ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



February 2015



What I’m Reading – February 1, 2015

Written by , Posted in What I'm Reading


– “Writer Lindy West has been harassed by hundreds of trolls online. But only one ever apologized for his remarks. Lindy began to wonder, could he explain why trolls choose to be so cruel?” If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS (via @TheLindyWest)

– “The only pro-Gamergate editor accounts that have been punished were throwaways, what Wikipedia editor Mark Bernstein described as “disposal accounts created specifically for the purpose of being sanctioned.” In contrast, five editors who were working to prevent the article from taking a pro-Gamergate stance have been banned — and not just from Gamergate articles, but from any relating to gender or sexuality, “broadly construed.”” Wikipedia Has Banned Five Feminist Editors From Gamergate Articles & More (h/t @DrRubidium)

– “What does living with the fear of rape do to your mental well-being over time? What diagnosis do you give to the shaking hands you can’t stop after a stranger whispers “pussy” in your ear on your way to work?” Sexism is making women sick (via @JessicaValenti)

– “The following night she was arrested by an undercover cop. Due to past convictions for prostitution, she was ineligible for the program, and was later convicted of “manifestation of prostitution,” simply for walking down the street. Transgender women are frequently profiled as sex workers — in part because discrimination and family rejection often force trans women onto the street, where many turn to sex work to survive.” Court Tosses Out Prostitution Conviction For Woman Who Was Just Walking Down The Street (h/t @Lavernecox)

– “Because of the (overstated) risk of birth defects and withdrawal symptoms in newborns, the CDC suggested in a press release that women “of reproductive age”—pregnant or not—should face additional scrutiny when it comes to receiving prescription painkillers, simply because they are biologically capable of hosting a fetus. CDC officials did not make an explicit judgment call on doctors’ decisions; still, it is not inconceivable that providers could take their recommendation as a justification for withholding prescriptions.” The CDC’s Newest Report on Opioids Prioritizes Hypothetical Fetuses Above Living Women (via @kristengwynne)

– “Goins, who went public with her allegations in December 2014, is the most recent addition to a growing list of women who have publicly claimed that they know or suspect that Cosby sexually assaulted and/or drugged them — and she’s the first whose claims appear to fall within a statute of limitations that would allow for criminal prosecution.” Another woman has accused Cosby of rape. The full timeline of allegations is horrifying. (h/t @Shakestweetz)

– “It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.” One Week of Harassment on Twitter (h/t @AustinKelmore)

– “And then there’s the meme at the top of this post, which reads: “Feminists. This isn’t about women. This isn’t about misogyny. This is about our childhoods. STOP MAKING IT ABOUT YOU!” Feminists, of course, don’t have childhoods, because we aren’t born in the traditional sense (too spermy)–instead, each of us is vaginally-knitted out of menstrual clots and Dove Promise wrappers in the great Sky Yoni.” Let’s Not Stop at Ghostbusters—Let’s Remake ALL Movies with Just Women (via @TheLindyWest)


– “The call went through to Gwent Police but was passed to South Wales, the force covering the area of Ms Michael’s address. Once transferred, the call should have been graded as requiring an immediate response, but was instead graded at a lower level. When officers had still not arrived, Ms Michael called 999 again at 02:43 BST and was heard screaming before the line went dead.” Joanna Michael murder: Family cannot sue police (via @BBCWalesNews)


– “If people tell you that a word harms them, just don’t use that word. It’s easy. There are so many words in the world! And if you legitimately think that having to take a millisecond to swap one word out for another word is somehow more offensive than being reminded of the pervasive, deadly dehumanisation of your entire community, then have you considered hermitdom? In your desolate mountain cave, no one can hear you say racial slurs.” Benedict Cumberbatch needs to be more careful with words. But we can all learn from his apology (via @TheLindyWest)

– “Well, yes! Context matters, and it’s no secret that a man using a word like “cunt”, for example, often has a completely different resonance than when a woman uses it. His willful ignorance about why he (a white, hetero, cisgender man) might not be able to use all the words or claim authority on every single topic is also why his, er, mansplanation of “mansplaining” – “all-purpose term of abuse that can be used to discredit any argument by any man” – falls flatter than his argument that it would be more equitable for women to live in squalor than demand that their husbands do a fair share of the housework.” ‘PC culture’ isn’t about your freedom of speech. It’s about our freedom to be offended (via @JessicaValenti)

Public Health

– “The anti-vaccine movement can largely be traced to a 1998 report in a medical journal that suggested a link between vaccines and autism but was later proved fraudulent and retracted. Today, the waves of parents who shun vaccines include some who still believe in the link and some, like the Amish, who have religious objections to vaccines. Then there is a particular subculture of largely wealthy and well-educated families, many living in palmy enclaves around Los Angeles and San Francisco, who are trying to carve out “all-natural” lives for their children.” Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles (h/t @AllisonKilkenny)

– “And yet we have as a culture forgotten that world, and that terror. And so vaccination rates are dropping, and children are once more dying. The terror is returning. We should remember that terror, and Charles Darwin’s memorial to his dear daughter Annie, written just a week after her death, is the most acute expression of it that I have ever read.” “We have lost the joy of the Household, and the solace of our old age.” (via @studentactivism)


– “Elliott soon realizes that this parenting stuff is tricky, because he’s a lawyer, not a human. He decides to hire a tutor for Eloise. The tutor, Duvan (portrayed by Mpho Koaho), is African. With an African accent. We never find out where in Africa Duvan is from, but from his accent, I’m going to go with “Africa.”” Boobs, Booze, and Black People Hair: A Very Thorough Review of Black or White (h/t @courtenlow)


– “Foster challenged the assertion repeatedly, explaining that, “you need to have sort of proper facts to back that up.” “I’ve lived here a long time,” he said. “I don’t know of any no-go zones for non-Muslims.”” CNN Correspondent Confronts Bobby Jindal Over False Comments About Muslims (via @ThinkProgress)


– “Marshawn Lynch has also been fined $20,000 by the NFL for grabbing his crotch, which is Lynch’s customary move when he scores a particularly explosive touchdown. Roger Goodell’s league sells a framed collage that includes the very image of Lynch tugging his testicles for $149.95. While Lynch writes checks, Goodell profits on both ends, while also perhaps grabbing his junk.” Marshawn Lynch and Roger Goodell: Compare and Contrast (via @EdgeofSports)

– “This is a team that has had players speak out for the Black Lives Matter movement and a team that has felt no compunction against calling out a commissioner in Roger Goodell who cares more about public relations than the players and the families of players that the league employs. The Seahawks are also doing all of this while winning with a hell of a lot of style and flair. It is a fact that the more Super Bowl trophies they collect, the bigger their collective platform will become.” Solidarity—and the Seattle Seahawks—Forever (via @EdgeofSports)

– “If you’re on the fence, feel free to vacillate based on the game. There is no right team to choose. There is no wrong team. Both teams are built to win and both teams are deserving of the crown. It will all come down to a pure contest of will, of skill and of game day coaching. At the end of it all, only one team will rise up and claim the championship. It should be a great game.” Pajiba’s Comprehensive Guide to Super Bowl XLIX (via @pajiba)

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