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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Links - 19th February 2018 (2)

Oh change, how will it come? | Tan Tarn How Too - "Singapore had become even less liberal in the last three, four years. The question is whether there is hope for the future and where that will come from. First, the tightening of space in politics, the media, the arts, and academia since about 2013. After the 2011 general election shock, there was a brief desperate experiment by the government to free up. That only led to more dissent as naysayers with becoming emboldened. Government, either as a whole or individual ministers, saw that this was not helping them politically (never mind the question of whether more diversity is better for the country). How tiresome and tiring all that accountability and explaining and answering! A crackdown followed about two years later. The early casualties include Alex Au and Roy Ngerng. Even people ostensibly on their side who dared to voice different opinions were publicly censured in ways that have not been used since the mid 1990s. Understandably and as intended, a chilling effect ensued. The proverbial monkeys have been frightened. In academia, there is the case of Cherian George. Donald Low is a recent case... The above are only the public manifestations of a wider set of actions. Activists and artists have been denied work in academia. Arts groups who do “difficult” work are closely monitored, artists censored behind the scenes. Dissenters in the mainstream media newsrooms have been purged. Atomised, the actors struggle on on their own. As one of us said yesterday, “They don’t even bother with the wayang anymore.” The regression to a stricter past is made possible by the big majority of the population who don’t care for more than their own livelihood and having a good time, people who are happy that non-political individual freedom has increased (you have choice on how you live, whether hippy, homosexual or any other “alternative”) and who don’t see the roll-back elsewhere... activists and artists are speaking to the converted. The general elections are the ultimate end game for the government. Hence what it is afraid of is numbers. Change would only come if enough people say ‘No, this is no good.” (This is where the liberals have to learn from the much more effective Christian right)."

China's Latest Crackdown on Message Groups Chills WeChat Users - "Regulations released Sept. 7 made creators of online groups responsible for managing information within their forums and the behavior of members... Qiao Mu, a former journalism professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University who recently emigrated to the U.S., had four personal WeChat accounts and 16 public ones deleted without his consent... While virtual private networks can provide access to blocked messaging services such as Line and Telegram, the country is zeroing in such services. Apple Inc. is removing many VPNs from its Chinese app store to comply with local rules."

Social Media Flips Out Over ‘Racist’ Dove Commercial - "the commercial in its entirety — though brief — isn’t what’s being shared on social media. Instead, a side-by-side photo of the African-American woman changing into the white woman is what’s making the rounds... Dove has even issued an apology"

Dove's 'racist' ad and others that have got it wrong - "In 2011, British chocolate brand Cadbury ran an ad comparing its Dairy Milk candy bar to supermodel Naomi Campbell. "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town," the headline said, next to a Dairy Milk Bliss bar. Campbell complained that it was racist, saying: "It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful"... When Sony introduced its PlayStation Portable (PSP) console in different colors back in 2006 it decided to use a poster featuring two women to advertise the launch. A white woman with an aggressive expression held the face of a black woman, and the line "PlayStation Portable White is coming" featured. The ad was deemed racist.... [Benetton] has not shied away from featuring different skin tones in ads: a 1989 poster featured a black woman breastfeeding a white baby. But it caused uproar in the U.S. and had to be withdrawn... Nicofresh created a campaign showing a young black man embracing an older white woman, with the line: "No tobacco. No taboo."The poster ran in Belfast, Northern Ireland but was banned by the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority because it said consumers would believe that the ad presented mixed-race and age relationships as socially unacceptable."
Looks like Diversity is a losing proposition

No, having an Asian woman in the Dove ad does not make it less racist - "Intent isn't always important when it comes to racism. The advert is not “active” racism – i.e the black woman in it isn’t being literally harmed because of her skin colour, and the explicit goal of the advert is not to maintain the system of racism. But it is definitely “passive” racism, an action which contributes to the maintenance of racism, “without openly advocating violence or oppression”. Even including an Asian women in the video does not counter the fact that the deep-rooted, beauty industry-led systems which negatively position black women are at play. For years and years, black women have been told our skin colour is unclean, dirty, something to be fixed. A solvable problem. It could be predicted that black women watching the advert would pick up an insinuation that by using Dove’s shower gel product you can “rectify” your skintone. The Asian woman is, of course, much fairer than the black model at the start of the advert. That message of going from dark to light, from unclean to clean still feels like the subconscious message"
If there are no black people in ads, then people can't read racism into them

I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim | Lola Ogunyemi - "[Dove] could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased."

