ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

What I’m Reading Archive

Sunday

21

July 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 21 July 2019

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Happy Birthday to my dad, who is definitely not reading this.

Sports

“Le Batard, the son of Cuban immigrants, noted that civil rights activists have long used sports to address race, gender and other social problems in the country, pointing to former athletes Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Colin Kaepernick. But Le Batard said that now, ESPN personalities don’t talk about race in America “unless there is some sort of weak, cowardly sports angle that we can run it through,” like a tweet from an athlete.” On ESPN, Dan Le Batard calls his own network ‘cowardly’ for not addressing racism (by Jazmin Goodwin for CNN)

Science

“At the same time, undeniably racist and paranoid views surfaced at UC Berkeley and home at UH Mānoa where a tenured physics faculty claimed rhetorically “…in no way should we go back a few centuries to a stone age culture, with a few (illegitimate) Kahunas telling everyone else how to behave.” The same individual told me to my face that “all Hawaiians should support TMT” and that Hawaiians were being “emotional.” I began to question whether I wanted to continue to be part of the sciences at UH Mānoa. I no longer had the heart to recruit students to STEM fields. This was incredibly difficult because over the previous decade I had formed my identity around being a champion for STEM. I had spent countless hours of volunteer and paid work judging science fairs, doing outreach, recruiting and mentoring students, organizing symposia, even soliciting the TMT corporation and other local companies for support to send Hawaiʻi teachers to an MIT summer program.” Maunakea: Redirecting the lens onto the culture of mainstream science (by Aurora Kagawa-Viviani via Medium)

Misogyny

“But when twin investigations (one commissioned by the university, the other by the state) revealed that the university’s law enforcement and housing offices had disregarded McCluskey’s and her friends’ reports about Rowland, officials didn’t admit fault. They doubled down. “There is no way to know for certain whether this tragic murder could have been prevented,” Utah president Ruth Watkins said in December. Lauren’s parents disagree. They learned about their daughter’s multiple phone calls to the campus police, her frantic reports of extortion, the fact that her friends told housing administrators that Rowland had cut Lauren off from her friends for weeks, was obsessed with her whereabouts and said he would buy her a gun to protect her from other men.” Prejudicial Police Department? (by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for Inside Higher Ed)

Racism in Politics

“In May, with the Supreme Court’s decision pending, attorneys at Common Cause were going through Hofeller’s files when they found evidence that seemed to confirm what many had suspected: that adding a citizenship question to the census was a way to drive down immigrant participation—thus weakening their representation when subsequent congressional districts were drawn—and had nothing to do with enforcing the Voting Rights Act. Some of the language and reasoning in the Justice Department’s letter appeared to come directly from Hofeller, who, they discovered, had conducted a study, in 2015, on the effects of drawing congressional districts not according to a state’s total population but according to the number of voting-age citizens. Doing so, he concluded, “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.” A Father, A Daughter, and the Attempt to Change the Census (by Charles Bethea for The New Yorker)

Sunday

14

July 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 14 July 2019

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It’s my half birthday! I know that isn’t really a thing, but whatever. I’m finding cake.

Women in Sport

“Fresh of their fourth World Cup victory, the U.S. women’s national soccer team has already accepted invitations to the Capitol by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Female senators are hoping to meet with them at a time when 28 members of the team are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation claiming “institutionalized gender discrimination,” a violation of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act.” All Female Senators Ask U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team To Meet (by Jennifer Bendery for Huffington Post)

“When your team wins a championship, it is pure, unadulterated joy: Millions of people dream of winning a World Cup, but only these women get to do it. If the members of the USWNT had done nothing but drink shitty flavored vitamin water and monotonously do ad reads for Equifax, it would still have been a monumental, jaw-dropping achievement. But that is, of course, not what they did. Two months before the tournament, the entire team filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, citing a “duty to be the role models that we’ve set out to be and fight to what we know we legally deserve.” Star player Megan Rapinoe, who was the first white athlete to kneel during the national anthem in support of Colin Kaepernick, said she wouldn’t be “going to the fucking White House” if the team won — a statement her team backed up entirely, from star to scrub — which led the president to predictably lash out at her on Twitter. (She also rightly hammered FIFA for scheduling two men’s cup championships on the same day as the Women’s World Cup final, which is like the NFL playing another game on Super Bowl Sunday.)” A National Team for the Trump Era (by Will Leitch for New York Magazine)

“Shortly after the final whistle solidified that the US women had clenched their fourth FIFA World Cup victory, the packed, exuberant crowd inside France’s Stade de Lyon went from cheering to chanting “equal pay!” — a powerful reminder that the record-setting team is still in the crux of another battle for fair treatment.” The World Cup Crowd Started Chanting “Equal Pay” Right After The US Women Won (by Brianna Sacks for BuzzFeed News)

“In large part, we got them through policy, in particular the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Shepherded into law by Congresswoman Patsy Mink of Hawaii, the title IX provision of the act was a response to feminists’ push to close a loophole in the Civil Rights Act of 964 that allowed federally funded schools, colleges and universities to discriminate by sex. Title IX was intended to prohibit this kind of discrimination, and it applied to all educational programs and all aspects of a school’s operation – including sports.” USA’s formidable women’s soccer team is no accident. It’s a product of public policy (by Moira Donegan for The Guardian)

