Wealthy humanities & arts students

Ok, so the humanities and art draw from wealthier student cohorts. How will this shape what knowledge matters in the future?imgres

Money has always given people better options, but for humanities and arts graduate students, money’s now necessary just to get acceptable ones, reports Inside Higher Ed. “Just now becoming noticeable, this “re-gilded ivory tower” looms over a landscape that everyone should consider.

“As one fellow graduate student recently observed, “You have to have a spouse nowadays; that’s how more and more people seem to be doing it.” As is well-known, the economic crash hastened the decline of tenure-track jobs and increased competition for them. Once standard, these stable jobs with adequate salary and benefits have become rarer, displaced by short-term, one- to two-year positions at best, and by piecemeal adjuncting at worst. In turn, entry-level qualifications also rose at some institutions to include a secondary research specialization, at least one article, and attention to pedagogy resulting in the creation of one or more substantive classes, ideally taught at outside institutions. Continue reading “Wealthy humanities & arts students”

Marriage needs recruits

With marriage rates at all time lows, you would think its fans might be looking for new recruits.

But obviously the opposite is happening. As of this year, the largest family demographic in the United States is …  the single person living alone.images

Meanwhile, here is the latest news, as reported by Huffington Post: “It’s no secret that marriage rates have been on the decline for decades — in 2011, just 51 percent of Americans were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. And new research predicts that marriage rates will remain at a historic low in the years ahead.

“Private research company Demographic Intelligence studied the state of marriage in the U.S. and, in an analysis released Monday, predicted that the marriage rate will remain at 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people in 2013, where it’s been since 2009 (compared to 7.3 in 2007).

“Researchers projected that there would be 2.189 million weddings in 2014 and, depending on the economic recovery, 2.208 million in 2015 (up from 2.168 million this year). Demographic Intelligence spokesperson Steve Morales explained to HuffPost Weddings in an email that although more weddings will take place, the overall rate of marriage will remain the same because the “echo boom” generation (grandchildren of baby boomers) is so large. Continue reading “Marriage needs recruits”

Deployment and suicide

The military suicide numbers, from the years 2008 to 2011, upend the popular belief that a large increase in suicides over the last decade stems from the psychological toll of combat and repeated deployments to war, reports today’s Los Angeles Times

“To researchers trying to unravel the causes of the rise, the statistics suggest that the mental health and life circumstances of new recruits are at least as important — and possibly more so — than the pressures of being in the military. It is clear that some enter with a predisposition to suicide and that stressors other than war are pushing them over the edge, experts said.imgres-1

“A lot of the risk for suicide in the military is the stuff they bring with them,” said Dr. Murray Stein, a psychiatrist at UC San Diego who is studying suicide in the Army. Among the unanswered questions: Did the type of people volunteering for service change after 9/11, when going to war — and dying — went from being an abstract possibility to a significant risk? One theory is that more recruits have backgrounds and psychological histories that make them prone to suicide. “Wartime is almost certainly going to be different than peacetime,” said Ronald Kessler, a Harvard sociologist and suicide authority.

“The Times interviewed relatives and friends of five service members who committed suicide without having gone to Afghanistan or Iraq. All were men who married young. In four cases, their relationships were over or crumbling. They struggled with the direction of their lives and joined the military in search of purpose or meaning, their relatives and friends said. And they concealed their psychological problems. Four of the men longed to go to war, and the disappointment of not being sent only heightened a sense of desperation.For Michael Griffin, enlisting in the Army at age 25 was a last-ditch effort to right his life. A former skinhead, he was struggling to find work, and he and his wife had separated. Active-duty military suicides reached a high in 2012, and a significant number of inactive reserve and National Guard troops also took their own lives. Continue reading “Deployment and suicide”

Teaching the civil rights movement

Much has changed in the past 50 years, since the height of the Civil Rights movement. But how do you teach the Civil Rights to kids who haven’t ever experienced it? In Jackson, Miss., Fannie Lou Hamer Institute’s Summer Youth Workshop tackles that question, reports NPR today.imgres

“Take 13-year-old Jermany Gray, for instance. Gray and his fellow students are all African-American, and many of them are from Jackson. They’re familiar with the struggle for civil rights — they read about it in text books and saw it in museum exhibits. But for most, it’s a story that ended long before they were even born. Gray has no problem talking about what the Civil Rights movement was back in the ’60s, but when asked what it means to him these days, the answer doesn’t come as easily.

