Weekly Digest: March 14–Miscellany

Since I have started writing these weekly digests, I have never run out of material.  I knew when I posted stories to Facebook (which I have since quit) that there was so much happening, but I never really allowed myself to digest the information, sit on it for a few days, select what I want to share and really think about why I am sharing it.  A student in my office commented on the ridiculous number of tabs I have open.  He was witnessing my process–keep the tabs open so when I am ready to write, I am ready to choose (though I do appreciate the NYT’s “save” option).  So here is what I am choosing to share this week, even though some of it is old news.  I love that friends and students are sharing stories with me to share.  If we start thinking more about issues of gender in the world, maybe some real change will happen.

I appreciated Pina Sadar’s short piece on how “the hijab” is used as a tool of resistance.  Because I wrote my dissertation about this issue and will be presenting on it at the American Culture Conference in a few weeks, I am always happy to read the work others are doing to complicate the ways we read Islamic veiling.

I have been entertaining myself with Ben Schmidt’s amazing tool that shows how evaluations of professors are gendered.  As someone often accused of being “too feminist” (is there even such a thing?) in the classroom, I appreciate the work he has done to show the gendered nature of these evaluations that are used in hiring and promotion decisions. If you go down the rabbit hole of playing with this site, remember that I warned you.

In honor of International Women’s Day celebrated earlier this week, PBS’s Independent Lens made available several of its gender-focused docs.  Here’s a good way to spend some time!

“The Nib” nailed the issue of gender disparity with this comic (here’s the full piece).  I love when humor cuts through the bullshit and gets right to the heart of the issues patriarchy forces all of us to deal with–as I remind my students weekly, patriarchy is bad for all of us.  Except for a few, few people.


In Germany, pads are popping up all over cities. This rogue pad poster positively piques my personal penchant for opposition.



A few weeks ago, writer Assia Djebar died.  My encyclopedia entry on her will be published later this year in the Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies.  Her death leaves a great void in literature by women coming from the Arab world. I will be doing the entry on her novel Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade for Contemporary Literary Criticism later this year.  Her work has meant much to me, and someday I will work on her novel Vaste est la prison.

Marist College will be holding a conference on Women and Society in October.  Click here for the call for papers.

An anonymous contributor shared with the NYT what it is like to identify as transgender in Mexico.

You needed a lawyer and two medical experts to testify that you were under their care for a year, that you completed your transition. I had to write a life history for the doctors. Then the doctors produced a report, and you had a medical exam and a hormonal profile.

There is more to come next week.  Happy International Women’s Day (belated)!




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