Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links!)

It's a new semester! I love the new energy and getting back to a routine, but I'm only two days in (and don't even have students back yet), and I'm already exhausted. If it's a new semester for you, I hope it's going well, and if you live in the non-academic world, then I hope you're having a great week!

Anyway, here are some things I've been reading that made me smile (The Good), cry (The Bad), and think (The Curious). If you've got anything you've been reading or writing that you'd like to share, feel free to link up in the comments.

The Good

The Pope (who is infallible, at least to some) declared it fine to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel, so I think we're pretty much good everywhere.


This 50 Greatest Cult Movies list is a good one. How many have you seen?

Dances with Fat has a post about how waiting until we reach a certain weight to enjoy our lives doesn't make much sense. 

Viola Davis giving the NYT a much-deserved burn.

Mallory Ortberg's satirical response to this horrendous article about a man's paternity leave experience is hilarious. 

The Bad

Bill Cosby.

Damon Wayans (talking about Bill Cosby around 22:30):

The new video form the Tamir Rice shooting shows police tackling his 14-year-old sister

The Curious

The Chronicle has some advice on writing with a heavy teaching load. It's good advice, but I don't know how much of it I'll actually use. (It's not easy.)

Talking Points Memo has a discussion about how Obama's call for free community college (which, let's face it, probably isn't happening) brings up questions and difficult circumstances that we need to face:
The result is nearly three decades of the wild west of higher education funding. States spent what they wanted to when they felt like it. They made big investments when times were good and took all of that and then some when times were bad. Students suffered in the form of greater tuition and more debt, but Uncle Sam never stepped in to bring law and order.
If adopted, today's announcement changes all that. It finally creates a formal expectation for what states should contribute to help their residents afford college.
I saw this post from Nicole Jankowski about why marriage will never be fair shared widely, but I think that conclusion is a little too simple. Just because we can't get (and shouldn't strive for) a 50/50 breakdown of duties on a daily basis doesn't mean that we can't get an overall partnership that is equitable, and talking about how we do that is the only way it will happen.

New NHS guidelines tell low-risk pregnant women to avoid hospitals for delivery.

This Salon post about Scott Aaronson and the connection between feminism and "nerd shaming" (as well as the links within it (and this one on the same topic) fascinated and perplexed me.

This (I don't know how I feel, but I definitely feel):

Countess Margaret didn't really birth 365 mouse-sized children. Or did she?


  1. I just don't even understand what that Jankowski article is talking about. 50/50 of what? Shouldn't every partner devote themselves 100% to a marriage? Is she talking about each person doing half of the housework? Paying half the bills? Taking care of half the kids? I don't understand that. We all have our strengths. I make twice as much money as my husband, so am I giving 66% and he is giving 33%? I don't think so. He works full-time in his field. He is giving 100% of what he has, it just doesn't pay as well as mine. He also can't cook, so does he get a 0% just because he can't do it? Does the fact that he does the grocery shopping then give him 100% shopping cred and I get 0%? What if I made the shopping list? And how is a partner giving less than 100% when they are focused on something other than their partner? She says "It's okay if I give 70% for three months while he finishes that project." Why does he only get 30% credit when I'm sure his project is part of his work, the money from which will contribute to the family. Isn't he still devoting himself 100% to his family even if his attention has to be focused on a specific part of it?
    I hate articles like this, similar to the "can women have it all" articles. If a woman is happy with her career (or lack of) and her family (or lack of) doesn't she have it all? If a person is happy, what is she missing? Ugh!

  2. I agree with you. I think that she's mostly talking about the division of labor within the home, especially when both partners have responsibilities outside of the home. I think she's right that the division of any individual part of the partnership won't be even, and I think you're hitting on all the reasons why that's true.

    My main frustration with the article is that it seems to imply that since you can't be "equal," you need to just let go the efforts to do so. But I really believe that the socialization and gender roles surrounding the work within the home make it difficult to share it fairly (whether that means equally or not) unless you have ongoing conversations about how those negotiations take place.