Day: August 16, 2019

BBC approach to gender-segregated events differs with location

BBC Watch

On August 12th a report titled “The Kenyan dance parties where men are banned” appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Africa’ page.

Readers of that sympathetic report were told that:

“The team behind a new event in Nairobi argues all-women’s dance parties can create safe nightlife spaces for women. […]

“You have to be so strict in a place with men. You just want to go out with your friends and men interfere,” says Jane, 26, who’s come to the party with her best friend Shani.

“So having a space where it’s all women immediately feels safe and you feel you are with people who understand you.””

And:

“Munira, 22 and Khadija, 25 are best friends. As practising Muslims, they often find themselves with minimal options when it comes to night life.

They say that, although women from all faiths attend the all-women parties, they particularly suit…

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scholar-activism: a gentle critique

orgtheory.net

This week, I was asked to participate in a panel at ASA about scholar-activism. The panel was organized by Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra with panelists Daniel Laurison, Philip Cohen and ASA’s Margaret Vitullo. The whole panel was fascinating. Before we get to what I said, I just want to affirm the following so that people on don’t misconstrue what I said:

  • I believe that activism is valuable.
  • I believe that many scholars are great activists.
  • I believe that it would be very good if social scientists contribute to the public.
  • There are many excellent sociologists whose work has public impact.

So, then, what’s my beef? I have three points:

Scholar-activism can cheapen activism: This happens in a few ways. For example, some people might say, “everything we do is activism.” Or, people who aren’t activist are implicit activists because they reinforce the status-quo. With respect to scholars of color, some might…

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August 15, 1971: Unhappy Anniversary (Update)

Uneasy Money

[Update 8/15/2019: It seems appropriate to republish this post originally published about 40 days after I started blogging. I have made a few small changes and inserted a few comments to reflect my improved understanding of certain concepts like “sterilization” that I was uncritically accepting. I actually have learned a thing or two in the eight plus years that I’ve been blogging. I am grateful to all my readers — both those who agreed and those who disagreed — for challenging me and inspiring me to keep thinking critically. It wasn’t easy, but we did survive August 15, 1971. Let’s hope we survive August 15, 2019.]

August 15, 1971 may not exactly be a day that will live in infamy, but it is hardly a day to celebrate 40 years later.  It was the day on which one of the most cynical Presidents in American history committed one of his…

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