culture

/Tag: culture

They always knew it was bad.

“Boys will be boys” is a nostrum with the designated purpose of chalking male malfeasance up to innocent high spirits. It’s a saying that meant to exonerate, but here’s the funny thing: It only works on the agreed-upon assumption that boys do shitty things, the gravity of which we’re supposed to ignore or dismiss. The message isn’t that the boys don’t know that the things they do are bad; it’s rather that the rest of us should forgive, understand, and love them anyway, without their needing to ask for it.

Is it any surprise that an incentive structure like this one breeds entitled indifference to girls and women in the coddled party, and in the system that coddles them? Is it any surprise that men would panic at the realization that the system that they could depend on to look the other way is fast eroding?

Lili Loofbourow on boys.

The whole post is about Kavanaugh, so obvious content warning for sexual assault.

2018-11-08T13:48:10+11:0024th March, 2019|Tags: culture|

The tyranny of engagement metrics.

How using hyper-capitalist concepts like “engagement metrics” is killing galleries and museums.

2018-11-08T13:42:42+11:0024th March, 2019|Tags: arts, culture|

Freeze you, freeze me.

This is where the fetishizing of free speech and debate goes bad. I get to deny your basic humanity and your right to exist, and you now need to convince me otherwise. I get to freely make assertions that don’t challenge my privileged status but do potentially do great harm to you, and I have no responsibility or obligation to others — others who may even consider those statements “wrong beyond doubt” — to make defensible statements, and the onus is entirely on you to address them, and if you don’t, you are an intolerant tribalist. Why do you get so angry when I merely want to deny your civil rights, or enslave you, or kill you? That’s not very logical.

PZ Myers on freeze-dried peaches.

2018-11-08T13:33:51+11:0023rd March, 2019|Tags: culture|

The other half.

I mean, it’s not as though they’re people, are they? At the moment of conception, yes, but then they come out Daughters, not people! They grow into objects; some become Wives or Mothers, others Hags or Crones. Then they die! If they were people, we would not expect dominion over their bodies, surely; if they were people, we would not feel entitled to their smiles. If they were people, I could read a novel with a female protagonist and not be instantly confused and alarmed.

No. They are an unintelligible something else. They are to be put on pedestals, as John Kelly urges, or groped, as the president urges. They are impervious to cold, capable of wearing a bikini on the most frigid day to please us; they can run great distances in heels without discomfort; they were created for us from a rib and designed as our companion. If they have wants of their own, there is really no way of knowing. They say words people might say (You would be forgiven for thinking them people), but remember, they do not mean the words they say. If what they said was what they meant, then they have not wanted anything I have ever done to them!

It would just be too terrible if they were people. Then you could not harm them with impunity. Then if you made a mistake (Boys will be boys), you would have harmed a person. Then something else would be at stake in addition to your career, and that cannot be.

Alexandra Petri on the aliens among us.

This is, obviously, satirical. Though content warning for discussion of misogynist violence, sexism, and sexual assault.

2018-11-26T08:22:26+11:0016th March, 2019|Tags: culture|

Learning myths.

You know that thing about how some people are supposedly “visual learners”, while some people are “kinesthetic” or “auditory” or whatever? Hell, you probably even think you know which one you “are”?

Yeah, well. One problem: there’s little evidence to suggest “learning styles” are actually real, or that catering to one or the other impacts academic performance in any way.

2018-09-25T09:04:02+11:0015th March, 2019|Tags: culture|

Staying relevant.

Suddenly, even the most powerful people in society are forced to be fluent in the concerns of those with little power, if they want to hold on to the cultural relevance that thrust them into power in the first place. Being a comedian means having to say things that an audience finds funny; if an audience doesn’t find old, hackneyed, abusive jokes funny anymore, then that comedian has to do more work. And what we find is, the comedians with the most privilege resent having to keep working for a living. Wasn’t it good enough that they wrote that joke that some people found somewhat funny, some years ago? Why should they have to learn about current culture just to get paid to do comedy?

Anil Dash on cultural fluency.

2018-09-25T08:17:31+11:0014th March, 2019|Tags: culture|

The political is personal.

If the past year of unrelenting sexual assault scandals has taught us anything, it’s that personal violence and political violence are inevitably intertwined; the tragedy of our sexual politics is not just that so many men prey on women, or that those men so routinely escape consequences for their actions, but that we live in a society where men who view women as fundamentally disposable and worthless are allowed to set our priorities and control our institutions. If the President of CBS sexually assaults women on a regular basis, feminist show runners are not going to get picked up by CBS. If Matt Lauer has a history of preying on his female colleagues, then NBC News is going to be quietly dissuaded from reporting stories that shine a light on sexual assault. If the most powerful men in media are sexual predators, an accused sexual predator can run for President and be given more generous treatment than his female opponent. If that accused sexual predator becomes President, he can appoint Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Violence against women doesn’t just take place one-on-one, through individual rapes and assaults. It’s structural — it’s built into our assumptions and our institutions, inflicted from the top down. Sexual assaults or incidents of misogynist violence are not just tragic accidents, or outliers. They are the intended outcome within a culture that is built to empower men at women’s expense.

Sady Doyle on men who hate women.

2018-09-20T15:14:03+11:0010th March, 2019|Tags: culture, cw: sexual assault, politics|

Problematic things.

“And you can’t judge the past by the standards of the present.”

Yes you can.

Really, you can.

Watch me.

“In 1952, Alan Turing was tried in a criminal court and given libido suppressing drugs as a punishment for being gay. This was wrong.”

“In 1900 in the UK, women were not allowed to vote in elections. This was wrong.”

“Until 1954 black children were not allowed to go to the same schools as white children in some parts of America. This was wrong.”

That wasn’t so difficult, was it?

Andrew Rilstone thinks it’s not so hard at all, really.

From a long-but-excellent essay looking at enjoying (or not so much) problematic things from the past, in the context of today.

It’s specifically talking about the Doctor Who episode, “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”, so content warning for examples of yellowface and blackface, an image of a popular 20th century racist doll (yes, the one starting with “g”), plus discussions of orientalism and sinophobia and other harmful tropes.

2018-09-20T12:12:56+11:007th March, 2019|Tags: culture, pop culture|

Men come from JavaScript, women from CSS.

I admit I haven’t paid much attention to webdev trends in the last decade or so, so I hadn’t heard about the whole “CSS-in-JavaScript” thing… nor about its gendered element.

That being said, suddenly the shitty fucking code in a whole bunch of websites is making a whole bunch of sense…1

  1. Also, while I’m on the subject, if you have a website that won’t load anything at all unless third-party JavaScript is enabled? Don’t.
2018-09-20T12:01:10+11:006th March, 2019|Tags: css, culture, javascript, tech, webdesign|