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Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 15, 2018 10:15PM

... created by the Liberals


Yeah, if a woman is overweight, she's a victim of fat shaming, racism, genderism, sexism, classism, thin privilege - it's all our fault, we are to blame.

So fatness is a Social Justice Issue.

'Fat Studies' course deems 'weightism' a 'social justice issue'


Oregon State University will offer a spring course on “fat studies” in order to teach students how “weight-based oppression” is a “social justice issue.”

According to a syllabus for the course obtained by Campus Reform, students will examine “body weight, shape, and size as an area of human difference subject to privilege and discrimination that intersects with other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and ability.”

[RELATED: UW program explores dangers of masculinity]

“Indeed, as the ‘War on Obesity’ has escalated, so has weight-based bias and discrimination,” Lou-Watkins adds, noting that “weight bias is particularly evident among healthcare professionals, compromising the well-being of their patients.”

“I grew to embrace feminist pedagogy in terms of course content as well as classroom practices,” she explains. “My course now frames body image disturbances more as a function of oppressive societal structures than of individual pathology."

Indeed, students enrolled in her spring Fat Studies course will be presented with opportunities to explore “forms of activism used to counter weightism perpetuated throughout various societal institutions.”

The three-credit course, however, is not the only of its kind at OSU, with another class called “Women, Weight, and Body Image” similarly examining “weightism as a system of oppression that interacts with other systems of oppression” such as “sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and ageism.”


'Fat studies' embrace diversity and take on the biases of being overweight


Now, however, academia is here to help counter the fat-shaming. A growing number of schools are adding “fat studies” to their curricula, including Dickinson College, Tufts University and Oregon State. The latest: Portland State University in Oregon, which for spring semester added “Every Body Matters – Embracing Size and Diversity.”

“I (wanted to) focus on fatness as a social and cultural construction, examining the relationship between discrimination caused by body size and gender, race, and social class,” says Lindsey Schuhmacher, instructor of the course at Portland State. “Students use social justice and health care perspectives to question weight bias and explore ways in which the fat community and its supporters resist sizeism.”


Within the last two years, Oregon State University (OSU), Tufts University, Dickinson College, Willamette College, the University of Maryland-College Park, and Portland State University have all offered at least one fat studies course.

The courses, typically taught in women’s studies or sociology departments, teach students about issues such as “weight justice,” “fat liberation,” and “fatness as a social construct.”

Meanwhile, the description of the spring 2018 “Fat Studies” class taught by Dickinson College Professor Amy Farrell states that students “will examine the development of fat stigma and the ways it intersects with gendered, racial, ethnic, and class constructions.”

“Fat Pedagogy: Improving Teaching and Learning for EveryBODY,” aims to help professors of all disciplines promote “discourse around body weight, shape, and size, and challenge the social hierarchies and structures of dominance that perpetuate weight bias in educational contexts.”

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 15, 2018 11:27PM

New book slams ‘toxic geek masculinity’ in Big Bang Theory


Two professors have written a new book warning of a trend they call "toxic geek masculinity," which they see evidenced in television shows such as "The Big Bang Theory."

According to the book, popular culture is undergoing a “cultural shift” whereby “geek masculinity has become part of hegemonic, white, male masculinity.

Though computer geeks are often depicted as marginalized due to their social exclusion, Blodgett and Salter argue that the opposite is actually true, asserting that geeks are aligned “with a type of toxic straight white masculinity that is rooted deeply in current cultural struggles.”

"The characters are deeply lacking in self-awareness regarding their roles in a sexist workplace, and this same lack of understanding is constantly played for humor."

“Geek masculinity, with its absence of hypermasculine qualities and apparent association with ‘un-masculine’ traits, is often cast in popular culture as a marginalized masculinity,” the professors note, but they make clear that they do not buy this interpretation.

“The dichotomy is false: geek masculinity is not marginalized,” they contend. “It is instead an inevitable evolution of hegemonic masculinity in a culture where dominance and technical mastery are increasingly interwoven.”

The book concludes by arguing that toxic geek masculinity is just an inevitable evolution of hegemonic masculinity more generally.

“Much like the break within the Democratic Party along racial lines in the 1948 election, more traditionally presenting geeks, white, middle-class, educated men are being pulled towards supporting the traditional power structure,” the professors write, asserting that this ultimately reflects an ongoing “cultural shift” whereby “geek masculinity has become part of hegemonic, white, male masculinity.”

