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Monday, April 23, 2012

Links - 23rd April 2012

"There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." - Pablo Picasso

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Conference Report - Third Annual Female Sexual Function Forum: Prevalence - "African American women were more likely to rate their own sexuality as excellent, seemed more aware of their own physiologic responsiveness, and were more concerned with different aspects of partner relating than were white women. The African American women reported that "feeling comfortable talking about sex" with their partner was important to them, whereas white women were more likely to attach importance to "feeling emotionally close" to their partner... African American women were more likely and Chinese and Japanese women less likely than white women to report sex as being very important to them. Dr. Johannes reported that there were significant ethnic differences for frequency of all sexual practices (intercourse, kissing, caressing, oral sex, and masturbation). The Asian women were more likely to report infrequent desire for sex and a lower frequency for oral sex. The frequency of sexual touching was lowest among Japanese women. African Americans reported a higher frequency of sexual intercourse, while white women reported a higher frequency of masturbation than did other ethnic groups"
The next time people ask me for proof that Asian women are frigid, I'll have more papers to point to apart from the previous one. There's also another source which says that "sexual dysfunction is quite common in Japanese women"
Keywords: Asian girls are frigid

The Role of Sex Guilt in the Relationship Between Culture and Women’s Sexual Desire - "A large body of literature demonstrates that East Asian women report lower sexual desire thanCaucasian women. Although most studies have explained these differences by referring to general culture-linked differences in sexual conservatism, none have examined the potential role of specific constructs such as sex guilt... Caucasian women reported significantly higher levels of sexual desire, significantly lower levels of sexual conservatism, and significantly less sex guilt. In the entire sample, sexual conservatism and sex guilt separately mediated the relationship between ethnicity and sexual desire such that women with more sex guilt and those who were more sexually conservative reported lower sexual desire. Among the East Asian women, sex guilt, but not sexual conservatism, mediated the relationship between mainstream acculturation (degree of westernization) and sexual desire such that women with more sex guilt reported lower sexual desire... levels of sex guilt did not differentiate between sexually functional and dysfunctional men... more westernized East Asian women reported greater sexual desire [and] less sex guilt... The Neo-Confucians of the Song Dynasty (960 to 1276 A.D.) gave the Confucian classics repressive interpretations, thus setting the stage for the current East Asian view of sexuality as being reserved for marriage and procreation... sex guilt may be salient in the process of westernization and becoming more sexually open whereas sex guilt is likelyunrelated to the extent towhich individuals continue to embrace the values of their heritage culture"
And this paper has lots of references with evidence in the first paragraph: Brotto, Chik, Ryder, Gorzalka, and Seal
(2005); Cain, Johannes, Avis et al. (2003); Laumann, Nicolosi, Glasser et al., 2005


Hen: Sweden’s new gender neutral pronoun causes controversy. - "Olika only publishes books that "challenge stereotypes and obsolete norms and traditions in the world of literature"... Jan Guillou, one of Sweden's most well-known authors, referred to proponents of hen as "feminist activists who want to destroy our language." Other critics believe it can be psychologically and socially damaging, especially for children. Elise Claeson, a columnist and a former equality expert at the Swedish Confederation of Professions, has said that young children can become confused by the suggestion that there is a third, "in-between" gender at a time when their brains and bodies are developing. Adults should not interrupt children's discovery of their gender and sexuality, argues Claeson... "gender ideologues" have managed to change the curriculum to establish that schools should actively counter gender roles... The Green Party has even suggested placing "gender pedagogues" in every preschool in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, who can act as watchdogs... Ironically, in the effort to free Swedish children from so-called normative behavior, gender-neutral proponents are also subjecting them to a whole set of new rules and new norms as certain forms of play become taboo, language becomes regulated, and children's interactions and attitudes are closely observed by teachers. One Swedish school got rid of its toy cars because boys "gender-coded" them and ascribed the cars higher status than other toys. Another preschool removed "free playtime" from its schedule because, as a pedagogue at the school put it, when children play freely "stereotypical gender patterns are born and cemented. In free play there is hierarchy, exclusion, and the seed to bullying." And so every detail of children's interactions gets micromanaged by concerned adults, who end up problematizing minute aspects of children's lives, from how they form friendships to what games they play and what songs they sing."
Comments: "I'm confused, is this Sweden or Mao's China?"
"This is not creating equality, this is closing your eyes and declaring the sky is orange because you wish it so"
The urge to avoid stereotypes just means imposing a whole new set of them


