On Airspace and the privilege of owning nothing

There’s a brilliant new post today on feminist philosopher Patricia Marino’s always excellent blog, The Kramer is Now.

In the post, Marino contemplates so-called “Airspace” (“that space of modern capitalist nowhere: the coffee shop, office, or shared work space that all have the same comfort symbols: fast wifi, innocuous background music, wood tables, exposed brick, minimalist furniture”) and the alleged anti-materialism of owning less stuff.

Marino observes that surviving without owning things requires a level of wealth out of reach to most folks:

“Own nothing” is always treated as some kind of anti-materialism, but in fact it’s only the most ultra privileged, and usually male, people who can live with no objects.

Reflecting on a recent profile of James Altucher, who claims to own fifteen things, Marino muses

Does he have children? Did the reporter ask? If he does, how does he make food for them? Where are their toys? As we’ve noted before, if you’re reading about “Mister Interesting,” somehow the whole fatherhood thing never comes up. If “Ms. Interesting” was running around being the “Oprah of the internet” and owning fifteen objects — wouldn’t the very first question be “OMG, how do you take care of your children?!”

Check out the rest of the post, and the rest of Marino’s excellent blog, here.

‘They cannot change me’

This video is a nice commentary on beauty expectations for women in the entertainment industry. From Jezebel:

Here’s a striking video from Hungarian singer Boggie, in which her moving image is being retouched and “corrected” throughout the entire video. Directed by Nándor Lőrincz and Bálint Nagy, the three-minute video shows Boggie’s transformating from a lovely woman in dim lighting to a lovely, flawlessly made-up woman who has, judging by her glowing surroundings, been abducted by aliens and forced to sing for them.

 

Sexcereal

Now that I’ve stopped laughing and can breathe again, I can share this website that I came across through a Sociological Images article.

Sexcereal: The first gender-based wholefood.

sexcereal

Seriously though, I first thought this was a joke, because saying that men need testosterone and women need “balanced hormones” is the most ridiculous oversimplification of our biology, ever.

And then I remembered: ridiculous oversimplification of biology is the standard conception of gender in our cultures.

Government scraps Labour’s planned rules on equal pay

Government scraps Labour’s planned rules on equal pay

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/government-scraps-labours-planned-rules-on-equal-pay-2149721.html

“The Government has scrapped plans to force big businesses to disclose the difference in pay for men and women they employ, on the day it emerged that little progress had been made in bringing women into the boardroom.”

A strange way to promote equal pay

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/david-prosser-a-strange-way-to-promote-equal-pay-2149726.html

Gender pay disclosure plans eased by coalition

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11900104

Women still struggle to get top FTSE 100 jobs – report

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11894665

“The number of female executives in top jobs at the UK’s leading 100 firms is almost unchanged for a third year running, a report says.”

UK Office for National Statistics

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1654

“…But men and women still follow very different career paths. Men are ten times more likely than women to be employed in skilled trades (19 per cent compared with 2 per cent) and are also more likely to be managers and senior officials. A fifth of women in employment do administrative or secretarial work compared with 4 per cent of men. Women are also more likely than men to be employed in the personal services and in sales and customer services. Similar proportions of men and women work in professional, associate professional and elementary occupations, such as labourers and catering assistants.”…

Britain embraces ‘positive action’ to abolish workplace discrimination

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8177872/Britain-embraces-positive-action-to-abolish-workplace-discrimination.html