“My proposal: women’s soccer should walk away from FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, and its confederations and associations ― and build a better system, separate from the men’s game. FIFA has had to be pushed, kicking and screaming the entire way, by the players and their fans into caring about and supporting women’s football, and it’s a stretch even now to say that it does either. Two of FIFA’s confederations scheduled men’s tournament finals on Sunday, the same day as the Women’s World Cup final, even though the women’s game was set first. They’ve said it was a mistake. They whoopsed into twice forgetting about the biggest women’s sporting event in the world.” It’s Time For Women’s Soccer To Break Away From FIFA (by Jessica Luther for Huffington Post)

UK Policies

“As those in power ignored our calls for the rules to be enforced, we turned to our union, the IWGB, to start fighting for the rights we were being denied. The union allowed us to score two major legal victories against Uber, but the fight continues. What I never expected was that we would then have to turn our fight against the Mayor so many of us put our hopes on. This week, the IWGB will be taking Khan and TfL to court to fight against the introduction on 8 April of a £11.50 congestion charge on minicabs. The union will argue that this charge discriminates against and breaches the human rights of Bame drivers and women drivers.” Like Sadiq Khan, I’m the son of a Pakistani immigrant – I never expected he’d fail Bame Uber drivers like me (by Yassar Akhtar for the Independent)

US Customs and Border Patrol

“But legal experts and human rights advocates say the government has kept the use of databases at the border largely secret, subverting potential challenges to the reliability of the information in them. An attorney in Texas recently discovered that her Salvadoran client had been falsely accused of being in the MS-13 gang based on intelligence from the center. The man was jailed in a maximum-security facility for violent criminals for six months, and his two children were taken away.” Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims (by Melissa del Bosque for ProPublica)

“Another member shared the viral photo of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, who drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande in June. “I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS,” they wrote, suggesting that the photograph had somehow been altered. (As ProPublica notes, there is no indication that it has been.) Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has compared migrant detention centers to concentration camps, is a frequent subject of disgusting memes and comments. Multiple illustrations have been edited to show the freshman congresswoman performing oral sex — in one, on Donald Trump, and in another, at an immigrant detention center with the caption, “Lucky Illegal Immigrant Glory Hole Special Starring AOC.”” This Secret Facebook Group for Border Patrol Officials Is Absolutely Horrifying (by Madeleine Aggeler for the Cut)

Homelessness

“And yet, despite the urgency of the need and the expert consensus on solutions, individual efforts to increase density, improve transit or alleviate homelessness can spend years bogged down by local opposition. In March, neighborhood activists in Los Angeles threatened to sue the city over the installation of a 0.8-mile bike lane. Residents of Seattle’s wealthiest neighborhood demanded reserved seats on city buses and exemptions from road tolls in exchange for permitting a light-rail station. A crowd of more than 1,000 people booed a homeless man who got up to speak in support of a new shelter in Salt Lake City.” Progressive Boomers Are Making It Impossible For Cities To Fix The Housing Crisis (by Michael Hobbes for Huffington Post)

Anti-Fat Policy

“As a mental health campaigner, I believe the omnipresent fat-is-a-choice-and-it’s-bad rhetoric which has been absorbed and regurgitated by much of the population does monumental amounts of damage. Not only does it add more gravitas to a burgeoning multi-billion pound diet industry with a 95 per cent failure rate, it fuels eating disorders and encourages the public to consider themselves ‘visual doctors’, firing casual micro-aggressions in the direction of fat people under the guise of ‘concern’ for their ‘health’. Numerous studies, including a 2017 paper from East Tennessee State University, show feeling ashamed of our bodies decreases the chance we will exercise and make healthy food choices, so these billboards designed to shame obese people into compliance are demonstrably counter-productive.” Cancer Research’s obesity campaign isn’t just misguided – it’s dangerous (by Natasha Devon for Metro UK)

Sunday

30

June 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – June 20, 2019

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Women’s World Cup

“Yet, if the US women were entitled to the same World Cup bonuses as the US men’s national team, their rewards would already be six times larger. The women would’ve already earned around $550,000 each, even with nearly half of the Women’s World Cup left to play. That’s because the men earn more across the board in World Cup bonuses from US Soccer and, on top of that, they are also entitled to a set of bonuses the women don’t get, such as $4.5m to be shared among the players if the men advance to the knockout round of the World Cup.” Revealed: the $730,000 gender pay gap in US World Cup bonuses (Caitlin Murray and Sam Morris for The Guardian)

“The MCRP common room might not be France, but it’s a vast improvement over solitary confinement, where Brian has watched Megan play in the previous two World Cups. He sat on a couch in his red USA jersey, watching on a 60-inch flat-screen, and felt “f—ing great.” He had accomplished a major goal for himself: to get out of prison in time to watch his kid sister play in her third World Cup. Every time the U.S. scored, the room full of men cheered loudly. Nobody there thought the U.S.’s 13 goals against Thailand and exuberant celebrations after each were done in poor taste. “This is what soccer should always be like,” one man said.” Megan Rapinoe’s greatest heartbreak, and hope (by Gwendolyn Oxenham for ESPN)

