Four things I couldn’t wait until my Friday link list to share:
1) This essay on Medium titled, “Relax, Ladies. Don’t Be So Uptight. You Know You Want It,” is SO GOOD. It’s about how women of my generation (Gen X) were raised to care about the preferences of men above our own preferences, and we may not even be aware of it. One of the examples she uses, the Gentleman Prefer Hanes ads, made me gasp. I remember those ads!
At the time they came out, it never would have occurred to me how awful they are. Gentleman might prefer Hanes, but what about the women wearing the pantyhose? What do we prefer? And also, how gross is it that the men in the ads are apparently with a significant other, and openly checking out other women? We were raised on this stuff!
A quote from the essay:
We are all byproducts of a collective mindset. Those who question the mindset of their time and shine light on its moral defects are considered malcontents. And yet, it is malcontents like MLK who are (later) lauded as heroes — not for upholding America’s values, for shaping them. Here’s a fun game. Ask yourself: What strongly held opinion of mine will my grandchildren one day struggle to understand?
Even if you’re not part of Gen X, I think you’ll enjoy the essay. It has me examining my closely held opinions.
2) I was fascinated by this new research in the New York Times measuring bias of readers based on the sources where they get their news. There’s a chart at the end that will make you want to stick with PBS. The article was further encouragement to make sure I’m reading widely from a variety of news sources.
Take a look, there were some surprises in the data for me. You too?
3) Today is the last day to register to vote in 13 states: AZ, AR, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, NM, NV, OH, PA, TN,TX. Here’s a chart of each state and their voter registration deadlines.
My daughter Olive keeps a stack of voter registration forms in her backpack and gives them out wherever she is. She’s especially good at finding 18 year olds. Working on voter registration has her wondering why it’s necessary at all. We discussed how in Australia, voting day is a holiday and it’s illegal not to vote — apparently you get a fine (like $50) if you don’t vote. And here in the U.S., North Dakota has no registration requirement at all. How would you feel if voter registration wasn’t necessary? How would you feel if there was a law that you had to vote?
4) This is another really good essay regarding the sexual assault, that takes you through examples of when the author wasn’t assaulted. I originally read it as a Twitter thread, but she adapted it for Vox. It’s a compelling read. With each instance there’s a build up where you can easily see how things could go badly, but they didn’t. She concludes:
In my life, I’ve had experiences of all kinds. Unfortunately, I have been assaulted. I have also not been assaulted. The difference was never what I was wearing, how much I flirted, or how much I was drinking. The only difference was whether or not the men felt it was okay or not to assault.
On the Twitter thread, it was especially interesting because hundreds of women shared stories of when they weren’t raped, and hundreds of men shared stories of when they didn’t rape.
How about you? Have you read anything in the last couple of days that you can’t stop thinking about?