The Sexist

The Morning After: Feminine Problems Edition

* Problem: girls in developing countries have a lower "school life expectancy" than boys. Is the solution as easy as sending over some sanitary pads? The World Bank has claimed that girls in developing countries "may miss up to 20 percent of school because of menstruation," but a new study by economists Emily Oster and Rebecca Thornton suggests that "feminine problems" are not responsible for the gap:

Although girls in our sample were indeed less likely to attend school on days they had their period, the effect is very, very tiny.  On non-period days, girls were in school about 85.7 percent of the time; on days they are menstruating, they were in school 83.0 percent of the time (a difference of only 3.2 percent). This means that girls missed only about a third of a day per year due to their period.

* Happy belated birthday, The Pill.

* FoxSports' Jason Whitlock on Ben Roethlisberger:

Statements made by drunken sorority girls are not facts. Statements made by sober sorority girls about an evening spent bar-hopping and drinking are not facts.  Late last week I received an e-mail from a former sorority president and current advisor to a sorority. She warned me that the media were being foolish for believing the allegations of drunken 20-somethings. She explained what she'd witnessed firsthand as a student and what she now deals with as an advisor. Some young women use alcohol as an excuse to be sexually aggressive at fraternity houses and nightclubs and then quickly concoct a story of sexual assault when confronted by their disapproving peers. Most of these allegations never make it to police headquarters. The allegations are too sketchy and the accuser's immediate jury of peers reject them.

Because if there's anyone more credible than a "drunken sorority girl" eyewitness, it's an anonymous sorority advisor totally unrelated to the case who has no knowledge of what happened that night, but sent Jason Whitlock an e-mail.

* If you're a man who watches pornography, Susannah Breslin wants to hear from you.

* Via From Austin to A&M: An NPR piece on the problematic preponderance of male "experts" in journalism brings on a male expert on male expertise to talk about the issue. Th expert, Clay Shirkey, had this to say:

CLAY SHIRKY: I think one of the big impacts is that the male voice is what expertise comes to sound like. And so, even from someone who doesn’t go in with a formally sexist bias about whether men are more expert than women in general, you may just unconsciously flip through to those parts of the rolodex. Someone somewhere has to say, we have to change the fact of the representation before we change people’s mental model of what expertise sounds like because if we just wait, we will always lag the cultural change rather than leading it.

I wonder if NPR listeners had to hear this from a man in order to believe it?

Photo via freeparking, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

  • Eo

    It doesnt matter what way its spun, false accusations are a significant problem. Particularly on american campus where people are taught that sex while drunk that is later regretted is rape.

    If feminism went after both false accusers and rapist there would be more police resources for the genuine victims and so more solid convictions.

    To me the denial of false accusations is more evidence that feminism is more interesting in producing inflated figures to create hype, hate, funding and political currency than it is catching actual rapists.

    Every (and there are not many) independent non biased study on false allegations suggests significant numbers of false rape charges, heres a good article on it.;col1

    Untimatly, pretending false accusers arent a problem hurts genuine victims.

  • Kristina

    @Eo I don't think any feminist denies that there are such things as false accusers. But assuming that all of those who say they've been raped are just "crying rape" is a very real problem. I personally believe that the benefit of the doubt should be given, at the very least to allow a rape kit to be performed and attempt to tease out those who are lying from those who have actually been raped.

    Unrelatedly, Susannah Breslin's blog is disturbing. Narcissism at its finest. I got through approximately two greasy, OMG-I'm-so-awesome-look-how-much-I've-done paragraphs before I had to close the page or risk vomiting from having so much shit shoved down my throat. Ugh...

  • Vajoejoe

    The notion that false rape accusations are a big problem compared with rape itself, the difficulty of proving rape to juries (who among other things believe myths about how common false rape accusations are), etc., is preposterous, as any prosecutor, psychologist, criminologist, etc. who is familiar with this area will tell you. Eo's comment is not even supported by his or her own linked article. The article indicates that the vast majority of rape accusations (85% at least, and maybe 92%) are not "unfounded" and that even the "unfounded" category includes cases unprosecuted for lack of evidence, a group that dwarfs that of actually false allegations. Which probably leaves the false allegations at--what, maybe 1%? Maybe less? Which raises the question, why are Eo, nearly every sportswriter, etc., so focused on the remote possibility of a false allegation?

  • kza

    Jason Whitlock is retarded don't give him the time of day. He's always saying stupid shit like this.

  • Skipper

    Be very wary of anything written by Emily Oster. She is infamous for trying to explain away discrimination against women. She wrote this bullshit paper ( about how it was actually the Hepatitis B virus that caused women in China to have more boy babies than girl babies, and not cultural preference for boy children. That paper may have earned her some patriarchal head pats and a tenure position at Chicago, but it had to be withdrawn becuase her data completely didn't support her conclusion.

    Link to her current paper, please.