2011 Year in Sex Harassment and Discrimination [jezebel.com]

by Doug Barry / jezebel.com

In a year marked by record-high unemployment figures, an international debt crisis, and a Kardashian family that’s draining money from taxpaying television viewers, many economists have struggled to find a suitable scapegoat for America’s economic malaise. Theusual suspects include nefarious hedge fund managers, two Middle Eastern wars, socialized medicine, lazy Europeans, and a hex placed on American manufacturing by Chinese wizards, but there is perhaps a bigger obstacle facing the American workforce: Employers are too damn finicky, often insisting that prospective employees not only demonstrate relevant work skills but also not be too markedly unique lest a set of different chromosomes, surgically altered genitals, or breasts upset the precarious stupor the other office drones have been lulled into.

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Women are at their most confident aged 52 [lifestyle.aol.co.uk]

By Jennifer Barton / aol.co.uk

If you thought your late teens to early twenties was the time when you were at your most body-confident (you did wear those tiny bikinis back then, after all), you were mistaken. It appears that fabulous over 50 is more than just a saying since age 52 is when women feel their most body-confident and content.

At least according to the views of 3,000 women who were polled for a new survey on body confidence from slimming and lifestyle website Myspecialk.co.uk. The survey found that two-thirds of those questioned believed that the age of 52 was when women felt their happiest and were most comfortable with their bodies, inside and out, reports the Daily Mail.

50 per cent of the women questioned cited that many of their key goals had been achieved by age 52. London-based psychologist Rebekah Fensome attributes the verdict to women feeling most secure in themselves by the time they reach their fifties: “A woman in her 50s knows who she is, what her strengths are and values, as well as her weaknesses and failings.”

“You become more accepting of the things that you are good at and the things that you are not.”

In other body-confidence news, the survey found that women who feel confident about their figures will wear red (that certainly rings true for Mariah Carey in that body-con dress she sported last week to show off her post-pregnancy weight loss) while those feeling less body-confident will hide away in black (Dawn French came out on top for least body-confident celebrity). Holly Willoughby, Cheryl Cole, Nigella Lawson and Kelly Brook were believed to have the most body confidence.

Looks like they missed out on Lorraine Kelly, who – at 52 and in a fitted red frock (see pic above) – is clearly feeling body-fabulous. As she well should.

Do Sensitive Kids Turn into OCD Adults? [jezebel.com]

By Cassie Murdoch / jezebel.com

How many times have you looked at a kid meticulously lining up a series of blocks, or refusing to eat anything green on their plate, or carefully putting on their socks in just the right way (because, duh, otherwise the seams press into their toes!) and thought, “Man, that kid is going to be totally OCD when she grows up.” Well, it turns out you might not be that far off.

According to new research conducted by Professor Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University, there is a strong connection between children who are hypersensitive and focus on following strict rituals and adults who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Professor Dar found that there is a direct correlation between the way our nervous systems process sensory input and our development of ritualistic behaviors:

When children experience heightened levels of sensitivity, they develop ritualistic behaviors to better cope with their environment. In the long term, this is one potential pathway to OCD.

Professor Dar conducted two different studies to determine this connection. The first asked parents of kindergartners to fill out questionnaires about their child’s need for ritual, their habits of repeating certain actions or ordering objects in specific ways, their anxieties, and their reactions to sensations like being touched or smelling or tasting something unusual. The second study asked adults to fill out surveys about “their OCD tendencies, their anxiety levels, and their past and current sensitivity to oral and tactile stimulation.” Taken in combination, the studies established a link between OCD tendencies and high levels of sensitivity:

In children, hypersensitivity was an indicator of ritualism, whereas in adults it was related to OCD symptoms. As a whole, these findings provide preliminary support for the idea that such sensitivities are a precursor to OCD symptoms.

