Friday Five Outrage Edition


I’ve read so many outrageous articles this week, I don’t even know where to begin! I’m not going to apologize for the rant-y nature of this post because the things I’ve been reading have been utterly appalling and extremely important. Ready? I promise to end with some positive links to lead into the weekend 🙂

  1. From The Independent: A woman’s opinion is the mini-skirt of the internet. Laurie Penny describes the horrific treatment of female journalists and bloggers through her personal experience. This goes far beyond Internet trolling. People send graphic, violent messages and personal threats. Here, Laurie stands up and says, Enough.
  2. From xoJane: Sexual Harassment, Online Abuse, And The Contortions People Will Go Through To Not Believe Women. As if this harassment weren’t bad enough, plenty go on to minimize it. Jess takes on the skeptics point by point. It’s a fantastic post and an absolute shame that it’s necessary.
  3. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penn State’s shame: Did any adult ask what happened to the child? Continuing this theme of harassment and assault — how about Penn State? I’m from Pittsburgh. Tons of kids go to PSU. Football is in our blood. I’m not taking what happened as an indictment of the sport, but I can’t believe students rioted because the coach was fired. My hometown paper focuses on what’s important and asks the right questions.
  4. And now for an antidote to the outrage. I love this Smithsonian profile of a Victorian woman who changed the world’s view of women’s intelligence and mathematical abilities. The Woman Who Bested the Men at Math shows Cambridge University in 1890. It’s full of marvelous period details and celebrates these students and their annual math competition.
  5. Finally, returning to my hometown, we hear so much bad news about libraries and bookstores closing. Here’s something cool. The city of Pittsburgh just voted 2: 1 to add a small library tax to keep the Carnegie Library system open and fully operational. From the Post-Gazette’s article:

    In 2009, the Carnegie Library administration decided that branches in Beechview, Hazelwood, Lawrenceville and West End should be closed, Carrick and Knoxville merged, and Mount Washington moved. Administrators said declining population, cuts in public funding, inflation and the recession necessitated the moves.

    Stopgap funding from the city and state forestalled the moves. The referendum drive sprang from that crisis.

    The vote followed a sophisticated campaign. The library system’s backers gathered more than 10,000 signatures in support of the referendum, which is more than triple the number needed to get it on the ballot. Neighborhood business districts near libraries were festooned with vote-yes placards. Poll workers handed out palm cards.

    Even cooler? The library’s community engagement coordinator is one of my classmates from high school, from my tiny graduating class of 34 students.

    I love this library. I heard Madeleine L’Engle speak there when I was in high school and had my copy of A Wrinkle In Time signed by her. I also love that this library system, given to the city by one of the most infamous robber barons of the Gilded Age, Andrew Carnegie, has been so thoroughly claimed by the people of Pittsburgh.

And on that note, have a great weekend!

© 2016 Anindita Basu Sempere. 
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