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15 Jan 14:00

Ohio Class Teaches Children that Men Think and Women Feel

by Philip Cohen PhD

From Reddit comes the story of an assignment given to high school students in a sex education unit of health class in Columbus, Ohio (as reported in theDispatch). The introduction reads (typos included):

Appreciating Gender Differences: Often there are many stereotypes attached to being male or female. Yet male and female together keep our species alive! Through knowing and appreciating the many differences in brain development and psychological processes of males vs. female one learn to accept and appreciate the differences.”

Then there’s this graphic: 1 (3) - Copy Yes, boys and girls in the class all got the same handout, with the normal human described as “you” and the one in the dress labeled “she.” After the graphic is a list of questions for the students to ponder in an essay, such as, “How might knowing these differences influence and impact an intimate relationship you might currently have or develop in the future?”

In her defense, the teacher naturally told the Dispatch that the point was to just “stimulate conversation.” But nothing in the assignment suggests the stereotypes might not be anything but true. None of the essay questions cast doubt on the facts presented. Consider revising the text like this:

Appreciating Gender Similarities: Often there are many stereotypes attached to being male or female. Yet male and female together keep our species alive! Through knowing and appreciating the many similarities in brain development and psychological processes of males vs. female one learn to accept and appreciate the similarities.”

That could be a useful opening to a unit on gender and development for high school sex education (without the graphic). Where did this come from? The teacher said it came from “an outdated book.”

With the power of Google image search, you can follow this image around the Internet, where it has been used by a lot of people to illustrate supposedly funny-but-oh-so-true stereotypes, like “Hilarious differences between men and women,” and on pages with sexist aphorisms such as, “A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband; a man never worries about the future until he gets a wife,” and on relationship advice pages, with conclusions such as, “If we understand this basic fundamental, there will be better relationships … steadier !!,” and even “Real, Honest Female Advice” for men who want to “start having unbelievable success with women.” It always has the same typo (“Figure Our Her Needs”).

I can’t find an original use, or any serious attempt at educational use, but I’d love to know who came up with it.

Philip N. Cohen is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change and writes the blog Family Inequality. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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11 Jan 08:19

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal [20]

by Susan Thye
Fergus Noodle

We should go eat this

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Ice Cream Sink
I love ice cream. My increasing sensitivity to lactose has not put a damper on my adoration of ice cream and if you opened my freezer right now you would see containers and boxes all wedged in tetris style to fit in as much ice cream as possible. I have been lusting over this incredible ice cream sink from Terrigal Ice Creamery (6/18 Church St, Terrigal) for about 2 years now as the boy refused to let me order this to eat just between the two of us pfft!

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Outside
Luckily the rellies have migrated over from Malaysia to Sydney and we introduced them to our favourite beach in Terrigal before I convinced them that they needed to partake in the age ol Aussie tradition of ice cream by the beach. I just didn’t mention how many scoops they were about to consume :P Terrigal Ice Creamery is 1 street away from the main beach with plenty of street parking available.

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Flavours
Wall of flavours!

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Flavours
The ice cream sink is $35 for 15 scoops, I was given an order pad and instructed to write the 15 flavours we wanted in our sink.

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Ice Cream Sink
I’d first heard of the ice cream sink from @ffichiban, eater of all things epic and at last! My preciousssss! My selections were: maltesers, death by chocolate, hokey pokey, rainbow, salted caramel, oreo cookies & cream, white chocolate & raspberry, cookie dough, hazelnut, Ferraro Rocher, pecan caramel, macadamia, strawberry summer, apple sorbet, lemon sorbet and the whole shebang was topped with wafers, flakes, chocolate fudge and whipped cream.

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Family
The staff come out and take a photo of everyone who orders the ice cream sink and it’s displayed out the front which I think is a nice touch.

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Family
ATTACK! I loved the hokey pokey the most, followed by the Ferrao Rocher and then the salted caramel. These 3 were rich and sweet but not in the teeth-decaying-cloying way. The nieces had never heard of rainbow ice cream before and went silent as they attempted to extract that crazy neon hue. I’ll wait a couple of years before I ruin it for them and tell them what flavour rainbow really is heh.

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Ice Cream Sink
School holidays means another trip to the beach and another visit for ice cream!

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Ice Cream Sink
More chocolate was requested so we ordered: cookie dough, hazelnut, New York chocolate, Ferraro Rocher, pistachio, Bacio, chocolate, watermelon, chocolate chip, death by chocolate, milk chocolate, rainbow, pecan, snickers, cookies & cream aaaand of course the whipped cream, fudge, flake and wafers!!!

Terrigal Ice Creamery, Terrigal - Noods finished
That Ferraro Rocher is the bomb! We weren’t too keen on the pistachio which had more of an almond extract flavour but eh 1 dud out of 15 is ok. One by one we ate as much ice cream as we could before slumping down in our seats with defeat. Except for Noods. He likes a challenge.

Terrigal Ice Creamery on Urbanspoon

04 Jan 13:00

Hawker, Sydney [23]

by Susan Thye
Fergus Noodle

I would eat the things

Hawker, Sydney - Apam Balik
I freaking love Malaysian desserts, from the multi coloured Kuihs to shaved ice with random fruits and fillings. But if I ever see freshly made Apam Balik I am over the moon with happiness and so when I heard Mamak had opened a new restaurant, Hawker (345 Sussex St, Sydney) with a focus on Malaysian-Chinese dishes and my beloved Apam Balik I knew I had to get there immediately. Below are dishes from my 3 visits :D

Hawker, Sydney - Barley Ice, Kat Chai Suen Mui
We start off with drinks. Barley Ping ($4) is my fave drink because the iced barley drink helps negate the burning whenever I eat spicy foods. Noods orders the Kat Chai Suen Mui ($4) which is calamansi lime and preserved sour plum with ice- it’s ok but he laments that the drink isn’t sour enough for him.

Hawker, Sydney - Popiah
Food comes out in no particular order but it does arrive quite quickly thankfully because I was bordering on hangry. While standing in line we’d been impressed watching the cooks make the popiah skins from scratch, so we definitely had to order the Popiah ($8) which came packed full of yambean (jicama), shredded omelette, minced tofu, cucumber and crispy shallots. Growing up in Aus, the mothership would let us diy our popiah and would deep fry pork fat to shove into the popiah and I would always see how stuffed I could make mine without making it explode. Hawker’s Popiah is pretty tasty but ah how I wish there was pork fat :P

Hawker, Sydney - Or Chien
The Or Chien ($16) is a fried omelette studded with plump Sydney rock oysters. I loved the gooey starchy innards but would’ve liked more of a char and more crispy edges to be just like the omelettes from proper hawker street stalls in KL. I’d totally order this again though as it was deeeeelicious especially with the briny and creamy oysters!

Hawker, Sydney - Hokkien Mee
I was looking forward to the KL Hokkien Mee ($14), stir fried hokkien noodles in a rich aromatic black sauce, with prawns, cabbage, pork slices and crispy pork fat. Yes purely because I heart pork fat. But alas! We found maybe 2 itty bitty pieces of pork fat noooo the sads! I’ve seen pics on Instagram where there was heaps of pork fat so maybe we just lucked out.

