Feminism, Kick-Ass Women, Science, Sexism

What does having a period have to do with data?

In an observation that foreshadows 20th century feminist theory, Jacobi noted that men’s bodies were treated as if their reproductive health and sexual expression were, within wide parameters, neutral to the point of being “unsexed.” By contrast, women’s reproductive systems were treated as if in every case they were complicated, fragile, finicky, and liable to deteriorate at any moment. In other words, women were marked by their biology. Women had a biological sex that must be monitored and coddled. Men, by contrast, were practically without biological sex. Men were generically human, in need of no special consideration. Men simply…were.

In 1873, during Jacobi’s first year as a professor at the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, Harvard physician Edward H. Clarke published a book that set off a transatlantic debate about women’s abilities to handle advanced education. In Sex in Education; or, A Fair Chance for the Girls, Clarke argued that subjecting women to higher education—especially in programs where women would be educated alongside men—would place such an undue burden on women’s physiology that they would become gravely ill, even to the point of lifelong sterility.

Jacobi’s response to this argument was to make the study of menstruation one of her first major research projects as a professor. Jacobi’s  goal was clear and explicit: to disprove the idea that menstruation was a debilitating condition for women.

Not only was this research goal radical in its own right, but so too were the tools that Jacobi used to achieve it: quantitative data collection and statistical analysis.

Read on: The History of Data is the History of Labor

Politics, The Commons

Net Neutrality Fight Continues

I cannot believe we are still fighting this bullshit. I wrote this eleven years ago on May 12, 2006 on my now-shuttered blog, Blue Lyon.

The telecoms want to create a tiered Internet where web page owners who can pay for speed will get faster loading pages, etc. Right now the Internet works much the same way that phone service works. We all pay our monthly charges and we all get the same service. You pick up the phone, dial the number, and voila! your call goes through at the same speed as George Bush’s or Paris Hilton’s. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you are calling.

Currently the same sort of system applies for web hosting. When we pay our monthly web hosting fee, it doesn’t matter who we are, what the content is on our pages or anything. My web page doesn’t load faster than Amazon.com’s, nor does their web site load faster than mine. Both load at the same speed. But, if the telecoms have their way, not only will we be paying for access to the web, owners of web site will ALSO be required to pay fees that will allow their pages to load quickly. If they can’t afford it, too bad. Their sites will be choked off. Even the big names on the Internet (Amazon.com, Google, etc) are against this, yet, it appears that our Congress Critters are in bed with the Telecoms. Click on the ad to the right. Learn more. Sign the petition to protect Net Neutrality, call your legislators.

July 12, 2017: DAY OF ACTION: SEN. WYDEN LEADS THE BATTLE FOR NET NEUTRALITY (Wired)

Without net neutrality rules, internet service providers ranging from home broadband companies like Comcast to wireless data providers like Verizon would be free to slow video streams, charge you extra to access particular content, or outright block you from visiting sites. Net neutrality advocates worry that this would be a huge blow to free expression online, as well as hamper innovation as smaller companies might have to shell out to large telcos to get their content seen by the public. Wyden echoes those concerns, and especially worries about the impact on small businesses in his state.

The FCC passed the current incarnation of its rules in early 2015, and it was immediately sued by the broadband industry. These days, the industry says it doesn’t mind net neutrality in and of itself, but opposes the part of the FCC’s Open Internet Order that reclassifies internet service providers as “Title II” common carriers, which means they’re regulated more like traditional telephone service providers.

The trouble with the industry’s argument is that thanks to a lawsuit that Verizon won against the FCC in 2014, the agency can’t enforce net neutrality rules without Title II reclassification. “It is the teeth behind the concept,” Wyden says. “And without it the companies aren’t going to do it. We’ve seen them use the legal process previously with court cases to try to get around what net neutrality is all about.”

Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Sexism

Tweets

My photography is taking a backseat to my activism…at least for now. But I think I can squeeze in some writing. Twitter only gets you so far.

 Today’s media pile-on of HRC reminds me again of how her supporters were never allowed our grief. And we never will be.

It will always fall on us to be like her. Stoic in our grief, and careful of everyone’s feeling but our own.

We must forever extend the hand to our enemies and detractors, and must never, ever note how our hands are slapped away time & again.

Our grief and rage are of no consequence to those outside our circle. Our existence isn’t even a blip on the media’s radar.

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Inspiration, Quotes, Uncategorized

Some Thoughts to Ponder

“We all like to think we’re right about what we believe about ourselves and what we often believe are only the best, most moral things. We like to pretend that our generous impulses come naturally. But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be selfish assholes first.” ~ Cheryl Strayed,  Brave Enough

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” ~ Jesus, Matthew 7:33

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” ~ E. O. Wilson