Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2018 finalists

I believe the children are our future.

Founded and produced by Society for Science & the Public, the Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Named for visionary companies Westinghouse from 1942–1997 and Intel from 1998–2016, program alumni include recipients of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including 11 National Medals of Science, five Breakthrough Prizes, 18 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, two Fields Medals and 13 Nobel Prizes.

5 Intangible Ways to Make Your Friends Feel Loved.

The Female Price of Male Pleasure–I feel like everyone has probably seen this somewhere (I feel like I’ve seen it about eight times on various social media and other sites) but just in case you haven’t, here it is. It’s excellent.

Related, this article about the use and effectiveness of the word no is Seven God Damn Years Old and still so excruciatingly relevant I thought it had been published in the last few weeks until I went back up to check the date after reading the whole thing.

People feel less empathy for women who wear revealing clothing (abstract of the study).

Thoughts about transphobia, TERFs, and TUMFs, including a breakdown of the author’s use of the terms Trans-antagonistic, Trans-suspicious, Trans-unaware to replace the overarching and often too-general “transphobic.”

Heads-up, frequent users of YouTube–you might want to check that your ad blocker is taking care of this most recent problem.

YouTube was recently caught displaying ads that covertly leach off visitors’ CPUs and electricity to generate digital currency on behalf of anonymous attackers, it was widely reported.

Word of the abusive ads started no later than Tuesday, as people took to social media sites to complain their antivirus programs were detecting cryptocurrency mining code when they visited YouTube. The warnings came even when people changed the browser they were using, and the warnings seemed to be limited to times when users were on YouTube.

Complaining has its uses, but constant, repeated griping is detrimental to your mental and physical health.

If you’re a fan of A Tribe Called Red, this is a fantastic piece on them. If you haven’t heard of them yet, it’s a great introduction.

Anybody here who was/is a fan of urban fantasy (especially War for the Oaks or Shadowrun types) really needs to check out Balmain’s Fall 2018 collection.

A blog post on the fashion history of purple.

Fighting Mortality With Glittery Shit

I sure as hell don’t subscribe to the whole “people at the club trying to sate some nebulous void in their souls” sentiment, but I do think there’s something to be said for acknowledging that behind every pair of disco tits draped in glittery shit is, like, a real person. And inside that real person is a confluence of influences that merge somewhere between reclamation and objectification. And underneath that intersection is an issue that eclipses — for me, at least — everything else: a clamoring for invincibility.

(don’t miss the amazing and probably NSFW Tove Lo video embedded in the article)

A dozen camels were disqualified from a beauty pageant because they received botox injections.

Not being a procrastinator and (as such) an infrequent reader of advice about it, I don’t know if this article is actually as helpful as it sounds like it could be–but it looked good from here?

I take action just fine, once I’ve decided. It’s the “deciding” part that often takes me a minute. I’ve stayed in relationships too long, lingered at jobs that didn’t fit; it took me forever to start a business — because I wasn’t sure. Once I make a choice, I flip a switch and move forward almost without thought or emotion, but getting to that point takes me more time than I think it should.

People love to say that procrastinators procrastinate due to:

  • Perfectionism
  • Fear of judgment or failure

First of all: those are exactly the same damn thing. But furthermore: research suggests these aren’t the real reasons.

People also like to say procrastination is “giving in to temptation” or “poor time management,” but those aren’t the real issue, either. It’s also not motivation, or skill set, or rebellion…

That’s not to say those aren’t part of procrastination. They may be. But these are all other effects — not the actual cause.

Naomi Parker Fraley, the real Rosie the Riveter, died on January 20. Quartzy had a nice, image-filled article, as did USA Today (but beware the auto-loading video).

This is good news for a couple reasons: Wonder Woman 2 will be the first production to adopt new anti-sexual harassment guidelines. (Release date December 13th, 2019, with Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot returning)

The maternal instinct is a myth.

“Baby fever” is an effective marketing tool for baby showers, and a popular (albeit trite) plot for Hollywood rom-coms, but little more. “The ‘maternal instinct’ concept pathologizes women who don’t want to have children,” says Dr. Ragsdale. “We have a problem with patriarchy. It’s advantageous to portray women as natural caregivers so that they feel it’s a duty.”

And just in case you missed it in the comments of last week’s dump:

I think I’ve watched it, like, five times a day since last week.

42 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. meat_lord says:

    That article about complaining was really validating for me. On reflection, the toxic friendship that I've mentioned on here before mostly tanked because of my ex-friend's incessant complaining/ negative talk, and the fact that I was afraid to ask them to stop. No joke.

