Category Archives: Society

Society: Rape and “Miscommunication”

Important study.

I just read a paper from the discipline of conversation analysis.  It dovetails nicely with what I wrote in Talking Past Each Other, and I’m going to go through some of the findings (I can’t redistribute the paper itself), and talk about some conclusions.  Long story short:  in conversation, “no” is disfavored, and people try to say no in ways that soften the rejection, often avoiding the word at all.  People issue rejections in softened language, and people hear rejections in softened language, and the notion that anything but a clear “no” can’t be understood is just nonsense.  First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong.  Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection.  Second, while the authors of the paper say that this makes all rape prevention advice about communicating a clear “no” pointless, I have a different take.  Clear communication of…

View original post 2,016 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Feminism, Society

Society: Stereotypes and “the danger of a single story”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story

The TED summary is as follows:

“Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”

I love watching Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talks. She is so wonderful, and brilliant.
She makes an absolutely excellent point, and one that I think is so important to every person worldwide, especially as our world becomes smaller thanks to the internet and technological advances.

1 Comment

Filed under Society

Society: Homes in Unexpected Places

Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places

This TED talk is fascinating. Human beings are so resilient and ingenious.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Society

Art: Naked Man Statue on Campus

There is a life-like naked man statue on Wellesley College’s campus. It’s my alma mater, and it’s a women’s college.

the statue, titled "The Sleepwalker" (source: Jezebel)

the statue, titled “The Sleepwalker” (source: Jezebel)

Media Coverage:

  1. Gawker
  2. Jezebel
  3. Boston Globe (as far as I can tell the media coverage started here)

And I’m not linking to the ridiculous other articles that are really disrespectful.
Do yourself a favor and remember not to read the comments.

Responses from Wellesley College Alumnae:

  1. Gaining Perspective: The Wellesley Debate (a piece written for HollaBack Boston)
  2. The Sleepwalker’s Dream (an art piece inspired by the statue)

And the statue now has a twitter account.

Basically, my 2 cents is this:

  1. the coverage of this event is really rude and disrespectful to the women who are affected by this statue
  2. the statue is in the home of the students and they are the ones who should decide if it stays or goes (no one comes into your home forcing art on you)
  3. and how is it ok to keep forcing an art piece on a person who has their PTSD triggered by it?

I also think that if this was about a piece of art that was triggering soldiers with PTSD it would be an entirely different conversation.

And comments are turned off, because I don’t want to fight with the internet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Feminism, Internets, Society, Uncategorized

Feminism: Rape and Alcohol

Reminder: Getting Drunk Doesn’t Cause Rape to Magically Appear

“While many victims of sexual assaults are intoxicated, so are victims of other crimes — like robbery — in similar percentages. Further, as many have written, a woman can drink until she’s blue in the face and unless a rapist is present, she won’t get raped. She might have a really bad headache the next day, but she won’t get raped.

But what about men who drink and then get all handsy and don’t know that they’ve raped until they wake up the next morning horrified with themselves? A myth, says Culp-Reeser, who cites research that shows men who already plan on victimizing women will sometimes drink as a way to justify their behavior. Further, men who rape don’t just do it once; they tend to consciously select a victim, deliberately isolate her, and use alcohol to diminish her ability to say no. Alcohol is among the many “tools” employed by rapists who wish to victimize women; it’s not a potion that transforms a carefree college girl into a sexual assault victim.”

Actually, The Link Between Sexual Assault And Alcohol Isn’t As Clear As You Think

some good quotes from this article:

1) “A 2001 research project into sexual assault and alcohol commissioned by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism puts it this way: “Although alcohol consumption and sexual assault frequently co-occur, this phenomenon does not prove that alcohol use causes sexual assault.” In some cases, the researchers pointed out, it may actually be the other way around. The desire to commit a sexual assault may actually encourage alcohol consumption, as some men may drink before assaulting a woman in order to help justify their behavior.”

2) “But the important point to note is that alcohol is just one of many tools at rapists’ disposal — and if alcohol isn’t available, that won’t necessarily stop a rapist from assaulting people.”

3) “And perhaps more broadly, it’s important to remember that sexual assault isn’t actually unique in its relationship to alcohol. In fact, at least half of all violent crimes occur after the perpetrator, the victim, or both have been drinking alcohol. Sexual assault simply fits neatly within that larger pattern — yet we’re much less likely to assume that alcohol factored into an armed robbery, or call on people to stop drinking so they won’t get mugged.”

I was thinking something similar to the third quote (from the second article) the other day. We don’t say that murder victims should have made sure they didn’t drink because it’s their fault they were targeted, because that’s a load of crap.