Hawker, Sydney - Char Koay Teow
The Char Koay Teow ($14) was pretty good, the wok hei game could be better but overall it was a decent CKT. There was a whole bunch of prawns, lap cheong sausage, fresh bean sprouts AND COCKLES!!! It’s been ages since I’ve seen a CKT with cockles!

Hawker, Sydney - Ikan Bakar Grilled Stingray
The Ikan Bakar ($16) was under the Snacks section but this portion of the grilled stingray was extremely generous! There was heaps of juicy, sweet flesh with a good amount of smokiness.

Hawker, Sydney - Assam Laksa
Noods loved the Assam Laksa ($12) which had bucketloads of flavour. The thick rice noodles had the perfect bite and bounce and we couldn’t get enough of the spicy, sour fish based soup with shredded fish, cucumber, lettuce, pineapple and mint. Definitely one of our fave Assam Laksas in Syd.

Hawker, Sydney - Laksa
The Curry Laksa ($12) was spicy but not oh-god-farewell-tastebuds-spicy with curry chicken, snake beans and tofu puffs in a spicy coconut milk based soup. I’m not keen on the mix of both egg noodles and vermicelli but I have issues haha

Hawker, Sydney - Apam Balik
Dessert time! Apam Balik ($6/2 pieces) is a crispy pancake with crushed peanuts, butter and creamed corn and it is all kinds of AMAZING! I could eat this every day! Aaaand most likely will :P

Hawker, Sydney - Apam Balik insides
Innards shot!

Hawker, Sydney - Fried Durian
Goreng Durian ($8), deep fried Musang King durian fritter served with vanilla ice cream. This was the bomb!!! The durian was ripe and still retained its texture after being fried and wasn’t just a lump of mush. It was pungent and fragrant but definitely one for the durian lovers. There’s also Goreng Pisang ($8) aka fried banana too.

Hawker, Sydney - Inside
The restaurant does get quite loud so we’ve started eating there only before or after the rush period because I am turning into a cranky nut.

Hawker, Sydney - Outside
The waiters are a bit hit and miss, not quite up to the multi-tasking stage but always super friendly and genuinely wanted to know our feedback on our meal. We’ll definitely be back, especially for desserts! Hawker has been packed all 3 times I’ve visited these past coupla weeks and I reckon it’s only a matter of time before the queues stretch down the street Mamak style.

Hawker on Urbanspoon

08 Jan 17:37

Je ne suis pas Charlie: On the Charlie Hebdo massacre and duelling extremisms

by Katherine Cross

What happened to the staff of Charlie Hebdo yesterday sent a chill down my spine, as I imagine it must have to anyone who makes a living on the world’s opinion pages. 

The outpouring of grief over the senseless slaughter of twelve people, gunned down as they worked, seems to have brought a vast, diverse public together, united in condemnation of violence let loose over words and images. These murders are understandably being seen as an attack on free expression; if nothing else, this tragedy is considerably more serious than the last free speech martyr we collectively anointed, in the form of a dreadful Seth Rogen film.

But the ever lingering threat, already rapidly swelling up in commentary online around the world, is that of an equally violent reactionary backlash that — unlike Islamic extremists — cloaks itself in the lofty rhetoric of democracy and liberty. #KillAllMuslims trended on Twitter as people clamored to spread and defend Charlie Hebdo’s many inarguably racist caricatures of Muslims, as well as its often puerile humor — in one case depicting the schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram as welfare queens (see below) — while braying for the death, deportation, and bombing of anyone perceived to be Muslim; as we go to press, mosques in France have been attacked, likely in retaliation. All this screaming beneath a banner of “Free Speech.”

Charlie Hebdo cover saying: "The sex slaves of Boko Haram are angry. 'Don't touch our child benefits!'"

“The sex slaves of Boko Haram are angry. ‘Don’t touch our child benefits!'” This is what ‘punching down’ looks like.

The stakes here are unaccountably high; unlike in the shameful carnival of chest-beating that attended The Interview, lives were actually lost. But what both cases have in common is an impoverished idea of free speech that is actually anathema to a democratic society, makes idols of art that should be up for discussion, and threatens to make a mockery of the very ideals people claim to be defending now.

Simply put, by making untouchable martyrs out of the slain Charlie Hebdo writers and artists, and belittling the longstanding concerns many have had about the newspaper’s history of racism, we compound the tragedy and do further violence to free expression. Terrorism’s chilling effect requires the complicity of a public that uses its collective power to do what no number of bullets or bombs ever could: in this case, the reaction of many to the shootings will further restrict free speech, coarsen debate, and leave ethnic minorities — especially Muslims — in a compromised position whence they can’t speak freely, under threat of violence or oppression.

It starts with the well-meaning “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) slogan that many lent their names to in a show of support and sympathy for the newspaper, its remaining staff, and those who grieve.

I support the sentiment, the empathy, the compassion that the slogan represents at its best (even if many are using it as a cover to spread Islamophobia as a misguided form of protest against Islamic extremism). But the simple fact is, I am not Charlie. I couldn’t be. Rather, I’m the sort of person who’d only ever get to be an ugly, rude caricature in their pages — a trans woman, a Latina, Puerto Rican but in the same community of Latinos scapegoated for various and sundry evils in the US, much as Muslims are in France. I’d never be the one wielding the pen, merely the lewd, pornographic subject and nothing more. I’d be fit for only the consumption of a privileged community, their joke, an unwilling jester. No, je ne suis pas Charlie.

Holding these ideas in tension — the recognition of the unnecessary prejudice of many Charlie offerings, and respecting those who were lost — is part of the challenge many of us face going forward.

I do not say that to disrespect the dead, but to add to the necessary proliferation of speech that must follow on from such a tragedy. Indeed, in cases like these there is a tragic irony to the invocation of liberty as a bloodied flag to drape one’s self in: we defend free speech in the abstract but loudly shout it down in the specific, precisely because it may challenge the powerful, or at least afflict a comfortable orthodoxy. It becomes its own form of religious extremism; every non-Muslim Westerner who ever rolled their eyes at Islamic extremists going on about their “martyrs” should take stock of just what it is they’re invoking when they call the victims of Wednesday’s shooting by that name.

In addition to this, there is a deep immaturity in the shouting down of critique here. To write, draw, create, or opine is to enter a congress of discourse. It is a conversation, often an acrimonious one, but it is what the life of creative work consists of. Whatever one’s feelings on the Hebdo cartoons and editorial line, the staff not only had a right to publish it, but the society and culture in which they intervened had (and retains) a right to reply. To do otherwise, to freeze these slain writers and cartoonists in amber upon a pedestal is to actually disrespect them and their work, to pull it from the stream of discourse that is the life essence of creative work.