“As recently described in a Washington Post op-ed, Rapinoe is “a defiant woman refusing to play by the antiquated be-cute-and-courteous rules that make many men feel better about female athletes.” And, whether her exuberance on the field and her politics get under your skin or inspire you, Rapinoe, the op-ed argues, is simply “too good to be ignored.”” I’m Prepared to Fight for Megan Rapinoe (by Amanda Arnold for The Cut)

Anti-Homeless Bullshit

“Those tiny spikes on roofs keeping pigeons from hunkering down and pooping on everyone? They’re in the family, but they’re for birds, so who really cares? But the pegs on handrails or the corners of cement benches that keep skateboarders from grinding away? Absolutely hostile. And those obscenely sloped bus benches that allow people to only kind of lean against but not sit or, God forbid, lie down? Definitely.” Photos of the Most Egregious ‘Anti-Homeless’ Architecture (by Rick Paulas for Vice)

Misogyny

“Marshae Jones, a 27-year-old Birmingham woman, was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury on a manslaughter charge. She was taken into custody on Wednesday. Though Jones didn’t fire the shots that killed her unborn baby girl, authorities say she initiated the dispute that led to the gunfire. Police initially charged 23-year-old Ebony Jemison with manslaughter, but the charge against Jemison was dismissed after the grand jury failed to indict her.” Alabama woman loses unborn child after being shot, gets arrested; shooter goes free (by Carol Robinson for AL.com)

Tr*mp Is The Worst

“Carroll explains in the excerpt that she didn’t come forward sooner out of fear that she’d be attacked, threatened, and smeared by Trump and his supporters. Trump has denied the accounts of all of the other women. A White House official told New York that the accusation is “completely false.” The accusations include rape, a threat of rape, unwanted groping, being kissed without consent, and being walked in on naked. Here are the accusations made by women who have come forward publicly under their own names.” E. Jean Carroll joins at least 21 other women in publicly accusing Trump of sexual assault or misconduct (by Libby Nelson and Laura McGann for Vox)

Bi-Visibility

“Granted, maybe the bone-deep disappointment I felt when some character rolled their eyes at bisexuality should have tipped me off. But I also believe that I would have been far more open to the idea of being bisexual if I had witnessed it depicted as an intrinsic part of life rather than an attention-seeking choice or “layover on the way to Gaytown.” Even in real life, I didn’t have to look further than the way media treated Angelina Jolie or Alan Cumming to know how I might be received.” How TV Failed Me on Bisexuality — And Then Got Its Act Together (Column) (by Caroline Framke for Variety)

Something Good

“I won’t list all the work she’s done between then and now (in addition to several subsequent albums, you may remember her as God in the 1999 Kevin Smith movie Dogma, or as the woman who confirmed Carrie Bradshaw’s heterosexuality on Sex and the City, or for her work on Weeds), other than to say she has maintained a level of production consistent with studio stars in the era of Louis B. Mayer’s MGM. For Alanis, a lot of it stems from being a workhorse from such a young age. “I always remember working my ass off 24 hours a day and looking out and seeing the kids playing in the backyard and thinking, Well, I can’t do that right now,” she said.” Alanis Morissette on Pregnancy at 45, Childbirth, Postpartum Depression, and #MeToo (by Nicole Cliffe for Self)

Sunday

23

June 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – June 23, 2019

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Concentration Camps in the US

“And then we started to pull the children who had been there the longest to find out just how long children are being kept there. Children described to us that they’ve been there for three weeks or longer. And so, immediately from that population that we were trying to triage, they were filthy dirty, there was mucus on their shirts, the shirts were dirty. We saw breast milk on the shirts. There was food on the shirts, and the pants as well. They told us that they were hungry. They told us that some of them had not showered or had not showered until the day or two days before we arrived. Many of them described that they only brushed their teeth once. This facility knew last week that we were coming. The government knew three weeks ago that we were coming.” Inside a Texas Building Where the Government is Holding Immigrant Children (by Isaac Chotiner for the New Yorker)

“Parents and other adults in detention aren’t faring any better. In one processing center in El Paso, a cell designed for 12 people was crammed with 76, causing migrants to stand on the toilets for breathing space. Up to 900 migrants were held at another facility designed for 125. In another case, a teenage mother holding a sick and dirty premature baby spent 9 days detained without access to medical care for her newborn. They “wouldn’t give her any water to wash [the baby].” DOING NOTHING IN THE FACE OF THESE ATROCITIES IS NOT AN OPTION.” What Can You Do To Help Immigrants Whose Rights Are Under Attack? (Lawyer for Good Government)