Ozy’s Law - "Any theory or ideology that is based on a big and usually bullshit generalization about women invariably carries with it an unspoken corollary: a big and usually bullshit generalization about men. And vice versa. Try this out on some of your favorite misogynist and misandrist tropes, it’s fun. Men are all slobs… women should be keeping house. Women need to cover up their bodies or they deserve to be raped… men are animals who commit immediate rape at the sight of cleavage. Women are all gold-diggers… men are only valuable for their success and money. Women are only valuable for their looks… men are all shallow"

Answer to If a sexist woman could experience what it was like to be a man, what is the most important lesson that she would learn? - Quora - "While we are allowed to publicly insult men, (e.g. Sheryl Sandberg's favorite story about how men are arrogant and always associate their success with their own awesomeness, or Richard Power's social dance class at Stanford, always making everything the men's fault, and taking digs at men for everything and anything that might go wrong during a dance). On the other hand, a man is not allowed to publicly say anything that generalizes woman, or else he'll risk being called sexist. A good example was Harvard's ex-President"

‘Planet of the Apes’ May Be a Classic, But It Was Racist - "One of the astronauts is black, and I guess black folks circa 1968 were supposed to be grateful for that. But there is not one black human in the future Earth. And the setting is what’s left of New York City in the future, mind you. All those black folks in New York today, and NOT ONE survived in the future? Oh, and there are no Latinos or Asians either. Every one of the future humans - the ones who survived - is white. Subliminal wishful thinking on the part of the film’s producers? Or were they just too darned cheap to hire black, Asian or Latino extras for the film?"
Comment: "Now next there's the claim that not having one of the dim whitted animalistic futuristic humans be black is somehow offensive. If Planet of the Apes were a racist movie, I'd expect all of the protohumans to be black. The primitive tribal stereotype is a long standing tradition of racist cinema. The fact that the mindless brutes were Caucasian if anything suggests the film wasn't racist."

Indian skeptic charged with "blasphemy" for revealing secret behind "miracle" of weeping cross - "Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a "miraculous" weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that he retract his statements, and when he refused, they had him arrested for blasphemy"
Just remember: Jesus was crucified because of blasphemy

Metal bands per capita - "Clear dominance in Sweden and Finland"

Maya Pedal - Pedal Powered Machines in Guatemala - "Pedal power can be harnessed for countless applications which would otherwise require electricity (which may not be available) or hand power (which is far more effort). Bicimaquinas are easy and enjoyable to use. They can be built using locally available materials and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of local people. They free the user from rising energy costs, can be used anywhere, are easy to maintain, produce no pollution and provide healthy exercise. We make water pumps, grinders, threshers, tile makers, nut shellers, blenders (for making soaps and shampoos as well as food products), trikes, trailers and more"

The Death of Postmodernism And Beyond - "A far more compelling case can be made that postmodernism is dead by looking outside the academy at current cultural production. Most of the undergraduates who will take ‘Postmodern Fictions’ this year will have been born in 1985 or after, and all but one of the module’s primary texts were written before their lifetime... The only place where the postmodern is extant is in children’s cartoons like Shrek and The Incredibles, as a sop to parents obliged to sit through them with their toddlers. This is the level to which postmodernism has sunk; a source of marginal gags in pop culture aimed at the under-eights... Postmodernism conceived of contemporary culture as a spectacle before which the individual sat powerless, and within which questions of the real were problematised. It therefore emphasised the television or the cinema screen. Its successor, which I will call pseudo-modernism, makes the individual’s action the necessary condition of the cultural product. Pseudo-modernism includes all television or radio programmes or parts of programmes, all ‘texts’, whose content and dynamics are invented or directed by the participating viewer or listener... Where once special effects were supposed to make the impossible appear credible, CGI frequently [inadvertently] works to make the possible look artificial, as in much of Lord of the Rings or Gladiator... The cultural products of pseudo-modernism are also exceptionally banal, as I’ve hinted. The content of pseudo-modern films tends to be solely the acts which beget and which end life"
"Pseudo-modernism" sounds like the complaints people always make about the new

Read the Web - "Can computers learn to read? We think so. "Read the Web" is a research project that attempts to create a computer system that learns over time to read the web. Since January 2010, our computer system called NELL (Never-Ending Language Learner) has been running continuously"

How Recruiters See Your Resume - "In the short time that they spend with your resume, the study showed recruiters will look at your name, current title and company, current position start and end dates, previous title and company, previous position start and end dates, and education. With such critical time constraints, you should make it easier for recruiters to find pertinent information by creating a resume with a clear visual hierarchy and don't include distracting visuals"
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