It also makes these murders into perversely unassailable positive reviews — as if the slaughter proves the veracity of the comics’ content or their moral rectitude beyond all doubt. As if all debate should die with the victims. More perverse still to challenge “political correctness” by holding Charlie Hebdo forever above criticism whilst standing on a platform built over its staff’s freshly dug graves. Free speech and inquiry this ain’t.

There is no sin in debating an artistic creation, and I use the term “sin” advisedly here. When I spoke on this issue on Twitter yesterday one man accused me of justifying the murders, falsely claiming that I’d argued that the slain writers and cartoonists “had it coming.” This sort of bad faith was compounded by the same individual spreading Islamophobic propaganda; free speech for him, but not for anyone who treats Charlie Hebdo as anything less than pristine (something I suspect their irreverent staff would have found quite laughable). And certainly no free speech for Muslims who are loudly expected to do nothing but “condemn” this atrocity, and then make no other meaningful contribution to this discussion.

To question this narrow reading of free speech is, indeed, to find one’s self with no right to speak whatsoever, ironically. But you do no honor to those who made their lives creating and criticizing if you then make them “sacred” and untouchable.

Image of writing utensils with text in French: "To arms, comrades!"

“To arms, comrades!” For those who often bear the brunt of propagandistic hate-mongering in political cartoons this can seem threatening in a way its authors may not have intended.

The old saw about pens and swords comes to mind, as does my regrettable high school yearbook quote: “My keyboard is my sword.” Words are weapons, and as a Spanish cartoon made clear yesterday (see above), it’s an idea that many in the press seize on with great fervor.

But we seem to acknowledge this while also disclaiming responsibility, as if the words themselves are at once weapons and harmless, deadly and yet also mere toys. Free speech, however, is not a toy. It is a responsibility, a compact, which democracy presupposes we are mature enough to use justly. We are called on as citizens not to use our rights for bacchanals of self-indulgence and emotional expectoration, but to do the work of maintaining society.

What does it mean when we see words as weapons that we have no responsibility to use ethically?

The worst thing we could do in the wake of this massacre is to wrap ourselves in knots defending free speech in the abstract while finishing the work of terrorists by torching what is left of it.

10 Jan 17:17

USA Road Trip: Shreveport To Tyler, Texas

Fergus Noodle

She eats a salad full of croutons covered in cheese.

"I think I got too excited when I saw a fruit salad today" I turn to Belinda. We're over three quarters of the way through our American road trip across the South with three days left on the road and I've developed a crazy appetite for fruit salad and garden salad. It's not helped by the food that we've been eating. I've been trying to temper it with the three bite rule and regular gym workouts.
06 Jan 14:00

Herculean Dimorphism

by Philip N. Cohen PhD

I know, I know, Hercules is a demi-god. But he’s also all man. In Disney’s (1997) version, Hades says to Megara, “I need someone who can — handle him as a man.” And handle him she does:


And since they involve him in such matters of the human flesh (and heart), that means their measurements are fair game for the Disney dimorphism series. If Disney is going to eroticize the relationship and sell it to innocent children, then we should ask what they’re selling.

As usual, they’re selling extreme sex dimorphism. I did some simple measurements from one pretty straight shot in the movie, and compared it to this awesome set of measurements taken of about 4,000 U.S. Army men and women in the late 1980s. Since Hercules is obviously extremely strong and this woman seems to be on the petite side, I compared their measurements to those of the biggest man versus the smallest woman on each dimension in the entire Army sample. The numbers shown are the man/woman ratios: Hercules/Meg versus the Army maximum/minimum.

As you can see, this cartoon Hercules is more extremely big compared to his cartoon love interest than even the widest man-woman comparison you can find in the Army sample, by a lot. (Notice his relaxed hands – he’s not flexing that bicep.)

To show how unrealistic this is, we can compare it to images of the actual Hercules. Here’s one from about 1620 (“Hercules slaying the Children of Megara,” by Allessandro Turchi):


That Hercules is appallingly scrawny compared with Disney’s. Here’s another weakling version, from the 3rd or 4th century:


Now here is one from the 2014 Paramount movie, in which he is conveniently paired with the human female, Ergenia:


That bicep ratio is only 1.5-to-1. And that’s not normal.

Seriously, though, isn’t it interesting that both the Disney and the Paramount versions show more extreme dimorphism than the ancient representations? Go ahead, tell me he’s a demigod, that it’s a cartoon, that it’s not supposed to be realistic. I have heard all that before, and responded with counterexamples. But that doesn’t explain why the modern versions of this myth should show more sex dimorphism than the old-school ones. That’s progress of a certain kind.

I’ve written so far about Frozen and BraveTangled, and Gnomeo and Juliet, and How to Train Your Dragon 2. It all goes back to the critique, which I first discussed here and Lisa Wade described here, of the idea that male and female humans aren’t just different, they’re opposites. This contributes to the idea that Mark Regnerus defends as the “vision of complementarity” — the insistence that children need a male and female parent — which drives opposition to same-sex marriage. If men and women are too similar, then we wouldn’t need them to be paired up in order to have complete families or sexual relationships.

In the more mundane aspects of relationships — attraction and mate selection — this thinking helps set up the ideal in which women should be smaller than men, the result of which is pairing couples by man-taller-woman-shorter much more than would occur by chance (I reported on this here, but you also could have read about it from 538’s Mona Chalabi 19 months later). The prevalence of such pairs increases the odds that any given couple we (or our children) observe or interact with will include a man who is taller and stronger than his partner. This is also behind some notions that men and women should work in different — and unequal — occupations. And so on.

So I’m not letting this go.

Philip N. Cohen is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change and writes the blog Family Inequality, where this post originally appeared. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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05 Jan 14:00

A Korean Hallyu Threatens American Cultural Dominance

by Sangyoub Park PhD and Lisa Wade PhD

To many Americans, globalization may mean Americanization but, in China, globalization is Koreanization. This is the impact of Hallyu (the Korean word for “Korean wave”), which began in 1997. Hallyu began with Korean television dramas and today extends throughout Chinese life: k-drama, k-pop, movies, fashion, food, and beauty.  It is argued to be the only example of a cultural power “that threatens the dominance of American culture.”

Its influence is impressive. For example, when a star on a Korean soap opera ordered chicken and beer for dinner — Korea’s chi-mek (or chi-meak) – and claimed it as her favorite food, Chinese audiences went crazy for the combination. Korean beer exports rose by over 200%:

Even the standard of beauty in China has been altered due to Hallyu. During this year’s National Day holiday (10/1-10/7), about 166,000 Chinese visited Korea. They flocked to top shopping districts to purchase a wide range of Korean products like cosmetics, each spending an average of $2,500.  Some of these Chinese tourists visited the Gangnam district (Apgujeng-dong), the capital of plastic surgery in Korea. They want to look like k-drama stars. They want to have Korean actresses’ nose or eyes.

The obsession with Korea has caused Chinese leaders a great deal of angst. It was a major issue at the country’s National People’s Congress where, according to the Washington Post, one committee spent a whole morning pondering why China’s soap operas weren’t as good as those made by Korea. “It is more than just a Korean soap opera. It hurts our culture dignity,” one member of the committee said.

