ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



May 2019



What I’m Reading – 26 May, 2019

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading

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!!

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