How not to encourage girls to do science

UPDATED again: Thanks, SeanH! The video is still viewable here. I recommend reading the Washington Post story, too, but that video is, as everyone’s saying, funnier/sadder than parody!

4:50pmEDT: The video no longer plays at the Washington Post site linked below.  It now says, “This video is private.” Too much criticism to take?

Oh, heavens to Betsy, this is really cringe-worthy.

And why didn’t they just show images of females actually doing science? Or show what genders look like together, doing science?

Sigh. Thanks, Samantha, I guess, for the tip. Sigh.

Rape in the US military

Here is a trailer and a producers intervew for The invisible war.

The Ny Times lauds the director, Kirby Dick, for his many films on how power functions in the absence of accountability.

From the Sundance blurb on youtube:

An investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it. Winner: US Documentary Audience Award – 2012 Sundance Film Festival In order for necessary and important changes to happen around military rape (MST), we need to have open, challenging conversations. This is an emotionally charged and difficult subject, and we ask that people keep their comments respectful. http

self-borrowings: yikes!

Suppose you have an argument, one with fairly distinctive premises and a very distinctive conclusion, that bears both on a question in philosophy of mind and on a question in moral philosophy. Imagine next you’ve published a philosophy of mind paper with the argument and now you are writing a paper in moral philosophy. Where is that argument, you ask. Remembering, you go to the earlier manuscript, click on the argument, copy it into the new paper and, voila, you’ve met your day’s word count.

What is wrong with that? What can you do to put it right?

The reason I am asking is I just stumbled on an article in the NY Times about plagiarizing, and it does seem one can plagiarise oneself. They call it recycling work, and it doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Is the difference between right and wrong reuses just one of acknowledgement? Journalism’s rules may be different from ours, so let’s just ask it about academic writing.

Academics talk about access…

This video is just hands-down, no contest, absolutely the best and funniest and most awesome thing I’ve ever seen. Its creator, Melanie Yergeau, calls it  “an example of digital activism, not to mention collective resistance to the repetition that is exclusion.” Go check out Melanie’s blog about it, then watch the video.  It’s captioned, it’s less than seven minutes long, there’s no excuse.


Headless fatties no more

One of my big complaints about the media coverage of obesity is the tendency to include pictures of headless fat people. It’s as if there were no fat people, just fat torsos. It’s as if no fat person would be willing to have their face associated with their body next to an article about fatness. But that’s just not true.

Along comes Stocky Bodies, a great new take (and pun) on stock photography. There’s loads of great images: fat people riding bikes, doing scuba, making crafts, using computers, and even (gasp) eating.

From their website:

The ‘Stocky Bodies’ image library was created in response to the stigmatised representations of overweight and obese people in the media and popular culture.

Such depictions tend to dehumanise by portraying subjects as headless, slovenly or vulnerable and reinforce stereotypes by presenting subjects as engaged in unhealthy eating practices or sedentary conduct.

Our library of stock photos was created to provide positive and diverse representations of the lived experience of fat that begin to break down the typecasting that heightens weight stigma. This is an important objective as research has strongly associated weight prejudice with widespread social and material inequalities, unfair treatment and heightened body esteem issues.

The photographs for the image library are the outcome of an interdisciplinary project between Dr Lauren Gurrieri of the Griffith Business School and Mr Isaac Brown of the Queensland College of Art. The participants are everyday people who are involved in fat-acceptance communities and keen to see change in the representation of fat bodies.

Our images challenge oversimplified and demeaning representations of weight prejudice by showing subjects engaged in everyday activities, such as bike riding, shopping for fashionable clothes and performing their jobs. The documentary imagery to be shown through the library is a non-stigmatising view of what it is to be fat and live an affirmative life.

‘Stocky Bodies’ is a free resource that can be used by the media, health professionals, social marketers, educators and others.

Thanks KR!

Should the US Society for Women in Philosophy change its name?

In a recent talk I gave I mentioned the idea of marked terms. For example, it’s the Tour de France (for men) and the Tour de France Feminin (for women, or it used to be til the other race sued for trademark!) The dominant group doesn’t need to announce itself as a special case but the less powerful or less well known group does.

Consider the case of the Society for Women in Philosophy, or SWIP. Where is SWIP based? In the US, of course. But only in the US would that work as a name. I had the thought that it would be a progressive gesture for SWIP to rename itself the US Society for Women in Philosophy to match the UK Society for Women in Philosophy and the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy. Small things, I know. But increasingly I’m coming to believe that small things do make a difference.

What do you think?