Their concern isn’t trivial; it’s about soft power. This is the kind of power states can exert simply by being popular and well-liked. This enables a country to inflluence transnational politics without force or coercion.

Indeed, the Korean government nurtured Hallyu. The President pushed to develop and export films, pop music, and video games. As The Economist reports:

Tax incentives and government funding for start-ups pepped up the video-game industry. It now accounts for 12 times the national revenue of Korean pop (K-pop). But music too has benefited from state help. In 2005 the government launched a $1 billion investment fund to support the pop industry. Record labels recruit teens who undergo years of grueling [sic] training before their public unveiling.

It’s working. According to the Korea Times, China has made a trade agreement with Korea allowing it an unprecedented degree of access to the Chinese people and its companies, an impressive win for soft power.

Sangyoub Park, PhD is a professor of sociology at Washburn University, where he teaches Social Demography, Generations in the U.S. and Sociology of East Asia. His research interests include social capital, demographic trends, and post-Generation Y.  Lisa Wade, PhD 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.

Cross-posted at Pacific Standard.

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05 Jan 22:17

I quit Tumblr a while back because I found out that an off-hand critique of mine on Twitter about an...

Fergus Noodle

This would probably breach privacy laws here

I quit Tumblr a while back because I found out that an off-hand critique of mine on Twitter about an advertising policy change here had been noticed by Tumblr employees and someone there had revealed to other employees that I had interviewed there for a job (years ago) and not gotten an offer as a way of invalidating my opinion.

Those employees are probably gone now ($$$) but regardless I’m back because I care a lot less about what some HR-violating weirdos think about me and my competency in what I choose to do for a day job

Now bring me some GIFs.

30 Nov 17:23

Dîner En Blanc, Sydney 2014

Fergus Noodle

This seems pretty awful

Diner en Blanc is in its second year run in Sydney. Originally started in Paris by François Pasquier in 1988 it has now popularised the pop up picnic flash mob concept. The idea at each Diner en Blanc is that everyone must dress in white from head to toe, dine on elegant picnic food on a white table and chairs dressed with a white tablecloth. The key to Diner En Blanc is that they must be at a spectacular setting. Oh and the location? That's a secret until the very last minute. Last year's inaugural event was held at Bondi Beach. It was a location that would be hard to top. It saw 3,000 white clad guests frolic and picnic on the sands of the iconic Sydney beach. This year's event would make the task even harder for organisers with an additional 1,000 making the total 4,000.
26 Dec 17:17

A Weekend in Mudgee - Part 1

Fergus Noodle

Mudgee is pretty cool

The region of Mudgee is just under four hour's drive from Sydney and offers tranquility in comparison to Sydney's hectic buzz. There are also plenty of eating and drinking opportunities as well as luxurious places to stay.
03 Jan 09:09


by mugumogu
Fergus Noodle

Angus is very good at cleaning kitchen floors.

Maru&Hana love year-end general house cleaning.

Maru:[Wow, this is awfully dirty with oil.]


Hana:[Many things are washed. I am afraid of water. But I want to see it.]

Maru:[Oh, here is dirty with oil, too. I clean it.]

Hey Maru, don't lick the bottle of the oil!

09 Dec 14:00

Women in Apocalyptic Fiction Shaving Their Armpits.

by Lisa Wade, PhD

This is what gender ideology looks like:


That’s The Walking Dead’s Rosita Espinosa with newly shaven armpits.

This is also gender ideology at work: the privileging of an idea of gender over real life or, in this case, realism.

The Walking Dead’s producers go to great lengths to portray what a zombie apocalypse might be like. They are especially keen to show us the nasty bits: what it really looks like when dead people don’t die, what it looks like to kill the undead, and the evil it spawns in those left alive. It’s gruesome. The show is a gore orgy. But armpit hair on women? Apparently that’s just gross.

If gender ideology had lost this battle with realism, we’d see armpit hair on the women in Gilligan’s Island, Planet of the ApesThe Blue Lagoon, Beauty and the BeastWaterworld, Lost, and The Hunger Games – but we don’t. (Thanks to Ariane Lange at Buzzfeed for the whole collection and to @uheartdanny for the link.)

At least Rosita could conceivably have a razor. How do women supposedly shave their armpits on deserted islands? Did the Beast slip Belle a razor, you know, just as part of his controlling personality? And maybe some persnickety women would continue to shave even if they were lost in purgatory, but Riley in Alien? Come on.


Our interest in realism only goes so far. Armpit hair on women is apparently one of its limits.

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.

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28 Dec 23:10


by mugumogu
Fergus Noodle



Maru:[If you do not give me foods right now, your carpet will become dirty.]

When Maru is too much hungry, he eats his food at a stretch.
And he vomits.

Hana:[I drink water and get over hunger.]

Maru:[Hey, you can hardly drink water.]

Hana is poor at drinking water as ever.

08 Dec 05:35

Dykes on Bikes give Christmas cheer to animals in need.


 RSPCA NSW were the lucky recipient of the Dykes on Bikes Christmas Toy Run.

RSPCA NSW would like to bestow a huge thanks to Dykes on Bikes who made a very special trip to our Sydney Shelter over the weekend. A convey of 12 bikes delivered over $1,000 worth of toys and treats for the shelter animals – Gifts which will benefit our shelter animals who may not have a home this Christmas.

The gifts provided by Dykes on Bikes will go towards improving the experience our shelter animals will have at the shelter, whilst they wait to be adopted into their new homes.

Sandra Ma, Community Programs Supervisor for the RSPCA, stated “The generous donations make a huge difference. The RSPCA reaches out to those in need in a number of ways throughout the year, but at Christmas time pet care packs are one of the things gratefully received”

Dykes on Bikes President Manda Hatter was also impressed by the level of support their toy run received  Animal welfare is close to our hearts and I was really impressed to see just how much we collected as a group. “

Christmas is a particular time of need for the RSPCA and each year, thousands of animals turn to the RSPCA for help during the festive season.  To find out how you could help an animal in need this Christmas, please click here.
22 Dec 14:45

It’s not about you: When men take women’s style personally

by Katherine Cross

A woman models a dress at a February 2014 fashion exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art/

The politics of women’s appearance is a painful tug of war between the meanings women intend to convey (which are as varied as the tiles of a mosaic) and those imposed on them by society, often by men who cannot countenance a symbolic universe in which women’s expression does not exist solely for male consumption. 

The obvious example is the well-meaning man who, thinking he is being affirming, tells us that we need not wear makeup on his account because we’re beautiful just the way we are. It sounds lovely until you realize that this presumes we wear any amount of makeup for his benefit, or to persuade men in general that we are beautiful. To be quite sure, the beauty industry hurts women in a number of ways, but it also has a vexing relationship with men and masculinity.