Dar believes that when kids are extra sensitive, they experience sensations in such a heightened way that it can feel like they’re being attacked; they develop rituals as a way of protecting themselves against these sensory overloads and to help them “regain a sense of control.” This behavior is also a symptom of adult OCD. While the connection makes sense, further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm the link between childhood and adult ritualistic behaviors.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons kids obsess over things, so don’t stress too much about the chances of him or having OCD. In terms of potential warning signs, Dar says, “If you see that a child is very rigid with rituals, becoming anxious if unable to engage in this behavior, it is more alarming.” But it also depends on the child’s age. In a five- or six-year-old, it might not be an indication of future OCD, but if it’s happening past the time a child is eight, then it could be a red flag, particularly if they suffer from anxiety.

Childhood Hypersensitivity Linked to OCD [ScienceDaily]


Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off At Gender-Specific Toy Colors Will Make Your Heart Swell [jezebel.com]

by Lane Moore / jezebel.com

I kind of knew I would love this video when I clicked on it and I was right. I just didn’t know how much I would love it.

In the video, awesome little kid Riley paces around the doll aisle while trying to figure out why companies are trying to “trick girls into buying the pink stuff instead of stuff that boys want to buy”.

What really wrecked me (in the best way) was Riley’s completely reasonable and insightful observation that, “Some girls like superheroes, some girls like princesses! Some boys like superheroes, some boys like princesses! So why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and all the boys have to buy different color stuff?” mainly because I remember being a little kid in the Hot Wheels aisle wondering why I never received those for Christmas, even though I secretly wanted them.

I was into action figures and superheroes at a young age but I remember that confused/nearly angry feeling I had upon realizing that no one had even considered that I might want anything other than pink toys or “girl toys” and I began to wonder if there was something wrong with mebecause I wanted something else.

But perhaps the moment that caused my heart to swell the most was Riley’s father answering her with, “That’s a good question Riley” in a tone that sounded both exasperated at the unfortunate truths she was speaking so clearly about, and proud as hell that his young daughter would likely grow up to be a force to be reckoned with.



New Unfunny Crossdressing Sitcom Offends Just About Everyone [jezebel.com]

by Margaret Hartmann / jezebel.com

Plenty of comedies are based on the idea that there’s inherent humor in men dressing up as women, from Some Like It Hot to Bosom Buddies. If you need proof that the entire concept is dated, look no further than the trailer for Work It, a new sitcom premiering on ABC in January. The 90-second clip is so unbearably unfunny that it almost seems like a parody of how idiotic sitcoms have become, and now several groups are slamming the series for being insensitive to the transgender community.

The L.A. Times reports that GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign took out a full-page ad inVariety asking ABC to pull the show before it even airs. The show follows two unemployed straight men who dress as women to get jobs at a pharmaceutical company that’s hiring female sales representatives. There’s no mention of transgender people in the pilot, but the groups argue that, “By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters’ attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women.”

The groups say they want to send the message that cross-dressing in comedy is never acceptable, but there’s no redeeeming social commentary in Work It. In fact, while the characters lament the “mancession,” the show actually ignores the fact that transgender people are subjected to a tremendous amount of discrimination in the workplace. Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s senior director of programs, explains, “The truth is, transgender people often have a very hard time finding a job and of those who do, more than one-quarter are fired because of their transgender identity.” Plus, 34 states have no laws protecting people from being fired for their gender identity.

Some argue that Work It is no worse than Monty Python characters dressing in drag or Kenan Thompson playing Whoopi Goldberg on SNL, but just to make sure the show offends absolutely everyone, the writers threw in a little racism and sexism. In the pilot one character says, “I’m Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs.” As for the ladies, in addition to one of the main characters throwing out his large sandwich because real women never eat anything but lettuce, a pharmaceutical rep explains that the company is only hiring women because, “We find the doctors prefer to ‘nail’ the drug reps more when they are girls.” It’s pretty unbelievable that with all the people involved in getting this show on the air, no one pointed out that it’s not 1986, and people should be laughing during a sitcom, not cringing.

GLAAD’s Full-Page Ad Denounces ABC Cross-Dressing Sitcom ‘Work It’ [LAT]
Work It Doesn’t Work [GLAAD]