“The baby, barely a month old, was wrapped in a dirty towel, wore a soiled onesie and looked listless, said one of the lawyers, Hope Frye. The mother was in a wheelchair due to complications from her emergency C-section and had barely slept ― the pain made it too uncomfortable for her to lie down and she was afraid of dropping her baby, the immigration and human rights attorney said. “I looked at that baby and said ‘Who does this to babies?’” Frye said. “They were being sadistically ignored.”” Teen Mom And Prematurely Born Baby Neglected At Border Patrol Facility For 7 Days (by Angelina Chapman for Huffington Post)

Reproductive Health

“Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams told reporters Friday that the agency would issue an emergency rule to relieve Planned Parenthood of the requirement. “In looking at what they are doing and the fact that they think that causes a burden for patients to do (the pelvic exam) twice…as a clinician who practiced for 30 years, I’m sensitive to that,” Williams said. Williams said the rule would allow physicians to conduct pelvic exams the same day of a surgical abortion.” Missouri backs off on rule requiring women get pelvic exam three days before abortion (by Crystal Thomas for Kansas City Star)

“It was excruciating. I wanted children, but I wasn’t ready, nor was I fully recovered. I was so grateful that Janak had survived, but I could not tempt fate again. It had to be my choice, because in the end, I would be the one to carry the fetus in my body, I would be the one to potentially face another emergency cesarean section, and I would be the one whose baby could suffer the serious, sometimes fatal consequences of extreme prematurity. I could not simply hope for the best — I had to make a decision based on the tremendous risks that had been clearly laid out for me. I decided I could not responsibly have the baby. It was a heartbreaking decision, but it was the only one I was capable of making.” Rep. Pramila Jayapal: The Story of My Abortion (by Rep. Pramila Jayapal for the New York Times)

Corporations

“The spread of Pride marches throughout the country galvanized the LGBTQ movement. As the fight for LGBTQ rights became more mainstream, corporations have latched onto Pride Month as a way of courting the LGBTQ community, an important source of customers and skilled employees. But do these corporations really support the LGBTQ movement? Popular Information has identified nine rainbow flag-waving corporations that gave $1 million or more to anti-gay politicians in the last election cycle.” These rainbow flag-waving corporations donated millions to anti-gay members of Congress (Popular Information)

“These beliefs about Uber’s corporate value were created entirely out of thin air. This is not a case of a company with a reasonably sound operating business that has managed to inflate stock market expectations a bit. This is a case of a massive valuation that has no relationship to any economic fundamentals. Uber has no competitive efficiency advantages, operates in an industry with few barriers to entry, and has lost more than $14 billion in the previous four years. But its narratives convinced most people in the media, invest­ment, and tech worlds that it is the most valuable transportation company on the planet and the second most valuable start-up IPO in U.S. history (after Facebook).” Uber’s Path of Destruction (by Hubert Horan for American Affairs)

Misogyny

“But why would anyone do something so absurd? In my mind, I thought that an all-male photograph might not be the best optics for a bunch of rich tech entrepreneurs, especially during a time when women and minorities are underrepresented in the industry. But why would someone doctor a photograph for such a low-stakes item for Instagram and a lifestyle magazine? Was the photo truly manipulated to appear more diverse? Or was this simply a case of “Please photoshop my friend into this family picture. They took it.”” This Picture Featuring 15 Tech Men And 2 Women Looked Doctored. The Women Were Photoshopped In. (by Ryan Mac for Buzz Feed)

“The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.” Hideous Men Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life. (by E. Jean Carroll for New York)

“Of course, Biden’s intended audience isn’t the girls he’s supposedly addressing, but any boy, man, or potential authority figure within earshot of those girls. It’s a verbal elbow nudge signaling to the girl’s father, grandfather, mother, or brother that they’d better keep their daughter/granddaughter/sister on lockdown, or reap the heavily implied consequences. Meanwhile, at no point do the girls and young women Biden addresses have the agency to say whether they feel like they need protecting. It also unnecessarily suggests to them that their appearance, which they cannot control, will inevitably put them in danger.” Joe Biden Can’t Stop Using the Toxic “Lock Up Your Daughters” Joke (by Emma Roller for Slate)

Women’s World Cup

“Instead of Team USA being celebrated for what its players achieved, the victory became an opportunity to lecture these women on how to behave. That lecture is all the more galling given that, in March, the team filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. The women are fighting, in the courts, for equal pay and respect—and, on the field, for the right to pummel their opponents and express themselves in a way that men often do. “Either way, people are going to say something,” the former women’s national-team forward Sydney Leroux Dwyer told me in a text message. Dwyer won the World Cup with Team USA in 2015. “You celebrate, you’re rubbing it in their faces,” she wrote. “You don’t, and you’re entitled or cocky.”” They Gave America 13 Goals—And Got a Lecture in Return (by Jemele Hill for the Atlantic)

“5. You should not celebrate the goals too much. Celebrate the first goal with all the joy you would show at the birth of a first child, then the second goal with somewhat less joy, then the third goal with a kind of annoyance. Upon the fourth goal, you should make a face like, “Is this happening? Bank error in my favor, I guess!” Attribute the fifth goal to God, or a higher power of your choice. After the sixth goal, take the whole team out and try to figure out what you are doing wrong. The seventh goal should be a mistake. The eighth goal should cause you to become enraged at the referee for allowing such a travesty to take place. After the ninth goal, grab the ball and shout at it. The 10th goal, if possible, should be in your own goal. There should be no 11th or 12th goal, let alone a 13th.” 13 goals for women who want to celebrate World Cup wins (by Alexandra Petri for Washington Post)

