Sunday, July 7, 2013

Links for the week ending 7 July 2013

The story of the week was the military takeover in Egypt. Women report from Egypt's public spaces at their peril, but there's plenty to read, even so. Sarah A. Topol at Businessweek gives you a list of ten ways ex-president Mohammed Morsi precipitated a crisis. Abigail Hauslohner reports for The Washington Post on the overthrow of Morsi and the dismal prospects for whomever takes the reins next ("'I don’t know anyone in his right mind,' said Egypt’s foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, provoking laughter from his aides. 'Wait, wait — I’m joking with you,' he added. 'Don’t put that.'"). Also check out coverage at McClatchy by Nancy A. Youssef on Friday's violence.

"Do you encrypt all your own e-mail, as a result of this stuff? No, that's really hard." At The New Yorker, Maria Bustillos talks to one of six people who can publicly discuss "What It's Like to Get a National-Security Letter."

"Even two years later, the view from the mesa is jaw-dropping, a forest Golgotha. In a gap 40,000 acres wide, for miles in every direction, every tree is dead. As the wind whips grit into our eyes, Williams tells me that trees in some areas burned so hot that the trunks vanished, leaving ghostly holes." The deaths of 19 Arizona firefighters this week mark a sobering occasion to read this Yale Environment 360 piece on megadroughts and the American Southwest, by Caroline Fraser. At The Los Angeles Times, Alana Semuels has a brief overview of the history of American attitudes towards fighting fires at the margins of settlement.

"In another instance in Gezi Park, I witnessed a Kurdish 'teyze' (an older, traditional woman) from southeast Turkey in a heated, compassionate conversation with one of Istanbul’s better known transgendered activists. The dialogue, which I witnessed, was mostly about the need to love and understand each other’s suffering." Zeynep Tufekci being indispensable yet again, this time on the "anti-postmodern pluralism" she is witnessing in Turkey right now.

"Volunteers both male and female, designated by Blank Noise as "Action Heroes," sat at the tables and invited complete strangers to stop and talk with them. The subject of street sexual harassment was off limits. At the end of each encounter, the "action hero" offered a flower to his or her interlocutor. Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic Cities writes about a grassroots activist group's extraordinary plan to make one of Bangalore's scariest streets safe.

Reminding you again of Torie Rose DeGhett's excellent weekly round-up, This Week in War. You'll read a lot of dude journalists if you follow her links, but you'll also be very well-informed.

"When she became pregnant, Ms. Martin called her local hospital inquiring about the price of maternity care; the finance office at first said it did not know, and then gave her a range of $4,000 to $45,000. 'It was unreal,' Ms. Martin said. 'I was like, How could you not know this? You’re a hospital.'" Elisabeth Rosenthal for The New York Times reporting on how Americans get born into the costliest and most confusing health care system in the world.

"Mort had eaten a poppy-seed bagel shortly after arriving at the hospital where she gave birth, causing the positive drug test that separated a new mother from her infant for five days before authorities decided there was not enough evidence to hold the child." Kristen Gwynne at Alternet on why "drug-testing women at birth is not the best idea."

"The initiative tells mothers to give 500ml breast milk to their children once they reach the age of six months and to use formula if they don’t have enough. It was a campaign that dramatically increased sales of Danone infant formula in Turkey, but have lead to breastfeeding mothers moving their babies on to powdered milk unnecessarily." Melanie Newman at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism on a text-messaging campaign to new parents that — surprise! — benefits the company's bottom line rather than the health of infants.

"Indeed, they mistrust women, whom they see as enforcers of middle-class earning expectations they cannot meet. The love these men feel for their children is far stronger than any romantic connection they’ve made with those children’s mothers." From Dana Goldstein at The Daily Beast, a fascinating, nuanced review of a new book about poor urban dads.

"A lot of people might listen to my evidence and say, okay, we have to teach these women to trust. This is yet another way we have to fix low-income women. I think that is the wrong approach. I think the way to teach women to trust is to make sure everyone around them is trustworthy." Barbara Raab at NBC News interviews Judith Levine about her new book, Aint No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters. (Via Dana Goldstein.)

"The reversal in Harrisburg reflects a wider trend: Millennials are 40 percent less likely to move out of their home state than young people were were in the 1980s." Nona Willis Aronowitz reports for The American Prospect about young people who are staying in their depressed — but cheap — hometowns rather than strike out for the big city. (Also via Dana Goldstein.)

"Had I gone off and set it off as she deserved, in all probability I would have been seen as the terrorist threat. Especially on the eve of the Fourth of July." At Salon, Brittney Cooper writes with heartbreaking grace about an encounter with casual white racism while traveling to see family for the holiday.

"Slim novels are always deft, and powerful, like Joss Whedon heroines." Mallory Ortberg and co-conspirator Nicole Cliffe went live this week with The Toast, which would be your new one-stop shopping destination for awesome even if all they published was their own stuff, like this gut-punch humor from Ortberg, or this lovely piece on Paul McCartney from Cliffe. But there's more!

"The first thing I tell my students is: Do not even bother to blog unless you find it fun or someone is paying you for it. Those are the only two good reasons to do it. The second thing I tell them is: Probably no one will pay you for it. Fun is actually the only good reason to blog." From Kate Harding at The Toast, and linked to with love from me to all of you all from the academic/mommyblogging cohort of 2005.

I know this was one of the first progressive blogs a lot of us were reading back then: "So Long, Farewell: Today We Close Pam's House Blend."

"So I wish that the women’s magazines put more resources into longform consistently every month. I think it would help to cultivate women magazine writers. They are very heavy on the personal essay and the service pieces, and those are important and they have their place. But I think, while it was well-intentioned to do a lot of 'Rah-rah here are great women writers, and here are great women editors,' that wasn’t the conversation that needed to be happening." Long but rewarding conversation at Beyond The New Yorker between Meagan Flynn and Pamela Colloff from Texas Monthly about journalism, advocacy, and that recent debate about whether women's magazines get unfairly jilted when awards get handed out.

"It’s so much easier, if you have the option, to be a girl, not a person. It’s definitely easier to be a girl than it is to do the work of being a grown woman, especially when you know that grown women are far more fearful to the men whose approval seems so vital to your happiness. And yet something in me was rebelling against the idea of being a character in somebody else’s story. I wanted to write my own. " Laurie Penny at the New Statesman with "I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl."

"But I do have to thank Dowling for teaching me a very important lesson: I did not have the privilege of pretending to be a kitten stuck up a tree, waiting for some man to come save me. Asher Wolf at her blog on most definitely not being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. (Via Molly Crabapple.)

"Our bodies are intractable, inescapable realities, and so little about them has to do with choice. I cannot choose whether to be hungry or thirsty, healthy or sick. A slave cannot choose to be free, a woman cannot choose to be equal, and no one on earth can choose to be safe from the violations others inflict on their bodies." Knock-out essay about being at the Texas Capitol during the filibuster, by Amy Gentry at The Rumpus. (Via Martha Bayne.)

I wrote to him every day, and he replied the way a hero in a Nicholas Sparks novel would: every day, on small squares of lined paper, in a skinny, distinctive scrawl. The way he missed me was encoded in his descriptions of the calls of the drill sergeants, the hunger of the early morning. My mom watched the envelopes arrive with a mixture of bemusement and concern." Finally, at The Toast, in memoriam for one of the fallen, by Anne Helen Petersen.