Quick hit: Malala Yousafzai aced high school, naturally

Malala Yousafzai survived a gunshot to the head from the Taliban in retribution for her passionate activism about education for girls starting when she was just eleven. She started a nonprofit to promote and enable education for girls, including those threatened by the Taliban in her native Pakistan. She won a Nobel Prize at age 16 ....more

Quick hit: Duke freshman refuse to, can’t wait to read Fun Home

On the one hand: Several Duke University students have publicly announced their unwillingness to do the suggested freshman summer reading. They refused to read Fun Home, Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir about her experiences with her father and her relationship with her sexual identity, because it offends their Christian values. Freshman Brian Grasso took issue with the “graphic visual depictions of sexuality” and said that “[he] would have to compromise [his] personal Christian moral beliefs to read it.” Others said that while they might have been willing to read it in plain print, the graphic format was unacceptable, with one saying it would “violate [his] conscience due to its pornographic nature.” Some students found it offensive that the book was included on the reading list at all ....more

Women’s suffrage (on paper)

On this day in history, 95 years ago, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee a woman’s right to vote — after a fashion — with the signing of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex ....more

Open Thread with Clouds and Lake

Some fluffy clouds reflected in a placid lake (photo taken by moi during a walk last week) feature...more

Mind your business, Ohio legislature

Let me make this perfectly clear: I just went through a pregnancy for a much-wanted child. I endured morning sickness that lasted throughout the entire pregnancy. I became so short of breath that I had to stop and rest partway up the stairs in my own home ....more

Black Girls and the School to Prison Pipeline

If I say “school-to-prison pipeline,” you may think of the criminalization of African-American boys, almost always for behavior that would merit their white counterparts at most detention. But what about the girls? Just as racist police brutality does not give a pass to black women, so too does the school-to-prison pipeline operate for black girls as well ....more

Friday Hypocrisy Link Dump: Ashley Madison edition

Hey, what goes on in a person’s bedroom is their own damn business, and the number of people wittingly or unwittingly invited into a couple’s relationship is also their own damn business. (My personal feeling is that honesty is the best policy, but you do you.) (Or other people, if that’s your thing. Like I said, not my business.) That said, if you’re going to actively fight against marriage equality on account of family values, and claim that it will result in the collapse of traditional marriage and the destruction of families, it helps to have your own marriage on the up and up ....more

Investigations reveal that no, seriously, Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts

Recently, I disassembled accusations that Planned Parenthood is selling baby parts. (My argument was basically, “No, both Planned Parenthood and just about everyone in the medical field who knows anything about tissue research and donation agree that Planned Parenthood isn’t selling baby parts, and here’s supporting data.”) Following multiple independent investigations, however, it was revealed Friday that… Planned Parenthood still isn’t selling baby parts. The investigations were launched after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, began releasing hidden-camera videos in July that supposedly depicted Planned Parenthood physicians and staff members discussing the sale of fetal parts ....more

In which, God help me, I find myself defending the Alpha Phi video

For young men and women in the Greek system in U.S. colleges, the end of summer means the start of rush season. It’s the time when they start recruiting hard for people to beg to join their fraternity or sorority, so they can reject most of them a couple of months from now. It’s a practice seen by many but understood by few outside of the tightly insulated system, and most non-Greeks are okay with that, but sometimes the curtain gets pulled back and you see, for instance, this summer’s recruiting video from Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama ....more

Going Off: A chronicle of becoming unmedicated

[Content note for depression, anxiety, and the medical treatment thereof] In a series of posts on the NYT’s “Anxiety” blog, starting in February, Diana Spechler has been documenting the process of (with her doctor’s supervision) going off of the prescription meds that had been treating her anxiety, depression, and insomnia for over a year. Going Off opens with “Breaking Up With My Meds,” outlining how she came into psychopharmacology and why she wanted to get out of it. I went to the psychiatrist, who told me that with medication, we would aim to get my mood as close to 100 percent as possible, my anxiety as close to 0 percent as possible ....more