Coates Responds to Mourdock’s Remarks

Ta-Nehisi Coates reposted a piece he wrote two years ago in light of the comments Senate candidate Richard Mourdock made about pregnancy.  I really recommend checking it out.  I don’t know what Coates would think of the following comparison, but he and W. E. B. Du Bois make up the entirety of a an obviously very short list of writers who are men and whose writings on women I’ve found to be down right enlightening.


In regards to Du Bois, what specifically comes to mind is his chapter “The Damnation of Women” in Darkwater.  (Chapter starts on page 110.)

Only at the sacrifice of intelligence and the chance to do their best work can the majority of modern women bear children. This is the damnation of women. All womanhood is hampered today because the world on which it is emerging is a world that tries to worship both virgins and mothers and in the end despises motherhood and despoils virgins.  The future woman must have a life work and economic independence. She must have knowledge. She must have the right of motherhood at her own discretion.

That was written in 1920.

When money mediates everything

Trump’s ironically impoverished idea of doing good:

“I have a deal for the president, a deal that I don’t believe he can refuse, and I hope he doesn’t. If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to a charity of his choice – inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants–a check immediately for $5 million,” Trump said.

He added that the check will be written “within one hour” of the documents’ release and set a deadline of 5 p.m. on October 31, one week before Election Day…and also right as children are heading out the door to begin trick or treating on Halloween.

“Frankly it’s a check that I very much want to write,” he said. “I absolutely would be the most happy of all if I did in fact make this contribution through the president to the charities.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has called for Obama to make public such records. The conservative, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has long been at the steering wheel for the so-called birther movement, questioning the president’s place of birth.

OK, it is also a publicity stunt and a bid for votes for the Rethugs. And so even more meager a grasp of virtue.

God intended what now?

From the Indiana Senate debate between Richard Mourdock (R), Joe Donnelly (D), and Andrew Horning (L):

Asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, Mourdock said during Tuesday’s debate, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock has said he regrets that anyone has interpreted him as implying that sexual violence is anything other than abhorrent, but:

 “In answering a question from my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life, and I believe that as wholly and fully as I can believe, that God creates life.”


Even my laptop isn’t pretty enough

Apparently, anyway:

The Floral Kiss series features a unified design sensibility that has been  developed for the female consumer—from the PC’s design to accessories, such as  the mouse and case, and optional add-ons. Users can select their favorite color from among three variations: Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown.

It even comes with nifty scrapbooking, diary, and horoscope applications standard–golly gee!

Thanks, J-Bro!

What to do about an icy climate?

A reader on this post asks an excellent question, and I’m hoping others who are wise will have some useful thoughts. The question is what to do when faced with a really awful environment in one’s department, which includes denial that there is a problem. Is a climate survey useless? What are other first steps one could take?

Philosophy at the bottom of yet another list when it comes to including women

Where are we on a list that ranks disciplines by percent of women authors? Oh, right, down at the very bottom. Demography has the highest % of women authors in the social sciences/ humanities. Philosophy, the lowest– behind not only economics but even probability/ statistics, and in the most recent period barely different from math proper. Moral philosophy looks better 19.3% but some of the philosophy of science sub-fields are about 5%. It’s worth browsing through the sub-fields. Notably ‘feminist philosophy’ isn’t even listed as a sub-field of philosophy.

“Women as Academic Authors, 1665-2010

Women’s presence in higher education has increased, but as authors of scholarly papers—keys to career success—their publishing patterns differ from those of men. Explore nearly 1,800 fields and subfields, across four centuries, to see which areas have the most female authors and which have the fewest, in this exclusive Chronicle report. See how overall percentages differ from the important first-author position and—in two major bioscience fields—from the prestigious last-author position. See “About these data” for details.

Source: Gender analysis led by Jevin West and Jennifer Jacquet at the University of Washington’s Eigenfactor Project.”

Thanks Jacob Levy.

Pussy Riot’s fate

Pussy Riot is a female Russian punk band who staged a protest against Putin’s close ties with the Orthodox Church earlier this year. As is well-known, the three-woman band burst into Moscow’s main cathedral and sang a protest song on the altar. They were arrested, and have been in prison ever since. They were originally sentenced to two years in jail. One member was freed on appeal, receiving only a suspended sentence, on the grounds that she had been pulled away from the altar before the song began. But the sentences of the two other members have been upheld. Rumour has it that they have been sent to two of the harshest, Soviet-era prison camps – far away from their friends, supporters, and family, including their young children – but I understand that this has not been officially confirmed. You can read more from Reuters.

“I don’t date … “

Is it racist when a white woman declares, when asked out on a date, that she will only date white men?

The actual story in which “I don’t date African Americans” was situated is a bit complicated. She, a white women, took her boss, an African American, to court on sexual harassment charges. During the hearings, he commented that she had said to him that she did not date African Americans, and he maintained that that was racist.

No one in the group I was with thought it was a racist comment. I, however, was uncomfortable and unsure. It is too likely that bias played some role, but I think now that the issue of whom one will feel attracted to is so complicated that it is difficult to decide what to think.

What do you think?