Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

Really interesting article in this month’s Atlantic magazine by Anne-Marie Slaughter. I look forward to hearing our readers’ thoughts. Here’s a quick excerpt:

Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we were raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by unresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation. But when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating “you can have it all” is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.

I still strongly believe that women can “have it all” (and that men can too). I believe that we can “have it all at the same time.” But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed.

Sex verification at the Olympics

Bruce Kidd, a former Olympian who is a professor of kinesiology and physical education at the University of Toronto, favors prioritizing athletes’ rights to bodily integrity, privacy and self-identification, and promoting broad inclusiveness. “If the proclaimed human right of self-expression is to mean anything, surely it should protect the right to name one’s own gender,” he says.

We agree. At present, though, because most nations do not offer their citizens the right of self-defining gender, the best bet might be to let all legally recognized women compete. Period.

Apparently, current policy focuses on testosterone levels. But…

Testosterone is one of the most slippery markers that sports authorities have come up with yet. Yes, average testosterone levels are markedly different for men and women. But levels vary widely depending on time of day, time of life, social status and — crucially — one’s history of athletic training. Moreover, cellular responses range so widely that testosterone level alone is meaningless.

Testosterone is not the master molecule of athleticism. One glaring clue is that women whose tissues do not respond to testosterone at all are actually overrepresented among elite athletes.

For more, go here.

Thanks, L!

One-year(+) position, Critical Thinking

Whoa, this is coming up fast, starting mid-August.  Clemson’s advertisement below reminds me that my Critical Thinking course was one of the most feminist and satisfying pedagogical experiences I’ve ever had.  It was downright rewarding. The 4/4 load is heavy, but if you need the job and you enjoy teaching intro logic, then feminists, consider applying. They say they start considering applications by July 16 — but they don’t close the reception of applications:

Lecturer, one year position with the possibility of renewal for up to three years.  Employment to begin August 15, 2012.  AOS and AOC open.  The successful candidate must be able to teach lower level logic/critical thinking courses and other lower level courses.  Teaching load is 4 courses per semester.  Courses for Fall, 2012 will all be Introduction to Logic. Minimum requirement is a MA in philosophy.   Ph.D. prior to appointment preferred.  Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply. Send letter of application detailing qualifications including C.V., evidence of teaching effectiveness and letters of recommendation to Chris Grau, Chair, Search Committee, Department of Philosophy & Religion, 126 D Hardin Hall, Clemson University, Clemson SC 29634-0528.  For full consideration, applications must be received by July 16, 2012.  Review of applications will begin on this day as well and will continue until the position is filled.  We cannot accept materials by fax or as electronic attachments.  Clemson University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information.

The Only Good Abortion Is My Abortion

So, I’ve read (and written) plenty about abortion, and this post by Maggie Koerth-Baker at boingboing might just be the best thing I’ve ever read on the topic. Koerth-Baker, a 31-year-old writer (a really, really good writer, let it be said) wants to have a baby, finds herself seven weeks pregnant with a non-viable fetus and wrestles with the attendant decision with breathtaking candor, courage and smarts. In the process, the reader learns not just about the phenomenology of choosing an abortion, but also a great deal about privilege, and about deliberation when all of the options suck. This post should be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks s/he has a right to weigh in on other people’s abortion rights.


My abortion is not a good abortion. It’s just an abortion. And there’s no reason to treat the decision I have to make any differently than the decisions made by any other woman.

Thanks, DF!