Married Lesbians…

Destroying the fabric of society!

Oops, I meant rescuing 40 teenagers in Utoya.

Hege Dalen and her spouse, Toril Hansen were near Utöyan having dinner on the opposite shore across from the ill-fated campsite, when they began to hear gunfire and screaming on the island.

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” says Dale to HS in an interview.

The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.

Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.

Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.

They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.

(Thanks, Mr Jender.)

Pacific APA: some gender data

Below is a quote from the secretary of the Pacific Div of the APA. It is a very welcome piece of data collection. I’m sure we’d like more, but genuine kudos to them for taking the lead among the APA divisions.

Program Diversity
The Pacific Division has reviewed the gender of authors of papers submitted for colloquia and symposia at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 meetings. In these years, the submission rate for women was between 21% and 24% (3% of authors’ gender was unknown), which is near the apparent representation of women in the profession. Twenty-three percent of the refereed papers accepted for 2005 to 2010 were by women. These data provide some assurance that the paper review process is not gender biassed. (All colloquium and symposium papers are reviewed anonymously and the gender of submissions was not reviewed until after the program was completed.) 
The APA Pacific Division Program Committee and Executive Committee strongly encourage all eligible members to submit papers for the 2012 Annual Meeting, and we especially encourage submissions from women and other groups historically underrepresented in the profession.

Dominic McIver Lopes
Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia
Secretary-Treasurer, APA Pacific Division

Sexual Orientation, Choice and Rights

Really interesting article taking seriously the possibility that sexual orientation might be fluid rather than fixed (as Lisa Diamond has argued in the case of women), and asking what this claim may mean for gay rights arguments. One worry, of course, is that it might lead people to endorse ex-gay therapy. (Though, as the article points out, “changeable” doesn’t mean desirable to change, nor does it mean changeable by ex-gay therapy.) Another is that it might lead some to suggest that gay people don’t deserve equality. (Though, as the article points out, religion is changeable and yet freedom of religion is strongly protected.)

“We live in a culture where people disagree vehemently about whether or not sexual minorities deserve equal rights,” [says Diamond]. “People cling to this idea that science can provide the answers, and I don’t think it can. I think in some ways it’s dangerous for the lesbian and gay community to use biology as a proxy for that debate.”

Michelle Bachmann on Bullying

Representative Bachmann has criticized antibullying legislation, saying in 2006 that “there have always been bullies, always have been, always will be.”

“I just don’t know how we’re ever going to get to point of zero tolerance, and what does it mean?” Bachmann said during a 2006 Minnesota state legislature hearing. “What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression? Will it mean that what form of behavior will there be — will we be expecting boys to be girls?

Now that’s a toxic understanding of masculinity.

This is part of a discussion of the rash of teen suicides, many of them resulting from antigay bullying, in Bachmann’s district– and Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion that Bachmann should comment on them.

(Thanks, L!)