Swedish lawyer says most rapists she sees are foreign - "Elizabeth Massi Fritz, a legal expert from Stockholm, has now called on the government to 'lift the lid' on the problem. Ms Fritz claims she tried to get hold of statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention to back up her observations, but was told those numbers are not kept."

It's Confirmed: Women are Higher Beings
Basit Saeed: "Feminists: feminism is all about equality of the sexes. It is quite sexist to state that one gender is superior than the other.
Also feminists: women are superior and shizz.

Gay man sexually assaulted by drunk woman in Glasgow - "A gay man has revealed how he was driven to the brink of suicide and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a vile sex attack... 'The punishment was ridiculous. I've been told if it was man who did that to a woman, the sentence would be five years in prison', he said."

Can crows be trained to collect cigarette butts?

Icelandic Pirate Party MP forced to wear eyepatch - "A member of parliament from the Pirate Party in Iceland was forced to wear an eyepatch for a television appearance following a bizarre household accident."

No Driving Directions: Google, South Korean Can’t Reach Map Deal - "South Korea, facing the overt threat of rival North Korea, bars exporting local mapping data to foreign companies that do not operate domestic data servers. Google handles its maps service at data centers outside South Korea. The restrictions have limited the usefulness of Google Maps within South Korea, since the app cannot offer driving or walking directions... The long-time deliberation reflects growing support for Google within some government ministries that are trying to promote tourism and local firms’ overseas businesses. One of the biggest inconveniences that foreign tourists run into in South Korea, which has some of the fastest and cheapest internet access in the world, is the lack of an online mapping service with navigation and directions in foreign languages."

Khir Johari - NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HOKKIEN IS.....IN HOKKIEN PROVINCE... - "“Do you speak Hokkien?” You can ask that, but no one in Fujian (or Hokkien) province will be able to answer you. Instead, you will get puzzled looks, for there is no such thing as a “Hokkien” dialect in Hokkien province. If you are in the capital of Fujian, Fuzhou, they speak the Fuzhou dialect (variously referred to also as “Hockchew” or the Min-dong dialect). So almost no one in the capital of Fujian speaks Hokkien."

Overweight officer who quit over 'bleep test' loses case - "An overweight policewoman known as 'Blue Moon' because she was in work so rarely who quit after failing fitness 'bleep tests' lost her discrimination case today."

Grounded private jet for hire helps Russians fake lavish lifestyles on Instagram - "American rapper Bow was caught out flying on a commercial flight on the same day he posted a photo of a private jet on Instagram."

Rat Massages Get the Golden Goose - "Scientists who brushed the backs of baby rats nearly 40 years ago are among the winners of this year’s Golden Goose Awards. Their work led to the finding that massage could promote the survival and growth of premature human infants"

KASSAM: European Terror at 'Epidemic Levels', Leaders Must 'Get Real' After Barcelona - "Mr. Mauro had told of a leaked Spanish intelligence report from 2011, warning of “parallel societies” in Spain because of “foreign funded radical Islam” he said, and the existence of 100 mosques with radical imams preaching hate."

Peeling away S'pore's class layers - "the working, middle and upper classes tended to have distinct attitudes, but it was harder to discern trends across races and age groups. By class, Prof Tan means income as well as the socioeconomic group someone thinks they are part of. By and large, there is a big overlap - most middle-income people think they are part of the middle class, for instance... To help those in the working class who have neither a rich-family background nor connections, NUS sociologist Vincent Chua suggests promoting relations between classes as actively as relations between ethnic groups... THE upper and middle classes felt more politically alienated than their working-class counterparts, with those earning $8,000 per household or more a month being the most dissatisfied... seniors who do not have enough to live on also tend to have poor relationships with their children, who may themselves be poor as well... Prof Tan Ern Ser suggests public campaigns that emphasise love, to encourage family members to support each other: "When love prevails, filial piety becomes a by-product of love.""

