Throwing like a girl(‘s brain)

Neuroanthropology

We’ve all read some of the discussions about differences in men’s and women’s brains, but the case of throwing overhand offers a cautionary tale about thinking we’ve found something inherent in being male or female. The danger is that we accept too quickly observed differences without digging a bit deeper into their variation and potential causes. In the United States, most of our readers will have run across the idea that women throw like, well, … girls.

In fact, the empirical gulf between average throwing ability in men and women is huge (just as it is symbolically important), dwarfing virtually any other measurable difference between the sexes, even things like aggression, frequency of masturbation, attitudes towards casual sex, and spatial abilities on paper-and-pencil tests.

Janet Shibley Hyde, one of the leading proponents of the ‘gender similarity hypothesis,’ concedes that there are some marked differences between men and women, singling out…

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Virginity Is A Social Construct

The Belle Jar

Jezebel published a piece today with the title “Nearly 1% Of Women Claim They Were Virgins When They Gave Birth,” and, because this is Jezebel we’re talking about here, they used this as an opportunity to shame and belittle the women who say that they became pregnant while still virgins. And just so we all understand what author Erin Gloria Ryan means by virgins, she writes that they are women who,

“… were unpenetrated by the peen of a man when they became pregnant.”

She further explains,

“This doesn’t include women who became pregnant via in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination; these are women who gave birth the old fashioned way and were like *shrug! SERIOUSLY GUYS I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED!”

Then (incorrectly) asserts,

“Getting pregnant without sex is virtually scientifically impossible, yet dozens of women in the study (who were teens when the…

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Words Used to Silence Us — A Glossary

Make Me a Sammich

New and Improved! (6/23/2015): This list has been updated since its original publication in 2012 to a) include words suggested by readers and continued experience doing this thing I do and b) clarify some of the definitions.

It happens all the time, every day, in ways we might not even notice until someone points it out to us. When people don’t like our ideas and opinions—when they don’t like the reality we tell them that we experience—they use words that attempt to reduce what we say to the rantings of some irrational creature whose emotions somehow suck all meaning from what she says and who, by the way, cannot appreciate humor.

Have a look at some of the words the people around us use to silence us when we talk about feminism—or just our lives—along with my definitions/interpretations of their meanings.

(Thanks to friends and readers here and on Facebook and Twitter…

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Russian Oligarch Khodorkovsky Reunited With Family in Germany

World

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of Russia’s largest oil company, was reunited with his family in Germany Saturday, after being pardoned from prison Friday.

Khodorkovsky flew to Berlin Saturday to meet his eldest son Pavel and his parents, Marina and Boris, the Associated Press reports.

President Vladmir Putin pardoned him from a 10-year imprisonment on charges of tax evasion in 2003. The 50-year-old, a known critic of Putin, is expected to speak at a news conference Sunday at Checkpoint Charlie, the borderline between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.

Khodorkovsky left Russia on his own accord and is free to return whenever he wishes.

[AP]

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