, arrest, or harass civil rights lawyers, liberal intellectuals, and civil society/human rights activists during recent months of intensified censorship and crackdown on civil liberties.
In November 2014, since Zheng Churan (Datu) was denied exit by the Chinese customs, her friend carried a large photo of Zheng and protested on Zheng’s behalf at the Beijing+20 CSO Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo courtesy of Zheng’s weibo)
Some commentators speculate that the “Two Sessions” underway (the Chinese legislature’s annual meeting) might explain why the feminists were taken into police custody, and expect that they will be released once the legislative sessions are adjourned. If we accept such analysis, which has validity in the Chinese one-party system that prioritizes stability above all else, the absurdity is beyond comprehension. On the one hand, Chinese state media celebrates women legislators and new anti-domestic violence legislation, which are both important; on the other, the state is so afraid of young, vocal feminists that they must be detained right before International Women’s Day, so as to assure the smooth running of national legislative sessions.
Who are the feminists detained by the police?
LI Tingting (李婷婷, pseudo-name Li Maizi, 李麦子) is a Beijing-based young leader for women’s rights and LGBTQ rights advocacy. She works for Beijing Yirenping Center, “a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and public health” that battles disease- and disability-related employment discrimination. Li has been the leader of campaigns to raise awareness on domestic violence, gender discrimination, and homophobia in China. The pinned post on her weibo (a popular Chinese micro-blogging site similar to Twitter) account before the detention commemorates the third anniversary of “Occupy the Men’s Room,” a provocative campaign advocating for unisex restrooms in urban China.
Wei Tingting holds a sign that says, “Because of love, zero tolerance of discrimination against AIDS patients.” (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)
WEI Tingting (韦婷婷, nicknamed Waiting) is a Beijing-based advocate for public health, LGBTQ rights, and AIDS awareness. She works for Beijing Gender Health Education Institute (BJGHEI), an NGO focusing on the “issues of gender, sexuality and sexual health” in China. Her last post on her weibo account, dated March 5, says, “is it a good idea or not, to put oneself in a place of danger?”
ZHENG Churan (郑楚然, pseudo-name Datu or “giant rabbit”, 大兔) is a Guangzhou-based, 25-year-old feminist activist. She has publicly protested against sexual assault on college campus, employment discrimination against women, and the fact that rape of Chinese girls is considered “prostitution” rather than rape. In November 2014, Zheng was set to attend the Asia Pacific Civil Society Organization (CSO) Forum on Beijing +20 but was denied exit at the Chinese custom. (See photo) Her personal profile on her weibo account says, “The comments that make one uncomfortable are helpful tools that prompt one to leave one’s safety zone.”
WU Rongrong (武嵘嵘) is a feminist working for a Hangzhou-based women’s advocacy group. She has been active since 2005 and has worked on legal cases addressing violence against women in China. Her health is in bad condition; and her family has been trying, but so far has failed, to deliver medicine into police custody.
WANG Man (王曼) is a Beijing-based feminist. Her weibo handle says ,“Wang Man [dedicated to] eliminating poverty.” She has publicly spoken against gender discrimination in Chinese college admissions and has long been an advocate for women’s economic empowerment.
What will happen to these feminists? What will happen to Chinese feminist activism?
The feminists’ lawyers have been trying to locate them in the past 48 hours. The police have denied that they have detained them. According to their lawyers, these feminists might be “interrogated three times a day,” sometimes “with late-night or even all-nighter interrogations” which “are the most frightening.” Since they have been missing for more than two days now, the level of danger they face is considered “elevated” by the feminist community.
Wu Rongrong (left) and Wang Man (right) were both detained by police in Hangzhou and Beijing respectively. (Photo courtesy of anonymous friend)
Many Chinese feminists have written in their personal wechat (a popular Chinese mobile text and social media) platform, “This is a day marked by humiliation and sorrow.” While it is hardly surprising that women’s rights would fall short in a country where civil liberties are at risk, this is a day that should anger feminists across the globe. Chinese women, more than 600 million in number, make up about one tenth of humanity. This is a day marked by humiliation and sorrow for all of us.
Li (left) and Wei (right) dress up in bloodstained wedding gowns to raise awareness on domestic violence in China. Their signs: “Why are you still silent about intimate violence around you?” and “Love is not an excuse for violence”. (Source: artintern.net)
How can a feminist ally inside or outside of China help?
In Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, and mixed martial arts, there is a rule that you never hit “below the belt.” The area of biggest concern is the testicles. As the Ultimate Fighting Championship rules specify, “groin attacks of any kind” are a foul. This is probably because groin attacks might make for short fights or ones where everyone just goes around protecting their balls. In any case, the skills being tested are of a different kind. But, even aside from that, this seems like a good idea and very civilized. I do not advocate for testicle kicking, not groin attacks of any kind, for what it’s worth.
I do think it’s somewhat odd, though, that men who fight each other outside of controlled conditions—men in street fights, bar brawls, and parking lot scuffles—also usually avoid hitting below the belt. These fights aren’t about training or skill, like those between professional athletes, they’re real attempts to do some damage out of anger or defensiveness. So, why no hits to the balls?
The question was posed by a woman on Yahoo! Answers: “If you dislike each other enough to want them to get hurt,” she asked, “why not do the worst?”
The answers, admittedly unscientific, were interesting. One of the common responses involved the idea that not hitting below the belt was “an unspoken rule.” Maybe it’s the Golden Rule—do onto others as you would have them do unto you—and some men mentioned that, but others suggested that it was a rule specific to manhood. It’s a “cheap shot,” said one. A “low blow,” said another.
But why? Why do men agree not to kick each other in the balls? Why is that part of the code?
I think it’s because it serves to protect men’s egos as well as men’s balls.
What would street fights between guys look like—or professional fights for that matter—if one could go below the belt? For one, there’d be a lot more collapsing. Two, a lot more writhing in pain. Three, a lot less getting up. All in all, it would add up to less time looking powerful and more time looking pitiful. And it would send a clear message that men’s bodies are vulnerable.
Chris Tuchscherer not having been just hit in the balls:
Chris Tuchscherer having been just hit in the balls:
Not hitting below the belt, then, protects the idea that men’s bodies are fighting machines. It protects masculinity, the very idea that men are big and strong, pain- and impact-resistant, impenetrable like an edifice. So not hitting below the belt doesn’t just protect individual men from pain, it protects our ideas about masculinity.
When a man hits below the belt, he is revealing to everyone present that masculinity is a fiction. That’s why one guy said: “For ‘alpha male’ fights, nut shots are just wrong.” Alpha male fights are about figuring out which male is alpha, while preserving the idea that the alpha male is a thing that matters.
This is why men are quick to criticize other men who break the code. One of the best ways to control men is to threaten to kick them out of the man club. “If a guy kicks another guy in the balls on purpose during a fight,” one replied to the question on Yahoo, “he will forever be banished from manhood.” Another said: “Winning like this means that you cannot beat up the other guy by ‘real’ fighting.” It’s a matter of one’s own reputation: “A man who kicks another man in the balls,” said a third, “immediately loses all manliness and respect.”
So, men generally agree to pretend that the balls just aren’t there. The effect is that we tend to forget just how vulnerable men are to the right attack and continue to think of women as naturally more fragile.
I still don’t want anyone to get kicked in the balls, though, just to be clear.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
NPR put together a nice graphic showing the most common job in every state every two years from 1978 to 2014. It’s a fascinating ride from secretaries, farmers, and machine operators to truck drivers, truck drivers, and truck drivers. Click to enlarge.
Here are some of the changes I found interesting, with mostly uninformed commentary. The three boxes represent 1978, 1996, and 2014.Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Inspired by a recent report that calculated that there are more men named John, Robert, William or James than there are women on the boards of large companies, an economist at the New York Times has applied this index to a variety of institutional contexts.
Chart source: Execucomp via NYT
Turning to the CEOs of those major companies, for example, reveals an even more egregious stat: For each woman CEO, there are four men named John, Robert, William or James. In fact, the number of companies run by men named John exceeds those run by women. (Same with David.)
Of course, the index isn’t a particularly accurate gauge of gender inequality in all contexts — in institutions that are more ethnically diverse, for example, or that draw from a younger generation with more Jacobs and Tylers than Johns and Bobs. But it’s still a revealing/depressing experiment.
Dating site OKCupid did an analysis of 500,000 inquiry messages to determine what keywords correlate most strongly with getting a reply. It has some great lessons about dating and some counter-stereotypical news about what heterosexual women want from men.
This first graph shows that mentioning someone’s level of attractiveness decreased the likelihood of getting a response (for both men and women), though men were more likely to mention looks. But general compliments about one’s profile increased the likelihood of getting a response (the middle line is the average number of responses, the green bars signify an increase in the number of responses, and the red bars a decrease):
A good lesson in operationalization: “pretty” is used in two ways in our culture, so when they made sure to differentiate between pretty (meaning “sort of”) and pretty (meaning “attractive”), you can see clearly the way that commenting on looks decreases the recipients’ interest:
So, in contrast to stereotypes, many women cannot be flattered into a date (though the figure above includes men and women, I’m assuming most people being called “pretty” are female).
