Saturday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

The crop of great posts has been really good this week, which is why I’m posting it a day early. Otherwise it will grow to an even more humongous size. Sorry if it’s too huge. I just didn’t want to deprive people of some really good sources. If enough readers tell me that they want to see a shorter Link Encyclopedia, I’ll try to control myself in the future.

A really great article on why teenagers spend so much time online. (If you have no time to read the article: because that’s the only place where they can be away from the gaze of the helicoptering parents.)

An absolutely brilliant article on the parents who concealed their son’s gender for five years. “She is afraid to break society’s rules. That’s why she got someone else to be transgressive for her. She wants to be (thought of as) a progressive, to (appear to) challenge society’s rules, but being a coward she instead forces her kid to bear all of the negative consequences of this challenge.” That’s what I’ve been saying from the start.

“French Children Don’t Throw Food.” And their poop surely smells of roses.

I’ve read many fantastic posts during the Blog for Choice Day, but this one really stands out.

Adjuncting and Stockholm Syndrome. Casualization of academic work force is a tragedy for educators and students alike.

A great post and great comments on the nature of privilege.

Some well-known facts about abortion that the anti-choice crowd somehow manages to disregard.

Zizek on the revolt of the salaried bourgeoisie.

An anti-bullying campaign. Visit, link, spread the word! Bullying is never acceptable.

Newt, in his latest flight of fantasy, has no hesitation in declaring that the Moon will become America’s 51st state during his second-term presidency. . . Presumably, the Moon State will provide Newt with an inexhaustible supply of ever-younger wenches and an inexhaustible supply of pork to satisfy his twin appetites.”

What science isn’t.

The creepiest pictures of mothers holding children that you will ever see.

Arranged marriage explained in depth by somebody who knows what they are talking about. Great post!

I recently found this fascinating blog of a Dutchman in Missouri. Highly recommended.

Finally, somebody writes a post dispelling the pernicious mythology surrounding the physiology of the hymen: “It usually doesn’t bleed. Any blood with first penetration is more likely due to general vaginal tearing from lack of lubrication.” Got it, ignoramuses? This is what I’ve been saying for years, but people never wanted to listen.

The Canadian immigration minister who banned the face-covering burqa in citizenship courts was honored by a Muslim group Sunday. The Muslim Canadian Congress praised Jason Kenney at a Toronto reception for prohibiting new citizens from wearing the apparel during swearing-in ceremonies, clothing described by former Congress President Farzana Khan as symbols of gender inequality and Islamic extremism.

A woman kidnaps and sexually assaults two 11-year-old boys and gets only two years in jail for that. Completely egregious.

The hypocrisy of Rand Paul. I know you know this but this particular instance is seriously funny. In a very disturbing sort of way, of course. just like everything he does.

Finally, when talking about evolved differences in behavior between males and females one cannot make statements like “when it comes to personality men and women belong to two different species”  without noting the biological reality that we are, indeed, the same species.  There are no consistent brain differences between the sexes [iii], there is incredible overlap in our physiological function [iv], we engage in sexual activity in more or less the same patterns [v], and we overlap extensively in most other behavior as well.”

If you are or planning to look for a job in academia, here is a fascinating account of what factors influence the hiring decisions. This rings very true to me, people. This is exactly how things are, and you need to be prepared. Don’t believe anybody’s slogans. Listen to what this anonymous poster tells you.

Another important piece of advice for PhD students: “Start cultivating a third or fourth recommendation letter writer who is not from your Ph.D. granting institution. This may come as a surprise to some of you, but having all of your letters come from faculty from your Ph.D. institution/committee is a sure-fire sign of a job candidate “Not Ready For Prime Time.”

If there is one thing I absolutely detest, it’s animal print. It’s so incredibly vulgar that I can’t stand even to look at it. It seems that it’s coming back into fashion, so poor me.

If you missed the State of the Union address this week, make sure you read this hilarious account of it.

Male victims of sexual assault.

Why is it that everything one ever reads about Israel is so supremely stupid. See this, for example: “If the occupation is destroying Israel’s fundamental character, dismantling the state, and corrupting the people, as Gorenberg contends, then Zionists above all should want to end it, as swiftly and comprehensively as possible, and not try to hold out for the most favorable terms.” I thought we had moved away from discussing the “fundamental character” of nations. How can anybody write books about nation-building without learning even the basic facts of how this process works? Jeez, people, when will this endless stream of “they just need to stop building new settlements and recognize Palestine because it would help them restore their fundamental national character” finally end? How is it possible not to see that such pronouncements are right at the level of “let them eat cake”?

2013 will be ugly.  If Obama wins he will stop pandering to progressives and liberals.  Since he never has to be reelected again, he will be even worse than he was 2009-2011.  If you want anything from Obama, anything, get it before the election, do not believe promises, do not accept promises, accept cash only.  If Romney or Gingrich wins, well, it’s not going to be any better. SOPA and PIPA will be back in 2013 in some form.” Does anybody doubt these predictions? If so, please be so kind as to explain your reasoning to me in the comments and I promise not to argue or even object. I so want to believe.

