Summary of “Instagram Food Is a Sad, Sparkly Lie”

For the young women who constitute Instagram’s target demographic – the desired audience of both for the corporations that sell products and the influencers who pretend not to be advertising them – even eating something as innocuous as a sad desk salad at work can come along with casual policing from whoever happens to be within view, and I can’t think of a single category of food that, in my 31 years on earth, I haven’t been warned about by some busybody whose opinion I haven’t asked for.
That’s not only because Instagram is a widely used and intensely visual medium, but also because its emergent aesthetic tropes are as essential to the zeitgeist as baby tees and brown lipstick were to the 90s. Food thrives on social networks because of its easy, graphic appeal and pan-demographic interest – we all have to eat, right? But while Facebook has become a repository of time-lapse recipe videos for quick weeknight dinners that often prominently feature, for some reason, canned biscuit in dough, and Pinterest traffics largely in mason jars, do-it-yourself projects and the protein-packed simplicity of an egg baked inside half an avocado, Instagram has thrown its lot in with spectacle.
In the most successful of Instagram food operations, the posting of a particular item signals both affluence and leisure.
Instagram food has almost nothing to do with consumption as a gastronomic endeavor; instead, consuming Instagram food means acquiring it, and sharing proof of your acquisition.
As far as I can tell, it’s nearly impossible be popular in the world of Instagram food maximalism if you actually look like a person who eats the things you post; otherwise, your probably fat hand might appear in a photo of an ice cream cone held out in front of a brick wall.
The easiest way to create context for an over-the-top food purchase is to show it next to a body that has not succumbed to fatness, the prospect of which is regarded with as much horror on influencer Instagram as it is in the rest of celebrity culture.
Iturregui told me she’s seen plenty of food thrown away at influencer-focused food events, a claim backed up by my friend Eric Mersmann, who has made the rounds as an ice cream Instagrammer in New York.
For the others, watching their timelines fill up with food feels more transparently performative, like a present-day version of Paris Hilton in the early 2000s, remaining impossibly thin and toned while regularly being photographed acquiring fast food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like”

An article about burnout that discussed the feelings and behaviors of a generation – my generation – didn’t include my dead black batteries.
In journalist Reniqua Allen’s new book, It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America, she writes, “I wanted to explore what the world looks like to young Black Americans and what aspiration and mobility means to us. I decided to focus on Black millennials because our experiences are different, the stakes higher, and the challenges unique. Yet so many don’t understand our plight.” Allen adds that “43 percent of all American millennials are non-White. But discussion about millennials and their ideas of ‘success’ are often deeply rooted in the experiences of privileged White men and women – think more Lena Dunham than Issa Rae.”.
If the stakes and obstacles to the elusive American dream are different for black millennials, then isn’t it reasonable to assume that our brand of burnout would be different, too? So many of us are weary and worn down.
There’s too much to cover, and my buffering, black millennial brain is short-circuiting the litany of inherited trauma – or should I say inherited burnout? I’m thinking about slave ships, sharecropping, the school-to-prison pipeline, a steady state of mental and physical collapse.
So how does a black woman combat burnout? Black girl magic, right?! I love this phrase.
After all burnout for black millennials is not just tiresome, but deadly.
According to the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, “Black women are 7.5 years biologically ‘older’ than white women.” Couple that with rising black maternal death rates, especially for black academics.
I’m afraid to ask for anything from my friends or employers because I don’t want to be seen as a diva – too difficult or demanding – a stereotype often thrown at black women for asserting their needs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Affordable Daycare and Working Moms: the Quebec Model”

With more than two decades behind it, the Quebec program that spawned an affordable child care model has some lessons for the rest of the world.
With many years behind it, the Quebec program that spawned a global subsidized child-care model has shown marked progress in some areas in its original home province-while still lagging in others.
Since beginning the program more than two decades ago, Quebec has seen the rate of women age 26 to 44 in the workforce reach 85 percent, the highest in the world, according to Fortin.
A few dramatic statistics suggest the influence of the program on women in particular: In addition to a high overall rate of employment in the province, Quebec has seen particular increases in female employment amongst mothers of young children.
Another recent study from Statistics Canada compared Quebec to fellow Canadian province Ontario, which hasn’t adopted an expansive program like Quebec’s, found an even more dramatic increase in workforce participation of almost 20 percent for moms with a child younger than 3 over a similar time period.
The increase in working mothers has achieved one important outcome: revenue to pay for its government child care program.
In a common refrain heard about subsidized child care programs the world over, critics of Quebec’s program often claim the costs of the program don’t justify the expenses, and that the government could allocate the resources needed for these programs elsewhere.
Early estimates anticipated the program would generate 40 percent of its costs via increased income taxes from working parents.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Women Rescued from Boko Haram Who Are Returning to Their Captors”