Kathy Peiss’ Hope In a Jar: The Making of America’s Beauty Culture reminds us that men were anxious about “painted ladies” long before said paint comprised a multi-billion dollar industry. Indeed, in the 19th Century, makeup was associated with women’s independence (particularly because it was associated with sex work). But the men of the time assumed, as wrongly then as they do today, that women “painted” for the sake of appearing beautiful to men, expressing the greatest incredulity at the idea that it could ever be otherwise. What else is woman’s appearance for, they seem to say, but a display for any random man’s pleasure?

It rarely, if ever, occurs to them that we might be doing it for ourselves.

Our clothing choices and all other aspects of adornment — tattoos, piercings, etc. — are all socially mediated, of course. No desire exists in a vacuum. We all seek a place in the grand constellation of social groups and we all, consciously or not, try to “fit in” somewhere. Appearance is a language without words that signals much to the world, in that regard. That language begins from us, however, even if the grammar is often beyond our control. We signal in the symbolic languages we know because of a variety of personally-driven desires. On occasion, this may involve wanting to look nice for one man in particular — say, on a date — but the popular patriarchal idea that women adorn ourselves for men as a matter of course is about as solipsistic as it gets. Women cannot be seen as agents, just celestial bodies orbiting male suns.

We can even see this in GamerGater propaganda (remember this?). That movement’s ongoing obsession with dyed hair is premised on a similar belief that all women who disagree with them and color their hair brightly — green, or blue, or pink, for instance — are doing so because they wish to thumb their nose at men specifically, or that they are doing it as an entirely self-conscious, petulant political statement; again, for men’s benefit. One male Gater even described this phenomenon as “having political statements shoved at me just by taking a cursory glance at a person.” To them, women with dyed hair are doing it just to irritate them.

As always, the myth that men’s interpretations of women’s appearance are paramount and nigh on objective is a destructive one.

The GamerGate case is interesting because, unlike when women dress more normatively, these fellows are unable to pretend that these women are presenting themselves for men. Thus, they feel both offended and spurned. To see a woman with a lot of tattoos, a lot of non-ear piercings, a non-traditional hairstyle and/or hair dye is to see a woman who is making her ownership of her body plain as day to anyone who looks at her. Note, this is very often not the intentional “political statement” most wish to make. Most simply like dressing this way, after all. They do it for themselves. But some men insist on reading it as a political middle finger flipped in their direction.

Their self-centeredness blinds them to a much more free flowing relationship between personal taste and people-pleasing in how we all dress.

An excellent study that, among many other things, shows the 19th century complexities of who we as women “dress up for” and why.

“We are born,” author Siri Hustvedt writes, “with the ability to imitate the expressions of others, but we also become creatures of our culture with its countless images of what is chic and beautiful.” We seek to touch the stars of fashion because we want to express our allegiance to archetypes and ideas in our culture — some of us may want to look “classy,” how ever our culture or subculture defines that, and the judgements of others play a role in triangulating the pathways of our desire. The desire may originate from within us, or it may not (perhaps one wishes to be classy for instrumental reasons — i.e. to get a job), but we measure our success by the opinions of others, the mirror of recognition that reaffirms or challenges the self we are constructing. For people of all genders, we may present ourselves in a given way for others in order to feel more like ourselves. Our sense of identity is reinforced collectively.

For me, fashion is equal parts fraught and fun. I personally walk a fine line between appearing “masculine” (with all the connotations that carries for a trans woman in this society) in my shoulder-padded blazers and appearing feminine enough to be gendered correctly without adorning myself in a way that might be considered more feminine than I wish. My taste is inextricably bound up with navigating the views of others, and it is not always easy to tell where my desire ends and my wish to be seen a certain way by others begins.

This also means that while some of us consciously politicize their fashion, it hardly means that its sole reason for being is to piss off or disgust some random guy.

As Hustvedt puts it plainly, “When we choose what to wear, we don’t just choose particular pieces of clothing, we select them because they carry meanings about us, meanings we hope will be understood by other people.” Thus, our appearances are always a complex dance between our own desires and what we think the desires of others are; this is true of all of us. Even when women are performing for others, we do so no more frequently than men do, and often as not are performing for other women — an interesting take on which can be found in scholar Sharon Marcus’ peerless study of latent female homoeroticism in Victorian Britain, Between Women. We are adrift on the same silken sea of fashion and taste as men are.

To believe that we as women solely adorn ourselves for the specifically sexual gaze of men is, looked at in this way, a denial of humanity. It denies women’s participation in the basically human act of signaling through cultural artifacts, denies the possibility of women’s attire meaning anything non-sexual, and it denies the role of individual taste in women’s attire. For though we are navigating a social morass of signals and counter-signals, there remains something to be said for the individual woman’s desire– which is often bound up with it all.

Put simply, fellas, it’s not always about you.

(Header image: Photo of corset at Met Museum exhibit by Allison Meier for

21 Dec 15:50

Anti-Woman Suffrage Cartoons

by Bridget Crawford

Anti-Woman Suffrage Cartoons

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

OOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAver at MessyNessyChic, a post (here) features some vintage anti-woman suffrage posters.  Here’s one, at left.

View the full collection here.

-Bridget Crawford

Feminist Law Professors

17 Dec 14:00

Medicare vs. National Health Care: How U.S. Seniors Do in Cross-National Perspective

by Jay Livingston, PhD

“We need to get rid of Obamacare,” says Ed Gillispie in a NYT op-ed. The reason: Obamacare’s “gravitational pull toward a single-payer system that would essentially supplant private insurance with a government program.”

Gillespie, who lays out his credentials at the start of the article – he ran for Senate in Virginia and lost – notes that Obamacare is unpopular. But he omits all mention of a government-run single-payer system that happens to be very popular – Medicare. No Republican dare run on a platform of doing away with it. Gillespie himself accused Obamacare of cutting Medicare, a statement that Politifact found “Mostly False.”

So how are seniors doing? Compared to their pre-Medicare counterparts, they are  probably healthier, and they’re probably shelling out less for health care. But compared to seniors in other countries, not so well. A Commonwealth Fund survey of eleven countries finds that seniors (age 65 and older) in the U.S. are the least healthy – the most likely to suffer from chronic illnesses.* 

Over half the U.S. seniors say that they are taking four or more prescription drugs; all the other countries were below 50%:

And despite Medicare, money was a problem. Nearly one in five said that in the past year they “did not visit a doctor, skipped a medical test or treatment that a doctor recommended, or did not fill a prescription or skipped doses because of cost.” A slightly higher percent had been hit with $2,000 or more in out-of-pocket expenses. 

In those other countries, with their more socialistic health care systems, seniors seem to be doing better, physically and financially.  One reason that American seniors are less healthy is that our universal, socialized medical care doesn’t kick in until age 65. People in those other countries have affordable health care starting in the womb. 

Critics of more socialized systems claim that patients must wait longer to see a doctor. The survey found some support for that. Does it take more than four weeks to get to see a specialist? U.S. seniors had the highest percentage of those who waited less than that. But when it came to getting an ordinary doctor’s appointment, the U.S. lagged behind seven of the other ten countries.

