Friday, June 21, 2013

Feminist Taylor Swift, Fragile Men, Porn Wars and More: Links My Friends Send Me.

While many people complain about the political drivel that shows up on facebook, I've somehow been gifted with friends who share any number of interesting links, so this is a new column, links my friends send me. Like all columns that we currently publish, this one will show up sporadically and when you least expect it.

First up, a fascinating article on the academic wars surrounding the study of pornography. A new academic journal will study pornography in depth and with the nuance that the material probably merits, but the journal's 100% pro-pornography board has others in the academic community skeptical about its  ability to interpret data without bias. If you've been following the blog for awhile, you might recall that Erica and I tend to disagree on this subject.

New research about female desire suggests a lot of our perceptions of gender and sexuality are inaccurate, perhaps even in terms of how women perceive their own sexual desire. That factor alone suggests we need to have a more nuanced discussion on topics like pornography, but that discussion needs to be honest about negative impacts too.

In a similar vein, you can also read about a debate surrounding "naked protests" in the Middle East, though in this context the nakedness in question is women who protest topless. Even Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy supports nudity in protests when used to subvert a culture that restricts women by restricting how they dress.

Next, an article that discusses the phenomenon of men dying younger on average than women do, a phenomenon that applies throughout all stages of life, including childhood.

It's also worth reading this article about obesity, which explores research that breaks down the myth that obesity is merely the product of poor self control. In a nutshell, the author points to how complicated weight loss turns out to be in reality and to surprisingly high increases in obesity rates among animals, including closely-monitored lab animals, and suggests that something more complex is happening on a chemical level.

And lastly, I'm sure most of you have already seen the Taylor Swift Feminist memes. If you haven't yet, do yourself a favor because they're pretty delightful.






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