There’s a post up on this over at NewAPPS; go check it out!
Man accused of fraud for taking wife’s name January 30, 2013
After Lazaro Sopena and Hanh Dinh got married, Sopena decided to change his name to Lazaro Dinh to honor his wife’s Vietnamese family surname.
“It was an act of love. I have no particular emotional ties to my last name,” Dinh (né Sopena) told Reuters.
Dinh obtained a new passport and Social Security card, and changed his bank account and credit cards before going to the DMV to get a new driver’s license.
That’s when things got ridiculous.
More than a year later, he received a letter from Florida’s DMV accusing him of “obtaining a driving license by fraud,” and letting him know his license would soon be suspended.
Why? Because the state of Florida thinks that only women should change their last names after marriage.
Dinh called the DMV office in Tallahassee to correct what he thought was a mistake, and was told he had to go to court first in order to change his name legally. When he explained he was changing his name because he got married, he was told “that only works for women,” he told Reuters.
It looks to me like Florida doesn’t actually ban men from taking their wives names– anyone can change their name, after all. But it requires a much more laborious procedure than the one that women have access to via marriage. For more, go here.
Republicans attack Obamacontent March 18, 2012
From the fabulous FauxPhilNews
“If you want content, you fix it yourself,” said Romney, kicking off a long series of comments on individual responsibility…
Socialism wasn’t the only allegation leveled against Obama, however, as his theory’s reliance on a “division of linguistic labor” or “semantic deference” was attacked as well. ”You don’t need some Ivy League-educated doctor to tell you what you mean when you say that your arthritis is acting up,” said Romney. ”In fact, I’ve got a bit of arthritis myself right now,” he continued, pointing to his thigh. ”Today it’s just ‘arthritis,’ but tomorrow they’ll say that you don’t even know what your own name means,” added a visibly upset Santorum.
“Maybe stick to novels, Dear” October 3, 2011
So there’s a tiny tempest at Zeldman.com. Jeffrey Zeldman rightfully condemns the “Pottermore” website for providing a retrograde experience. What’s the problem?
It’s certainly not the sentiment: the site is pretty crap. And it certainly isn’t because J.K. Rowling is under attack: a billionaire can defend herself many times over. Plus, I don’t like the Potter books. For me, it’s simply the title of the article: “Maybe stick to novels, dear”. That chummy “dear” is a standard form of condescension. It’s frequently used to belittle women & their contributions. I mean, come on: Rowling didn’t code the site herself, so why imply that she’s some rank amateur who decided to conquer the world of web development?
Read the rest here.
“I’m not racist, but…” July 18, 2011
Jason Stanley on Silencing and Political Speech June 26, 2011
The feminist scholar Catharine MacKinnon famously declared, “Pornography silences women.” In the 1990s, the philosophers of language Jennifer Hornsby and Rae Langton developed an account of the mechanisms of silencing that could substantiate MacKinnon’s claim. But their basic ideas extend beyond the examples they chose, and can inform us about silencing in our political discourse today.
Don’t say ‘gay’, say ‘Takei’! May 20, 2011
George Takei provides an elegant response to the “Don’t say ‘gay” bill being considered in Tennessee.
(Not clear it would actually do the trick, since the bill seems to forbid discussion of homosexuality in schools, which is broader than just use of the word ‘gay’. But I still love the video.)
Does gender-inclusive language make a difference? May 16, 2011
A new study shows some ways that it does:
Three studies assessed whether a common cultural practice, namely, the use of gender-exclusive language (e.g., using he to indicate he or she), is experienced as ostracism at the group level by women. Women responded to the use of gender-exclusive language (he) during a mock job interview with a lower sense of belonging, less motivation, and less expected identification with the job compared to others exposed to gender-inclusive (he or she) or gender-neutral ( one) language (Studies 1 and 2). Moreover, the more emotionally disengaged women became over the course of a job interview upon hearing gender-exclusive language, the less motivation and job identification they subsequently reported (Study 3). Together, these studies show that subtle linguistic cues that may seem trivial at face value can signal group-based ostracism and lead members of the ostracized group to self-select out of important professional environments.
“Calm Down, Dear” April 27, 2011
That’s what David Cameron said to Angela Eagle, Shadow Treasury Secretary. There has rightly been criticism. Eagle’s own response:
she had been “patronised by better people than the prime minister”, adding that Cameron should instead be apologising for the economy, which had “effectively flatlined for six months”.
She told BBC News: “I don’t think any modern man would have expressed himself in that way.
“The prime minister is responsible for what he says in the Commons. I think if there is an apology to make it should be for the dreadful growth figures we have seen today, which demonstrated that the economy has effectively flatlined for six months.”
She said it was up to Cameron “as to whether he wants to annoy 51% of the population”.