    "Since human beings are inherently social, our brains naturally and unconsciously mimic the moods of those around us, particularly people we spend a great deal of time with." Have I mentioned that ex-friend severed ties with my ex-boyfriend because he shared a post about this concept, and they took it personally? GOD, THE IRONY. Anyway, I've been trying hard to unlearn the complaining/ shit-talking habit that I picked up from that relationship, and to replace it with more upbeat or goal-oriented talk. It's been difficult, but it really has helped a lot.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I have a friend who is constantly snarking on other people (not necessarily people they know), and I realized that though I think they are a smart, fun, talented person, that constant low-level negativity is draining. I still love some good snark or vent session, but I'm trying to not indulge in it 24/7.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      One of my close work friends tends to go into negative spirals when we get to complaining about stuff; thankfully not recently, but it has happened before and she has tried to pull back. My mom has said to me in the past that it's good to vent, but I remember distinctly even then saying to her that venting to that extent wasn't actually making me feel better; it was just making me more worked up and upset.

      • Lynn says:

        Before I left my last job, things got so bad with my complaining that it both got me my only real boss reprimand ever (not directly because of the complaints but because I was in a noticeably bad mood all the time) and forced my boyfriend to ban me talking about work when we were together (we didn't live together at the time). I'm actually really glad they said something because it both helped me adjust in the short term (being more careful not to take my bad moods out on innocent people) and the long term (realizing the only way to stop being unhappy was to find another job).

        Now that I'm out of that environment and able to start over I've been able to temper my complaints to a one time "ugh, can you believe this stupid thing I'm dealing with" type comment for the really egregious situations and then not revisiting it even if it takes a while to actually resolve.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          It sucks when it turns out that it is something caused by a terrible situation and really the only long-term solution is to change the situation itself (we had a really hostile environment b/c of one particular coworker and eventually her office was moved elsewhere, but we had no guarantee that would happen and it was a rough time); I'm glad you got out of that environment! I try now to keep the venting to 'fun venting,' as much as I can. Less despair/rage and more 'can you believe x !?' when going out to dinner after work with coworkers who Get It.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm glad the article helped reinforce your resolution to avoid the mistakes of that friend/ship! I've walked away from friendships where all the other person did was complain (I knew it was time to go when she started complaining about me to me–jokingly, but constantly. Ugh, no).

      • meat_lord says:

        I admit I'm pretty hung up on whether Ex-Friend would have shown me the door or not if I tried to tell them, "Yo, I understand that you lack interest in most things Because Depression and that you don't have the energy to do activities Because Depression/Chronic Illness, but if my one option for hangouts is 'listen to you complain about everything,' I can't spend time with you."

  2. damngoodcoffee says:

    That TERFs/TUMFs article makes some really excellent points, I think. People act exclusionary for different reasons, and it is important to make that distinction when fighting for further awareness, I think (from my own limited perspective).

    I have seen the female pain/male pleasure article, which is such a good take that shows us really how steeped we are in what we consider to be norms. I was ashamed by how much of that type of discussion I had just let wash over me without really considering what it meant.

    Finally my own link (with lots of feels) in the reply comment.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Here's a link to an article I tried not to get too upset about, as an ace person: https://www.bustle.com/p/what-is-kisspeptin-the-k…. The Nature Communications study that this article is based on does not mention asexuality, but does mention hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which, in the DSM, is pretty much the definition of asexuality (you get out of being diagnosed if you identify as ace, which, if you've never heard of asexuality is not really an option).

      I do not for one second want to deny that low sexual desire is considered a problem by many women that they want (and deserve to have) taken seriously and treated. But it also brings up a lot of complicated emotions for me, because my sexual orientation is not something that needs to be cured, and I don't want to deal with a doctor thinking that either. The Bustle article also talks a lot about attraction and doesn't bother going to much into the difference btwn attraction and libido, which is an important distinction that shouldn't be glossed over like that.

      I am also very put off by the statistic mentioned in the Bustle article that apparently 30-50 percent of women suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction, because it reeks of pathologizing women's bodies. How are we defining sexual dysfunction? Is the person experiencing low desire unhappy because of the low desire itself or because they do not meet with societal expectations for what they should feel?

      Ugh, sorry, I've been having a lot of feelings like this over the past couple of days, if you can't tell.

      • vladazhael says:

        How are we defining sexual dysfunction? Is the person experiencing low desire unhappy because of the low desire itself or because they do not meet with societal expectations for what they should feel?

        Or maybe non-ace women specifically don't feel a lot of desire because we still live in a world that punishes, disregards, and/or commodifies that desire beyond repair. But sure, yeah, just market a chemical with a twee name. That'll fix everything.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          Thank you- yes. There's so much about that article that just reads to me like 'this will fix you!' without interrogating literally anything about where that attitude comes from.

