Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Roundup

Happy Sunday! Last night I played a fun show at the Irish American Heritage Center in north Chicago, and this morning I have homemade quiche for breakfast a nice cup of coffee. Life is good. Let's review the week.

A lot of the talk this week focused on my essay in the Chronicle and the reaction piece I posted here. I'm going to have to stop engaging in comments, which makes me sad, as I like debate and discussion - but anonymous comment threads just lead to trolling. It's clear that the university does include transactional relationships, but after a week of discussion, I remain convinced that we emphasize them at our peril.

The most read piece this week - especially gratifying because it was a Friday (and the stats support the "Friday News Dump" concept) - was my essay on the limitations of cute in the representations of people with Down syndrome. We can be more than "happy." It seems to have touched a nerve with some, but for many (in the self-selected group who read it) articulated a concern that other parents have too. Next week, I will write about the way that the abortion issue drives the DS community towards "cute" and "happy." So that will be uplifting!

I also wrote about a jumbled post about Nazis in Minnesota (re-enactors), with the conclusion that these people mostly view Nazis like cartoon or comic-book badguys, so dressing up is a form of cosplay, and that's terrible. Other posts considered history and famine in Ireland and the power of celebrity in changing attitudes (for better or worse) about public health.

If you haven't, though, here's the piece I would like you to read and, if you're willing, share or RT on twitter. I wrote about all the hate mail I have received for writing about rape culture for CNN. I didn't know that by the end of the week TIME would run an opinion piece by a right-wing group trying to take-down the whole notion of rape culture (I guess because they would rather have unchallenged patriarchy?), so I think my CNN essay that demonstrates the consequences of rape culture as clearly as I can possibly write is important in that context. But this post is about gender and online discourse and makes a point that I think men mostly don't get. It's hard for us to hear the dogs that don't bark.

As always, thanks for reading a commenting.

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