“I could not agree more with the gentlemen who dare to ask these questions – and not just so that I can buy time while I frantically locate the exit. Indeed, as part of this column’s tireless commitment to celebrating the underdogs, this week let’s redress the dangerous cosmic imbalance caused by the Women’s World Cup. Here follows a celebration of all the different guys who currently need to explain to you – at length – why they aren’t watching it. As always, you don’t have to be a woman to have met some of these men over the past week. But it certainly helps!” Pity the poor man who’s had the Women’s World Cup shoved down his throat (by Marina Hyde for the Guardian)

Sunday

9

June 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – June 9, 2019

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2020 Election

“Though Biden isn’t the only Democratic candidate haunted by an account of inappropriate touching, he is the only one who seems to think he can laugh his problems away. And so far, his strategy seems to be working: He currently has a significant lead over his competitors, although that may change as voters interact with him more often.” What’s So Funny, Joe? (by Sarah Jones for The Cut)

Dangerous Shit Tr*mp Did

“Scientists condemned the administration’s decision in the strongest possible terms. “We believe this decision to be politically motivated, shortsighted and not based on sound science,” read a prepared statement by UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood. UCSF is using fetal tissue to find a cure for HIV. “Today’s action ends a 30-year partnership with the NIH,” Hawgood continued, adding the ban will “undermine scientific discovery and the ability to find effective treatments for serious and life-threatening disease.” Trump Administration Bans Government Scientists From Using Fetal Tissue (by Sony Salzman for Rewire.News)

“Although the pride flag can and is being flown elsewhere on embassy grounds, including inside embassies and on exterior walls, the decision not to allow it on the official flagpole stands in contrast to President Donald Trump’s claim to be a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights overseas. Trump’s administration has announced a campaign to decriminalize homosexuality overseas and this month issued a tweet and formal statement to “celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made.” The denials to U.S. embassies have come from the office of the State Department’s undersecretary for management, Brian Bulatao, a longtime associate of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who also worked for him at the CIA. Under State Department policy, embassies that want to fly the flag on their flagpoles are expected to obtain permission from Washington.” Trump admin tells U.S. embassies they can’t fly pride flag on flagpoles (by Josh Lederman for NBC News)

Labor

“Claire Stapleton, a longtime marketing manager at Google and its subsidiary YouTube, said she decided to leave the company after 12 years when it became clear that her trajectory at the company was “effectively over”. “I made the choice after the heads of my department branded me with a kind of scarlet letter that makes it difficult to do my job or find another one,” she wrote in an email to co-workers announcing her departure on 31 May. “If I stayed, I didn’t just worry that there’d be more public flogging, shunning, and stress, I expected it.” “The message that was sent [to others] was: ‘You’re going to compromise your career if you make the same choices that Claire made,” she told the Guardian by phone. “It was designed to have a chilling effect on employees who raise issues or speak out.”” ‘I’ve paid a huge personal cost:’ Google walkout organizer resigns over alleged retaliation (by Julie Carrie Wong for The Guardian)

Reproductive Health

“This is just the latest case in the news, but if there was any doubt before, what we are seeing in Missouri and across the country is a public health crisis. We are in a state of emergency for reproductive health in America, and it requires a true emergency response. Over the past few months, we’ve seen just how vulnerable access to safe, legal abortion is across the country. Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have enacted extreme, dangerous, and unconstitutional abortion bans that will endanger lives. Alabama’s ban would outlaw abortion at any point in pregnancy, others in Georgia and Ohio’s before many even know they are pregnant. Some, like Alabama, Louisiana, and Missouri, don’t include exceptions for rape or incest. And some would put doctors in jail for years—Alabama even has a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison—for doing their jobs. These laws don’t just affect doctors; they would even open the door for miscarriages to be investigated.” Dr. Leana Wen: A State of Emergency in Missouri and Across the Country (by Dr. Leana Wen for Rewire.News)

Something Good

Austin wrote this magazine’s opening article, about games worker unionization. Download it here.

Sunday

2

June 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 2 June 2019

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Apparently I didn’t do a lot of reading this week …

Reproductive Health

“Rep. Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur) said she witnessed an increase in police presence at the capitol over the past two legislative sessions. But the level of police activity surrounding any debates on HB 481 was strikingly different. She told Rewire.News that police were used to “stifle dissent,” and that this sent a clear message. “Anytime the general public comes to the capitol to say how they feel about a bill, if it’s not something that Republicans agree with, they [Republican leadership] immediately sic the police on them,” she said.” Georgia Democrats: Police ‘Stifled Dissent’ During Near-Total Abortion Ban Debate (by Ari Bee for Rewire.News)

“Lawmakers in conservative states across the nation are striking at the US supreme court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally. Abortion opponents are pushing new restrictions on the procedure in hopes that a case will make its way to the high court and two new conservative justices appointed by Donald Trump could help overturn Roe. Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted similar bills, while Missouri lawmakers approved an eight-week ban on abortion. Alabama has gone even further, outlawing virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. None of the bans has taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges.” Louisiana becomes latest US state to pass six-week abortion ban (The Guardian)

Something Good – Women’s World Cup!