          • vladazhael says:

            Oh… oh gods I just thought of something… Nobody tell Gwyneth about this chemical! I don't want to live in a world with kisspeptin-infused vagina rocks.

      • CleverManka says:

        Thank you for pointing out that article. I hadn't seen it, but I know if I'd read that without hearing your side first I would've been all This Sounds Good! (as a person who really really wants her high sex drive back)

        I so much appreciate the multitude of perspectives this community brings me. <3

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I'm so glad I did share it (here and originally on tumblr) b/c I got some different perspectives that I didn't consider right away, as an ace person. Same about the male pleasure/female pain article- having no direct experience with it, I didn't really see how pervasive those notions & expectations surrounding women's pain have been.

          And looking back on it I think a lot of my initial gut reaction of 'oh no' to the Bustle article had more to do with the emphasis specifically on attraction, as opposed to just sex drive, which usually does not get my notice in the same way.

  3. Kazoogrrl says:

    To go along with the WW2, a member of my geek social justice FB group emailed John Scalzi about the harassment policy, here is his response:
    https://whatever.scalzi.com/2018/01/26/producers-

    • CleverManka says:

      Good to know Scalzi is still fighting the good fight. (have you head the story of when I met him? let me know if you're ever interested)

      • Rillquiet says:

        Ooh, I'd be interested in hearing it. He comes across as a generally pleasant guy; I've read and enjoyed some of his books, but I'm more interested in his nonfiction.

  4. vladazhael says:

    I think I've picked my theme for the week.

    Under cut, because I just now realized how long that got.

    • vladazhael says:

      Yesterday, after having navigated a conversation wherein I had to forge a new path of how to share just enough information about an emotionally abusive ex with a mutual friend from back in the day, I remarked to Manfriend: "My usual way of dealing with anything from the past I don't want – memories, experiences, contacts with entire friend groups – is to pile it on a raft, set it on fire, and float it out to sea, never to be dealt with again.

      But that's not how tides work."

      Sometimes they bring charred refuse back and dump it at your feet, and even if that's unpleasant, I suppose it's better to build up some internal resources and processes to deal with it rather than just falling to pieces whenever it happens. The aforementioned conversation made me paranoid and uncomfortable immediately after the fact, but in a sort of distant way that I recognized as growth rather than a mistake. It's a way of teaching myself that I can be honest with more than one human about things that weren't okay and have no reason to expect that information to be weaponized against me – and even if it is, so what? It's a pea shooter and I have access to a space laser.

      And, somewhat relatedly, I keep thinking I've reached a point in the #MeToo conversation where all of my relationship and sexual and gender experiences have been unpacked and addressed and justly reframed as whatever manner of injustice I now have the vocabulary and social backup to acknowledge they were, and I can consider the matters closed and let them float out to sea.

      But that's not how tides work.

      The female pain/male pleasure article adds another layer of "…oooohhhhh" to the sense of why I put myself in the path of some really absurd shit throughout the course of my life, and I feel called out in honestly the most pleasant, amused, vindicated way. It's freeing to be able to say "oh, that actually WAS as fucked up as it felt – I'm not nuts, I'm a product of my environment". So thanks for that.

      Also, I happened across this earlier today as a related thing: https://medium.com/@rebecca_flowers/my-bad-sex-is… It's not as verbose as the pain/pleasure one, but I absolutely adore this older feminist mom for having the insight and the guts to take a challenging new look at the past when the present throws it back at her feet.

      Because that is how tides work.

  5. Xolandra says:

    O hai, yes, that female pain/male pleasure article is a thing I read and posted to my facefeed, yes it is. I have thoughts about them, and many of them are guilt-ridden. The bit that stuck with me most is the bit where the author talks about conditioning girls to derive pleasure from other people's pleasure. That… that's where I live, friends. And now i have squicks about it. *sigh*

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, that's hard. *hugs*

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      For me, "deriving pleasure from others' pleasure" is a good thing–we all need each other. I personally hope that's something that everyone can get taught. Obviously it leads to problems, but it seems like a lot of the problems are in the imbalance.

      • jenavira says:

        Same. I think that the problem is that we don't teach boys to derive pleasure from others' pleasure, not that we teach girls to do it.

        (It's also worth noting that cultural conditioning is pretty broad and affects everyone differently, so while it's true that some parts of your personality would be different if our culture was less fucked up, the same thing is true about the parts of your personality that were shaped by every experience you've ever had and feeling guilty about things you actually like about yourself is…well, it's good existential crisis territory, but there is no such thing as a human without influences.)

  6. Rillquiet says:

    Surely we are all aware of the fabulousness that went down at the Black Panther premiere red carpet. But lordy, how can something both slay so hard and give me life?

