Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday Links

  • Leading off with the fantastic news that bioethicist Alice Dreger has resigned from Northwestern under charges that the university refuses to grant her the academic freedom they supposedly support. Her resignation letter (PDF) details the complaint that dean Eric Neilsen demanded editorial control of her work on Atrium, and even formed a "censorship committee" to oversee future issues:
    The plain and simple fact is that Dean Neilson acted impulsively and wrongly in this situation. We all make mistakes, but this was a profound mistake that cut to the very heart of academic freedom. It should have been acknowledged and corrected immediately. That is most definitely not what happened. Instead, what happened was denial, avoidance, blame -­‐ shifting, and evasion. To this day, the university has not admitted its mistake, and it has not affirmed its commitment to academic freedom in a way that makes clear that similar incidents will not occur in the future. This failure should be embarrassing to an otherwise great university.
    Also, a high five for her exit tweet:
  • LAist recently ran a story on driving for Uber or Lyft as a woman. Surprise! It's actually mostly pretty good:
    [Ashley] Moon said, "I've only had one awkward situation with a man I picked up in Culver City while driving for Lyft. He was making really sexual and inappropriate comments about my body, his body, and his girlfriend's body who we were on our way to pick up. But I didn't feel like I was in danger, mostly because he was SO drunk that he was completely slumped over in my front seat and heavily slurring his words. I thought he might have alcohol poisoning."
    One anonymous driver reported "Truthfully, I dealt with more inappropriate behavior when I was a bartender." Lyft in particular allows drivers to drop passengers before their destination if the driver feels endangered (something Uber doesn't), so they're a little better. But it's interesting to read these anecdotes, which include drivers giving relationship advice, picking up weird passengers, and more.
  • Remember Laurie Penny? I guess she's still out flogging her rage-tome, Unspeakable Things, which, according to those not part of her hallelujah chorus, draws from her Guardian (UK) and other online columns so much it's indistinguishable from them. Well, good news, fellas: feminism needs to find room for men!
    As Penny herself says, "women are only allowed to be experts on gendered things and nothing else, whereas that's the one thing men aren't supposed to talk about.
    Of course, men aren't allowed to have any actual differing opinions about intersex relations, because
    Men are our fifth column in all male spaces. Particularly when so many boardrooms and political meetings are all-male spaces, men can be very useful fighting in that arena.
    So nice to know men's only purpose as far as Penny's concerned is to shut up and parrot the party line! Also, reeducating your fellow knuckle-dragging males! Thank you, I'm here all night.
  • Lesbian tendencies appear to go hand-in-hand with masculinization, which apparently means changes to facial features can also predict sexual orientation, which sounds awfully like phrenology. This gives rise to the theory that female sexuality conforms to opportunity to some extent. (H/t @facerealitynow.)

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