ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



July 2019



What I’m Reading – 14 July 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

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)


“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)

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