Aisha’s account of her captivity differs sharply from those of hundreds of other women, who returned home with stories of brutal sexual violence.
Aisha was not the only prisoner who began to identify with her captors.
Nur called a militant, stationed near the camp, who returned to drive Aisha and several other women and children to safety.
Aisha’s rescue was part of a sustained crackdown on Boko Haram, which began in 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari took office.
At first, Aisha refused to consider any criticisms of Boko Haram.
The family knew little about Aisha’s life in the forest; before she returned, they had agreed not to mention Boko Haram or ask her any questions about her time with Nur.
A few weeks after Aisha came home, her friends from the safe house began returning to Sambisa Forest, where Boko Haram had begun to regroup; Ashe used her fingers to count seven women by name.
Some of the women called Aisha and encouraged her to join them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why I’ve Had Trouble Buying Hollywood’s Version Of Girl Power”

It’s just one among many, many instances of both Ginsburg and the broader idea of women’s equality being cutely commodified, but it was a reminder of how low my tolerance for that commodification has become.
2018 has been as rich with slogany, simplified women’s empowerment callouts as it has been with reasons for women to be filled with rage and dread, stretching way beyond the merch and mild cinema that’s come to surround Ginsburg.
It’s been an exhausting year: a year of watching the #MeToo movement’s momentum slow, as some accused men test the waters in preparation for a return; of tuning into the Kavanaugh hearings and being reminded that there is no victim “Perfect” enough to be believed when that belief is inconvenient; of having the midterms highlight the still sizable gap between how white women vote and how women of color do.
The head of Neon, the company that released the film later in the year, said in a statement after that disastrous opening weekend that while the numbers were disappointing, they stood by the movie’s quality: “[Director] Sam Levinson has created a bold, visionary and ultimately cathartic response to the dumpster fire that is 2018.” I wouldn’t agree, but what did seem to me to be indisputably 2018 was the way it was marketed, as a women’s anthem couched reassuringly in terms more often used to appeal to male audiences – that it was too wild, too extreme, and too real for prudes to handle.
For weeks after seeing Ocean’s 8, I couldn’t get its unapologetic half-heartedness out of my head. Was it deliberate? Was this what a corporation thought women wanted? Was it what women did want, to the tune of almost $300 million, and was I some sour-grapes outlier grumbling about how condescending I found the clunky ease of the whole thing, up to a twist that made the already happy ending even happier? What really got to me was the thought that a bunch of higher-ups felt it didn’t matter – that it was the mere idea of Ocean’s 8 that counted, not the actual end result, and that a hasty sketch sufficed when it came to a milestone this important.
I’m still befuddled by how much credit Halloween, David Gordon Green’s serviceable selective sequel to the John Carpenter-created series, got for its portrayals of three generations of Strode women, as if fans were trying to will it into being a more thoughtful movie than it actually was.
Watching the movie, I felt an intense pang for something I yearn for and am still not finding as often as I’d like – art by and for and about women that doesn’t feel the need to prove it can keep up with the boys, because it doesn’t worry about what the boys think at all.
Rew Bujalski’s comedy wasn’t advertised on the strength of its feminist bona fides, maybe because it takes place in a faux-Hooters where the servers wear cutoffs and crop tops, but it’s one of the best and most bittersweet portrayals of the power and the limitations of women’s solidarity within a crushing capitalist system I’ve ever seen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My year of reading African women, by Gary Younge”

Feeling it was time to fix my radar, I decided, when it came to fiction, to read only African women for a year.
“It used to be just a few writers published mostly as part of an educational series,” explains Margaret Busby, editor of Daughters of Africa, the landmark anthology of writing by women of African descent, which came out in 1992.
“Until you can no longer count the number of African women writers who have broken through then we’ve still got work to do,” says Busby, whose sequel, New Daughters of Africa, comes out next year.
With the year almost up I have read 18 books by authors from Morocco, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Egypt, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Cameroon.
In his satirical 2006 Granta essay, How to Write About Africa, Binyavanga Wainaina advises: “Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel prize … Taboo subjects: ordinary domestic scenes, love between Africans, references to African writers or intellectuals, mention of school-going children who are not suffering from yaws or Ebola fever or female genital mutilation.”
A pecking order emerges among wives and children, in a range of abusive relationships between men and women, women and women and women and their children, producing rivalries that propel plots.
Somewhere deep in my subconscious I must have decided that books by African women would be harder than those by some other demographics.
On some level I must have had reading African women down as self-improving but not necessarily enjoyable, when in fact it was mostly the latter and often both.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News”

