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What I’m Reading – November 1, 2015

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Awesome Women

– “While Garbage Time is simply a solid sports show, its popularity stems from Nolan’s ability to eviscerate deeply problematic behaviors and attitudes in the industry. She is relentless in speaking out against domestic violence perpetrated by athletes, as well as other inexcusable behavior that has previously been all but normalized in the sports world. She has pushed back on the relatively tacit acceptance of athlete Ray Rice’s domestic violence charges and skewered a sexist article titled “How to Land a Husband at the Masters,” published by another Fox News outlet.” Meet Fox Sports’ Katie Nolan, Who’s Tearing Down Sexism in Sports (h/t @GarbageTime)

Family Choice

– “Sometime later a doctor asked me why I still wanted birth control. “Married already, what’s the problem?” she said. And about a year after that a nurse took on the same line of questioning: “You sure you want [the pill]? Even after you stop taking it’ll be quite long before you get pregnant, you know!” (Which, by the way, is not necessarily true.) I’m also often asked by random acquaintances whether Calum and I have kids. When I answer in the negative, their responses are often along the lines of “oh, not yet ah” or “yes, you’re still young, there’s still time”. The possibility that we might have opted out of parenthood doesn’t even come into the conversation.” I don’t have kids. There is no “yet”. (h/t @nothavingababy)

Labor

– “But six months later, the financial results are starting to come in: Price told Inc. Magazine that revenue is now growing at double the rate before the raises began and profits have also doubled since then. On top of that, while it lost a few customers in the kerfuffle, the company’s customer retention rate rose from 91 to 95 percent, and only two employees quit. Two weeks after he made the initial announcement, the company was flooded with 4,500 resumes and new customer inquiries jumped from 30 a month to 2,000 a month.” After Company Raises Minimum Salary To $70,000, Revenue And Profits Double (h/t @GoldyHA)

– “The broader definition of trafficking as labor exploitation hasn’t done much to change public perception, though. When you say “trafficking” people still think sexual slavery. The Wikipedia entry on human trafficking, for example, begins by stating, “Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation”—a definition that begins and ends with sex. In reality, forced labor of other kinds—like domestic labor, construction and agriculture—is much more common, according to the ILO, which estimates that 4.5 million of 21 million people worldwide are victims of sex trafficking (though, again, all trafficking figures are notoriously slippery and poorly sourced).” “Human Trafficking” Has Become a Meaningless Term

Police Violence

– “As activist and data scientist Samuel Sinyangwe points out, this position rests on a few different fallacies: first, that police are being less aggressive out of fear of being the next cop to have their tactics publicly scrutinized, and secondly, that aggressive policing leads to a reduction in violent crime. There is no evidence to support this, and if a nationwide decrease in police aggression is indeed underway, someone should tell the girl who was body-slammed and dragged by Officer Ben Fields at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, for her refusal to give her cellphone to a teacher. If aggressive policing, which includes the kind of violence recently caught on film, led to less crime, that would mean that the only thing law-enforcement agencies have come up with to reduce violence is the use of more violence, and the violation of people’s rights. In other words, the only way to prevent violent crime is martial law.” The Movement Against Police Violence Isn’t Ignoring ‘Black-on-Black Crime’ (via @mychalsmith)

Racism

– “What you see in that video is not an officer full of anger or fear or hatred. What you see is a man annoyed that he has to spend any time dealing with something as insignificant as a black girl. What you see is a man throwing out a bag of trash that just happens to be a person. This is the way in which black women in America have been treated throughout history.” America Doesn’t Care About Black Women And Girls (via @IjeomaOluo)

– “Schools are not merely sites of education, they are sites of control. In fact, they are sites of control well before they are sites of education. And for certain populations — students of color, working-class students, anyone on the margins — the sites of control in the school system can be incredibly restrictive, suffocating, perilous.” Where Are Black Children Safe? (via @rgay)

– “Here’s the thing: when asked during in-person meetings, 90% of my clients report having racial preferences. Which maybe doesn’t sound so bad, because I mean, they have other preferences, too. Height, religion, career paths, Netflix show most recently watched, the list goes on and on. But of the 90% of the reported racial preferences, 89.9% are preferences for white people. So . . . that is bad. And I’m not just talking about white-on-white preferences. I’m talking about all my clients, only 55% of whom identify as white.” Yes, Your Dating Preferences Are Probably Racist (via @ESTBLSHMNT)

Reproductive Rights

– “After several failed attempts at approaching the protesters outside her local clinic to discuss their complaints and reason with them, she decided to try a different approach. Yesterday, Mary approached the anti-Planned Parenthood protesters while chanting “yeast infection.”” This Woman Stopped A Planned Parenthood Protest By Chanting “Yeast Infection” (via @BuzzFeed)

Sexual Assault and Sports

– “The NCAA’s lack of concern about the sexual exploitation of hostesses shouldn’t be a complete shock—the organization isn’t particularly concerned with the economic exploitation of its athletes, either. In place of cash, programs turn to women as currency for players, to sex as a signing bonus, effectively shrugging and saying, What else are we to do? For the programs that exploit them, these women exist as props, not as people with agency. And when human beings are turned into prizes to be awarded for a job well done—into objects that can be abused without consequence—then a Louisville assistant paying for recruits to have sex is not such an anomaly after all.” Louisville’s Sex Scandal is a Symptom of a Broken College Sports System (via @scATX)

Transphobia

– “Transgender women have always been women; women who may opt to get surgery, women who may take hormones, but women nonetheless. Others who agree with you are often termed gender essentialists. That is to say, they believe that what makes a man or a woman – there is only a binary view of gender in this world – is biologically determined. These pre-determined traits define womanhood and manhood. For example: women are weak, submissive, have breasts, menstruate, and are passive while men are strong, dominant, have beards, are sexual, and active. The opinions you have and ideas that you support are ones that box in people, that don’t allow for humans to fully express themselves, and create a limiting view of what people of all genders could be.” Dear Germaine Greer: No, Trans Women Are Women (via @TheRainbowHub)

– “Lawyer Jane Faye told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “[Tara] has now been in a men’s prison for the past seven days. I spoke to her mother, she’s on a wing where the men are calling out ‘Tara, Tara, Tara, show us your tits’. She is being actually abused, harassed, and is in grave danger of assault everyday.” Tara was placed into the men’s prison as her legal gender is male, despite having lived her whole adult life as a woman and spending six years transitioning.”” Human rights lawyer fears Tara Hudson may “kill herself” after trauma of men’s prison (h/t @stavvers)

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