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About TerraPrime

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    Owner of A Ravenous Parting of Unspeakable Sins

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    Middle of Illinois, USA

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  1. US politics 2016: I can see Russia from my White House

    So... what was the point of the ad? That people who are alive wish to remain alive? What? Edit: But you know what? It really doesn't matter. Call the developing fetuses "adults" if you want. I would still support legal abortions with minimum regulation. If there's an adult human being whose life depends on his/her feeding tube attached to my stomach, I get to decide when or if I pull the feeding tube out.
  2. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    I am sure someone more intelligent has already coined the term and defined it, but it is something you see in almost all movements. Like in the gay movement, the "mainstream" gays look down on the fem bois, the drag queens, the butch dykes, and they are blamed for the hostility of the straight people against us. They would say "we would be treated more equally if it weren't for you freaks," all the while ignoring that there would be no movement to speak of without those "freaks." Similarly in feminism, if there weren't angry women upset at the unfairness, there'd be no galvanizing force to organize around. It is so much bullshit to turn around and blame them for, essentially, contributing to the difficulty. The bottom line is that backlashes and anger from the dominant cultural group is not a sign of failure. It is a sign of success. When they are pissed and angry, that means we're doing something right. No social justice has ever been earned by being polite. So, all of this is to say that when we encounter those things, let's just adopt a "fuck'em" attitude. :-)
  3. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    [mod hat] Derailment obliterated. Please continue with discussions that are actually useful. [/mod hat]
  4. LBGTQ - 4 out of 5 cats prefer lesbians

    It's new, and it's not easy to understand for those who live and breathe binary gender. I confess that it takes me conscientious effort still to not default to binary gender/sex thinking. I hope the visibility of this issue will continue to increase. *hugs*
  5. US politics 2016: I can see Russia from my White House

    You think the Sanger info is news to people? Do you read the internet? And sure, you have no opinion on the issue. You're just a fair-minded non-partisan pointing out flaws on both sides, except you only comment on one side. I get it.
  6. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    Ahahahaha. One of those. Fortunately, on my campus we only have fuckwit admins who are clueless about diversity and inclusion pretending to be experts on it, and my faculty colleagues are all pretty kickass.
  7. US politics 2016: I can see Russia from my White House

    Fetuses are not children. But do continue on with your deliberate obfuscation. It's most scintillating to read.
  8. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    Re: Lily I recommend your first entry to the topic be the book called "Whistling Vivaldi." It is a book written by the researcher who pioneered the study on stereotype threat. The book is intended for general audience so it's easier to digest than following the paper trail yourself. It's a good starting point. To distill karadin's explanation further, if you're a woman taking a math test, and if during or before the test, you are reminded of your status as a woman, and/or that women in general do more poorly at math, then your performance will be suppressed. This means that sometimes, well-intended prompts can actually backfire. As for classroom interactions, there are so many variables to account for that it is very daunting to set up the "ideal." I think you're already doing a lot to address the issue, so the following is just sort of my brainstorming, not meant in any way to imply that you're somehow deficient in your classroom. ;-) Assuming that the ratio is a bit lop-sided in your physics classes, I think directed group-membership like you're doing is critical. Try to even out the groups so that female students aren't segregated away. I would also suggest providing structure to talk about cooperation and collaboration. Shockingly, most college students don't know how to collaborate. I do assign group projects, and so I spend half a lecture talking about productive team work, and offering them guidelines on how to get the most out of collaborations. This way, I forestall most of the calamities of group work. When the group doesn't function well, I can easily see resentment being built up, and race, gender, and national origins are easy fault lines to absorb those types of resentment. In other words, if a group performs well, your students will be more likely to walk away with a positive view of working with a minority member. If the group doesn't perform well, then the white/male students will find it easy to blame the black student, the female student, the foreign student. So, I think fostering productive group work is a proactive step to enhance people's appreciation of diversity. Another thing I try to do is to not be afraid to talk about minority issues in science openly in class. I think it models a behavior where we are not politely ignoring a problem for fear of stepping out of line. I think sometimes, some professors veer too strongly away from the possibility of being perceived to be a leftist indoctrinating their students. This means that they avoid talking about diversity and inclusiveness even when the time and opportunity are right. In my discipline, there are so many historical examples that I can use to talk about gender and science, and I pick them when the time is right. For instance, I talk about Rosalind Franklin and Barbara McClintock, not just for their scientific achievement, but also the ways in which their sex led their work to be sidelined. I also talk about the sexist remarks from Watson and why that's not helpful. Finally, if your campus has a group that promotes diversity and inclusiveness, I'd recommend being a part of it if you're not already. There are 3 different groups on my campus that work on diversity issues and I am on one of them. It's good to be amongst friends sometimes, like in this thread, where you are not constantly defending your premise and you can actually work out remedies. Re: karadin That's an interesting bit of new info on erasing negative associations. I can see how you can operationalize it into an experimental design. Hope you can develop the idea into a thesis! :-)
  9. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    It is a fascinating phenomenon. The part that bothers me about it is that they don't have a good framework to explain it, yet, imo. The explanation is still heavily hand-waving at this stage. My exposure to it is from "Whistling Vivaldi." I did follow up on about half a dozen of the original research articles cited, but I didn't look further to discover any dissenting views. Now that I read your comment, I am wondering how that maps onto the trans experience. Is that where you're thinking of going with your thesis? I think it's very interesting. :-)
  10. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    That whole LBGTQ part is off topic here, but I encourage you to bring it to the LBGTQ thread. The short form is that there are queer and trans people participating in this thread and sharing our experience. Over in LBGTQ thread, there isn't an orthodoxy on "born this way." I diligently refute it every time anyone posts it. So, what you're seeing as the discourse on this issue seems like a pretty narrow slice of what's going on in the LBGTQ community at large.
  11. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    The thesis is that gender is culture-specific, and so, in its genesis, gender is a construct imposed and enforced by culture and customs. Since we all live in one culture or another, we are all susceptible to that influence. So in order for someone to not have been influenced by culture, they'd have to be uber-special to escape its grasp. It is entirely possible that for many (most?) women, they are "naturally" (however you define it) nurturing, BUT it is indisputable that women, as a group, are socialized to be nurturing, as well. How could you tell that a woman's nurturing traits are all "natural" and none of it was from cultural enforcement? Second, while sex hormones do have an impact on neural development, I am not aware of evidence saying that one type of hormone level biologically predisposes one to be nurturing. That said, I also don't think all humans are complete blank slates, identically void of predispositions or predetermined traits. The mere existence of trans* people will dispute this idea. However, this doesn't then follow that the traits that our cultures choose to assign for each gender are rooted in biological determinism.
  12. US politics 2016: I can see Russia from my White House

