Cleverly Named Bunch o’ Links: Hating on Feminists Edition

How Could Twitter Possibly Cause PTSD? [TW: Everything] Here’s a sampling of the hate that Melody Hensley has received for, I guess, having PTSD and not being a veteran? And also being a woman, probably.

Ending Sexual Harassment In Geek Culture. [TW: Sexism, Harassment, Rape Threats] Apparently women aren’t allowed to have opinions anymore without getting rape threats. And this is treated as pretty much normal.

GoDaddy Released My Personal Information to a Spammer Troll. [TW: Sexism, Harassment] And now it’s refusing to take down the website the troll set up dedicated to harassing her.

But How Do You Know the MRAs Are Atheists? In a shocking turn of events, nearly all MRAs are found to be conservative white atheist men between the ages of 17 and 20 who are completely out of touch with reality.

Your Penis Is Getting in the Way of My Science. Our heteronormativity and male-centered culture is interfering with our ability to communicate science.

False Equivalencies and Liberal Concern Trolling. It’s not that liberals are going too far. It’s that the rest of the world isn’t going far enough.

19 Things Bad ‘Allies’ Say. [TW: Homophobia, Transphobia] If you’ve ever said one of these things, you might be a bad ally.

I Am Not a “None”. James Croft discusses why he identifies more with the label “humanist” than “none.”

At Least 22 Veterans Kill Themselves Every Day and No One Gives a Shit. [TW: Mental Illness, Suicide] We’re so busy calling them heroes that we don’t listen when they tell us what they need.

Every review of Black Widow in ‘Captain America’ is wrong. Movie critics seem incapable of looking past the “token female sidekick” trope to actually notice that Black Widow is a very complex and fully developed character.

Teen convicted of disorderly conduct for using iPad to record bullies tormenting him. [TW: Bullying, Harassment] Yeah, this happened. Fortunately, the charges were dropped.

 

Cleverly Named Bunch o’ Links: Science Edition

When People Are Dismissive of Your ADHD. Here’s how to talk to people who have misconceptions about ADHD.

So You Think You’re Smarter Than A CIA Agent. A research group uses statistics and a lot of people to predict world events better than CIA-trained experts.

Dwarf planet stretches Solar System’s edge. Astronomers may have discovered a new dwarf planet.

Scenes from the Postdocalypse. As research funding dries up, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find good jobs with a doctorate.

Ask a designer: why switching fonts won’t save the US government millions. Many people, including me, got excited about a high schooler’s idea for the government to change fonts and save millions on ink costs. But it turns out things aren’t quite that simple.

At 92, I was arrested for protesting against mining. I’m glad I took a stand. If we want to save the climate, we need to do it ourselves.

Mexican indigenous woman who was separated from baby allowed to pursue lawsuit against Mississippi welfare agency. Bout time.

Judge: Probation for du Pont heir in daughter rape because ‘he would not fare well’ in prison. [TW: Classism] Yes, prison is difficult, so it should only be something we inflict on poor people. Or as this judge probably calls them, “takers.”

I used to believe I had the right to be a bigot. But reason prevailed. You mean free speech doesn’t mean people can just say whatever offensive things they want?!

The last word in cool – if you’re a teenager. Apparently if you want to know what teenagers think, you can just, you know, ask them. Revolutionary.

8 Questions About Bisexuality That Are Better Than “Does It Exist”. Directed at the Andrew Sullivans of the world.

Conflicted thoughts about April Fool’s Day

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So now that April Fool’s Day is over and we can stop playing Pokemon and go back to our lives, I thought I would give my thoughts on the holiday. I actually have two conflicting opinions on whether April Fool’s Day is a good thing or not. On the one hand, it’s a useful way to teach the value of skeptical thought. But on the other, playing pranks on other people without their consent is really not cool.