“Even if it’s unspoken, there is a very clear expectation that you will maintain a certain appearance if you’re a woman,” the former CNN anchor and NBC News White House correspondent Campbell Brown told me.
Finally, this is an industry in which almost everyone, especially on-air talent, works contract to contract.
Only a chosen few ever reach the highest levels of stardom-meaning that most working moms lack the power to make family-friendly demands when they see their next set of contract negotiations around the corner.
“Working mothers don’t have quite the leverage in contract negotiations as a single woman or a working male,” Robin Sproul said.
“Usually they’re balancing child care, time commitments, and an incredibly demanding job. If it’s working for them, they don’t want to do anything to disrupt it.”
Management, he says, seems uninterested in changing the institutional biases that work against moms, putting women in the position of having to choose between their careers and their families.
In one study, he asked about 500 women under the age of 30 who were working in television whether they thought they’d leave broadcasting in the next five years; 69 percent said yes or they didn’t know.
That’s not to say being a TV-news anchor makes work-life balance a breeze, but that role comes with a stabler schedule and less time on the road. A mom in these roles might miss seeing her kids in the morning, but she might also be able to pick them up from school every day, whereas a cable-news correspondent could be on the hook for nonstop live shots from dawn to dusk.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Women were written out of science history”

The twice Nobel Prize-winning Curie and mathematician Ada Lovelace are two of the few women within Western science to receive lasting popular recognition.
One reason women tend to be absent from narratives of science is because it’s not as easy to find female scientists on the public record.
Even today, the numbers of women entering science remain below those of men, especially in certain disciplines.
The obituary criticized Ayrton for neglecting her husband, stating that instead of concentrating on her science she should have “Put him into carpet slippers” and “Fed him well” so he could do better science.
Then it moved to new institutional settings, leaving women behind in the home where their science became invisible to history.
This is where science began splitting into a hierarchy of male-dominated “Hard” sciences, such as physics, and “Soft” sciences, such as botany and biological science, that were seen as more acceptable for women.
The first women were elected as fellows of the Royal Society in 1945, and the French Academy of Science didn’t admit its first female fellow until 1979.
Although we must be careful not to overestimate how women were historically active in science, it is important to remember those women scientists who did contribute and the barriers they overcame to participate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It’s a man’s problem’: Patrick Stewart and the men fighting to end domestic violence”

These men have gathered for a panel event organised by the domestic violence charity Refuge.
The author of The Macho Paradox, Katz teaches the “Bystander approach”, in which communities are encouraged to take ownership of the problem of relationship abuse and men are encouraged to challenge sexist comments and unacceptable behaviour.
“My response is that if a personal story was all it took for a man to speak out on domestic abuse, we’d have millions of male voices – fathers, sons, friends and partners of women who’ve experienced abuse. But that hasn’t happened. So, the bigger question is: why haven’t more men come forward? What are the reasons, in 2018, that this hasn’t become a mass movement among men?”.
One obstacle, Katz believes, is men’s fear of judgment from other men.
We need men to say to other men when they cross a line.
“It riles a lot of men, as they think they’ll have to realign what’s right and wrong. I don’t want to bash men, because they’ll just switch off – but I would like to get them thinking and speaking about how we treat women in our society.” Katz believes ending men’s “Collective silence” is the only long-term solution to domestic violence.
“We need men to say to other men when they cross a line, when they say or do something unacceptable: ‘That’s not OK.'”.
“There are all these influential men in politics, education, business, religions, sports, and men in mentoring roles – fathers, uncles, coaches. But, for whatever reason, they stay silent,” says Katz.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Explore the IS Tunnels”

Alongside pieces of limestone and small jars, there were around 30 limestone slabs, bearing the names of the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal.
The most astonishing find was a pair of reliefs, each showing a row of women.
“Apart from seals and metalwork, we don’t have much Assyrian imagery beyond that of the royal palaces, which tend to focus on military victory,” says Dr Collins.
What has intrigued experts in Assyrian art is that the women, rather than being depicted in profile as is usual for Assyrian sculpture, are face on.
The absence of horns or a special crown, common symbols used to denote deities in Assyrian art, means they could be depictions of mortal Assyrian women.
Dr Gansell believes that the women may represent royal or elite members of society who are portrayed carrying offerings to a god, perhaps in a ritual activity.
“It is much more interesting,” Dr Gansell told the BBC, “Their depiction here means that Nabi Yunus might have had a female worship space. It provides new evidence for the role of women in Assyrian society and religion. It is absolutely unique.”
The photos taken by the BBC Arabic team give the best look yet at the details of these astonishing reliefs.

The orginal article.