“The U.S. Women’s National Team players are known for their athletic abilities and the inspiration they provide to fans across the world. They’re role models and winners. They’re also young, vibrant, fun and can make you feel like they’re your BFFs in a matter of seconds. They have traditions they swear by, they tell inside jokes, and they use fun nicknames for each other. With the WNT Dictionary, we present an inside peek into the world of the U.S. WNT and invite you to join the U.S. team as it gets ready to compete for a fourth title at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer.” USWNT Dictionary

 

Sunday

26

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 26 May, 2019

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Reproductive Health

“But while the league-wide drama both on and off the court remains the utmost importance to the league’s athletes, they’re hardly shutting out the world around them. Over the past few weeks, many players — including 2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart — have taken to social media to express their anger and sadness over a recent slate of anti-abortion bills in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri. The bill passed by the Alabama Senate, perhaps the most extreme of its kind, would punish abortion providers with up to 99 years in prison. There is no exception for rape and incest.” WNBA’s star players speak out against anti-abortion bills (by Lindsay Gibbs for Think Progress)

“I didn’t call the police — not after he left my dorm room and not after I discovered I was pregnant. I never once imagined that calling the police could help my situation. It could only make things worse. I envisioned prosecutors, courtrooms and interrogations. I was trying to survive my first year of law school, worried I might fail out, wondering how I would make it through my first round of exams. The last thing I wanted was to become a court case myself. Nor did I want a baby. I had no extended family to fall back on; no one who could loan me money to help raise a child; no place to go except to my parents’ rented home — a place that felt temporary, at best, given their financial insecurity and recent eviction. I did not want to give a baby away and I did not want to raise my rapist’s child.” My Rapist Apologized (by Michelle Alexander for the New York Times)

“Though the 19th century is seen as a time of more restrictive sexual mores, abortion was actually common: according to at least one estimate, one in every five women at the time had had an abortion. Abortifacients were hawked in store fronts and even door to door. Vendors openly advertised their willingness to end women’s pregnancies. And in private, women shared information about how to prevent conception and induce miscarriages. Then things changed—thanks in part to doctors determined to make abortions their realm. During the second half of the 19th century, American physicians intent on overseeing women’s reproductive health campaigned to criminalize abortion, sending a common practice underground.” The Criminalization of Abortion Began as a Business Tactic (by Erin Blakemore for History)

Sports Fuck-Ups

“It’s actually *more difficult* to randomize group seating than seat people together. @FIFAcom @FIFAWWC you’re going to need to reissue tickets. Call your ticketing vendor and sort this,” wrote @SnodgrassLaura. Others noted that such a situation would be unlikely to occur at the men’s World Cup. “Why assign seats at all then?” wrote @Paul_Par. “It’s going to devolve into some kind of General Admission hybrid mayhem. They should have learned from what happened at the Men’s World Cup. Oh wait. They would never, ever exhibit this kind of idiocy for the men.” Women’s World Cup: tickets bought together may not be next to each other (The Guardian)

Politics and the Far Right

“Sooner or later progressives are going to have to stop being stunned by these electoral defeats. The first time, it is plausible to ask, “How could this possibly happen?” But when that possibility recurs in relatively short order, what once presented itself as a shock has now curdled into self-deception. It turns out that the country you woke up in is the precisely the one you went to bed in. If you still don’t recognise it then you are going to have real problems changing it.” Shocked by the rise of the right? Then you weren’t paying attention (by Gary Younge for The Guardian)

“By contrast, chucking a milkshake is not political violence at all; it is political theatre, of a kind shared down the ages and across countries. Indeed, the best modern example comes from Bogotá. In 1995, Antanas Mockus became mayor of the Colombian capital, winning a landslide on his promise to root out corruption. No professional politician, Mockus had been a philosopher at the National University until he moonied a lecture theatre of unruly students. He defended himself by referring to Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence, as one would, but HR wasn’t buying it.” This Milkshake Spring isn’t political violence – it’s political theatre (by Aditya Chakrabortty for The Guardian)

Men Being Creepy

“Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Portman acknowledged meeting Moby backstage after going to one of his concerts as a fan, but denied ever being romantically involved with him. She also said she was still a teenager when they met, rather than 20 as Moby claimed in the book. “I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school,” Portman said. “He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact checking from him or his publisher – it almost feels deliberate.” Natalie Portman calls Moby ‘creepy’ and denies claim they dated 20 years ago (by Roisin O’Connor for the Independent)

Climate Change

“But their time is up. We are experiencing an unprecedented wave of grassroots organising and citizen engagement with climate action. From millions of students holding school strikes around the world, to peaceful civil disobedience in our cities, to David Attenborough’s much talked about new documentary. Climate breakdown has received more media coverage in the UK recently than at any other time in the past five years. This public pressure is working, resulting in the Welsh and Scottish governments as well as UK and Irish parliaments all declaring a climate emergency.” Divest Parliament (by Karn Bianco for Ecologist)

Something Good

No accompanying video, but the Women’s World Cup starts in under two weeks, and I’ll be at my first match in 17 days. Summer of soccer!!

