Fullscreen
Loading...
 
Print

Diversity

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.
- Michael Jonas, The downside of diversity, Boston Globe, August 5, 2007


But Glaad again finds itself at a crossroads. Success has emboldened Ms. Ellis, 47, to push the organization deeper into national politics with a gutsy and potentially historic mission: to build support for a constitutional amendment that would explicitly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination. ...
In 2014, Facebook updated its site to include nonbinary gender identities and pronouns, adding more than 50 options for users who don’t identify as male or female, including agender, gender-questioning and intersex. ...
The internet is a place where nonbinary people can learn about mixing masculine and feminine elements to the point of obscuring concrete identification as either. As one person she interviewed put it, “Every day someone can’t tell what I am is a good day.” ...
To scroll through the images is to understand that there is no one way to be nonbinary. The entire point underscores the idea that there is no status quo, no “normal” and no need to limit yourself based on a societal ideal. ... Another person posting under the handle AfroAutPunk shows themselves wearing a Prince shirt, headphones and lipstick, with the caption, “Black, fat, disabled, nonbinary, queer and intersex.” ...
Vaid-Menon is extremely active on Instagram, uploading daily stories and posts for their 146,000 followers. Scrolling through their page reveals an inspired bouquet of multicolored and multipatterned outfits, lips coated in blues, pinks or purples. They are constantly playing around with their presentation, seamlessly blending together suits, thigh-high boots, dresses, sweaters, hair colors, makeup, footwear and accessories to create a look that truly feels beyond any known understanding of masculine or feminine — which is exactly the point. ...
To the average scroller, the photos themselves give the impression of a celebratory postgender, postracial world. But reading the accompanying text more often than not reveals a life marked by anxiety, trauma and fear. ...
“The majority of nonbinary, gender-nonconforming cannot manifest themselves because to do so would mean violence, death, harassment and punishment,” Vaid-Menon told me. ...
“There is a gender-sex distinction that has been normalized even in progressive movements,” Vaid-Menon begins. “There’s an idea that gender is a cultural attribute, expressed by fashion and outfits, whereas the body has to do with sex. There’s a series of binaries that are created here.” Vaid-Menon warms up as the talk continues, speaking in a cadence that is accelerating and tinged with anger. “Why is it that when trans people take hormones, it’s seen as body modification, and if cis people take hormones for, like, a medical condition, it’s not seen as body modification? That’s where transphobia lives. The body is mutable. Sex is mutable. Sex is not a ‘biological essential category.’ We allow gender to be nonconforming while we stabilize sex.”
- JENNA WORTHAM, ON INSTAGRAM, SEEING BETWEEN THE (GENDER) LINES, NYT, 2018/11/16


But Glaad again finds itself at a crossroads. Success has emboldened Ms. Ellis, 47, to push the organization deeper into national politics with a gutsy and potentially historic mission: to build support for a constitutional amendment that would explicitly protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination. ...
A recent Glaad report showed that 18 percent of studio films in 2018 included an L.G.B.T. character, up from 13 percent the previous year. Three of the four acting awards at the most recent Oscars were for gay or lesbian roles. In May, the Elton John bio-musical, “Rocketman,” became the first major studio movie to depict gay sex.

By Glaad’s estimation, 9 percent of regular characters on scripted broadcast series in 2018 were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender — an all-time high. ...
The next morning, Ms. Ellis flew to Washington to meet with lawmakers about the amendment, which would require approval from both houses of Congress (each by a two-thirds majority) and ratification by at least 38 states.

“I expected some resistance, some ‘you guys are out of your minds,’ but our meetings on the Hill went phenomenally well,” she said, noting that Glaad had hired the Raben Group, a lobbying firm, to help with the effort. “We see a path.”

Glaad calls its idea the Equality Amendment. It is different than the Equal Rights Amendment, which focuses more narrowly on gender equality and was approved by Congress in 1972; state ratification failed in 1982, although supporters have recently revived that effort. (The ERA Coalition is working with Glaad.)
- Brooks Barnes, Glaad’s Bold New Campaign: an L.G.B.T. Constitutional Amendment, NYT, June 29, 2019


Laws across Europe and European Union regulations require that animals be rendered insensible to pain before slaughter, to make the process more humane. For larger animals, stunning before slaughter usually means using a “captive bolt” device that fires a metal rod into the brain; for poultry it usually means an electric shock. Animals can also be knocked out with gas.

But slaughter by Muslim halal and Jewish kosher rules requires that an animal be in perfect health — which religious authorities say rules out stunning it first — and be killed with a single cut to the neck that severs critical blood vessels. The animal loses consciousness in seconds, and advocates say it may cause less suffering than other methods, not more.

Most countries and the European Union allow religious exceptions to the stunning requirement, though in some places — like the Netherlands, where a new law took effect last year, and Germany — the exceptions are very narrow. Belgium is joining Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Slovenia among the nations that do not provide for any exceptions.

Ann De Greef, director of Global Action in the Interest of Animals, a Belgian animal rights group, insisted that stunning does not conflict with kosher and halal doctrine, and “they could still consider it ritual slaughtering,” but the religious authorities refuse to accept that.
- Milan Schreuer, Belgium Bans Religious Slaughtering Practices, Drawing Praise and Protest, NYT, Jan. 5, 2019


Nowadays, reporters are online, iPhones at the ready, and it’s an unending process. We had time to be reflective, to go get other points of view and to put it in some kind of context. I’m not knocking what’s going on now, because it’s where we are; it’s where technology has taken us. But I don’t think we’ve fully taken control of the technology yet.
- John Williams, Tom Brokaw Recalls His Time Covering Watergate, NYT, Oct. 30, 2019


Show php error messages