April Fool’s Day is the one day a year where everyone has to be a skeptic. For this one day, everyone approaches every claim with the thought, “is this real?” For one day, everyone is aware that just because you hear something from someone (even a trusted source or a news organization) that doesn’t mean it’s true. For this one day, everyone does a little background research on anything they hear on the internet. And for this one day, everyone appreciates, at least a little, the virtue of being a skeptic.

And I wish people would take this attitude every day. I wish that every day, people would wonder if a dubious story is real before they spread it everywhere. I wish that every day, people would check their sources, question their sources, and apply some basic skepticism before believing things. And April Fool’s Day is a useful way of showing people the benefits of proper skepticism. If people can be convinced that applying skepticism to all claims is a good idea on April Fool’s Day, it probably won’t be very hard to convince them that applying skepticism to all claims is a good idea on every other day.

On the other hand, pranks suck. Pranking people is an exercise in trying to convince someone of something that isn’t true. It’s being deliberately dishonest for laughs. The entire intent of pranking is to get one up on someone who is vulnerable. Pranks, even seemingly harmless pranks, can hurt people. They can also backfire and hurt the pranksters, too.

And for what? A few laughs? Is that really worth the risk that your prank can go disastrously wrong? Even if everyone involves learns to be a little more skeptical in the future? I honestly don’t think so. The internet is full of stories of lives being ruined because of some prank, and I don’t think that’s worth the little bit of extra skepticism. I’m going to come down on the side of April Fool’s Day being a bad idea. We should stop doing it.

Cleverly Named Bunch o’ Links: NSA Edition

Inside the NSA’s Secret Efforts to Hunt and Hack System Administrators. The NSA has been going after sysadmins to try and gain access to their networks.

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection. Conveniently, bulk data collection only became a bad idea once people found out about it.

Beware the surveillance reform Trojan horse: what’s not in the new NSA laws? The new laws meant to curb the NSA don’t go far enough.

Fundraiser and Support for Shanesha Taylor. Shanesha Taylor was arrested for leaving her children in the car for half an hour while she went to a job interview. Now she’s losing custody of her kids. Here’s how you can help.

Radford / Stollznow defamation case: What we know and what we can infer or extrapolate reasonably. Here’s the timeline of the defamation lawsuit between Ben Radford and Karen Stollznow.

Give a Voice to Harassment Victims. And here’s a link to Karen Stollznow’s defense fundraiser.

A song of faith and sexual fire: How roleplaying game religions work as moral tools. Contrary to popular opinion, roleplaying games can be a powerful way to teach ethics.

Targeted by Firebombing, Legislation, and Now Vandalism, Montana Abortion Provider Shutters Clinic. Meanwhile, the “pro-life” movement cheers.

This Is Not a Solution; This Is the Problem. Sometimes people will say that nobody helped them obtain their success, when in reality those who never had any help are often the least well-off.

The Myth of Gay Affluence. Surprise! Queer people aren’t filthy rich. Who knew?

Little Girl Taken Out Of Christian School After Told She’s Too Much Like A Boy. Because we can’t have girls defying gender norms, now can we?

Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions. Using thinner fonts uses less ink, which saves money. It seems so obvious in hindsight.

#rapecultureiswhen we need a hashtag to point out that rape culture is wrong. [TW: Pretty much everything]

In Australia, the word ‘racist’ has lost all its meaning. When people think “racist” they think “KKK and Nazis” instead of all the little ways racism occurs.

Stop Judging Me for Being on Welfare. [TW: Poor Shaming] People on welfare aren’t lazy, moochers, or “takers.” They’re just people trying to make ends meet.

A Town Without Contraception. The Catholic Church decides that contraception makes the baby Jesus cry, so an entire town is almost deprived of it. In other news, fuck the Catholic Church.

What Hemant Wouldn’t Print. Secular Woman’s response to Secular Pro-Life and Hemant Mehta.

Cheerleaders make the NFL’s billions. They deserve to be paid minimum wage. Apparently a company that makes billions of dollars a year can’t afford to pay their cheerleaders a living wage.

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