Sunday Cat guest-star: Jethro Noseworthy

I humbly submit the memorial film made by the incomparable Amy Campbell Noseworthy, singer and artist, spouse of philosopher Alice MacLachlan, and mourner of Jethro The Cat, for this Sunday’s installment of The Sunday Cat.  I suggest one will find it to have moving love, comic value, and a bad-ass title. How we all loved Jethro, may he rest in peace.  (Mildly NSFW: language in the title, rocking music.)

Africa for Norway

The heartwarming new charity single.

And the explanation.

Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway” video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?

If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.

The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.

The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

Would you have expected this?

I was surprised by an incident – involving me – on my campus. I would not have expected this, and in fact I’ve embarrassingly agreed in print with Hume about our having a natural tendency to care about others, at least those in our community who are like us.

I had been at a large and fairly formal lunch. No alcohol, but I was in my best daytime attire. Shortly after I left the hotel on campus where the event was, I stumbled and fell. Fortunately, my left hand and arm got most of the damage; my head didn’t touch the ground and nothing was broken. But I was very shaken up. So I decided not to move for a while.

So picture this: definitely older woman, black silk trousers, quite nice red top, a rope of pearls, sitting on a campus sidewalk, her back against a wall, and her legs straight out onto the pavement. A few possessions scattered by her side. A university name tag still on her top.

I think something like 20-25 students passed me. No one stopped and asked if I needed help.

Of course, I could have asked for help, but decided not to when no one seemed the least bit concerned. But I hardly looked to be just enjoying myself; I hope I would have stopped if it were someone else.

Canadian study: female academics still lag behind when it comes to recognition, compensation

Remember back in 2010 when Canada’s federal government awarded 19 prestigious (and lucrative!) research chairs to men and none to women? (If not, you’re probably not a Canadian woman academic.) Well, one of the upshots is a just-released 254-page report by the Council of Canadian Academies. The report arrives at some conclusions that Feminist Philosophers have known for a while: that academic women aren’t promoted, published or paid as much as their male counterparts; that childcare pressures are part of the story; and that implicit bias and stereotype threat are factors too. There’s a discussion of the report in today’s Globe and Mail.

Here’s a quote:

…subtle biases in hiring and promotions are still pervasive – often unintentionally. Women represent a third of all full-time faculty, but just 21.7 per cent of full professors in Canada. “A lot of times it’s perception in people’s head, and that’s because the perception is based on male characteristics to advance, and then women may present different characteristics,” said Catherine Mavriplis, an engineering professor at the University of Ottawa who holds a national chair for women in science and engineering.

Thanks, AM and MH!

Men and body image in the media

Two sad and fascinating stories on men and body image came across this Feminist Philosopher’s screen this morning:

1. Muscular Body Image Lures Boys Into Gym, and Obsession:

Pediatricians are starting to sound alarm bells about boys who take unhealthy measures to try to achieve Charles Atlas bodies that only genetics can truly confer. Whether it is long hours in the gym, allowances blown on expensive supplements or even risky experiments with illegal steroids, the price American boys are willing to pay for the perfect body appears to be on the rise.
In a study to be published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, more than 40 percent of boys in middle school and high school said they regularly exercised with the goal of increasing muscle mass. Thirty-eight percent said they used protein supplements, and nearly 6 percent said they had experimented with steroids.

Thanks to an FP reader for emailing us this story.

2. I Get Mocked For Being Fat, But It’s What Guys Do, By Edwin Lyngar

In my day job, I work at a state wildlife department. It’s a manly, bearded, and flannel-clad kind of place. Although I’m a public relations person, interacting with people and writing press releases, I work with game wardens, biologists, and other outdoorsy types. In such an environment, it is not unusual to hear someone called a “fat fuck” or a “goddamn prick.” It’s not meant to be personal when men insult one another. If you have red hair, they might call you red or if you’re bald, they might call you baldy (in a fit of originality). For me, I sometimes hear fat ass, fat fuck, or chubby. Among men, these kinds of insults are normal, even expected. If someone isn’t cruel to you regularly, it probably means you are not well liked. Ironically, the more other men like you, the more often they might hurl a “fat bastard” your way.

From the terrific online magazine Role/Reboot which focuses on culture and gender roles.

In my dreams of equality I want women to enjoy the bodily freedom that men have traditionally enjoyed but sadly it looks as if we are getting equality by leveling down: pressure, anxiety, and fear all round.

Change race, and watch the interview invitations flow in

This sadly isn’t surprising, given what we know of implicit bias.  But it’s a very striking demonstration of what all those CV studies have been telling us.

If you don’t believe that racism in the job market is real, then please read this article by Yolanda Spivey.  Spivey, who was seeking work in the insurance industry, found that she wasn’t getting any job offers.  But as an experiment, she changed her name to Bianca White, to see if employers would respond differently.

Thanks, J-Bro!