Female commandos at the frontline in Damascus; a new neurological finding that could have powerful implications for people with reading difficulties; Boko Haram continues to claim lives in the midst of generalized media indifference; Amanda Knox is acquitted; Is Barbie the new spy into your house? Norwegian exemplary model of prisons and more in The Week in Review.
It Follows’ harrowing first scene sees a teenage girl running out of her home in her underwear and high heels, seemingly stalked by someone or something the spectator cannot see. Manifestly terrified, the young woman ignores her father’s cries and drives away in an attempt to escape this unknown assailant. She finds refuge on the edge of a cliff, near a beach, where she exits her car and sits, terrified, in its headlights.
With the global rise of workplace harassment, which has been defined by social scientists as “irrational repeated behavior towards an employee or group of employees, which represents a health and security risk”, employment law in various countries has evolved in order to better address this phenomenon, which often bears devastating consequences on the mental and physical health of its victims, leading to depression, anxiety, and sometimes suicide.
This week: Christmas Light Aurora glows in Mars’s atmosphere; Female orcas experience menopause and that may be linked to their ‘ecological wisdom’; the FN’s success in France is disheartening but not all that surprising; Jean Vanier receives the Templeton Prize; and Lindsey Vonn proves once again that she’s one of the best skier in world history.
Chinese cinema in the 1930s gave a new perspective to Chinese women: it seemed that they were to play an important part in the upcoming changes. However, there were limits to the way women were portrayed –and consequently, to the way women’s liberation was envisioned.
This week: Serena Williams returns to Indian Wells; a 100km-wide salty ocean under Ganymede’s icy crust may host life; 10 Chinese activists are illegally detained; Animals Asia continues its great work to save bears from the bile farming industry; chemical substances are everywhere – even in your hair; and Casey Legler speaks of her experience being an Olympic swimmer who became a men’s clothes model.
Acupuncture, meditation and psychoanalysis are not particularly known for their similarities. Yet at the root of each of them, there is the profound idea that body and mind communicate in more ways that can be seen, and that relieving a symptom does not mean addressing its long-term causes.
In 1991, Naomi Wolf published “The Beauty Myth”, wherein she introduced the Iron Maiden concept, an “unattainable standard that is (…) used to punish women physically and psychologically for their failure to achieve and conform to it.” The Iron Maiden is a monster, the product of a deep societal illness. Yet, somehow, most women aspire to be her.
Women and scientific subjects still have a complicated relationship: in 2012, close to 80% of the British students taking A-level Physics were male. Yet technologies represent an important part of women’s daily lives, and in fact women use the Internet 17% more than men in western countries, and form the majority of technological devices’ owners. This paradox illustrates that despite women being involved in new technologies, the mastery and consequently control of technology oftentimes remain out of women’s reach, for reasons that have to do with the structure of our patriarchal societies and with cultural norms.
Taylor Swift has popularized country music to a large audience around the world, but has often been criticized for portraying relationships involving weak and vulnerable women. But this theme is not alien to country music, far from that. In fact, country western is one of the only musical genres where this tragically frequent phenomenon is addressed.