Sunday

19

May 2019

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COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 19, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Elections

““Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” she said in a statement Saturday. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.” Fulton announced Saturday that she would launch her campaign for the District 1 seat, which will be relinquished in 2020 by the term-limited Commissioner Barbara Jordan. Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert is also running for the seat, one of five up for grabs after Miami-Dade voters approved a two-term limit for the 13-member board in 2012. Miami Gardens is the biggest city in District 1.” Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, will run for Miami-Dade County Commission (by Martin Vassolo for the Miami Herald)

Gun Violence

“Eubanks was 17 at the time of the Columbine shooting, according to CNN affiliate KMGH.
He was in the library with his friends, trying to decide whether they were going to go fishing or play golf after school, when they heard the sound of gunshots. “A teacher ran through the same doors that we just entered into the library, yelling at everybody to get under the tables, that somebody had a gun, and I remember just being in shock,” Eubanks told CNN last year.” Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks found dead at 37 (by Amir Vera for CNN)

Homophobia

“But Kessem was about to become the latest victim of a government policy that effectively de-recognizes her parents’ marriage, granting her no automatic rights to American birthright citizenship despite the fact that both her fathers are U.S. citizens. That policy, Kessem’s fathers told The Daily Beast, poses a unique threat to LGBT families, and could change the decades-old legal understanding of what the word “family” even means. “This is a very clear attack on families, on American families,” Roee, who married Adiel in California in 2013, told The Daily Beast. “Denying American married couples their rights to pass their citizenship, that is flat-out discrimination, and everyone should be concerned about this.”” Trump Administration to LGBT Couples: Your ‘Out of Wedlock’ Kids Aren’t Citizens (by Scott Bixby for Daily Beast)

Reproductive Health

What is going on in the US is misogynistic and horrible. If you want to fight back, here are a couple of options:

National Network of Abortion Funds

Stop Abortion Bans

Something Good

Excellent.

 

Sunday

12

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – 12 May 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Reproductive Health

“Helmi Henkin—chair of the clinic escort group West Alabama Clinic Defenders and Alabama’s only statewide abortion fund, the Yellowhammer Fund—witnessed the incident, called police, and uploaded a picture of the driver’s car to her social media accounts for people to share. “She is fine now, but we were just really emotionally overwhelmed by the incident,” Henkin told Rewire.News.” In Alabama, an Anti-Choice Protester Tried to Run Over an Abortion Clinic Escort (by Auditi Guha for Rewire.News)

“David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and “The Deuce,” said in a tweet on Thursday that his company Blown Deadline’s “assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.” “I can’t ask any female member of any film production with which I am involved to so marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies,” Simon said.” Two production companies pledge to pull filming from Georgia over strict anti-abortion law (by Aris Folley for The Hill)

“The primary purpose of HB 481 is to prohibit doctors from terminating any pregnancy after they can detect “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity,” which typically occurs at six weeks’ gestation. But the bill does far more than that. In one sweeping provision, it declares that “unborn children are a class of living, distinct person” that deserves “full legal recognition.” Thus, Georgia law must “recognize unborn children as natural persons”—not just for the purposes of abortion, but as a legal rule.” Georgia Just Criminalized Abortion. Women Who Terminate Their Pregnancies Would Receive Life in Prison. (by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate)

“The long and short is, though, I got to a point of wanting to get sterilized because I wanted to a.) stop being told by doctors what I actually wanted, and b.) be able to say “see, now I CAN’T change my mind, so what else have you got to say about it?” People take this choice—one that doesn’t impact them in even any mild way!—really personally. They view it as a judgement of their own choices. And honestly, after doing All Of The Thinking about it for the last, oh, third of my life, I’m kind of done dealing with it. I’m done walking judgemental busybodies through it and justifying it and thinking about it myself.” I Got My Tubes Tied at 31. Here’s What I Learned (by Hanna Brooks Olsen via Medium)

Sexual Assault

“If the Senate Judiciary Committee, led then by Mr. Biden, had done its job and held a hearing that showed that its members understood the seriousness of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence, the cultural shift we saw in 2017 after #MeToo might have begun in 1991 — with the support of the government. If the government had shown that it would treat survivors with dignity and listen to women, it could have had a ripple effect. People agitating for change would have been operating from a position of strength. It could have given institutions like the military, the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission greater license to take more decisive action to end the scourge of harassment. And research shows that if leaders convey that they won’t tolerate harassment, people within an organization typically obey.” Anita Hill: Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence (by Anita Hill for The New York Times)