“What does it mean? I’ll have to think about that question,” he said. “Maybe I can answer that at the end of the week.”That’s the typical challenge, according to Michelle Deardorff who is the chair of political science at Jackson State and who also helped found the Hamer Institute. “The image I give when I talk about this is a tree, and the tree is democracy. And a chain link fence was around it,” said Deardorff, who used the idea of the fence to represent racism and slavery. “And as the tree grew, it grew around the fence. We’ve now pulled the fence out… but the tree is shaped by it forever.” Continue reading “Teaching the civil rights movement”

Separate yet unequal

Higher education is increasing divided by economic class.

It’s been almost 60 years since the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education led to the dismantling of segregated schools in the South, reports Huff Post College.  “While legal segregation was halted, public schools especially in large cities have become increasingly segregated by circumstance. Now higher education is under scrutiny for having established a segregated system, this time primarily by socio-economic status.Unknown

“While undergraduate higher education in the U.S. can be parsed in a variety of ways, the biggest division is between the growing community college segment and that of four year public and private universities and colleges. Surprising to many, community colleges enroll 45% of all undergraduates and that fraction is growing. Moreover, the majority of all black and Latino undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges.

“Compared with students at senior institutions, community college students come from markedly poorer families. The details are documented in new research, Bridging the Higher Education Divide, by The Century Foundation. The report’s conclusion is clear: four year colleges, especially the elite privates, draw primarily from the top income brackets, while community college students come primarily from lower income groups. And since 1982 the gap is widening with fewer community college students coming from the top fourth of the income scale.

“Moreover, community colleges are neglected when it comes to federal and state funding. Thus expenditures by the federal government go primarily to private and public research institutions and state support per student is typically higher at state universities compared with community colleges. Continue reading “Separate yet unequal”

The History of privacy

America’s’s concerns about government intrusion are older than the country itself, says Neil Richards, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.imgres-1

“If you want to talk about privacy, what would be less private than having a platoon of Redcoats living in your house, eating your food, listening to your conversations?” Richards asks. “… In the Constitution itself — the quartering of soldiers, the execution of general warrants — all have to do with the privacy of the home, the privacy of papers. NPR says:

“And though the Constitution doesn’t use the word ‘privacy,’ the separation of individuals and their information and their homes and their persons from the state is a theme that runs throughout the Bill of Rights.”

“Concerns about privacy ballooned again in the camera age. “Privacy as a theme in American law, and really in American public discussion, arose in 1890,” Richards says. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis — just a young lawyer at the time — wrote an article for The Harvard Law Review about the personal intrusions of the new “snap cameras.”

“The history of privacy in the U.S. is closely tied with the history of the press, and by the 1960s, that had become an embattled relationship. The ’60s, Richards says, were a major moment for American privacy, in part because of the growth of “pre-modern computers.” Back then, databases were called “data banks,” and they made people nervous. Continue reading “The History of privacy”

Academic forgiveness

Virtually all universities now allow some form of “academic forgiveness,” allowing students to tinker with their grade point averages. While nearly everyone is familiar withimages-1

grade inflation, fewer know about grade-point-average distortion. This happens when institutions allow students to selectively omit poor grades from their GPAs, thus offering a new, manipulative path to greater retention and graduation rates, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.  “We recently investigated academic policies in eight public institutions across a Southern state, and used this sample to explore how institutional rules play a role in inflating students’ GPAs by creating incentives that undermine students’ work ethic, weaken the comparative value of the GPA, and waste human capital.

“Common academic practices give students opportunities to withdraw from classes without grades, use simple pass/fail grades that don’t count in their GPAs, or repeat courses to replace old grades. What’s new is transferring control over these strategies to students, without much oversight. By selectively employing these registration policies, students are now empowered to overuse academic forgiveness and “manage” their recorded grade-point averages.

