Quickies: Gay History, White Feminism Strikes Again, and Burping in Space

  • Not-Very-Feminist Business Lady Successfully Co-Opts Feminism as a Marketing Gimmick. Hooray? – Basically, the founder of Thinx absorbant period underwear (which are a great idea) only started to relate to feminism when it benefitted her business. From the article, “The thing that rankled most in Agrawal’s comments wasn’t that it took her thirty-odd years to realize that feminists aren’t a bunch of ranty whiners—it’s that she still seems to see them in that light, to the point that she’s assigned herself the task of ‘build[ing] a bridge to redefining what feminism is.’ “
  • I have a tattoo on my lower back. Stop calling it a “tramp stamp.” – As usual, anything a woman does is sexified, including getting a tattoo. From the author, “All four of my tattoos are etched in spots on my body that I must deliberately expose: a lift of my shirt, a slight lowering of my jeans. I never seriously considered that anyone close to me would reduce the work put into my back tattoo to a term like ‘tramp stamp.’ “
  • White Feminism Downplayed California’s Coerced Sterilization of Latinas in the ’70s – “No Más Bebés, a 2015 documentary that airs on PBS Monday night, chronicles the history of this watershed moment in the divide between movements centered on ‘abortion rights’ and those that claim a broader agenda of ‘reproductive justice.’ The clash in priorities has long run parallel to lines of race and class, and its legacy persists.”
  • Shkreli Was Right: Everyone’s Hiking Drug Prices – “Even after soaring prices became an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the cost of many drugs has continued to rise at annual rates of more than 10 percent. Drugmakers raised the prices of products as wide-ranging as erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, heart treatments, dermatology medicine and even brands that long have lost their patents. While specialty companies have had the steepest hikes, giants such as Pfizer Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc kept pushing through smaller rises.”
  • Why Zika is a huge Catch-22 for pregnant women – “But there’s also a ton of uncertainty. For one thing, the link between Zika and microcephaly hasn’t even been definitively proven. It’s strongly suspected based on circumstantial evidence, which is enough to issue public health warnings, but that’s it. Even if the link between Zika and microcephaly becomes certain, doctors have no idea how high the risk of birth defects actually is for pregnant women who have been infected.”
  • Beyond Stonewall: How Gay History Looks Different From Chicago – “The path to gay political power and influence ran not only through the Castro district and Greenwich Village, but also—and even more importantly—through city hall in the nation’s dozens of other magnets for gay migration and community building: from Atlanta to Seattle, Boston to Dallas.”
  • The Care and Feeding of Astronauts – “William Pogue had made an interesting — if somewhat distasteful — personal discovery. The astronaut, who piloted the third and final manned mission to the Skylab space station in November 1973, experienced a phenomenon known as a wet burp. You may laugh (or wrinkle your nose in disgust), but in space, a wet burp is no joke.”

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Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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1 Comment

  1. February 4, 2016 at 7:28 pm —

    Regarding involuntary sterilization, I remember how back in the 90s, eugenics was suddenly back en vogue in the MSM. (Remember Herrnstein and Murray’s thousand-page-plus racist screed?) All over the place. This was also the era of the ‘superpredator’ myth, the child of ‘crack babies’ from the 80s.

    And of course, I always use the involuntary sterilization of Indian women as Why Conspiracy Theories Sux. (Specifically, people are more likely to read the Whale version than the PubMed version. The PubMed version proves it actually did happen, while the Whale version should elicit skepticism because, it’s Whale.)

    I honestly think America will never truly get rid of its fetish for involuntary sterilization.

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