IAAF criticized for planned implementation of testoterone testing on female athletes

How would the IAAF implement this policy even? Oh, you over there, you look a bit too masculine, time for a testosterone test! This could only be implemented in a way that polices gender expression. Glad to see scientists critiquing this (check out Katrina Karkazis’s article in the American Journal of Bioethics).

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Things That Make Me Angry

Jailing juvenile rape victims for running away when they are supposed to testify. That is exactly what California has done in this case. They put a 17 year old girl in jail to force her to testify against her rapist. I am sure that will inspire other victims of sexual assault to come forward, right? Ugh, so much rage right now.

There are so many better ways to handle a rape victim who is reluctant or afraid to testify. Re-traumatizing a victim and taking away their power and sense of agency (again) certainly is not the way to go about it. As much as I understand and support the desire to see rapists in prison I do not want it to happen on the backs of victims.

hattip to Jill at Feministe

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She’s Super Geeky

I’ve decided that when I unpack while I’m moving in to my new place, I am going to inventory all of my books. Why would I do something so tedious, you ask?

So that when I’m at the bookstore, I can open up a Google Spreadsheet on my phone that will tell me what books I should or shouldn’t buy. Many of my favorite authors are fairly prolific and it can be hard to remember off the top of my head which titles I already own.

I have visions of databases dancing in my head.

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How the New Jim Crow Made Me a Believer in Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex

Having lived and breathed the social justice online world for years, I have read and heard of the “prison industrial complex” and seen many people advocate for its outright dismantling and for different systems to be used when dealing with crime. I always thought that people who wanted to eliminate the prison industrial complex, and who talked about how the entire system was rigged were a little extreme, a little too out there. Then, a few weeks ago, I started to read The New Jim Crow and I was blown away by the massive injustice inherent in our incarceration system.

Michelle Alexander makes a very convincing argument that the war on drugs was implemented with the intent of creating a new black under caste, with recreating Jim Crow. Despite the fact that “the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, three-fourths of all people imprisoned for drug offenses have been black or Latino,” and they are now saddled with a felony that follows them for the rest of their life.

Before reading this book, I confess that I didn’t really know what all could get you a felony; I figured it had to be something pretty bad. Turns out that is not the case; many non-violent drug offences are felonies now. And, not only that, but many people are encouraged to take a plea deal, whether they are guilty or not, to avoid the potential of cruelly lengthy prison sentences. Either way, I learned that once someone has a felony, it is legal to discriminate against them in a thousand different ways. They are denied food stamps, government housing, private housing can deny them, employers can discriminate against them, and so can educational institutions. With all of these handicaps, it is no wonder that within six months approximately 30 percent of released prisoners are re-incarcerated.

The U.S. has created a system of incarceration that is guaranteed to perpetuate itself. First, we created draconian drug laws that were punitive in nature, even though this has not been shown to be an effective way to discourage drug use or to rehabilitate drug users so that they can be productive members of society. Then, we gave police incentives, with almost no oversight, to conduct massive sweeps, and practically eviscerated the 4th amendment (the right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure). This ensured that racial bias would rear its head almost instantly, so that the majority of people targeted for “random” searches would be black, brown, and/or poor. Then we have filled our jails (and ever growing network of for profit prisons) with these people, who are now branded as criminals and legally discriminated against for the rest of their lives.

Aside from the housing discrimination, felons also lose the right to vote, so they can’t even participate in the system of government that created their situation in the first place.

Does eliminating the prison industrial complex seem so unreasonable now? Not to me.

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Reasonably Angry Links 2 March 2012

Sorry about the inadvertent hiatus! Life got incredibly ridiculous for the past few months. It seems like a new normal might be emerging, at least for one of your reasonably angry authors. Anyway, I had an unexpected bounty of interesting links show up in my feed reader today, so here is a link dump post for your edification and enjoyment.