There was one bright spot for U.S. seniors. They were the most likely to have developed a treatment plan that they could carry out in daily life. And their doctors  “discussed their main goals and gave instructions on symptoms to watch for” and talked with them about diet and exercise.

Gillespie and many other Republicans want to scrap Obamacare and substitute something else. That’s progress I suppose. Not too long ago, they were quite happy with the pre-Obamacare status quo. Throughout his years in the White House, George Bush insisted that “America has the best health care system in the world.” Their Republican ideology precludes them from learning from other countries. As Marco Rubio put it, we must avoid “ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world, instead of helping the world become more like America.”

But you’d think that they might take a second look at Medicare, a program many of them publicly support.

* Includes hypertension or high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lung problems, mental health problems, cancer, and joint pain/arthritis.

Jay Livingston is the chair of the Sociology Department at Montclair State University. You can follow him at Montclair SocioBlog or on Twitter.

(View original at

17 Dec 15:19

Stop telling women to talk like men

by Dana Bolger

Over at Slate, Marybeth Seitz-Brown has an important piece on uptalk, the rising intonation some women use at the end of their declarative sentences. That speech pattern, and the women who employ it, are frequently belittled or outright dismissed, while the men who use it — and many do — escape the same censure. Seitz-Brown calls that out for what it is: sexism.

In Belfast English, stereotypical women’s speech falls at the end of a sentence, while men’s speech rises before it plateaus—basically, the men are uptalking. And yet Belfast women’s speech is still perceived as more expressive or emotional, showing that it’s not about their actual intonation at all: It’s about whose mouth the speech is coming from.

[...] The notion that my uptalk means I was unsure of what I said is not only wrong, it’s misogynistic. It implies that if women just spoke like men, our ideas would be valuable. If women just spoke like men, sexist listeners would magically understand us, and we would be taken seriously. But the problem is not with feminized qualities, of speech or otherwise, the problem is that our culture pathologizes feminine traits as something to be ashamed of or apologize for.

Seitz-Brown, who faced pushback for using uptalk in an interview she did with NPR, notes that much of that resistance came from women who were, perhaps, trying to be helpful (by cramming their respectability politics down her throat). To those critics, Seitz-Brown responds:

I get it. I owe a lot to these women who came before me, and I understand that they may not have had much choice in the matter when they were my age. After all, employers admit to actively punishing workers who use uptalk, and many women, especially women of color, simply can’t afford not to change their voice in order to gain respect. But just because sexism exists doesn’t mean that the sexists are right about it: Women shouldn’t have to wear pantsuits to be treated like human beings, and we shouldn’t have to contort our voices to sound masculine (but not too masculine!) to make people hear us…. I believe we can do better than that. We can evaluate the merits of an idea based on the soundness of its reasoning, not the pitch range in which it’s articulated.

At the end of the day, it’s an accident of history (and white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy) that uptalk, or AAVE, or any other dismissed “variant” of “standard” English, isn’t viewed as the model speech to which we should all aspire.

Header image credit.

18 Dec 05:20

Thursday Tipples 06 / Cherry Candy Cane Mojito

by Lisa Manche
cherry candy cane mojito

It has been a really tough few days following the news in Sydney. After Monday’s 16 hour siege in a busy Sydney cafe that I’ve visited dozens of times, just a few blocks from where I used to work, I woke up to the terrible news that it had ended with two innocent people dying as heroes while trying to protect their fellow hostages.

I’m sure like many others I’ve felt a full spectrum of emotions in the last few days as these events hit really close to home, but if there is any positive to come out, it is definitely the beautiful way Australians have come together in the wake of these tragic events, from the floral memorial in Martin place, to the social media messages of hope and support that quickly spread all over the world.

cherry candy cane mojito

Since I moved to the other side of Sydney I don't see my family nearly as often, and so this year Christmas feels particularly special. I seriously can't wait to spend time with my Nanna, see how much my cousins' kids have grown and share a delicious home-cooked meal with all the people I love the most.

My sister and I brainstormed together to come up with a fun Christmas drink, and this Cherry Candy Cane Mojito is it. I know I've posted two cherry recipes in a row but they are so delicious and very cheap right now, so I've been eating a LOT of them! It uses traditional mojito ingredients - lime, mint and white rum with cherries and a candy cane as a cute garnish and to intensify the mint flavour in the drink itself. It just feels so festive and would be great at a Christmas party with friends!

cherry candy cane mojito

Cherry Candy Cane Mojito
Makes 1 in a tall glass or 2 in smaller glasses as shown

  • 60ml Bacardi Superior rum (or your favourite white rum)
  • ½ fresh lime
  • 12 cherries, pitted
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 heaped bar spoons of caster sugar
  • Dash of soda water
  • Cubed and crushed ice
  • Candy canes, to garnish

Put the four lime wedges and pitted cherries into one tall glass or divide between two smaller ones, then add the sugar and muddle (squish everything together) to release the lime juice. Put the mint leaves on one hand and clap. This bruises the leaves and releases the aroma. Rub the mint leaves around the rim of the glass and drop them in. Gently push the mint down into the lime juice.

Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour in the rum. Stir the mix together until the sugar dissolves. Top up with crushed ice, a splash of the soda water and garnish with a candy cane.

12 Dec 16:10

In Which We Can Only Hope For A Good One

by Durga
Fergus Noodle

I hardly ever know the bands the writers listen to but this one I did. Phew.

Miss You



× The time will never be right for a family vacation.


× It’s been years, nearer to a decade, since the last one.


× Somehow, plans for one are hatched.


× By way of Reply All, one family member will threaten to withdraw from the trip.


× It will happen more than once.


× Compromises are remarkably easy.


× Keep in mind, the art of bargaining with empty threats can often appear like a compromise.


× Once the tickets are booked, doubts about a family vacation are directly proportionate to an increasing yet delicate sense of anticipation.


× This type of anticipation is expressed through practical (but thoughtful) text messages.


× Some examples include: “thinkin of buying one of those 360 degree spinner wheel suitcases. thoughts?” Or, “Have you seen how hot it’s gonna be!?”


× Or (attached with a picture of your passport and approved travel visa) the words: “I win.”


× Bottom line: “The youngest” will never grow out of wanting to be “first.”


× Family vacations provoke immediate regression.


× Reverting to childhood habits is embarrassingly easy.


× For instance, you will pack little, expecting to borrow shampoo, toothpaste, and mosquito repellent from your parents.


× Clothes, from your older brother.


× Coveting an older sibling’s t-shirts is an irrefutable fact of life.


× Book choice, on the other hand, requires much deliberation.


× Tip! Pack one re-read. Two brand new books (your choice). And one recommendation/gift (someone else’s choice.)


×Also suggested: print and pack a few longreads that you’ve recently read and enjoyed and want to share with your family.


× On the way to the airport, you’re unexpectedly charmed by the idea of this trip.

× Following a series of delayed flights, bad food, and interrupted sleep, spotting your parent’s face at the airport in Mumbai, shouting your name from a crowd, feels like a hallucination.


× A hallucination immediately made real by comments on how tired you look.