“Five percent of the seniors in the study used academic forgiveness policies for 25 to 50 percent of their entire college coursework. Predictably, as GPAs go down, more and more students use these strategies. Over two-thirds of seniors who were in that 5 percent had C-range grades. But overusing second chances is not limited to struggling students. We found that even a few graduating seniors with A-range GPAs used forgiveness policies to keep 20 to 35 percent of their coursework out of their GPAs. Continue reading “Academic forgiveness”

The question of collegiality

Collegiality can be a dirty word in higher education — particularly in regard to tenure or promotion, where it frequently becomes a catchall for likability and other subjective qualities that some faculty advocates say can be used to punish departmental dissenters. But two researchers are trying – through data-based definitions and metrics – to sanitize collegiality enough for it to be a viable, fourth criterion in personnel decisions, reports Inside Higher Education.imgres

“In academic departments, “what we want is productive dissent,” Robert Cipriano, professor emeritus and former chair of the department of recreation of leisure studies at Southern Connecticut State University, and author of Facilitating a Collegial Department in Higher Education: Strategies for Success, said during the American Association of University Professors’ annual meeting Thursday (where their push to formalize the role of collegiality in faculty employment decisions drew some skepticism from the assembled professors). “As passionate as the discussion is, it has to be respectful. You go to lunch and it’s over.” Cipriano and his colleague, Richard Riccardi, director of Southern Connecticut State’s Office of Management Information and Research, have conducted several studies and written numerous articles about how department chairs deal with their jobs, including difficult personalities. Some 83 percent of department chairs in their current, national study of 528 chairs reported having or having had an uncivil or non-collegial professor in their department; in another, earlier study of 451 chairs, 79 percent said they would be in favor of having collegiality as a criterion for tenure and promotion if there was an “objective, validated tool” for assessing collegial behavior.

“Clearly, Riccardi said, collegiality matters — an idea outside research supports. Belonging to a collegial department figured higher in faculty satisfaction than did work and family policies, clear tenure policies and compensation, according to one cited study. Having just one “slacker or jerk” in the group can bring down the team’s overall performance by up to 40 percent, according to another.

“Fostering a culture of productive dissent means first developing operational definitions of collegiality and civility – lest they be subject to the “I know it when I see it” test, coined by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in reference to the hard-core pornography at issue in Jacobellis v. Ohio in 1964, Cipriano joked. As an adjective, “ ‘collegial’ indicates the way a group of colleagues take collective responsibility for their work together with minimal supervision from above.” Civility indicates politeness and courtesy, demonstrated by collaboration, speaking in a professional and respectful manner toward others and “stepping up” when needed, among other similar traits.

“Non-collegial faculty consistently fail to demonstrate these traits, Cipriano said. “It’s not a bad day. It’s consistent behavior, over and over again, when that person is labeled a ‘jerk.’ ” Riccardi said uncivil behavior is on the rise, due to economic uncertainty, the “classic” mandate to do more with less, and less motivated and prepared students.

“Developing definitions is only half the battle, however; they then have to be shared with faculty as expectations in faculty handbooks, collective bargaining agreements and contracts, Cirpriano said. Discussions of collegiality should be proactive, not just reactive or punitive. (Riccardi said that while department chairs is his current study largely reported proactive attempts to curve uncivil or non-collegial behavior, such as contacting the dean (80 percent of those dealing with or who have dealt with uncivil colleagues), provost or human resources, others attempted punitive measures, such as scrutinizing the use of personal or sick days (9 percent) and exclusion from social functions (3 percent).”

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/06/14/collegiality-experts-advocate-its-role-personnel-decisions#ixzz2WMKPAO1U

Redefining success

EVERY day, news releases and books cross my desk that promise success in all sorts of areas — getting a job, getting a better job, managing your employees, managing your boss, managing your relationships. Today’s New York Times ran a piece on a recent event aimed at redefining what REALLY matters:

“Some are interesting, some are ridiculous and many are repetitive takes on the same theme. But recently, I came across two items that, separately, talked about an issue I’ve tackled before in one of my columns — questioning what we actually mean by success. That column, which appeared almost a year ago to the day, discussed how we shouldn’t always aim for the extraordinary, but celebrate the ordinary. It was one of my most popular articles ever.So I was intrigued when I was told that a conference was being held on the very issue of redefining success. And, separately, that American Express had recently released a study showing that Americans were thinking of success in different ways than in the past.

