Best Of The Web
“It has been a year of math. How many less-famous women equal one famous man? How many female words of accusation equal how many male words of denial? How many reported articles does it take to topple one network executive? How many women’s careers derailed add up to nine months of a man’s professional banishment? How many credible allegations of sexual harassment and assault render a Presidential candidate unelectable? (Answer: some number greater than twenty.) #MeToo has made us all into algebra students, solving and re-solving for x and y.
There is something almost cathartic about turning into a number, about seeing your value, or lack thereof, confirmed with frankness and neutrality. Math is the enemy of gray areas. Math is pay inequalities and rape statistics. The literal meaning and the enthralling promise of the phrase “held to account” is that one might open the books and force a settlement.
In the arts, too, gendered power analyses often manifest as quantification: How many male writers do we read versus how many female? How many books by men versus women earn reviews in how many magazines, and how many awards do the books receive, and what are the gender compositions of the judging committees? The understanding is that decisions about who gets noticed and praised have implications for what kinds of viewpoints and behaviors are enshrined as valid. In May, the author Lauren Groff submitted a “By the Book” interview to the Times that functioned as a rebuke to previous iterations of the column, in which prominent men of letters frequently proved themselves unable to name any female literary influences on their work. (A subsequent analysis found that, in the hundred most recent “By the Book” ’s, half of the fifty-four male authors featured did not mention a single woman.) “Why does it almost always seem as though they have only read one or two women in their lives?” Groff asked, after outlining a remedial, all-female syllabus. Her critique energized a hashtag, #ReadMoreWomen, that had emerged in March, along with a no-men-allowed book club run by the Web site Electric Literature. Implicit in these salvos was the notion that the ledgers need rebalancing—that until parity is achieved, the number of male-authored stories that anyone should consume is zero.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"You are being watched. Right now, cookies are tracking which websites you visit and what you click on while you’re there. Your smartphone is logging your location."
"The US placed sanctions on 17 Saudis on Thursday as punishment for their alleged involvement in the murder of Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi... according to experts, the move doesn’t go far enough to reprimand the kingdom."
"If the slow-motion crisis that is Gaza ever has a turning point, then this week’s deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, or what’s left of it, and Hamas leaders, under siege, is what the turning would look like."
"Nicholas Parisi's new biography, 'Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination,' fails to present a complete picture of the legendary screenwriter who did his best work outside the TV show that made him famous."
"Nearly a year after the tax cut, economic growth has accelerated. Wage growth has not. Companies are buying back stock and business investment is a mixed bag."
"By shifting accents, Australian expatriates are seen to be shifting class and status, indicating a sense of superiority to those who remain in Australia. The quickly acquired faux-British accent in particular has been associated with pretension..."
"Denim, usually in the form of the humble pair of jeans, is arguably the world’s most popular fabric. Over the years, it’s been worn by everyone from supermodels to soccer moms."
"Capitalism disadvantages women along several axes. The dawn of the industrial revolution enshrined a division of labor that largely confined them to the domestic sphere."
"In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults."
"Are these business owners trying to keep out certain customers? What about children? Or people who are paid in cash, or others who, for whatever reason, can’t or won’t open a bank account..."
"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."
"...the more modern form of the movement has its roots in late 19th-century Europe... The sole focus of some missions based in England and the U.S. was the conversion of the Jews to Christianity..."