- Stigma and surprise – Sociologists Jen Lois and Joanna Gregson are studying the romance industry for their project and they have a post about the ways the genre isn’t afforded respect.
The second reason is that the stigma is so powerful it is actually rubbing off on us, a phenomenon sociologists refer to as the “contagion of stigma.” We are guilty by association for studying the people who produce the genre. Just as their work is trivialized, so is our examination of their work. While most sociologists we’ve spoken to understand why our research is important, and while our close colleagues have shown nothing but support, we’ve been surprised by how often we have to defend our work. When we tell people what we’re studying and hear a burst of laughter, when we’re passed over for a grant because the project is “of dubious scientific merit” (true story), or when the parent of a prospective student to one of our universities remarked that this research “is just smut” (the research is smutty? what does that even mean?), we know that the depths of the romance stigma must be fully explored.
- What Men Don’t Know About Being a Woman Online – Author Katie Heaney has a quick article about the ways her gender influences the way people speak to her online.
But all together, among all the women writers I know and talk to and read about, it’s a lot! It’s not just “hate mail.” I don’t know what to call it, even. It’s just mail we get for being women. And sometimes I wonder if there should be a place to put all of it; so we could then make every man who works for or reads the internet (so, all of them) look at the log for, I don’t know, an hour a week. That seems fair to me. I just worry sometimes that men — even the ones who are kinda paying attention — have a vague idea that they understand the extent to which this happens. But they don’t, really. I mean, how could they?
- #Bringbackourgirls and the complexities of attention – Zeynep Tufekci asks well-meaning Americans to complicate their thinking on Boko Haram and the stolen girls.
Because, militant armed groups who are not just irrational, insane actors that live in a vacuum, committed simply and only to choose the most evil path possible. I know that it sometimes looks that way to us—we who live in air-conditioned houses and drive to work, sip our coffee, on roads where lanes separate well-behaving cars and people signal while changing lanes and stop at traffic lights. A bunch of men taking up arms and kidnapping girls must seem like just utter, irrational violence of subhuman creatures.
Ah, if only it were that simple.
Of course Boko Haram is evil. Does it even need saying? If only acts such as theirs were merely the results of pure evil coming to life,
The problem is that this evil, like all collective evil, has a politics, and its politics has a context. If only evil were just pure evil, to be combated by superman, or a squad of robocops or mere force.
- Changing the Narrative – Jessica Luther wrote a thoroughly-researched post on sexual assault, pro sports and sports journalism.
Victims of sexual assault are often painted as liars, opportunists, confused, vengeful or regretful after consensual sex. This view permeates much of our culture, including media, law enforcement and the legal system (only a mere handful of rapists ever serve jail time for their crime). Of course, there are people who falsely report — but because women who report are so rarely believed, and their private sexual lives are often put on trial in the public sphere, those numbers are extremely small. Many women never report their assaults, and they may be made to feel that they’re at fault for a crime committed against them. Because of this, sports journalists — whether they like it or not — have a responsibility to be fair in how they write about sexual assault cases.
To better navigate the often-murky waters of sexual assault cases, I spoke to four experts to see what advice they would give to a journalist who wants to write fairly about this topic. Really, this advice could apply to any cases of interpersonal violence or violence against women where sports stars are involved.
- Changing the Framework: Disability Justice – This mission statement sort of post is a few years old, but I thought it had some interesting things to say about ability, access and independence.
This work is about shifting how we understand access, moving away from the individualized and independence-framed notions of access put forth by the disability rights movement and, instead, working to view access as collective and interdependent.
With disability justice, we want to move away from the “myth of independence,” that everyone can and should be able to do everything on their own. I am not fighting for independence, as much of the disability rights movement rallies behind. I am fighting for an interdependence that embraces need and tells the truth: no one does it on their own and the myth of independence is just that, a myth.
- Teaching the Lakota language to the Lakota – There’s a movement among the Lakota people living in the Pine Ridge area to revive the endangered Lakota language. Al Jazeera speaks with those trying to make it happen.
It is here, in a snug home that sits on the edge of nearly 3 million acres of South Dakota prairie, that you’ll find the heart of a culture. It’s here, at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where Joe Giago and Randi Boucher Giago make dinner for their two young daughters. The smaller one squirms and is gently admonished: “Ayustan,” she is told — leave it alone.
It’s here where the Lakota language is spoken, taught and absorbed in day-to-day life.
That makes the Giago home a rare find. According to the UCLA Language Materials Project, only 6,000 fluent speakers of the Lakota language remain in the world, and few of those are under the age of 65. Of the nearly 30,000 people who live on Pine Ridge, between 5 and 10 percent speak Lakota.
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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.