Idiots Review The Woman’s Bible >> Skepchick >> “The fact that it’s so good, and also free, made me wonder why on Earth it would be rated at just 2.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. I went back and had a look at the reviews, and there I discovered an absolute treasure trove of religiously inspired ignorance.”

Fighting the Exploitative Nature of Tipping Culture >> Lawyers, Guns and Money >> “There’s been a lot of discussion lately about tipping culture and the awfulness of it all. It gives customers tremendous power over the people who wait on them, often dooming waitstaff to lives of poverty. It’s another way to steal wages from the paychecks of workers, helping employers while leaving workers desperate and customers often confused or hostile. Moreover, restaurants often steal tips from the waitstaff, through taking a cut off the top.”

Gimme some money >> Lawyers, Guns and Money >> “The most arresting thesis in Brian Tamanaha’s forthcoming book is captured by this quote: “Law schools have raised their tuition to obscene levels because they can.” What he means is that explanations for the rising cost of law school that focus on rising expenditures […] are confusing cause and effect. His argument is that to a great extent all these things have happened because tuition has gone up, not vice versa.”

[Trigger Warning for discussion of rape as a thematic element in cinema. But if you only click through to read one of these articles, this should be the one.] The Bigger Picture: What happens when we find ‘The Line’ as viewers? >> HitFix.com >> “I have a voracious appetite for all types of movies, both high art and low. […] I am open to pretty much anything when I sit down to a new film. But at the age of 41, at about 94 minutes into “The Divide,” I reached a breaking point, and I realized that I am pretty much incapable of sitting through one more cheap, pointless, exploitative rape in a movie.”

Feminist-friendly fantasy fiction: Does what it says on the box!

It’s time to quite the Catholic church >> Freedom From Religion Foundation >> “Dear ‘Liberal’ Catholic: […] It is time to make known your dissent from the Catholic Church, in light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ ruthless campaign endangering the right to contraception. If you’re part of the Catholic Church, you’re part of the problem.”

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Herman Cain, Embattled

Herman Cain’s accelerating slide down the scandal chute is entertaining to watch but ever so predictable. Earlier yesterday he didn’t recall signing the papers and only recalls one allegation and gosh darn it he was only talking about her height, where’s the crime in that? And he certainly never ever asked anyone to his hotel room. Nope, he won’t remember that until next week. Once the media starts talking about his “embattled” fight, we will all know its over. That word is the death knell of politicians everywhere.

I am loving that the more mainstream media was quick to jump on this with much less victim blaming than usual (except for conservative media, where smearing women and trying to pit them against black men is continuing as usual) and that they seem to be doing actual reporting as opposed to running what amounts to a press release for the candidate, as I have seen far to many times. Politico deserves major props for breaking this story and doing all of the difficult footwork to obtain the dirt on Cain.

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Reasonably Angry Links 15 October 2011

Human Sex is BoringCartoon renderings of animal sex as performed by humans = AWESOME! (hat tip to The Mary Sue)

In a small step in the right direction, Kansas City Bishop Robert W. Finn is being brought up on misdemeanor charges for covering up for a priest he knew was preying on young girls. He is apparently vowing to fight these charges “vigorously;” a vigor he was sorely lacking when it came to protecting the vulnerable under his charge.

A spot of good news on the Immigration Rights front: A higher court blocks some of the worst sections of HB 56, including the portion that required Alabama schools to check the birth certificates of every child and keep track of the results.

Unsurprisingly, Kansas continues with more fuckery; Topeka has actually decriminalized domestic violence, which has resulted in 18 men walking free from domestic violence charges so far. Some of those men have already re-offended. I guess women are really worth less than the dirt under my feet to city officials there.

Wyatt Cenac discusses Geological Bigotry in this Daily Show clip that illustrates just how many racist names we still have for things in the U.S. Apparently a lot of municipalities haven’t bothered to take “nigger” of the names of lakes, mountains, and places.

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