× Or how thin your face has become.


× Or how your jacket sleeve has a hole.


× It takes a couple days, give or take, for parents to adjust to being around their kids who are no longer kids.


× Stuff gets said that isn’t meant to hurt.


× More often than not a parent forgets that you exist in a world where you work and pay rent, and get angry and sad, and have your heart broken and mended, broken and mended.


× Still, that initial hug will briefly dissolve all that currently feels unwieldy in your life.


× You will spend the rest of the vacation dodging all topics related to what is feeling unwieldy in your life.



× Avoid deflecting to your sibling’s life.


× Just dodge.


× Dodge. Dodge. Dodge.


× Until that one afternoon, a very sunny one where your skin feels warmed from within and everyone is off doing his or her thing, and you suddenly feel compelled to put down your book and talk to someone.


× Less the actual conversation, but the desire to speak candidly and kindly, is the vacation’s sweet spot.


× Similar examples: Drinks at the hotel bar with your brother on your father’s tab. A wedding reception at the hotel keeps you both distracted enough to not get on each other’s nerves.


× Or, watching as a parent delights in a snack he or she hasn’t delighted in in years.


× Better yet; if you find the snack particularly gross.


× And a personal favorite: The four of you walking in a narrow line. (The market was too crowded and loud to walk and talk side by side.)


× Inevitably, when a family is forced to walk in a line, the eldest member always appears the youngest.


× At a spice plantation, biting into a peppercorn and burning your tongue, you are more present than you have been in a very long time.


× Parents look older the more present one feels.


× But their happiness looks freer too.


× E-mailing a friend frequently — as frequently as possible that is — is essential.


× But just one friend.


× Choose someone who won’t expect elaborate details about the trip, but a continued conversation from before you left.


× E-mails concerning the vacation, unless funny, are rarely enjoyable to read or to write.


× Choose a friend who you’ve recently felt emotionally near to.


× One that your parents do not know or have the knowledge to ask about.


× These emails will feel secret and with ten hours separating the two of you, your good mornings will be her good nights. Her insomnia will feel like company.


× She will be, for the next two weeks, that side of you which is witness to yourself. An orbit.


× Long car rides through windy mountaintop roads in Kerala will make you devastatingly nauseous.


× Nausea is the most regressive sensation, ever. All you want is parents, and luckily, they are there!


× Offering to sit in the middle is both a literal and figurative way of hoping to take up the least amount of space.



× Missing an ex when travelling with family is expected.


× Missing an ex’s body, especially when sleeping in hotel sheets, will feel cruel and comforting, both.


× An “I miss you” e-mail will be sent and regretted.


× Nostalgia becomes unusually relevant on family vacations.


× One morning, late in the trip, a big fight will push someone to his or her limit.


× Your stepmom will walk away from breakfast having not eaten a bite.


× Do not follow her.


× Irritability levels are higher than usual when one isn’t accustomed to eating three meals a day with a father, a brother, and a stepmother.


× It’s to be expected.


× Out of the blue, hugging your brother seems vital.


× He does not hug back.


× It looks like this.


× You will spot and study other families also vacationing.


× All fathers have Beckett legs.


× Grown-up siblings speak in a code they themselves are trying to decipher.


× Everyone dresses down and wears hats.



× Other families seem quieter than yours. Laugh louder sure, but are by some means quieter.


× If you’re not someone who naps, don’t be surprised if you do on a family vacation.


× Activities are tiring.


× Tours are exhausting.


× So rarely do you do or attend things that aren’t urgently interesting to you. 


× Parents enjoy the company of their adult children, remembering them as babies.


× Adult children are suddenly moved to sit very close to their parents.


× Or to knock on their hotel room doors for no reason.


× To sit on the edge of their bed and watch as your stepmother chooses from a very tiny box, which earrings she will wear.


× Vacation photographs:


× Hope for a good one.


× Anticipate terrible ones.


× On the last day, take slow and steadied bites at breakfast. Have seconds.


× Read a newspaper.


× Go for a walk with your brother.


× After a long journey home, it’s cold in New York and nobody is there to greet you.


× But you turn your phone’s data on again and a slew of text messages pop up.


× Pop. Pop. Pop.


× Text your roommate: “Shady’s back.”


× In the cab ride home, you send a quick email to your family. “Landed! Love you.”


× You send another one: “Home first!”

Durga Chew-Bose is the senior editor of This Recording. She is a writer living in Brooklyn. She tumbls here and twitters here. You can find an archive of her writing on This Recording here.

"Echoes" - Phoenix Foundation (mp3)

"All Comes Back" - Phoenix Foundation (mp3)

03 Dec 15:59

Australian Minister for Women: “Let boys be boys and girls be girls”

by Chloe Angyal

We’ve covered Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and his, shall we say, less than feminist ideas, before. Abbott has declared himself a feminist, but this week, the PM made some comments that suggest he should re-read — ok, fine, read – his Judith Butler. 

Right now in Australia, a Green Party Senator, along with a group called Play Unlimited (“Every toy for every body”) has launched a campaign that takes aim at the gendering of children’s toys — just in time for Christmas. The campaign is called No Gender December, and their slogan is “Stereotypes have no place under my Christmas tree.”

No Gender December is a campaign to raise awareness about how marketing that tells kids that some toys are “for them” or “not for them” — and giving or withholding toys that reinforce those cultural rules — “limits our children’s right to determine their own idea of fun.” And they’re calling on gift-giving adults to take a pledge to ignore gendered marketing and to let their kids play with any toy they choose.

It’s 2014. Gender roles are still reinforced by marketing. When children’s interests are channelled to follow outdated gender stereotypes it impacts their future educational and career choices. Women mow lawns, men push prams… we’ve moved on: why haven’t toy companies?

Play Unlimited argues that kids, like adults, absorb gendered marketing and learn early whether they’re allowed to show interest in particular toys. “Some take this ‘knowledge’ into the playground, where they quickly chastise any child who demonstrates an interest in the ‘wrong’ colour or toy for their gender.” And, they argue, kids will mute their own interest in toys so that adults don’t chastise them and kids don’t bully them.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters argues that there’s even more at stake than schooling, career choices, and bullying: the seeds we plant in play can blossom into gender inequality in more serious, and more dangerous ways.

The separate aisles of pink and blue common in many stores might seem harmless, especially to well-meaning relatives and friends, who are buying plenty of children’s gifts at this time of the year… Out-dated stereotypes about girls and boys and men and women, perpetuate gender inequality, which can feed into very serious problems such as domestic violence and the gender pay gap.

So, what does the Prime Minister, a self-proclaimed feminist, have to say about all this?

I certainly don’t believe in that kind of political correctness. Let boys be boys, let girls be girls – that’s always been my philosophy.

Did I mention that he’s also the nation’s Minister for Women?

The guy is actually coming out in favor of withholding toys from children, and he’s doing it in the name of resisting “political correctness.” At Christmas time, he’s going on the record as keeping toys out of the hands of children, because he’s against the radical notion that you should consider how your words and actions impact other people rather than honey badgering your way through life, other people’s needs be damned. Jesus didn’t advocate that kind of soft-sided caring-about-other-people nonsense, so why would practicing Catholic Tony Abbott?

