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Category Archive: psychology

Aug 29 2013

The Law is Not on Our Side

[Content note: sexual harassment and assault] Many brave writers have described what happened to them when they reported gender-based threats and violence to the police. Occasionally the outcome is positive, but often nothing at all happens and often something terrible happens. Here are two recent examples I’ve read. The first is by Heina of Skepchick: …

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Aug 17 2013

Women Are Not “Mysterious”

A man opens a huge, several-feet-tall book. Caption reads, "The book 'Understanding Women' has finally arrived in bookstores."

I came across this meme in my Facebook newsfeed (with criticism, thankfully): It was shared by the page “Engineer Memes,” which makes sense given the trope that it references. You know the one: the brilliant, successful scientist/engineer/mathematician who can solve any problem, invent a lifesaving drug or device, and understand the most complicated theories of …

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Aug 16 2013

On Memories Of Former Homes

The market is swarming with people on Friday afternoon. Tables covered with piles of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, bread, and household goods beckon as their owners shout their prices into the din. Feral cats dart beneath the tables, dodging people and cars to snatch scraps of food. Shoppers haggle: “Ten shekels for this? No …

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Aug 04 2013

Strawmanning Rape Culture (Part Two)

[Content note: sexual assault] In the first half of this post, I covered three strawman arguments against the concept of rape culture. Read that post first! Then, here are three more. “So you’re saying that all men are rapists.” Nope. Men are more likely than women to be rapists for all sorts of reasons that …

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Aug 02 2013

“They’re Your Friends/Family/Neighbors!”: On Activism and Appeals to Kinship

This post may have more questions than answers. You have been warned! For a while I’ve been noticing a certain tension in activism of various kinds. On the one hand, we want people to care about our causes not because those causes are necessarily proximal to them and impact their lives directly, but because these …

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Aug 01 2013

There’s Nothing “Sad” About Online Sex

Many pearls have been clutched over the actions or inactions of the various women involved in Anthony Weiner’s latest fall from grace (pearls that could’ve really been spared for Weiner himself). Susan Jacoby, with whom I generally agree on things and whom I respect very much, wrote an article for the New York Times that …

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Jul 12 2013

[guest post] A Thought Experiment In The Style of Schrödinger

I’m traveling to Columbus, Ohio for the Secular Student Alliance conference, and CaitieCat has written a guest post so that you’re not too bored in my absence! I was thinking about Schrödinger’s Rapist, the concept that to a woman faced alone with a man she does not know, it is rationality in action if she …

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Jul 10 2013

The Allure of the Beautiful Woman Who Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful

If you haven’t heard this song, you’re lying: You’re insecure, Don’t know what for You’re turning heads when you walk through the door Don’t need make-up To cover up Being the way that you are is enough Everyone else in the room can see it, Everyone else but you Baby you light up my world …

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Jul 09 2013

[guest post] Harry Potter and the Fuzzies of Altruism

Here’s a guest post from Robby Bensinger about the psychology of altruism with a little bit of Harry Potter thrown in.  Effective Altruists are do-gooders with a special interest in researching the very best ways to do good, such as high-impact poverty reduction and existential risk reduction. A surprising number of them are also Harry …

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Jul 04 2013

Living With Depression: Hope

[Content note: depression and suicide] This is my series on depression and what it’s actually like beyond the DSM symptoms. It’s not meant to reflect anyone’s experience but my own, although I’m sure plenty of people will identify with it. If things were completely different for you and you feel comfortable sharing, the comments section’s all …

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