Sure, there are many things that I can do to keep myself safer, and I do most of those things. I don’t go out by myself late at night. etc. etc. But that doesn’t guarantee my safety. In fact I have seen how it can lull women into thinking they are safe, until they are not, until they are raped by someone they know. While they were trying to “be safe”. The fact is that I can modify my life all day long, it doesn’t make rapists, and sexual harassers, and people who wish me harm, magically disappear. And I think that’s the broader conversation we need to have, why do we keep the onus on women to change their lives instead of addressing the very real problem that rapists keep raping?

Leave a comment

Filed under Feminism, Psychology, Society

Psychology: Mark Manson

So I stumbled onto this website: Mark Manson (subtitle The Psychology of Life).
And he has some good articles and good observations.
I don’t agree with everything, but that’s life.
I have read a bunch of stuff because there can be some gems in there.
A summary of two articles I found to be really good are found after the cut.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Psychology, Society

TV: Jack Gleeson on Playing a Villain

Jack Gleeson GQ Interview

He is an excellent actor.
And I didn’t know that he is Irish.
Also, it’s a nicely filmed interview by GQ.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Film and TV, Psychology, Society

Society: Gender Flipping

Is Gender-Flipping The Most Important Meme Ever? 

In the article they referenced this feminist website called The Hawkeye Initiative. What disturbed me the most about the Hawkeye initiative was how, even seeing the two examples juxtaposed, I still had to work at it to see how unnaturally contorted the female characters were.

My favorite gender-flip thing so far is the cover-flip. Coverflip: Maureen Johnson Calls For An End To Gendered Book Covers With An Amazing Challenge. I love book covers, and I hate the “girly” covers. So it was awesome to see them gender-flipped.

In summary:

“The basic skill to develop, though, is the one that lies at the heart of flipping: asking, “What if?” If I were a woman, would I talk to me at parties? If women told men their complaints were irrelevant, would that attitude be worth worth fighting? If I were writing about a male musician, would I talk about his clothes and his famous exes this much? If I drew Hawkeye in the pose I’m sketching Black Widow in right now, would he look ridiculous? If Trayvon Martin had been a white kid, and George Zimmerman a black man, would the verdict have been the same?

The Hawkeye Initiative and Flip The News won’t make us all into enlightened, thoughtful social justice warriors overnight, but those moments of epiphany and empathy add up. Social change happens slowly – often so gradually, you don’t even notice until it’s all around you.”

I am happy to see this kind of awareness and social change happening around me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Feminism, Society

Society: Supreme Court Decisions on Genes, AIDS Funding and the Right to Remain Silent

While I wait on pins and needles for the big two gay marriage decisions, I’m keeping up with Supreme Court decisions like never before.

The Supreme Court decided on 3 important cases in the past week.
I guess one could argue that all cases the Supreme Court decides are important, but anyways.

Those 3 cases are:

  1. Genes
  2. AIDS Funding
  3. The Right to Remain Silent

1. Genes

The decision: nobody can patent human genes because they are products of nature
My opinion: I do not believe that genes should be able to be patented. I was born with my DNA, it’s mine. I think it’s really messed up that corporations think they can patent parts of the bodies of human beings.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Human Genes May Not Be Patented

2. AIDS Funding

The decision: the government cannot force private health organizations to denounce prostitution to get money to fight HIV/AIDS overseas
My opinion: I’m glad they decided this. I think that requiring organizations to denounce prostitution is counter productive. I think that if orgs were required to denounce prostitution that it would tell the people they treat (who are prostitutes) that they are less than and unwelcome. Which goes against what those organizations are trying to do, which is not to eradicate prostitution but to eradicate AIDS no matter what the source. Because I don’t think you get anywhere by telling people you don’t accept them, a safe space needs to be created to do this important work. And furthermore I don’t agree with compelled-speech.
Read up and decide for yourself: on NPR Supreme Court: Provision In AIDS Law Violates Free Speech

3. The Right to Remain Silent

The decision:
My opinion: I found the whole thing really disturbing. I would like to find a more thorough article on this.
Read up and decide for yourself: on Slate.com: You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent

A good quote from the article:

“The court’s new ruling puts the “defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in dissent (joined by the other three liberal-moderates). “If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent.” But if he doesn’t answer, at trial, police and prosecutors can now take advantage of his silence, or perhaps even of just pausing or fidgeting.”

 

NOTE:
My favorite reporter on all things Supreme Court is Nina Totenberg on NPR.
Check out: Nina Totenberg Answers Your Supreme Court Questions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Politics, Society