“If at first the jerks try to stop you, try again.” (This could have been written by me but it wasn’t.) A brave kid defies stupid bureaucrats and helicoptering adults and fulfills her dream. I wish I had more of such feel-good stories to share with you.

Google is going to start tracking what its users do online even more aggressively than before. If you use more than one Google service (say, the email, the Google Calendars, and YouTube), you need to be aware of this and maybe take some action.

Paulo Coelho on SOPA: “Pirates of the world, unite and pirate everything I’ve ever written!”

A post where I get blamed. But this is the kind of blame I am more than willing to accept.

Bloomberg Businessweek thinks that placing a photo of a bloodied and beaten face of Mitt Romney on its cover is funny and appropriate. I find it completely disgusting that violence should be treated in such a cavalier way.

30 top reasons why women don’t get pay raises. Very funny.

If you are a progressive who is sick and tired of voting for the Democrats in the “lesser evil” principle, I think you will find that this post has perfectly articulated your feelings on the subject of American politics. I know it did that for me. A very good post from a talented blogger.

A brilliant strategy to bring thousands of visitors to your blog overnight. I wish I had thought of it. But at least I can be proud that my dear colleague did.

How memes are crated and spread around. Very insightful.

Spain’s unemployment rises to 22.9%. This is tragic, people. Me duele España.

And the award for the most brilliant post of the week, or maybe even the month, goes to: “No woman should need to announce her womanhood, her personhood, either by having a kid or by asserting her “choice” in not having a kid.  At the end of the day, a woman’s personhood shouldn’t have a thing in the world to do with her reproductive organs. That, for me, should be the point of reproductive choice.” It’s nice to know that such brilliant people exist.

A Disgustingly Sexist Campaign: Boys Suck, Girls Rock

I thought I’d seen every stupid sexist idea anyone could come up with. This website, however, just takes the cake. It publishes admittedly fake stats and slogans to convince people who are expecting a child that they should not want this child to be a boy. Basically, it’s a “boys are bad, gross and useless” campaign. It publishes stories from parents who report on how their sons suck and stories from other parents on how their daughters are a total joy. As opposed to those useless sons, you know. Here, I snipped a small portion of the disgusting website for you (press on the pic for a larger view):

The vile, nasty and stupid (sorry, but I just have no patience with people who unburden themselves psychologically at the expense of children) creators of this stupid, nasty and vile campaign say that their goal is to combat the prejudice that many expectant parents have against giving birth to a girl. Having a daughter needs to be promoted as something good, they say.

Of course, the easy solution here would have been to start a campaign saying, “If you care about your child’s gender, then you are a flaming idiot who isn’t prepared to have a child in the first place.” Or, “I just hope that my kid is healthy and happy. Gender? Why should I care?” But no, these sexist jerks have chosen to reaffirm the most stupid gender stereotypes instead.

Mind you, people can’t control the gender of their child. So what is supposed to happen when a person who spends time on this idiotic website and wishes passionately for a girl, then gets stuck with one of those stupid boys who pee in fish-tanks, destroy furniture and set things on fire (these are all examples from the website in question, of course)?

What’s more, there are already even bigger fools who celebrate this perversion as. . .  a victory for feminism. I mean, the stupid campaign constructs the male identity as aggressive, violent and destructive and female identity as beauty-salon-visiting, obedient and docile even BEFORE the kids are born. A boy who is “a bookworm” is described as a disappointment to his parents because that makes his masculinity somehow faulty. The website uses pink for girls and blue for boys. Yes, this is a definite milestone of feminist achievement.

I also want to remind everybody that at least one person is born every day in this country whose biological sex cannot be determined as either male or female. People who have been brainwashed by the idea that the gender binary is to be maintained at all costs then do horrible things to these children in order to make them fit into a preconceived notion of definitive maleness or femaleness. I have been reading up on intersex recently and let me tell you, it’s horrible to see how often people inscribe gender on the bodies of newborns in very violent ways.

I also wish that people tried to keep in mind the plight of transgender folks who discover later in life that they were born into a wrong gender. It is that much harder for them to confront their families about who they really are if their parents believe in a very strict definition of gender. A definition that this campaign reinforces.

This is why the last thing we need is yet another stupid website pushing the pink versus blue dichotomy. We especially don’t need this garbage to be sold to us under feminist auspices. Countless people suffer every day because of the gender binary. It is a task of feminists to dismantle that binary, not to reinforce it. Why is this so hard to comprehend? Why, people, why?

Sheesh, folks. Do I really need to have my mood spoiled and my blood pressure raised by these vicious child-haters, stupid pseudo-feminists and brainless sexists so early on a Saturday morning?