Further, the site found that when men sent messages, female recipients preferred humility to bold self-confidence. The words below all increased the chances of a woman responding to a man’s inquiry:
Instead of bravado and flattery, women appear to actually like men who take an interest in them. They respond positively to phrases that indicate that a guy actually read their profile and is interested in the content of their person:
The lesson: Treat a woman (on the OK Cupid dating site) like a human being and she will respond positively.
And to answer the question, “What do women want?” As my dear friend David Landsberg would say: “Everything!”
This post originally appeared in 2009.Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.
The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.
[...] Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.
“Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?” Barbieri asked.
Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.
“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.
Rep. Barbieri later claimed he “was being rhetorical.” “I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges….It was the response I wanted.” Whatever you say, dude.
Here’s the thing: A quote like this is just a particularly absurd illustration of the everyday reality that US lawmakers, with absolutely no expertise in medicine or public health, are regularly ignoring the scientific facts and advice of health professionals and passing laws that tell doctors how to practice medicine. Whether or not Rep. Barbieri actually thinks that the stomach is connected to the vagina, he for sure believes that he knows better than a physician whether it’s safe to provide abortions via telemedicine.
In reality, it is extremely safe, effective, and cost-effective. By increasing access to the procedure earlier in pregnancy, telemedicine results in improved health outcomes and is greatly appreciated by patients. Rep. Barbieri’s opposition to the practice is driven by his opposition to abortion in general, which he — like the rest of the anti-choice movement — wraps up in a veneer of concern for patient safety, while ignoring the consensus of the people who actually provide abortion care.
I do not blame anti-choice lawmakers from trying to impose their own beliefs about abortion on their constituencies, but pretending that they know better than health experts is an insult to the entire profession. And I think it’s long past time that the medical establishment — whether or not they provide abortions — fight back against the increasingly anti-medicine tactics of the anti-abortion movement, from politicizing health boards to mandating that doctors to lie to their patients.
Have some soy paper
It’s been quite a while since I was last on the Gold Coast. I reckon the last time I was there I was about 12 and back in those days it was cheaper to road trip there than fly. I vaguely remember going to Sea World, Dream World and Movie World, and spending hours at the Timezone in Surfers Paradise but for some reason I remember very clearly receiving a deck of cards from Jupiters Casino which started my love for all card games.
Anywhos a couple of weeks ago I was flown up for a much needed weekend escape – hello chillaxing on the beach – but the primary purpose of my visit was to visit Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, which opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. Chase’s Sokyo is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and I was keen to see if Kiyomi measured up.
After checking in and spending the day eating donuts with Helen, we return to our room and find a sweet surprise- a chocolate sculpture of the fruit that the restaurant is named after. The kiyomi is a small Japanese citrus fruit that has been cross-bred from a tangerine and an orange and it is deeeelicious.
We take the lift to the lobby level where Kiyomi is located and find that it is already packed – apparently all tables are booked out for the month!
Luckily we have a booking and as we’re led inside the restaurant I’m mesmerised by the fluorescent UV artwork by Tokyo-based Houxo Que, a Japanese street artist.
We start off with drinks, a refreshing Yuzu Collins ($18) and a Tengumai Umajun Junmai Sake ($10). I’m warned about the ice filled hole in the glass sake Tokkuri that keeps the sake cold without diluting it but still manage to knock all the ice out because I’m coordinated like that.
We design our own Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12), my fave of the lot being the silky, smoky eel.
We smell the Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18) before it even reaches our table, the yuzu force was strong with this dish! I love yuzu but woahhh easy there fella! I’m not the biggest fan of scallops but these were perfect specimens, plump and delicate and the addition of the charred corn was ace.
The Seared Scampi ($9 each) was just amazing. It just about blew me away and I fell head over heels in love with the combination of the clean flavour of the scampi, the richness of the foie gras and the tartness of the julienned green apple bringing everything home.
Moving onto the sushi and rolls section we order the Aburi Salmon ($19), the salmon is a generous fat slice draped over the pat of rice but it had barely a kiss from the blowtorch and we all know how much I love burning. That sounded sarcastic but really, who doesn’t love a good char :D
The Queensland Roll ($23) is certainly interesting in presentation, with soy paper instead of the usual seaweed wrapping morsels of sweet spanner crab and a creamy avocado puree squiggle on top.
