Echidne writes about the link between homophobia and sexism, offering enlightening ideas about how the same sort of thinking that leads people to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality also leads them to recognize that women are not inferior to men. I’d like to suggest one more thread in addition to what she says: patriarchal structures are typically archetypal – i.e. they tend to promote the idea of marriage in which the male dominates the female. Anything that goes against that archetype, including same-sex relationships, is verboten (but note that homosexual acts in sexually repressed, gender segregated environments draw less scorn).
What motivates her to write about that is a story about a proposed law in Nigeria that would ban not only SSM but also any form of homosexual association, up to and including dating. This is over and above the fact that gay sex is already illegal in Nigeria.
Ann reports positive news about flex-time, which offers parents options to reduce or shift their working hours in such a way that they can spend time with their children without losing their jobs. Although this is most clearly targeted at working moms who wish to pursue a work-family balance, the experience of Best Buy, where this policy also resulted in a reduction in sexist prejudice, suggests that even working moms who have no intention of taking advantage of this policy will benefit. This is set against the background of the accounting firm Ernst and Young officially adopting flex-time as a way of increasing employees’ quality of life.
Amanda notes that in the last 13 years, the US has seen some reduction in the level of domestic violence against women but an even greater one in the level of domestic violence against men. That fact doesn’t deter anti-feminist groups from complaining that legislation about violence against women discriminates against men.
A new scandal of even greater proportions than Hwang Woo-suk’s fraudulent research has people wondering if it’s an inherent misfeature of scientific practices. Noting that “top journals want ‘sexy, if risky, science’ over ‘boring but solid science,” Shelley asks the inevitable question: is it coincidence or bias that two fraudulent researches have been exposed over a relatively short period of time?
Jill, a fellow postgraduate student who’s about to flunk out because she’s blogging too much, has a piece about the class implications of skyrocketing tuition. She explains,
I’m at NYU Law because I didn’t have any educational debt after getting my BA. I wouldn’t have considered it if law school was going to put me close to half a million dollars in the hole. But the $200,000 is worth it to go to a school that is nearly guaranteed to secure me a job after I graduate, and that offers loan forgiveness programs if I decide to pursue a public interest career. The pay-off is just about guaranteed.
She doesn’t go right out and say that the government should foot the bill for education, but that’s the only reasonable conclusion. It’s less reasonable when it comes to private schools, but using Berkeley and Ann Arbor and City College as starting points, it’s not especially hard to design elite public schools that don’t cost a dime. Columbia and NYU might be able to get away with exorbitant tuition until City College’s lack of tuition will allow it to regain its earlier elite status, but Stanford won’t, and if the relevant state governments also invest in local Berkeleys, neither will Harvard and Yale.
Gordo’s latest world news roundup has a disturbing piece about climate change, which suggests that,
[Link] A team of scientists from the United States and Canada has found new evidence about the rapid melting of ice in the Arctic.
Data presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union suggests all year-round ice could disappear by the year 2040.
The scientists also believe recent research shows a tipping point which would trigger a rapid melting is fast approaching.
This is depressing, not least because it might make The Day After Tomorrow, a cheesy piece of crap if there ever was one, socially relevant in the not so far future, whereas I’d like it to be thrown into a memory hole.