Someone get this guy a Neanderthal Scrooge costume for Christmas. And make it gender neutral.

04 Dec 11:01

Madera Kafe, Warwick Farm

by Helen (Grab Your Fork)
Fergus Noodle

We gotta get out to dis place

Serbian food is friends with everyone, shaped by influences from Hungary, Turkey, Austria and the Mediterranean. We’re talking everything from cevapi to schnitzel to sopska salad. They’ve got it all at Madera Kafe, a Serbian restaurant hidden in the most unlikely of places: a drive-in complex of furniture shops and craft outlets just off the Hume Highway. But Madera is a little fancier than
26 Nov 15:00

Male viewer writes letter to the editor explaining why women can’t play soccer

by Maya Dusenbery

This weekend, England’s women’s soccer team played Germany in an historic match at Wembly national stadium. As the Independent reports, “It was the first standalone game for women at the home of football, drew a record crowd of 46,000, was shown live in TV coverage on the BBC, and introduced a generation of young girls to the idea of the women’s team being treated the same as the men for the first time.” 

After the game, one male viewer, David Hickey, wrote a letter to the editor asking why it was aired when women’s soccer clearly doesn’t compare to the men’s game. “Women can’t play football,” he wrote. “They don’t even know the basic rules.” Here’s his full message:



As a former women’s soccer player, I have to agree 100%.

(h/t @jordanerschwarz)

Header image credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

27 Nov 09:32

Historic Petersham Park under threat from WestConnex Motorway

by Saving Our Trees
If trying to remove a chunk of historic Ashfield Park was not enough, now the WestConnex Authority is after a chunk of historic Petersham Park. This park is famous because Sir Donald Bradman had his first appearance in grade level cricket in Petersham Oval that is in the park in 1926 when he was just […]
16 Nov 17:14

Miss America's Diner, Riverwood

Fergus Noodle

Australians are weird but I do like the look of that apple pie

"Where exactly *is* it?" Miss America demands curiously. He, Queen Viv, Mr NQN and I are all sitting in the car driving slowly down Belmore Road. We're somewhat expecting a big ol' American flag to announce the diner's presence but instead there's just a small collection of restaurants. "It's in the Spot Cafe," I tell them explaining that it is a cafe during the day but on Friday nights, it transforms into Miss America's Diner serving hot dogs, burgers, shakes and fries as well as of course what else but apple pie.
20 Nov 01:11

Thursday Tipples 05 / Raspberry Ginger Margaritas

by Lisa Manche
raspberry ginger margarita

I feel like even though I have a lot of valuable experience drinking cocktails, there is so much I need to learn about making them. I only have the very vaguest idea of what I’m doing and own just the most basic bar equipment. That is why I started this (somewhat sporadic) Thursday Tipples feature - to push myself to try learn about and experiment making new drinks, and hopefully end up with something delicious in the process.

I like to approach mixing drinks the same way as I do coming up with and brainstorming recipe ideas for baking - thinking seasonally, using good ingredients and quality spirits, tinkering with classic concepts and throwing in something a little bit fun and unexpected.

raspberry ginger margarita

This actually is the very first time I’ve ever made a Margarita, but I just love the simple combination of good tequila, agave and lime that just works. Because it’s almost summer here, I wanted to give it a twist using beautiful fresh raspberries and ginger, and some Murray River pink salt for the rims. I have to say, they turned out even better than I expected and I was really happy with how they looked and tasted :)

raspberry ginger margarita

I was also excited to try out my excellent new Mason Jar cocktail shaker that I bought recently. I love the clear glass shaker which takes some of the mystery out, so you can know exactly when the cocktail is properly shaken and blended. And if you like booze and don’t already follow their Instagram (@masonshaker), you definitely should! And maybe one day soon, I’ll get over serving my cocktails in glass jars... but probably not.

raspberry ginger margarita

It’s a perfect weekend party drink and the recipe below can be easily scaled up for a crowd. Of course you can also try other summer fruits depending on your favourites. A peach or pineapple margarita would be deeeelicious. Depending on the fruit you choose, you may need to puree it first. And make sure you save some for a pretty fruit garnish. Cheers!

Want more cocktail ideas? Click here.

raspberry ginger margarita 

Raspberry Ginger Margaritas
Makes 2

  • Pink salt
  • 120ml tequila 
  • 4 tablespoons light agave syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 10 raspberries, plus extra to garnish
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Ice
  • Extra lime wedges, for garnish

Pour some salt onto a small plate or saucer. Dip rims of your serving glasses into the lime juice dip the rim of your glass into the salt. Use an old fashioned glass if you like yours on the rocks or a coupe.

In your cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, agave, lime juice, raspberries, ginger and ice. Shake well, until the raspberries have broken down. Strain into your salt-rimmed glasses and garnish with extra lime and raspberries.

You can also puree in a blender with 2 cups of ice for a summer margarita slushy. Definitely trying this next time!

16 Nov 23:03


by mugumogu

Hey Maru, do you have crisis management capability?

Maru:[Of course.]

Maru:[Look. Because danger approached to me, I protect myself.]

Hey Maru, you just put back your paws!

13 Nov 20:36

neilcicierega: Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away (lyrics) I cant handle...


Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away (lyrics)

I cant handle this oh my god. Watch it

14 Nov 14:00

What Color are People? Black as Neutral in Russian Comics

by Gwen Sharp, PhD

Flashback Friday.

In her article “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” Peggy McIntosh talks about a number of types of white privilege, including using the phrases “flesh tone” or “nude” to describe light skin and featuring mostly white people in tv, movies, and advertising.

When I’ve had students read this article, they often argue that it just makes sense to do that, since the majority of people in the U.S. are white. They also question what other color could be used as a “neutral” or “normal” one.  In fact, this is exactly what was argued in the comments to this post about the “white” Facebook avatar.

But English Russia points out that in Russia, it’s not uncommon for people in cartoons to be black; not Black racially, but literally black. Below are examples of these cartoons, introduced with English Russia‘s translations.

“My pussy could have Whiskas instead of whiskey.”


“Sir, don’t throw away the empty bottle, I would take it to the recycle point for spare money.”


“Tourist: ‘Is it true that the Earth is round?’ Men: ‘We don’t know son, we’re not locals.’”


Despite the fact that many people in Russia would be classified in the U.S. as white, these cartoons obviously use the color black as a neutral color — the people in the cartoons aren’t Black in any racial sense, it’s just the standard color the artist has used for everyone. You might contrast these with things in the U.S. that are labeled “flesh” or “nude” to counter the idea that there are no other options but a sort of light peach color to be the fallback color when you aren’t specifically representing a racial minority.

Thanks to Miguel at El Forastero for the link! Originally posted in 2009.

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

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11 Nov 22:53


by mugumogu

Maru:[Bring it on!]

Hey Maru, your fighting pose is strange.