Link(s): Thu, Dec 3rd, 12pm to Wed, Dec 9th, 2pm

[In case it needs to be said: I don't agree with every word of everything I link to. --L.]

The Gender Divide in Mind-Numbing Parenting
Last week on Salon, Aaron Traister admitted that a steady diet of stay-at-home parenting had turned him a bit dull. [...]

Traister should be commended for managing to pen a quite intelligent essay about how stupid he has become. But after generations of women have sacrificed their private intellectual lives for the purpose of child-rearing, why has it taken a stay-at-home-dad to articulate this? [...]

I wonder why Traister has never heard and/or paid attention to anyone talk about this before? I imagine that when women have written and spoken about this, it’s been considered a “women’s issue,” and therefore not something that would necessarily emerge on Traister’s radar. There’s a reason that Traister’s story is considered a more general-interest piece: A woman’s intellectual talents just aren’t publicly valued in the same way a man’s are. Who cares if you’re losing your mind if there wasn’t much value there to begin with?

Top 5 Pseudo-Feminist Anthems
After much discussion of traditionally feminine passivity in ostensibly empowering lady-pop, I think it’s high time for a list. Ever since the Spice Girls made “Girl Power” cool, sexy, and (above all) lucrative for record producers, empowerment has been a convenient posture for pop music to assume—lyrical cognitive dissonance be damned!

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon put it best: “Once again, I feel that the music industry is cleverly positioning songs that kind of sort of sound powerful but reinscribe traditional female passivity as a substitute for songs that might actually give women ideas.”

Let’s see who did it best!

The Brain Is Still A Giant Mystery
This illusion basically exploits a processing error that occurs in neurotypical brains and, incidentally, is used in a lot of the illusions at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride. But there are so many other processing glitches that instead of being seen as an amusing and harmless byproduct of a neurotypical brain, are seen as problematic and annoying if they are credited at all. [...] Maybe if we had a better understanding of how brains worked it would be easier for people to understand and credit the reality of mental disabilities.
Betting On The Pony Races
I do mind that approach to writing about politics, because it takes an unaffected spectator’s view of outcomes which will affect all of us. Besides, it’s not really impartial when politics is turned into horse races.
Hair Pulling Time Again
I’d like an amendment which requires all politicians to use whichever health insurance system works the worst in the country. Now that would be a way to get some improvements.
Health care reform: The horse and the cart (By Skylanda)
There is an undercurrent to the current health care reform debate – a sneaking undercurrent of suspicion – that wonders if this nation can successfully insure every American when the health infrastructure does not exist to take care of every one of those individuals. Primarily among the deficits in the medical workforce are loci of primary care: family doctors, general internists, pediatricians, and mid-level providers like nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can effectively and efficiently take up the slack for busy offices.

This suspicion is not a paranoid fantasy. It is real, and the rush of patients into primary care if we did insure the 45 million currently uninsured Americans at large would put a rather onerous stress on clinics and providers currently in practice. [...]

So this is the answer then: wait a generation or two until there are enough doctors for everyone, and then offer out insurance to the masses. Until then, understand that we can only service the lucky fraction that does have insurance, and hell with the rest. Yes?

No. [...] Leaving so many individuals uninsured simply means leaving the whole apparatus mired in a mud trap until neither is any longer viable. [...]

A Little Gentle Economics Lesson
Wikipedia is not necessarily unbiased as we all know, but sometimes it is just misleading. Take this quote about corporate profit taxes…
Well, I Guess That’s Us Told
[Trigger warning for the OP. -L.]

It’s a particular bit of cruelty, that: Get over it. But if getting over it means anything but silence, we’ll call you an overwrought hysteric.

I Ain’t Lovin’ It
[On the McDonald managers who refused to hire a transwoman.]

“I think what confuses me is, what are you teaching in Hamburger University that trains managers that employees should be using their genitals in cooking? [...]

“Update: From Shaker tricia, a link to a site which says McDonald’s released a statement saying the individual was no longer working for them. That’s a start. I’d like to see what policies they’re going to put in place to see that this doesn’t keep happening.”

Assholery
“Hey, know who’s an asshole? Sarah Palin.

“Know who else is an asshole? Anyone who thinks that throwing tomatoes at her is an acceptable expression of ideological disagreement.”

Oh. I See This Book Wasn’t Written for Me.
Global warming and the centrality of irritating liberals
I Hope You Feel Better
The Face of Reform by Natalie O’Reilly | Hip Mama
“Since SoonerCare is the only insurance that will [cover our chronically ill child], we have to meet their financial criteria, which means living at or below the poverty level. I have had to quit wonderful jobs because I made too much money to qualify for SoonerCare.”
Motorola Droid: why don’t you want my business? | Geek Feminism Blog
Gender Studies for Kindergarteners (and the Kid in All of Us)
“The Guardian recently published a list of feminist books for five-year-olds. [...] it seems to me that children either will find their way to right-thinking or they won’t, but I’m not convinced they are programmable, like computers. [...] I feel like I’m still teaching gender studies to myself, years out from the initial discovery, and most days I’m still not sure I’ve done much more than a ‘start’ of it.

“[...] I can tell you that I tolerated the movie [Where the Wild Things Are] for just about fifteen minutes [...] at the outset of the movie, you are shown a trophy which Max’s dad allegedly gave him, inscribed, ‘You are the owner of this world.’ And just that briefest of images made me want to put my fist through the wall [...] It was meant to be touching, sweet, a father’s gesture to the expansiveness of a young boy’s imagination, I know. But the hubris of it just sort of clunked off the curb, and from there on out I sat, arms crossed, bitchface on [...]

“Because let me ask you this: can you picture someone giving a young girl a trophy with that same inscription? I can’t. And for some reason that hits a nerve, because in that image is, it seems to me, the whole key to the patriarchy itself: some people growing up thinking – hell, knowing – that the world belongs to them. [...]

“But you want to know the strangest thing? Even knowing all that, I couldn’t help but be a little jealous, from an aesthetic standpoint. [...]”

[Do I even need to point out that these observations have implications re other axes of oppression? --L.]

On the Bus
Good News Thursday