Quickies: Twitter Targets Trolls, SCOTUS to Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case, and Rape Culture

  • Woman pens amazing newspaper retraction in support of transgender son  – “In 1995, Yolanda Bogert took out a classified ad to announce the birth of her daughter, Elizabeth Anne. Nineteen years later, days after her child came out as trans, Bogert decided to issue a “retraction” of her original ad and announce the birth of her son”
  • FDA Considers Allowing Blood Donations From Some Gay Men – “While the committee did not take a formal vote, some members said they favored changes to the policy that would not threaten the safety of the blood supply. One suggested solution (and the policy of several other countries) would permit donations from men who have gone a year or more without having sex with another man.”
  • SCOTUS Set to Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case – “Peggy Young had been working the early morning shift at UPS for ten years when she got pregnant. She was just a few months along when she says her supervisors refused to accommodate her request to only lift light packages. Instead, she was placed on unpaid leave for the last six months of her pregnancy, losing her healthcare benefits, her pension and her disability benefits. Young sued UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a case that’s now arrived at the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, SCOTUS will hear hear Young’s case, deciding, finally, exactly what accommodations employers need to provide for pregnant people.”
  • The Messed-Up Ways People Talk About Shia LaBeouf’s Alleged Rape – “As Lindy West wrote, ‘The truth is that we know almost nothing about LaBeouf’s emotional and psychological state during #IAMSORRY.’ But such is the case with many victims, who should not be expected to divulge every detail of their experience publicly in order to be believed. Even if LaBeouf hadn’t allegedly been whipped for 10 minutes, as West says, ‘Men are just as capable as women of being taken advantage of during emotionally fragile moments … And men are just as likely not to report their assaults, because of exactly the backlash that LaBeouf is facing now.’ “
  • How 4 Mexican Immigrant Kids and Their Cheap Robot Beat MIT – “Ten years ago, WIRED contributing editor Joshua Davis wrote a story about four high school students in Phoenix, Arizona—three of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico—beating MIT in an underwater robot competition. That story, La Vida Robot, has a new chapter: Spare Parts, starring George Lopez and Carlos PenaVega, opens in January, and Davis is publishing a book by the same title updating the kids’ story. To mark that occasion, WIRED is republishing his original story.”
  • Book News: Jacqueline Woodson Addresses Lemony Snicket’s Watermelon Joke – “In an essay published in The New York Times, Woodson addressed those comments in full. ‘By making light of that deep and troubled history, he [Handler] showed that he believed we were at a point where we could laugh about it all,’ she writes. ‘His historical context, unlike my own, came from a place of ignorance.’ “
  • Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse – “Another change will make it easier for abusive and harassing tweets to be reported by both the people they target and by other Twitter users. The company says that at first, some of the changes will be available only to ‘a small group of users.’ “
  • After Protest, Alleged Serial Rapist Teen Arrested In Norman, Oklahoma – I think it’s sad that it takes a public outcry to get rape allegations taken seriously, but I guess at least sometimes this kind of thing leads to real action. Ditto for the UVA case. (Also, the Feminist Knitting Circle at the heart of the outcry is awesome.)

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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    1. Okay, upon further reading, I realize this all-girl team is a continuation of the team previously documented in that WIRED piece. So the link I posted is like an awesome sequel to the previous story.

  1. I continue to wonder why we need a separate policy for men who sleep with men. If you have unprotected sex with multiple partners recently, you’re at a higher risk of undiagnosed STDs than if you are in a sexually-monogamous relationship and have been for years. Whether your partners have penises or vaginas is, at best, a second-order concern.

    1. Strictly speaking, some gay (and bisexual) men were allowed to donate; as far as AIDS is concerned, ‘sex’ means penetration (or some very unusual fetish activities, such as vampirism). Though the odds ratio for condoms preventing HIV is about 0.05, per the CDC, and just being picky about your partners all but eliminates your risk.

      All that said, I’m pretty sure they can screen the blood anyway.

  2. Mary,

    That Wired Story about those poor Immigrants beating MIT is so cool! I like underdog stories. Maybe they could make a movie about it someday.

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