Friday News: Scientist sues “American Hustle” filmmakers, Colbert mocks Gamergate, men and contraception, and some Halloween reading
‘American Hustle’ Sued by Microwave Expert … The Movie Nuked My Reputation! – Sooooo, if you’ve ever seen the movie “American Hustle,” you likely remember the scene where Jennifer Lawrence’s character passive aggressively blows up their microwave by trying to cook food in a metal pan. When her husband laments the loss of the microwave (it was a gift), Lawrence’s character tells him that she was really the heroine of the whole incident, because according to an article she read, the microwave sucks nutrition out of food. She even holds up what looks like a magazine and mentions the name “Paul Brodeur.” So lo and behold Brodeur is a real person, and he’s suing the producers of the film for defamation (for a meeelllion dollars), claiming that the film has harmed his reputation as a scientist. You can’t make this stuff up.
Mr. Brodeur says the writers and actors are liars who lie, because he’s actually on record — in a magazine — in which he answers the question, “Is there any danger in eating food cooked by microwaves?” He says, “None that is known.” –TMZ
Anita Sarkeesian goes on Colbert. You’ll totally believe what happens next – So Anita Sarkeesian goes on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert satirizes Gamergaters, and now The Verge is claiming that “Gamgergate is dead.” I’ll admit that the piece was pretty effective at undermining any vestige of Gamergate’s legitimacy, and apparently some of the 8chan-ers are pretty pissed off about it. But I’m more of the ‘let’s remain vigilant about the rampant misogyny and harassment women are facing on and off the internet’ and the “toxic masculinity” catalyzing it school of thought, so I’m not sure “dead” is the right imagery here, for a number of reasons.
Colbert’s most poignant perspectives came in the editorial that led up to the Sarkeesian interview. He pointed out a number of hyper-sexualized gaming characters and included Ms. Pac-Man (“She can gobble my ghost anytime”). He identified as a gamer—”I’m not ashamed of my hobby. That’s why I do it in my basement”—but then shared a rapid newsreel of major broadcast stations reporting on escalating gamer threats against women. “As the TV men said, GamerGate involves some male gamers harassing women who speak out about the portrayal of women in video games… presumably after the initial shock that women were speaking to them at all.” –Ars Technica
The kindest cut: my journey into the nether regions of male birth control – A pretty good post about the double standards regarding male and female birth control, that has a lot of implications for the Romance genre, where, by and large, heroines still bear the burden of birth control (or its absence imperils the heroine by theoretically exposing her to pregnancy and STD’s). I definitely think we need to be having more conversations about these issues, including the cultural expectations that keep women bearing the burden of contraception (with the added bonus of having our bodies legally regulated in myriad ways related to our reproductive capacity).
Another big issue is one of responsibility and trust. Campo-Engelstein’s research found the perception in the mainstream media and inside big pharma was, “If she can’t trust you to take out the garbage, how can she trust you to handle birth control?” But she says that studies have also shown that’s not really true. “There is evidence that women will trust their long term monogamous partners to be in control of reproductive health and birth control, but the big pharmaceutical companies are blinded by these old gender stereotypes.”
The final obstacle is that men tend to be extremely suspicious of anything that might impair their sexual ability or diminish their virility. “The way men see it, Viagra enhances you, makes you more of a man, while contraception does the opposite,” says Campo-Engelstein. “Men are literally concerned that it might shrink their penis!” She notes the irony that many methods of female birth control do reduce libido, but that society assumes women can handle that in a way men couldn’t. –The Verge
15 scary books to terrify you this Halloween – In honor of Halloween, check out this selection of 15 scary books, as well as this survey of Halloween comics. I’m sure they go great with candy. –The Telegraph and NPR
If you read the #gamergate hashtag, they were crowing about the Colbert Bump and urging all the followers to get out the word that Gamergate was about ethics. Of course, they were incessantly bashing AS for being alive but they weren’t all wishing for her death either so there’s that.
“Don’t put metal in the science oven!” is my favorite quote from American Hustle. My husband and I say it to each other all the time. I’d completely forgotten the rest of the microwave discussion.
To really produce an effective male contraceptive, you need more women scientists. One of the reasons the pill was developed first is that the mostly male scientists figured getting rid of hormonal cycles was good, that claims of loss of libido were all in the woman’s head (guilt for having no-strings sex), etc, etc.
I’d think there’s a decent demand for non-condom contraception that men control, so they don’t end up fathering an out-of-wedlock child. It’s amazing to me how many prominent married men end up with children on the side, which I’m pretty sure they did not have any intention of fathering: Bjorn Borg, Arnold Schwartzenegger, John Edwards, Strom Thurmond, the list is quite long.
I remember when I told a male friend about that anti-sperm production pill that was being tested on mice. His instant reaction was both hands over the groin area. Second reaction was yelling about how he wanted to have children one day, and nothing was going near his swimmers…
So yeah, the exact same reaction as being kicked in the groin. Even when I explained that the effect is temporary.
And there’s the health plans, which start overcharging girls at ten (because they’re fertile!), but never consider males have children until they are born. But females can’t get plans that don’t consider pregnancy/birth care.
Double standard, economics-style.