Monday, July 8, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week-ish)

I think I may have missed a week because I have a lot of links. Here's what I've been reading that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious).

The Good

Check out this excellent spoken word poetry about the intimidation and hypocrisy surrounding public breastfeeding: 

These amazing teenage finalists for Google's 2013 science fair make the future seem a little brighter. 

Andie Fox of blue milk has a wonderful and moving piece about how equally shared parenting can be more complicated in real-life than it looks in theory:
As progressive as we were attempting to be, I was the mother and it suddenly meant something. There had been this bond, you see, and it persisted in ways I underestimated. Because in spite of all our contemporary approaches to parenting, somehow, I was still the one to make all the hospital arrangements, and the one to sleep curled around our son the night before surgery. Now he was going to become unconscious on an operating table and as though bewitched, he would temporarily leave himself. But I couldn’t forget that it had been inside my body that the enchantment had begun. His first flicker of life had happened there and I’d monitored it when no-one else could. I have been the keeper of his flame his whole life, and the yearning to be with him as this flame was subdued and then breathed back was about the strongest obligation I had experienced.
Chimamanda Adichie talks about her new book.

Virginia, recognizing the importance of family ties for incarcerated inmates, holds a father-daughter dance for prisoners.

The Bad

As the clashes in Egypt continue, it's important that we remember the role rape and sexual assault play when power and violence collide:
One of the hallmarks of revolutionary victory in Tahrir Square has always been rape and sexual harassment. Mobs of men routinely set upon women, isolating, stripping and groping. No one is ever arrested or held accountable, and elected officials shrug their shoulders and blame the victims. 
Vigilante groups have been organized to track the incidents. Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment, one of the groups, recorded 46 cases of sexual assaults and harassment against women on Sunday night alone -- and has added 17 more to its list that the group said happened Monday.
No matter where you fall on the abortion debate, surely we can agree that sneaking in abortion regulations without input from constituents is not democratic. Watch this North Carolina senator call out his Republican colleagues for doing exactly that.

Women's deaths from painkiller overdoses have jumped 400 percent.

American births are the costliest in the world (and we don't even deliver the best outcomes.)

The Curious

Susan Glisson, who as the executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation in Oxford, Miss., regularly witnesses Southerners sorting through their racial vocabulary, said she rarely hears “Caucasian.” “Most of the folks who work in this field know that it’s a completely ridiculous term to assign to whites,” she said. “I think it’s a term of last resort for people who are really uncomfortable talking about race. They use the term that’s going to make them be as distant from it as possible.”
Allison Montgomery has a great post on Feminspire about the tangles of health, weight, and pregnancy:
Was the obsessing worth it? Did I really need to beat myself up over an ideal when maybe my body was doing exactly what was ideal for my baby the entire time, even though I chose to fight it? Much like we are not all meant to look or weigh the same as women when we are not pregnant, each belly and pregnancy are uniquely different and that itself make the miracle of life beautiful. Andy Warhol paints this idea best saying, “Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it’s different in some way from the other things around it. One red petunia in a window box will look very beautiful if all the rest of them are white, and vice-versa.”
Glittersnipe has a great piece titled "Don't Tread on Me. Either." that calls into question the way we're approaching tax rates and individual responsibility to the greater community:
During World War II, both political parties understood that tax revenue was important to fund the war effort. The top marginal tax rate ranged from 81-94 percent for the duration of the war. Let’s take a moment and reflect on those numbers, shall we? Millionaires were paying 94 percent of their income in taxes in 1944 and 1945. Furthermore, President Eisenhower kept taxes at 91 percent for the wealthiest Americans throughout his two terms. Yet no one calls Ike a Marxist. Oh no, comrades. They actually minted his mug on money.
A mentally disabled newlywed couple has found a home that will let them live together. That would normally be in "The Good," but they have to continue fighting policies that deny the rights of other married couples to share their lives.

This post asks people to please consider the big picture before defending Paula Deen. This is not about a word; it's about a systemic problem.

This Broadsspeak post looks at issues surrounding single motherhood:
Many people know that public discourse has long been full of wild ignorance and venom when it comes to single mothers, and not just on the right. The stereotypes are nasty and often racist, from Ronald Reagan’s invention of “welfare queens” to Mitt Romney’s bizarre debate gaffe linking gun violence to single moms. But even in reasonable publications like the New York Times, one finds sloppiness that does more harm than good, like this article from last summer that ignores class inequities and instead showcases marriage as a boon for single-mother families. Besides (once again) insulting mothers like me by ignoring the class issues that really drive our family struggles (but see this for Katha Pollitt’s great response) – not to mention the potential dangers of marriage – the article implicitly disses married fathers by valuing them as little more than a paycheck.
This lovely piece by Megan Clayton about the tension of writing about your children:
I try to be truthful with them, to stay away from lies of convenience. I keep my double vision: the adult’s view, and their view. I work hard to build my patience at the way these things often do not overlap. My commitment to others is to try and keep anecdotes of the children short (or medium), and my commitment to the children is not to hide the delight I have in them when talking to others. Let it embarrass them later; I am their mother in the present as well as the future.
The Fat Nutritionist has some thoughts on the AMA's decision to label obesity a "disease":
This is what I believe this new definition is about: defining a market (fat people who don’t want to be fat) and making it easier to sell things to them (drugs and surgeries and diet programs that promise to make them not-fat.)
If you can label a condition as a disease, it naturally follows that someone is going to develop a treatment for it, and people who suddenly realize they have an honest-to-goodness disease, and not merely a quaint variation on the human theme, are going to want to buy it. In this case, “people” represents a full third of the U.S. population. That’s over 100 million people, most of whom
desperately do not want to be fat.

That's what I've been reading. What did I miss? What have you been reading/writing lately?


  1. Why did you put the daddy daughter dance of inmates in your bad section?

  2. nice information you posted . thank you so much for this
    Men Health

  3. A mistake! It definitely was supposed to be in the good. I'll fix it. Thanks!