“The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power” was the conference presented last week by Mika Brzezinski, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of the Huffington Post, at Ms. Huffington’s new apartment in TriBeCa (some 200 people squeezed into her living room).Panels, covering topics ranging from “Managing a Frenetic Life” to “Wellness and the Bottom Line,” featured a number of prominent people, among them the actress Candice Bergen and Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama.  Continue reading “Redefining success”

Social Security changes gender identity rules

Today marks an important victory for the transgender community, even though it may appear to be a small paperwork technicality, reports ThinkProgress.org. “The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is now much easier for trans people to change their gender identity on their Social Security records.images-2 All that will now be required, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, is for individuals to submit government-issued documentation reflecting a gender change, or a certification from a physician confirming they have undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.

“This is a significant departure from the previous policy, which required documentation of complete sex reassignment surgery. Many trans people never undergo such procedures, either because they are too expensive, because they do not want to lose their procreative ability, or because it simply isn’t an important change for them to make to find authenticity in their identities. The SSA change eliminates this high standard for trans people to obtain the appropriate documentation for the gender that reflects how they live their daily lives.

“Though Social Security cards do not display gender, the SSA does maintain that information as data, and it can impact other governmental programs. For example, individuals seeking coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, or other public benefits could face complications if their gender markers do not match from form to form and identification to identification. In addition to an invasion of their privacy, the discordance could even lead to a denial of benefits. The new change will eliminate the obstacles trans people can face to access protections they often need because of other forms of discrimination they otherwise experience in society.”


More at: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/06/14/2161991/transgender-social-security/?mobile=nc

Boys with eating disorders

imgres-1Bryan Piperno was just 9 years old when he began keeping his secret. The Simi Valley youngster tossed out lunches or claimed he ate elsewhere. As he grew older, he started purging after eating. Even after his vomiting landed him in the emergency room during college, he lied to hide the truth, reports today’s LA Times.

“Piperno, now 25, slowly fended off his eating disorder with time and care, including a stay in a residential treatment facility. But surveys show a rising number of teenage boys in Los Angeles now struggle with similar problems.

“High school boys in Los Angeles are twice as likely to induce vomiting or use laxatives to control their weight as the national average, with 5.2% of those surveyed saying they had recently done so, according to the most recent survey data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand the Los Angeles Unified School District. They are also more likely to have used diet pills, powders or liquids than boys nationwide.

“The numbers challenge old assumptions that boys are immune to a problem better known to afflict teenage girls. Girls still exceed boys in fasting to lose weight, but the latest data, from 2011, showed that Los Angeles boys were nearly as likely as girls to purge through vomiting or laxatives. They were also as likely as girls to use diet pills, powders or liquids without the advice of a doctor — 6.2% said they recently used such substances, compared with 6.1% of girls. Continue reading “Boys with eating disorders”

New Pew study of LGBT Americans

There is good news, and there is not-so-good news. An overwhelming share of America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults (92%) say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade and an equal number expect it to grow even more accepting in the decade ahead, reports the Pew organization today.  “They attribute the changes to a variety of factors, from people knowing and interacting with someone who is LGBT, to advocacy on their behalf by high-profile public figures, to LGBT adults raising families.images-1

“At the same time, however, a new nationally representative survey of 1,197 LGBT adults offers testimony to the many ways they feel they have been stigmatized by society. About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes. Continue reading “New Pew study of LGBT Americans”

Dystopian secrecy leads to mindless war

The prosecution of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ source inside the U.S. Army, will be pulling out all the stops when it calls to the stand a member of Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit that assassinated Osama bin Laden – writes Chase Madar in today’s edition of Le Monde:imgres ” The SEAL (in partial disguise, as his identity is secret) is expected to tell the military judge that classified documents leaked by Manning to WikiLeaks were found on bin Laden’s laptop. That will, in turn, be offered as proof not that bin Laden had internet access like two billion other earthlings, but that Manning has “aided the enemy,” a capital offense.

“Think of it as courtroom cartoon theater: the heroic slayer of the jihadi super-villain testifying against the ultimate bad soldier, a five-foot-two-inch gay man facing 22 charges in military court and accused of the biggest security breach in U.S. history.

“But let’s be clear on one thing: Manning, the young Army intelligence analyst who leaked thousands of public documents and passed them on to WikiLeaks, has done far more for U.S. national security than SEAL Team 6. Continue reading “Dystopian secrecy leads to mindless war”

Transgender employment remains unprotected

The are only 16 states where one can’t be fired for being transgender.