The Rock Test: A Hack for Men Who Don’t Want To Be Accused of Sexual Harassment - "Treat all women like you would treat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson."
Comments: "The problem with this ‘article’, besides it being condescending and demeaning is it ignores the fact many women don’t want to shut off men they’re interested in — only men they’re not interested in. Behavior that nets the wrong man a harassment charge nets the right man a date. As long as men and women choose mates, there will be problems of when it’s okay or who’s okay. I’ve watched a room full of women ogle and giggle and flirt with — and even touch — a good looking UPS driver!"
"Terry Crews , a man of about the same build and power as the Rock, revealed today via twitter that he was recently a victim of sexual assault by a powerful male industry executive and that, like Weinstein’s victims, like many victims of sexual assault, kept silent in fear of being blamed, mocked, disbelieved. In other words: your entire premise is shit and offensive."
"talking to men like they’re imbeciles is condescending at best. You don’t win men over to your cause by treating them like they’re stupid. In just the same way as men shouldn't do the same to women — they’d get blasted for it if they did."
"So basically it all falls on the man, because women never do anything wrong
Great article very unbiased thanks"
"declining all invitations and shunning women altogether seems like an easier solution, and this condescending tripe sure helps incentivize that"
"Cool, thanks for the insight. Then dirty jokes and stupid guy jokes are in play. Awesome. I was worried about some of the penis jokes i have but fortunately for me, I’m not talking to a female co-worker, I’m talking to The Rock….haha the Rock, I’m starting there…."
"Well, given the size of the bloke, the way I would treat him is to stay as far away from him as possible out of fear of him beating the snot out of me the moment I disagree with him. Much like more and more men are avoiding women out of fear of them setting the legal system on them they moment they disagree with them."

The Causal Effects of Father Absence - "The literature on father absence is frequently criticized for its use of cross-sectional data and methods that fail to take account of possible omitted variable bias and reverse causality. We review studies that have responded to this critique by employing a variety of innovative research designs to identify the causal effect of father absence, including studies using lagged dependent variable models, growth curve models, individual fixed effects models, sibling fixed effects models, natural experiments, and propensity score matching models. Our assessment is that studies using more rigorous designs continue to find negative effects of father absence on offspring well-being, although the magnitude of these effects is smaller than what is found using traditional cross-sectional designs. The evidence is strongest and most consistent for outcomes such as high school graduation, children’s social-emotional adjustment, and adult mental health."

Consent: it’s a piece of cake - "Rule of thumb: If we’re told that an issue widely viewed as complicated is actually incredibly simple… it’s probably not that simple... uppose your friend says, ‘Oh come on, just one slice. It’s really delicious!’ And you say, ‘okay, sure’. Or maybe you keep saying, ‘No, I really don’t feel like it’, and your friend keeps pushing, coaxing and wheedling you until you finally say yes. Maybe she uses guilt: she slaved for hours baking that cake just for you, or made the rounds of a dozen bakeries trying to find the perfect cake! Maybe she tells you you’ve ruined her whole evening, or just sulks and pouts visibly. Finally, you agree to eat the damn cake just to get her off your back. And maybe then she badgers you into having another slice. Or two. Is your friend being obnoxious? Sure. No one would blame you if you weren’t in a rush to visit that friend again, or complained to mutual friends about how annoying her behaviour was. On the other hand, if you suddenly decided that what your friend did was no different from grabbing you by the nose and forcefeeding you cake when you opened your mouth to breathe, or forcing you to eat the cake at knifepoint… well, your mutual friends would be likely to think there was something wrong with you. And if you walked into a police station with a story about being guilt-tripped or pestered into unwanted cake-eating, they’d laugh in your face and probably tell you off for wasting valuable police time. When it comes to sexual assault, though, respectable mainstream studies are increasingly relying on definitions that include ‘arguing and pressuring the victim’ into unwanted sex, or ‘using guilt’. On college campuses, there are educational posters asserting that ‘if you have to convince them, it’s not consent’ (obviously, someone doesn’t get the dictionary meaning of ‘convince’!), and ‘if they don’t feel free to say no, it’s not consent’. In the media, we have rape narratives that boil down to ‘I kept saying no but he kept trying until I went along with it’. And then, of course, there’s the alcohol issue. We can all agree that if you’re passed out or semi-conscious and someone shoves cake in your mouth, that’s assault. But let’s say you have a little too much to drink while at your friend’s place and then you polish off one slice of cake after another. Then a few days later you get on the scale and don’t like what you see. You may be annoyed at yourself for eating all that cake. Maybe you’re also annoyed at your friend because she kept offering you more cake. But are you going to have a sudden epiphany that you were actually forcefed the cake because you were drunk and in no state to make an informed, sober decision to eat it? No, you’re not, and your diet counsellor isn’t going to suggest such a thing, either."
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