    <img src="https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/thecut/slideshows/2018/01/black-panther/black-panther-29.w450.h676.jpg&quot; width=300>

    • Xolandra says:

      This. Is. AMAZING.

    • CleverManka says:

      PERFECTION

      I read a tweet or a Tumblr post complaining about how nobody at the BP premiere pushed the envelope of fashion and then I keep seeing photos like this and wondering what in the world they were talking about.

      • Rillquiet says:

        There's fashion that pushes the boundaries and then there's fashion that makes you drop your jaw at how good it makes the person wearing it look, and this crop is so firmly in the second group that I don't know or care whether any of the choices are also in the first. How often do we get to see so much African glamour in major media? Almost never!

  7. pseudonymica says:

    I hadn't seen the female pain article and it's breathtakingly so true so thank you for sharing it (along with all of these other riches). The idea of having a different baseline for pain/pleasure/normalcy brings light to the mystery that unfolds every time I go to physical therapy and realize that another part of my body has actually been in pain for an indeterminate amount of time and I just wasn't paying attention to it because …I mean, I felt like I was already making everyone uncomfortable and being a hypochondriac drama queen about my headaches and cognitive problems…and it's not severe pain. Just the usual…

    • CleverManka says:

      YEP. I hear you. I probably wouldn't have needed a hysterectomy if I'd complained about my miserable periods several years earlier. But I was taught that horrible cramps were normal, and I was already feeling like a squeaky wheel because of my other health issues, and and and…

      I hope you are able to (learn to) listen to your body soon if not sooner.

  8. Heathered says:

    Well I am gonna have to click through on that one post because it seems unlikely the story is about Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fees, and that's all I get when I look up TUMFs.

    • CleverManka says:

      =D It's the term the author uses for "Trans Unaware Mainstream Feminists."

      • Heathered says:

        That DOES make more sense! I really like using specific language around this issue. It feels like a lot of heavy lifting to have to be considerate about why someone is inclined to exclude trans people from any situation, but rubber stamping them with a term like TERF is unlikely to inspire them to do better, and dismissing the work of feminists who seriously blew it with trans women because they were too scared to do the work does not change history. Nuance can be really helpful, even when being inclusive to those who wouldn't extend you the same courtesy completely sucks.

  9. jenavira says:

    Man, that procrastination article is Some Kind of Bullshit, for any variety of reasons.

    1) I don't procrastinate because I "can't make a decision." I have been procrastinating all day – hell, for the past several weeks – on working on a project for work that is already overdue, and you know why? Because it sucks. It's boring and tedious and it involves emailing strangers and also talking to that one guy at work I hate. I procrastinated this morning on getting started making art, because I was comfy on the couch and making art involves running the risk of embarrassing yourself, which sucks. I procrastinate on things because doing things is painful and I'd rather not. Whatever this guy is on about, it's not procrastination.

    2) I am UP TO HERE with being told that "if you want it enough, you'll just do it." I want to publish a novel! I want it really bad! I have a chronic mental illness that prevents my brain from functioning well enough to write for sometimes years at a time! You know what I want? I want to be able to be out as nonbinary to everyone I know, including my parents and my boss, without it becoming An Issue, which has nothing to do with how much I want it. I want to be able to quit my job and work for myself as a writer and an artist, but that doesn't pay well and if the GOP finishes destroying health care and I wind up with a chronic illness like everyone else in my family then I'm fucked, and that has nothing to do with how much I want it. How much you want something has jack shit to do with what you can get accomplished when you have external limitations, and I am DONE with the genre of productivity writing that pretends we're all healthy white cis men.

    Instead allow me to recommend Structured Procrastination, the single best productivity article I've ever read.

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      Thank you! And thank you for that Structured Procrastination article–I will have to give that a try.

      • jenavira says:

        I confess that I love Structured Procrastination because it describes so well how I function naturally, which it turns out might actually be an ADHD thing. Still! If you don't mind carrying around a constant quantity of low-level guilt about the things you're not doing, it's great.

    • Onymous says:

      So my issue with it is that by the end it comea to the conclusion that: you will eventually fix this if you want it enough (which is useless) OR you need better slf esteem.

      But "more self esteem" is exactly as pointless/useless/offensive as "telling a depressive to just cheer up".

      Many of my problems stem from self loathing but telling me that this particular problem stems from self loathing is not useful. If you believe self esteem is the key to not procrastinating then give at least some vague links to strategies to overcome that.

      • jenavira says:

        THIS TOO. Unfortunately self esteem repair advice is largely given by people who don't actually have a chronic problem with self esteem, which makes it…less than useful.

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