In the modern era of LGBT civil rights, transgender inclusion in employment nondiscrimination bills has been the proverbial elephant in the room, writes  Brynn Tannehill in Huffington Post: “The subject drove a deep wedge between the transgender community and the LGB community in 2007, when the Employment Non-images-2

Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill was stripped of gender identity language in order to get it to the floor for a vote. Proposed ENDA bills since then have included gender identity but have not had the support necessary to make it to a vote in the House or Senate.

“There has been some progress in the past decade for transgender people in the workplace. In 2002 only 5 percent of the companies that participated in the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI) had gender identity included in their corporate equal opportunity statement. By 2013 it has risen to 84 percent. Since 2002 a host of legal cases have begun to clearly establish that discriminating against transgender people falls under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex. Smith v. City of SalemBarnes v. City of CincinnatiSchroerer v. Library of Congress and Macy v. Holder have more or less established this as the dominant narrative in case law. Glenn v. Brumby took it a step further, with the 11th Circuit ruling that the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment also applies.

“Those who oppose ENDA or oppose transgender inclusion in it for political purposes ask why we need it when it seems like the transgender community has all these things going for it as it is. The short answer is that we desperately need it because what we have in place is not preventing massive and widespread discrimination against transgender people.

” Transgender people are more than twice as likely to hold advanced degrees as the general population. They’re 50-percent more likely to hold an undergraduate degree. And they’re also making far, far less money than the rest of the population. The same study also revealed that the transgender unemployment rate is twice the national average

“Better-educated but making much less? It is not supposed to work like that. Statistically, there is usually a strong correlation between education and income level, but not for transgender people. The system is broken, and Occam’s razor tells us that the answer is likely what we would expect: Bias against transgender people prevents us from getting jobs, gets us laid off when we transition and keeps us from being paid our fair market value.”


More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/why-enda-matters-to-the-trans-community_b_3223419.html

Nothing to hide, eh?

When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they’re not worried. “I’ve got nothing to hide,” they declare. “Only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don’t deserve to keep it private.”

The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy, says privacy expert Daniel J. Solove in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education: “The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the “most common retort against privacy advocates.” The legal scholar Geoffrey Stone refers to it as an “all-too-common refrain.” In its most compelling form, it is an argument that the privacy interest is generally minimal, thus making the contest with security concerns a foreordained victory for security.


“The nothing-to-hide argument is everywhere. In Britain, for example, the government has installed millions of public-surveillance cameras in cities and towns, which are watched by officials via closed-circuit television. In a campaign slogan for the program, the government declares: “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.” Variations of nothing-to-hide arguments frequently appear in blogs, letters to the editor, television news interviews, and other forums. One blogger in the United States, in reference to profiling people for national-security purposes, declares: “I don’t mind people wanting to find out things about me, I’ve got nothing to hide! Which is why I support [the government’s] efforts to find terrorists by monitoring our phone calls!” Continue reading “Nothing to hide, eh?”

Gender and toys: the bad news

“Women today may feel they have come a long way since the inequality of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. But the shelves of many toy shops paint a very different story, says today’s Daily Mail


“Where once toys may have been marketed in neutral colours to target both boys and girls, now they are much more likely to be gender stereotyped – blue for boys and pink for girls. The issue has been highlighted by campaign group Let Toys Be Toys, who recently shared a picture comparing the toys on sale in Argos in the Seventies to today on their Twitter feed.

“While decades ago toy pushchairs, prams and household equipment like play ovens came in whites, reds and blues – aimed at both genders – today the majority are all pink. And while the items above aimed at girls relate to being domesticated, in contrast boys today are encouraged to play with science sets, cars and action heroes. Let Toys Be Toys, set up by a group of British parents last November, are calling for this to change. They are petitioning retailers to stop segregating their products ‘for boys’ and ‘for girls’.One of the campaign’s founders, Tricia Lowther, 44, a self-employed copywriter from Durham, who has a five-year-old daughter, told the MailOnline: ‘It does bother a lot of parents, we seem to have tapped in to a huge and growing sense of frustration with the way toys are promoted according to outdated, illogical and sexist stereotypes. Continue reading “Gender and toys: the bad news”

“E-cigarettes” are sublime?

