Best Of The Web
“My mother was someone who made do in a world that didn’t fully account for her body. Born with bilateral clubfoot in 1940, she was not expected to walk. One of her earliest memories was of being carried by her father on to the bus, her plaster leg casts heavy from soaking in the bathtub the night before so that the doctor could remove them. After numerous childhood surgeries that rearranged the bones in her feet, my mother was able to walk, but everyone – including her – expected that she’d use a wheelchair by the time she was 30. Her toes were permanently curled under her feet, her heels didn’t touch the ground, and her calf muscles remained underdeveloped. She would never be spry, and shoes and socks would never fit quite right. I never saw her run.
But my mother didn’t use a wheelchair and, perhaps for that reason, never referred to herself as handicapped nor to her disability as a disability, not even late in her life when disability became more openly discussed. Instead, as disabled people have done throughout history, she navigated the designed world as best she could.
‘There is no design-free world,’ writes Iris Bohnet, a behavioural economist at Harvard, in her book What Works: Gender Equality by Design (2016). The material world in which individuals engage every day is shaped and reshaped through design – for better or worse. When entering a space, people have long been expected not only to compensate for but also to overcome their disabilities. But sometimes, no amount of ingenuity can overcome the mismatch between a given individual and a given space – and then, exclusion is the result.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"With many other countries already studying the Asian playbook, the United States and Europe could benefit from doing the same."
"Trump's cursing is one of the most straightforward parts of his appeal... Trump is not the only politician whose profanity has stood him in good stead."
"‘If we get all of this because Netanyahu wants to make Trump happy, that’s fine with us,’ says local council rep in Golan Heights as plans ramp up for ‘new’ neighborhood honoring U.S. president..."
"...there is something worth paying attention to in this latest petition from fans keen to have a creative work made the way that they want it. The comments on the petition are instructive."
"The sunny job numbers and steady growth hide the fact that most people think the economy works only for people in power."
"Like many other Americans, I now wear AirPods all day at my desk to combat the awful tyranny of the open office. Since they don’t cancel noise, they provide me with writing music..."
"The logic of attributing mental states to nonhuman animals is complicated. We cannot use deductive inference, because there are no general rules..."
"As the canon of English literature slowly, gradually opens itself up to books by women and authors of color, Modern Library and Penguin Classics have just launched two new series..."
"Egalitarian couples assume their progressive ideology will carry the day. Sociologists know that it doesn’t.... sharing child care is associated with valuing gender equality..."
"Business Booms for Sephardic Food: Women are leading the way as small businesses bring traditional recipes to the commercial marketplace..."
"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."
"Now some 200,000 Jews live in Germany, a nation of 82 million people, and many are increasingly fearful.... 85 percent of respondents in Germany characterized anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem..."