Gender Essentialism in Sport

“The controversy surrounding Semenya echoes the broader media treatment of intersex athletes. The argument being made against Semenya is the same one that was made about Indian runner Dutee Chand, and Spanish hurdler Maria José Martínez-Patiño before that. While transgender and intersex are not the same thing, they’re often conflated in public discussion. (“Transgender” is a term used to describe somebody who was assigned one gender at birth but identifies with and will often medically transition to another. “Intersex” is a term used to describe any number of medical conditions where someone is born with characteristics outside of the typical male and female binary, ranging from the noticeable to the invisible.) The terms were confused last week when Fox News reporter Carley Shimkus incorrectly referred to Semenya as “a transgender Olympic runner” during an episode of Fox & Friends. Shimkus apologized the following day.” Caster Semenya, and the myth of the uneven playing field (by Parker Molloy for Columbia Journalism Review)

School Shootings

“The words were familiar to 15-year-old Duarte, who has participated in nearly 50 active shooter drills in the five years she’s been a student at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a few miles away from Columbine High School. Only this time, it wasn’t a drill. Two students opened fire on their classmates on Tuesday, killing one and injuring eight others before they were taken into custody.” This Is What It Sounds Like Hiding In A Dark Classroom During A School Shooting (by Tasneem Nashrulla for Buzzfeed)

Something Good

Singer / Songwriter / Podcast host Jenny Owens Young occasionally writes songs for A Cast of Kings, an unofficial Game of Thrones Podcast. The latest is a bit of an ear worm and I like it. (Spoilers, obviously): The Long Night

 

 

Sunday

5

May 2019

0

COMMENTS

What I’m Reading – May 5, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

Bigotry in Sport

“No matter what her personal medical history is, her story illustrates the way people, especially people of color, can be scrutinized when they seem to fall outside gender norms. Being intersex is not the same as being trans, but society at large tends to conflate the two, Pagonis said. “And a lot of people hate trans people.” Meanwhile, “I see a lot of intersex phobia that is heightened because she’s a black woman,” Pagonis added. “Had Caster been a gender-conforming, straight-identified white girl who just was faster than the other people, they would have never invaded her body” by demanding testing, they said.” “I am a woman and I am fast”: what Caster Semenya’s story says about gender and race in sports (by Anna North for Vox)

“Alternatively, the IAAF could consider the road it has not yet travelled: engage in educational efforts aimed at promoting informed discussion, allaying fears of the unknown and promoting understanding as a viable alternative to exclusion. In other words, the IAAF could take the lead in creating a sporting environment in which it becomes possible to truly recognise women with high testosterone as the “humans, daughters, and sisters” that our president, Seb Coe, claims them to be at the same time as he denies their right to participate.” I was sore about losing to Caster Semenya. But this decision against her is wrong (by Madeleine Pape for The Guardian)

““There is no such thing as a standard level of testosterone in a woman’s body,” the doctor explained to i.“A lot of women can be affected by higher than average levels of testosterone. “They can have too little energy or libido, or too much hair and too many mood swings because of conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome or pre-menstrual syndrome, that affects millions of women.” Doctor ‘wouldn’t prescribe’ the hormone suppressants IAAF demands for Caster Semenya (by Jasmine Andersson for i news)

Public Health

“We have been listening to the alerts from the Pan American Health Organization. There are outbreaks of measles [in the United States] largely because persons have not taken the vaccine,” Fredericks-James said. The outbreak comes amid an alarming number of measles diagnoses in the U.S., with 704 cases already reported this year in 22 states — the most in 25 years. It’s an astonishing uptick for a disease that was declared eradicated in the U.S. by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2000.” Scientology Ship Quarantined in St. Lucia After Measles Diagnosis (by Seth Abramovitch for The Hollywood Reporter)

Racism in Policing

“The report on the New Year’s Eve killing, which sparked national police accountability protests, was disclosed this week following journalists’ requests under a new California police transparency law. The previously sealed internal file, written 10 years ago, documented how the Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) officer Anthony Pirone “started a cascade of events that ultimately led to the shooting”. Pirone called Grant the N-word while detaining him, hit him in the face in an “unprovoked” attack, and later gave a series of false statements contradicted by videos, investigators said.” Officer punched Oscar Grant and lied about facts in 2009 killing, records show (by Sam Levin for The Guardian)

The Patriarchy Harms Everyone

“The idea of an “emotional gold digger” was first touched on in 2016 by writer Erin Rodgers with a tweet that continues to be re-posted on social media—both by women who married self-described feminist men, and by those with more conservative husbands. It has gained more traction recently as women, feeling increasingly burdened by unpaid emotional labor, have wised up to the toll of toxic masculinity, which keeps men isolated and incapable of leaning on each other. Across the spectrum, women seem to be complaining about the same thing: While they read countless self-help books, listen to podcasts, seek out career advisors, turn to female friends for advice and support, or spend a small fortune on therapists to deal with old wounds and current problems, the men in their lives simply rely on them.” Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden (by Melanie Hamlett for Harper’s Bazaar)

Something Good

If you enjoy Game of Thrones, check out the deep dive recaps every Thursday:  Game of Thrones ‘The Long Night’ Deep Dive Recap (by Lord Castleton for Pajiba)