    The problem, of course, is Trump says whatever the hell he wants, and is not beholden to any of it. So, nobody really knows what he is going to do with any great certainty until he goes do it.
  13. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    Parenting skills are learned. When you see young girls pushed/enticed into playing "keep house" and "tea party" while boys are shoehorned into playing "cowboys and indians," you're witnessing socialization by gender in action. When girls pick up a doll, they are practicing care-giving. When boys are denied the freedom to play with dolls in similar ways, they are being denied the chance to learn that skill. When young girls are more entrusted with baby sitting than young boys, we are socializing one gender differently than we do another. When young girls are taught house work more often than young boys are, we are socializing one gender differently than we do another. So when you tell me that your mom is better at parenting, I say, of course she is. She either has a knack of it, and/or she's really benefited from all the social training. Your dad, on the other hand, probably never had the same chances to develop his parenting skills. Maybe, in part, it's because he didn't feel he could afford it by spending more time at home at the expense of career advancement? Which, you know, circles back to the issue. And this is not a litany of complaint against the evils of men. Men suffer in these cases, too. I have mentored 3 graduate students, all male. In all cases, they were clueless on basic survival skills like ironing your shirt or putting together an outfit for a professional setting. Are there women who are deficient in these skills, yes. But I suspect (no data here) that proportionately, there are more men who are lacking in housekeeping skills. This is not an advantage, if you measure successful adulthood with self-sufficiency. Socialization based on gender roles harms both sexes. Re: Hereward LoL Thank you. If I could say that phrase while riding a tracker, I would. For you.
  14. Feminism - Post-apocalypse version

    Yes, we do make these decisions for ourselves. But let's not pretend that the rubrics we use to reach those decisions are free of cultural biases, social pressures, or internalized gender norms. Culturally, "what is best for women, men, and child" has a funny way of becoming "what's best for the men, first." To use the child-rearing example here, interviews of mothers who work full-time jobs showed that they have a much better chance at equitable sharing of child-rearing duties if the couple explicitly talk about it and negotiate the limits. If certain things aren't explicitly negotiated, then it tends to default to the women. For instance, a couple may negotiate who's taking the kids into daycare, and obtain an equitable workshare. But if there's no discussion on who will take care of the contacts with pediatricians, then in that same couple, it tends to default onto the woman's shoulders, regardless of her career workload. As for monetary/financial incentives in family decisions - I think that's begging the question. I think the core of the discussion, least to me, is the ways, both clear and opaque, in which women's career choices are penalized financially vis a vis men's career choices. Then, on the flip side, how men's decisions on family are penalized. So, to me, saying the economic incentive is a key factor is not really shedding insight, because that's precisely the question I am interested in - why is there a disparity in economic incentive in the first place.
  15. US politics 2016: I can see Russia from my White House

    So, the only draw back here is that she won't have access to a doctor whom she trusts and who is known to be able to help her. Is there any indication that no other doctors, ever, can do this for her?