There are lots of reasons people smoke less today. Health is one. Stigma is another.  For some time smoking has lost it’s rebellious allure.

But addictions persist, legal and illegal ones, especially if a multi-billion industries benefit from them. Enter the e-cigarette.

Altria Group rolls out its plans to get into the electronic cigarette market today, and Facebook investor Sean Parker just invested $75 million in e-cigarette giant NJOY. No doubt about it, the e-cigarette market is on fire, reports Marketplace.org.

imgres“At a bar in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, 32-year-old Andy Lee takes a drag from a Puf brand e-cigarette. He started smoking them about six months ago. “I wanted to quit smoking, and I wasn’t ready to do it cold turkey,” says Lee. “Unlike other forms, like the patch or the gum, e-cigarettes still let me have the feeling like I’m smoking.”

“E-cigarettes contain liquid nicotine that turns into a vapor smokers inhale. Lee says e-cigarettes are sold pretty much everywhere now, and a lot of people he knows are starting to buy them.”My friends are slowly ditching regular cigarettes for e-cigarettes,”  he says.   Continue reading ““E-cigarettes” are sublime?”

Oh no! Changing Siri’s voice?

Some of have gotten quite fond of Siri. You know what we mean.  Her wit and sensitivity. The ways she remembers things about you others forget. That certain sound of her voice. Now Apple has decided to to change her.


“Today Apple unveiled a new look for Siri that came with new voice options, actions, and some hot integration, including in-car options and music streaming, reports C/NET.

“The voice command technology has new voices, female and male — also available in French and German. Siri’s display includes a new look that shows a sound wave at the bottom while its detecting a user’s voice and full-screen results.

“Users can instruct Siri to complete functions like “turn off my Bluetooth,” or “increase my brightness,” according to software VP Eddy Cue. The digital assistant also has a slew of new integrations. These included Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing search results, as well ascar integration with maps, music playback, and iMessage. But the highlight of Cue’s presentation was Apple’s long-awaited music streaming service, iTunes Radio.

“Apple highlighted Siri as part of its iOS 7 showcase, iOS’s biggest refresh yet.”


More at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57588315-37/apples-siri-gets-new-voices-display-and-actions/

Men’s underpants create art controversy

In a world where shorts are getting shorter, advertisements are getting racier, and pornography is just a few clicks away, the mere sight of a pair of men’s briefs isn’t usually controversial, reports the Tornoto Star

“A Queen’s University fine arts student found out that men’s underthings are apparently still too titillating to be put on display. At the end of April, David Woodward agreed to show his art at a university donor appreciation event. He said the event’s organizers gave him guidelines on the size of the work and how it was to be presented, but not on what the actual art could or could not consist of.images

“Woodward chose to display his project titled “All I Am is What I’ve Felt,” which consists of 10 pairs of men’s underwear embroidered with images, text or both, that are tacked onto a wall or a white board. The work is an examination of gender, sexuality and intimacy, he says.

“The 22-year-old student, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts this month, said he chose to show that project because it was his final thesis work for the program, he believed it would inspire discussion, and because he is proud of it. Continue reading “Men’s underpants create art controversy”

Considering the Equal Pay Act in 2013

Anyone following conservative media this past week has heard arguments against the need for the Equal Pay Act, signed into law by President John F Kennedy 50 years ago. A thoughtful images-1

piece appeared on NPR.org today digging a bit deeper into these disputes, as well as both the immediate and less-than-obvious state of the very real gender gap in remuneration these days.

” Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in an effort to abolish wage discrimination based on gender. Half a century later, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, designed to make wage differences more transparent. Some dispute the frequently cited figure that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But even those who argue the gap is narrower agree it’s most prominent when a woman enters her childbearing years.

“In 2010, an analytics firm called Reach Advisors crunched Census Bureau numbers and found something surprising: The median salary of single, childless women under the age of 30 was 8 percent higher than their male counterparts. That’s largely because more women are going to college than men. What made that number noteworthy is that it’s the only group of women who have a pay advantage. In fact, different numbers from Reach Advisors show that that early advantage vaporizes later in women’s lives — especially if they have children. Continue reading “Considering the Equal Pay Act in 2013”