1. The number one story from last week is Todd Akin, Republican nominee for Senate who showed the world the ugly underbelly of the GOP misogyny. Here’s a separate link-round-up for that.
+ If you read nothing else, read the Jezebel article “Rape Fatigue: When There’s Just No Anger Left“, which expresses my own frustration and despair with the US political and social landscape kind of perfectly.
+ Rates of abortion don’t go down when abortion is illegal. They just become more dangerous, possibly life-threatening. This 64-year-old woman explains why she’s not going back to an era where women had to find “a wire”, while men walked free.
+ In 31 States in the US, rapists are allowed to seek visitation rights for children borne out of their actions. Force women to carry a child to term, refuse to institute maternity leave or otherwise fund prenatal care, and force women to come face-to-face with their rapists for years while raising a child. Tell me that’s not about controlling women, I dare you.
+ One woman’s account of her struggle to deal with the sexual violence in her past [trigger warning for semi-explicit descriptions of sexual assault], and the infuriating feeling of being told by the world–and by her friends–that the solution is for women to stop talking about it:
If this dreary story is hard for you to live with, how are we supposed to live with you?
2. Fear of a Black President: Ta-Nehisi Coates has a very long, but incredibly eloquent and though-provoking piece about the racial impact of the Obama presidency both inside and outside the White House. If I could write even 5% as well as TNC I would die happy.
+ On Romney’s subtle racism, and the certainty that someone who doesn’t look Caucasian couldn’t possibly be from America:
“True Americanness is not about how WASPy your surname is, how pale your skin, or how many generations your family has lived here — or how much you can lord those facts over others.”
+ It turns out that John A. MacDonald, one of the founding fathers of the (Canadian) Confederation, was actually a white supremacist who wanted an Aryan Canada. Well then.
+ Lots of Republicans seem highly concerned about “Obama’s people” with their “illegal alien vote” who are committing “a kind of racism” against the top 1%. It’s okay, we’ll just take their vote away.
3. Jen McCreight talks about getting involved with the atheist and secularist movements as a woman, and how disappointingly misogynist the entire skeptic community is.
+ Out of that blog came the movement Atheism-Plus – Atheism plus social justice, women’s rights, fighting racism, etc.
+ Of course, there’s already lots of pushback, because there always is when a previously-ignored-and-belittled minority group tries to stand up for itself. This blog post is a good response to the that.
+ But I guess you can just do what some Iranian universities are doing, and ban women from universities when they start succeeding.
4. Imran Siddiquee talks about the need for more men to take up the mantle of women’s issues in the context of his experience of being mistaken for a woman online.
+ Like this fantastic story of a game developer who saw misogyny happening on his forums and completely shut it down, along with an eloquent and firm explanation of why that BS will not fly in his reign.
+ It’s important for feminists to carve out their own definition of success, instead of being content to compete within patriarchal systems.
5. Hurricane Isaac is headed straight for Florida, a fact that could upset plans for Republican National Convention. Too bad the the GOP didn’t succeed in slashing funding for hurricane prediction…ignorance is bliss, after all.
+ It’s a “laugh so you don’t cry” kind of thing, but Yiddish Curses for Republican Jews is truly hilarious.
6. This week, in “America doesn’t have a gun problem, no siree” news – a gunman shot and killed a former coworker outside of the Empire State Building. The 9 bystanders who were also injured were all…shot by the police. Something something more guns equals less violence.
7. How do you succeed in journalism when you can’t afford to take an unpaid internship? Hope for an inheritance.
8. Revealing Eden is a self-published dystopian novel by author Victoria Foyt that imagines a world in which white people (“pearls”) are oppressed by cruel black overlords (“coals”). If that sounds severely screwed up, it’s because it is. Foz Meadows talks about why racism in the context of YA matters.
+ Weird Tales is a long-running highly respected fantasy magazine that…decided to publish the first chapter of the book, even though they had been warned months ago about how bad of an idea that was. The editor also, uh, called everyone who criticized the book too stupid to understand ironic racism. Author NK Jemisin talks about why this decision is such a punch in the gut. In face of the controversy, the other editor at Weird Tales retracts the decision, posts an apology, and deletes the previous post. Too late, kids.
9. Suicide rates in Japan are among the highest in the world, and it is the leading cause of death for men aged 20-44 and women aged 15-34. Scientists are trying to figure out if they can use Twitter patterns to predict suicidal tendencies.
+ “Uncertain Rainbow” is a web app that hides the names and photos of your Twitter friends. It’s certainly a neat idea in eliminating social jockeying.
+ Facebook put out a new iOS app last week, based in native code instead of web-based HTML 5. Here’s an interesting discussion from experts/industry insiders of the future of mobile development in that context.
10. How “Call Me Maybe” became the ubiquitous earworm it is today. In short: a lot of social media hype, but even more industry old-guard support.
+ This nerdy try-hard otter will make you feel better about everything.
+ Writer and blogger John Scalzi gets a lot of comments on his blog. Not all of them are nice. One of his fans wrote a song about the less civil ones.
+ Here’s your Japanese-YouTube-Famous-Cat-based philosophy for the week, courtesy of Twitter:
“Maru,” you say, “aren’t you tired of spending all your time in a box?” Maru gestures at your house, your car, your office. “Aren’t you?”