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 15, 2018 11:37PM

Prof calls ‘digital manspreading’ an act of 'toxic masculinity'


A University of Wisconsin-Madison instructor warns in a new academic journal article that "digital manspreading" is a form of "online misogyny" that silences scholars.

A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is warning against “digital manspreading” on the Internet, calling it a form of “online harrassment.

Brandi Easter, a doctoral candidate who also teaches literature classes, argues that “digital manspreading” happens because men are socialized to “take up space”—not just on public transit, but online too.

"This silencing calls for scholars to attend seriously to the everyday spatial, material, and embodied structures and forces of online misogyny."

Digital manspreading, she explains, “is an act of privilege, entitlement, and toxic masculinity” due to the fact that men’s interactions with “online space, made through the affordances of digital infrastructures, are gendered, material, and embodied.

Though Easter uses the story of C+= to explain how digital manspreading happens, she also asserts that digital manspreading could be a “helpful lens” to critique other manifestations of masculinity in the digital sphere.

Further, Easter contends that digital manspreading causes the the silencing of women of women online, since when men digitally manspread, they take up space that could otherwise go towards promoting women's’ perspectives and concerns.

The article was dedicated to sexism online, alongside other articles including “Attack of the 50-foot social justice warrior” and “Online Misogyny and the alternative right: debating the undebatable.”

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 16, 2018 11:04PM

'Manspreading' a sign of 'sexist environment,' student claims


“Manspreading” on campus buses is indicative of the larger culture of sexism that is pervasive on campus, according to one University of North Texas student.

Brittany Sodic, a UNT senior studying journalism and women’s studies, made the claim in an op-ed published in the online magazine Study Breaks, arguing that manspreading is “one of the most obvious physical symptoms of a sexist environment that can be encountered in every area of campus.”

Sodic describe manspreading as “the act of physically spreading one’s body out in a way that takes up much needed room,” noting that it might make other people, such as women, “make themselves smaller to compensate.”

[RELATED: Female student demands men ‘step back’ in class discussions]

Since the goal of her article is to teach her readers ways to “subvert” sexism on campus, Sodic explains how she fights manspreading on campus, saying, “Every time a man sat next to me and chose to man-spread, I simply assumed the same posture as him, which inevitably led to both of us pushing on one another with our knees.”

Unfortunately, most men she does this to “are genuinely confused” and “visibly annoyed” by her, a reaction Sodic says she finds ironic, since she considers manspreading “a tool for men to attempt to dominate these spaces and constantly remind women that they belong only contingent upon male benevolence.”

Sodic told Campus Reform she wrote her article on sexism because “these little things affected my overall experience at my school, and I know it would have been more pleasant and less anxiety-inducing for me on campus had these, and other forms of sexism not existed.”

[RELATED: Feminist students campaign against ‘sexist microaggressions’]

“It's something that I thought about a lot during my time in school and I never really knew what to do about it,” she added, observing that “subtle issues are sometimes unnoticed by the people perpetuating them, and without addressing it, nothing will change.”

Sodic also cited other forms of sexism in her op-ed, such as street harassment, men dominating conversation, and “sharing sidewalks,” which is problematic because many men expect women to move out of the way if they’re walking towards each other.

Sodic employs the same approach to sidewalk sexism as she does with manspreading sexism. If a man is walking towards her on a narrow sidewalk and he doesn’t alter his course, she doesn’t either, and writes that she’s had “literal run-ins with guys on campus, shoulders hitting” because of it.

While she writes that this isn’t a “perfect solution,” Sodic notes triumphantly that “small victories are still victories.”

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 16, 2018 11:09PM

Pitt display calls 'be a man' example of 'toxic masculinity'


A display recently surfaced at the University of Pittsburgh that labeled a “male protagonist” as making “a living being violent,” being “white,” and owning “lots of guns.”

According to pictures of the display obtained by Campus Reform, one of the posters featured presented a flowchart of behaviors that perpetuate “hegemonic masculinity,” including “gendered socialisation,” “power inequality,” “social/health inequality,” “social reproduction of patriarchy,” and “patriarchal society.”

Another poster, titled “Stereotyped Gendered Behaviors,” portrayed a picture of a male next to the term “masculinity,” as well as a picture of a female next to the term “femininity” with a line dividing the two labeled “neutral androgeny [sic].”

The display also included a guide to “toxic masculinity,” with actions associated with the term listed as “emasculation,” “suppressed emotions,” “be a man,” “violence,” and “never a victim.”

