Summer travels

Guess where the summer research travel/conference/friends, and fun are?

It’s time for me to return to the eastward. As I understand it, they have the internets there too, so as they say, WATCH THIS SPACE.

The gendered expressions of mental illness and violence

I’m sure you all heard yesterday or this morning that the Tucson gunman who intended to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and who murdered 6 of her constituents and injured 13 others in January was found incompetent to stand trial for his crimes.  Instead, Jared Loughner “will receive treatment in a secure federal mental health facility for up to four months before doctors evaluate him again. . . . If doctors can restore his mental health, the judge may find him competent to stand trial. If not, prosecutors can seek to have Loughner committed to a mental health facility indefinitely.”

This is almost surely the right decision, given the severe nature of his illness.  But, I’m still frustrated by the fact that no one ever talks about gender in the violent expression of mental illness.  Overwhelmingly, the people who commit mass murder fueled by mental illness and access to high-powered weaponry are men.  They’re stark, raving mad–but they’re in touch with reality enough to pick up and absorb cultural cues and messages that gun violence is a masculine prerogative.  Continue reading

On being (politely) called a pain in the a$$

I was talking to a friend the other day about the fact that both of us throughout our careers have often been described by others as “outspoken,”  “willful,” or even “intimidating.”  For example, at a talk I gave a few weeks ago, I was introduced by a (male) former professor as “one of the two most willful graduate students” he’s ever worked with.  This was extremely disarming–first of all, because that’s not my memory of my graduate school self*, and secondly, because of course my instinct was to argue with this characterization, although that would only have ratified his judgment of me as “willful.”  (Game, set, and match to the former professor before I even opened my mouth!)

My friend–also a white woman, also exactly my age, also middle-class, and also supposed to be a “nice girl” from the suburbs–told me a similar story about how at the conclusion of a two-year postdoc, she was introduced by the (male) director of the granting organization as someone who really “shook things up” around the place and got up in their grills about various issues.  What could she say after an introduction like that?  Once again, shutting up is the only way you can go.  You can’t argue with him without proving him right. Continue reading

Feminists demand let justice be done

UPDATED, WEDNESDAY MAY 25, 11:45 MDT

A correspondent sent this to me, so I pass it along to you to sign and return to kscarbro AT soemail DOT rutgers DOT edu.  UPDATE:  Kathryn Scarbrough has asked us not to e-mail our signatures–her e-mail in-box has been overwhelmed.  If you wish to sign the petition, you may do so by clicking this link and adding your name.

Feminists Demand Let Justice Be Done

Rape is always about power and domination; it is sexualized violence.

Rape and sexual harassment of women are pervasive at all strata of society and in all corners of the globe. Women will never be fully free and able to enjoy equality with men until this ends. As feminists, we see the arrest of former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges as an opportunity to increase public awareness and as a wake-up call to renew action against sexual violence, not only in the US where his arrest occurred and in France, where media and many public figures are portraying him as the victim, but around the world. Continue reading

Anatomy of a blog post

Kidding on the square, friends!

I just found something on the internet that pi$$es me off.  Here it is:

Blah blah blah blibbity blab women/teachers/higher education/women teachers in higher education. 

Blah blah blah blibbity blab.

Blah blah blah blibbity blab.

What an idiot, and here are several reasons why this person is wrong and/or doesn’t know what ze is talking about.  As if!  Continue reading

Codex rules, Kindle drools. (And I told you so.)

You're a renter, not an owner.

(And drooling on an e-book when you fall asleep reading can be a messy, expensive, and potentially life-threatening proposition!)

I know many of you didn’t believe me, but here’s the testimony of a Kindle-ized author and former true believer:

[W]hen the Kindle edition of my book came out, the publisher set the price at $27.95. They also raised the price of the hardback by $5.05. It’s the difference between the electronic and physical copy of the book that matters, I figured, not the cost of the book itself.

What sent me over the edge is when I saw that Amazon.com is charging more for the Kindle version of David McCullough’s new book than they are for the hardback (at least as of the moment that I’m writing this). This tells me that the pricing for Kindle editions has become totally untethered from economic reality, and that can’t be good for consumers. Certainly, it costs more to produce the physical book than it does to deliver the e-version. All the savings from an electronic edition of McCullough’s book are therefore flowing to Amazon rather than readers. Readers should demand better.

Instead, Amazon.com believes that their Kindle customers are willing to pay more for this fleeting edition than they are the thing which is permanent. Continue reading