I’d hoped there would be miso cod on the menu but the Dengakuman Toothfish ($37) soothes my soul with its caramelised miso glaze and smoky flavour.
The Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37) is another hit for me and thanks to the magic of cooking on the binchotan grill, each slice is so fricken tender and juicy!
We were pleasantly full at this stage but we really had to see how their tempura game stacked up against Sokyo. The Tempura Cuttlefish ($20) is perfection with golden batter so light and crisp it could make angels weep.
And last but not least, Chase’s signature Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20), a slice of ruby red tuna lies on a dollop of spicy mayo and a cube of sushi rice that has been fried until crisp. Smashing.
We were stuffed to the gills but there’s always room for dessert right? Our only problem was choosing which dessert to get and since we were indecisive we were brought a dessert platter. The Mango Shiso (full size $13), tastes like summer with fresh mango pieces, dollops of creamy mascarpone and sour cream, crunchy shiso meringue, toasted milk powder and mango sorbet.
The toffee tuille in the Apple Jack (full size $13) is eye catching though immediately plasters itself to my teeth and while the Jack Daniel’s foam may not be for everyone I loved the combination of the gingerbread and honey ice cream.
I’m glad to see that Goma Street (full size $14) has made it on the menu as it’s one of my faves at Sokyo. I love cracking through the discs of dark chocolate and black sesame crumble to reach the extremely addictive caramelised white chocolate mousse and the black sesame ice cream is super intense in flavour.
The service at Kiyomi is top notch but I did find it disconcerting that because the restaurant wasn’t enclosed we could see directly into the casino and cringed as the doof doof music from the bar downstairs slowly increased in decibels throughout the night.
We rub our bellies and stagger off to sleep away the food coma.
And then breakfast time at Food Fantasy! I love hotel buffets!
There are pastries galore and a pancake machine which is seriously like the best invention ever.
The line for omelettes was never ending so unfortch I skipped this and went straight for bacon and waffles :D
Then it was some quality time by the pool
I like long walks on the beach…
Farewell Gold Coast! You were bloody awesome!
ChocolateSuze dined at Kiyomi as a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Return flights from Sydney, one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy was included.
F came home one day after a doggy play date and announced that we should go The Henson: it is a dog-friendly pub with pretty darn good food.
Say no more, he had me at “dog-friendly pub”!
We’re always on the lookout for dog-friendly places, so I was pretty excited about coming here (Xander looks pretty happy about it too! Haha).
It’s also a kid-friendly place, complete with a shed that’s been converted into a play house; there were actually more kids than dogs – I think Xander was the only dog there that day.
I wasn’t prepared for how big this dish turned out. The tobiko-topped seared scallops came with an avocado, miso corn, and bean sprout salad, sprinkled with toasted sesame.
There was quite a lot going on, and while F thought it was the weaker dish of the three, I really enjoyed it. This is a salad I’d definitely have again, as I liked how the dish was light yet still had some substance to it.
Mac’n’Cheese is one of the best comfort food for me; this one is jazzed up with cauliflower, kale, and truffle.
It came out close to being molten hot lava and despite (impatiently) waiting for it to cool (by eating other things), my first bite was still piping hot. Typical mac’n’cheese! I don’t think I’ve ever had one that wasn’t hot on the first mouthful.
It was so decadent and cheesy that it’s worth doing the open mouth breathing thing to cool it down (so classy, I know haha).
The “Knuckle” Sandwich consisted of wagyu brisket, fennel slaw, Swiss cheese, and smoky mayonnaise on rye with chips on the side.
It may not look like it, but there was a lot more brisket under all that slaw; the sandwich was very well balanced! There was an unexpected kick from the mayonnaise, but I managed to push through the heat and enjoy my half (of course, F didn’t think there was much heat, if at all).
As one would expect, the brisket was the star: so tender, perfectly seasoned, and succulent. The chips were pretty good too, especially when we added the salt below.
F went to get our cutlery and came back with more; available condiments include a variety of salt! He grabbed the smoked chilli salt and rosemary rooster salt.
I was already struggling through the spicy mayonnaise, so I only tried the fancy chicken salt. It went very well with the chips.
I loved how relaxed the atmosphere was at The Henson (even with the overly excited kids in the background) and I loved the food even more. Definitely going to make this into our regular hangout! There’s so many other dishes I’d love to try.
Just as heads up: we went on a Saturday around lunch time, so we had to do a couple of laps before finding a parking spot in a side street.
91 Illawarra Road,
Marrickville, NSW, 2204
Ph: (02) 9569 5858
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