Diverting from the topic of “toxic masculinity” and “gendered stereotypes,” a different poster warns about the dangers that men deal with compared to their female counterparts.

According to the poster, men are “2x as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD,” while “1/5th [of] men will develop alcohol dependence,” and are “4x more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism.”

A final poster features “Male Protagonist Bingo,” listing characteristics of male protagonists, such as “killing spree,” “white,” “makes a living being violent,” “bald/crew cut,” and finally “guns. Lots of guns.”

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 18, 2018 08:36PM

Stanford Professor: Dungeons and Dragons Perpetuates Systems of White, Male Privilege


A professor of education at Stanford University argues in a recent academic journal article that the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons perpetuates white privilege.

Standford University Professor Antero Garcia argues in an academic journal article that the popular game Dungeons and Dragons perpetuates systems of privilege.

Focusing on how the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons is built on a system of play that has grown and shifted over the course of 40 years, this study emphasizes the central role that systems play in mediating the experiences of participants. By focusing on depictions of gender, race, and power in Dungeons & Dragons — as a singular cultural practice — this study highlights how researchers must attend to cultural production both around and within systems.

Garcia argues that Dungeons and Dragons encourages a distrust of the “other.” It’s a weird focus for a Stanford scholar, especially since Garcia concedes that race in Dungeons & Dragons is not much like race in the real world. In the game, the characters are divided by their species. Some characters are elves, some are dwarves, and some are halfings, according to Garcia.

Professor Garcia doesn’t stop there. He bemoans the fact that Dungeons & Dragons began as a “white man’s” hobby. He argues that wargaming communities are “male-dominated,” even though the inventor of Dungeons & Dragons tested the tabletop game out by letting his daughter play.

Garcia’s 16-page article focuses on the representation of women in the game. According to Garica’s research, by 2014, more than half of the game’s depicted characters are female.

According to the article, Garcia’s ultimate wish is to see Dungeons & Dragons move beyond its problematic past into a more diverse and inclusive future.

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Re: Today's Culture ...
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: April 19, 2018 09:45PM

More Lib Women's Gobbledygook -

Sociologist claims veganism promotes 'white masculinity'


A recent academic journal article by four engineering professors bemoans the prevalence of "masculine social norms" in the field, saying it deters women from becoming engineers.

According to the professors, the “desire to win,” “emotional regulation,” “dominance over others,” the “need to be high performing,” and “hegemonic masculinity” are all among the harmful norms in engineering culture.

A sociology instructor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) is warning in a new academic article that vegan men are guilty of perpetuating “white masculinity.”

“Meatless meals and masculinity” was written by Mari Mycek, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant in the NCSU sociology department, who argues that vegan and vegetarian men have reclaimed their “previously-stigmatized consumption identity” to wield power over women by framing their lifestyle as a rational, rather than emotional, choice.

"These performances of masculinity are aligned with white middle-class social norms and expectations."

Though some scholars claim that eating meat causes “toxic masculinity,” Mycek came to a different conclusion based on interviews with 20 vegan men, asserting that they actually tend to “uphold gendered binaries of emotion/rationality and current ideas of middle-class, white masculinity.”

[RELATED: Eating meat perpetuates ‘hegemonic masculinity,’ prof says]

Mycek argues that vegan men use their diet to bolster their masculinity “by explaining their choice to become [vegan] in ways that evoke logics of rationality, science, and reason, concepts that also traditionally get coded as masculine."

Observing that “these performances of masculinity are aligned with white middle-class social norms and expectations,” she contends that middle-class men are uniquely poised to take advantage of this status-building strategy.

Mycek also frames veganism as a privilege for the elite, explaining that it symbolizes for men “a form of cultural capital and a symbolic resource, a way to align oneself with those who have the privilege of choice when it comes to food decisions.”

Men are especially guilty of perpetuating white masculinity if they frame their choice to become vegan as “rational” as opposed to “emotional,” Mycek asserted.

Mycek also argues that men who cite expert research on the benefits of veganism are enacting white middle-class masculinity, since “facts” conflict with more feminine sources of knowledge such as “value” or “opinion.”

Understanding how men transform “feminized activities” into acceptable masculine practices is “important because it bolsters the gender binary, maintaining the idea that men and women are distinctly different,” Mycek contends, declaring that “this is not just about maintaining difference between genders but ultimately [retaining] a gender hierarchy and structures of power and inequality.”

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