links for 2011-01-25

  • "The big screen shows a man eyeing a middle-aged woman on a jam-packed bus and sliding up quietly behind her. Even before his hands reach for her hips, the young women watching in the darkened theater squirm in their seats. They know the offending move all too well. Released last month and inspired by true stories, the film is titled “678,” for the number of the bus that one of the main characters rides to work each morning, where she becomes the helpless object of lewd behavior. Writer-director Mohamed Diab said the numerals also signified a problem that was increasing steadily as Egypt confronted a complex mix of social issues: economic stagnation, rising religious conservatism and changing attitudes about women and sex."
  • "[H]er own initial reaction to Friedan’s elite scope 'was to dismiss the pain of the middle-class housewives as less ‘real’ than that of their working-class sisters.' Coontz reveals that partway through her research, she had encountered so few African-American or working-class women who had read 'The Feminine Mystique' that she became distressed: 'The book’s appeal seemed to be concentrated among such a relatively privileged section of women.' But when she expressed concern to a close associate, the woman replied with her own story of being rebuffed for a job in the 1960s because she was a woman. It didn’t matter, the associate said, that the women Friedan wrote about weren’t 'representative either in size or even aspirations of most American women of their time.' What mattered was that they had spent 'years of their lives with their noses pressed against the proverbial glass — looking in at a world that they would never be a part of.'”
  • "What does a typical week’s worth of i-word usage look like in U.S. newspapers and wire services? Maryland Newsline (out of the University of Maryland College of Journalism) recently published a special report on the use of “illegal alien,” “illegal immigrant,” “undocumented worker,” and “undocumented immigrant.” The search focused on Oct. 10-16, every two years from 1980-2010 and revealed that a spike in usage of the dehumanizing slurs usually coincided with contentious immigration policy proposals.

    "The report supports our own findings that the i-word’s usage quadrupled on television from the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, while SB 1070 and civil disobedience actions by DREAMers across the country were making headlines. The most striking increase came between 2002 and 2006, as the debate over comprehensive immigration reform exploded and Republicans and Democrats alike embraced the criminalizing framework for undocumented immigrants."

  • "A Korean woman in Arizona, who was adopted and brought to the U.S. when she was eight months old, is facing deportation after a second conviction for theft, reports the Korea Times. The 31-year-old mother of three is currently being held in a federal detention center in Arizona…[a]ccording to Korea’s L.A. Consul General Jae-soo Kim, it would be “impossible for the woman to live a normal life in Korea given that she has no contact with relatives or friends there.” That aside, he adds, being a single mother, her deportation would leave her three children at the mercy of government institutions."
  • "Secondly, it’s interesting how courts find it convenient to make someone into an example when they happen to be poor and black. I’d love to see how they prosecute wealthy white women who commit the same offense. Oh, I forgot: Most wealthy white women don’t have to send their kids to the schools located near the projects. Third, I’m not sure why the court is treating this law-abiding mom like a thug who ran into a building with a shotgun and robbed the district of $30,000. Instead, they could simply subtract the amount it costs for her kids to go to the second school from the amount that would be spent for them to attend the first one. I’m sure the difference would still be substantial, since American educational apartheid dictates that schools in poorer neighborhoods are of significantly less quality than other schools. The racial divisions within American schools are nothing less than a blatant and consistent human rights violation and should certainly be treated as such."
  • "'The migrants were abducted in highly questionable circumstances,' Ms. Pillay said, adding that Mexico needed “to ascertain whether or not any state officials, including those working for the state-owned train operator, were complicit with the criminal organization that carried out the abductions and extortion.”