Link Love (13/10/2012)

News Across the World

Iran: “Thirty-six universities across Iran have banned women from 77 different majors, including accounting, counseling, and engineering, for the school year that begins on Saturday, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported in August.” Lift restrictions on women’s education, rights group tells Iran – Reuters

Iraq: “Underage marriage is still a problem in Iraq. But attitudes toward it differ – with some locals saying it’s positive and legal according to religious law, and others criticising it as an abuse of minors’ rights.” Underage Marriage: they took my doll away, gave me a husband – Niqash

Mali: Islamists begin Timbuktu clampdown on women without veils – AFP & Women suffer behind veil of silence in Mali’s North – AFP

Pakistan: Marriages in Pakistan: More than just a gamble – Muslimah Media Watch

Syria: Syria ex-detainees allege ordeals of rape and sex abuse – BBC

Yemen: Oxfam: Yemeni women worse off after uprising – AFP


Speaking up about mental health issues is so important. There is no shame in being physically illness, there should be no shame in mental illness.This entire post is excellent, I just want to go yes, yes, YES: “The thing about depression and anxiety- I can’t speak personally for any other mental illnesses- is that they are self-perpetuating. Being depressed is depressing. There’s nothing quite like anxiety to ramp up my fight-or-flight responses. Although you know logically what needs to be done to get out of them, you can’t. And meds help. For some people. They help me, at least. They don’t change who I am or make me into some kind of automaton. They just give me that tiny little boost I need to start helping myself. They’re like the footstool I keep in the kitchen to reach the highest shelves. I know exactly where I keep the glasses, but no amount of knowing can make me grow a foot taller to reach them. I need the stool, and I always will. I need meds right now. I don’t know if I always will. I hope I won’t. But if I do, I’m incredibly glad that they’re there. Meds give me the spoons I need to help myself.” On World Mental Health Day, what it means to me – Consider the Tea Cosy

Become a House-sitter, See the World – The Billfold

“An interesting thing to consider is that where you spend your time will define who you are as a person. A person who spends all of his time on his strengths will be a very narrowly focused person. He gets good at something and keeps hammering away at it until he’s an expert. He who spends time focusing on his weaknesses will have a very broad focus. He’ll be fairly good at lots of little things, but not a true expert in any.” Strengths and Weaknesses – Tynan

“I think the greatest glue of my friendships is the fact that I like kids, and was genuinely excited about the birth of my friends’ kids. If childless people only want to spend child-free time with their friends, I anticipate the relationship would suffer due to an unwillingness to take part in the biggest aspect of their life. The same can be said for loss. As we age, the loss or sickness of an elderly parent becomes an eclipsing event. When a friend loses a parent or has a family crisis, regardless of what age we are, we need to hang up our own complaints, our day-to-day minutiae, and just be present for our friends, or understand that they want to be alone.” I Don’t Have Kids, But All of my Friends Do – Role / Reboot

“The only way that American women will ever fully solve the “women’s problem” is by recognizing the quest for perfection for what it is: a myth. No woman can have it all, and by using all as the standard of success, we are only condemning ourselves and our daughters to failure.” Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect – The Daily Beast

“If you find yourself comparing your relationship and partner to movie and TV romance, it might be time to take a little break… from the TV, not your relationship. A recent study found that the more one believes in the portrayals of romance in movies and on television shows, the less likely they are to be committed to their actual relationship.” Is TV Romance Bad for Your Relationship – Care2


What Do Atheists Live For? To Learn More, Says Martin Wagner – Friendly Atheist

“The whole purpose of this letter, like I said, was to scare evangelicals out of voting for Obama at any cost. And today, they’re doing the same thing. If you vote for Obama, they say, every manner of horrible awful no good very bad thing will happen. Your freedoms will disappear. They will take your guns, they will ban homeschooling, they will send your grandma to death panels. But this is getting old. See, leaders on the Right do this every election year. Every election is “the most important election of all time,” and every election year they warn that our freedoms as Americans are on the line. Every election year they predict catastrophe if they lose the election. The day after Obama’s election, a friend facebooked me a simple question: “Are you ready for four years of hell?” He went on to talk about Christians being put in jail and socialism coming to America. Didn’t happen.” “This is the most important election of all time!” (again!) – Love, Joy, Feminism

“So what’s the big problem with this, then? Especially in a country like America where mass slaughters, inquisitions, and the like in god’s name are unlikely to come to fruition (neglecting the ongoing wars that were spurred on by religious propaganda), it may be simply a bit of delusional fun.  The problem is that in the minds of believers, God cannot be wrong.  This means that some beliefs, some ideas, some biases, prejudices, and possibly violent action, are sanctioned by an all-powerful and perfect creator that lies outside the realm of inquiry for the believer.” Proving God Wrong: Why Believers Are Fundamentally Incorrigible – Coffee Shop Atheist


“I believe that teaching women how to “not get raped” instead of teaching everyone “don’t rape” is a failure of our society. I believe that women and men are raped, abused, and exploited.  I believe that this is a tragedy that is also a failure of our society. I believe that “look at what she was wearing”, “how much alcohol did she drink?”, and “well, she should take responsibility for putting herself in a bad situation”, are classic examples of rape culture, and these phrases should be removed from any discourse.” I am a Feminist. Are You? – Nice Girls Like Sex Too

“Michael Sinan: Obviously it wasn’t so I could parade down a runway. My objective was to show the gay community, and also Muslims, that there are modern Muslims in Denmark. The media fixates on extremist, aggressive Muslims who live according to customs more appropriate in the Middle Ages. That’s not fair. There’s a lot of us, and we’re mostly modern. I wanted to demonstrate that to be gay and Muslim is both possible and okay.” Michael Sinan, Mr. Gay Denmark 2012, On Being Out and Proud as a Muslim – Huffington Post

“What I have come to understand and know intimately is that the purity with which children develp their identity and self-love is directly linked to a significant factor: supportive parents. When we see a child who broadly steps outside of prescribed gender roles–a little girl with a buzz cut wearing boy shorts or a little boy with a pink tee or long hair–it is inevitably because a mom or dad let their kid make their own choices. It shouldn’t be a big deal, yet it is because we are all part of a system that tends to punish those who are different. We know all-too-well the potential consequences of unorthodox behavior which is part of why we fear our children’s fearlessness. ” Don’t Fear Your Child’s Fearlessness – Princess Free Zone

“In our circle of friends, I’ve seen many fathers who prioritized exercise over time with the family. Terms like “running widows” and “running orphans” aren’t hyperbolic; I’ve watched marriages flounder when one partner’s need to chase the endorphin high trumps his or her—but almost always his—commitment to family. The transition from the leisurely life of childless athletes to the exhaustion that comes with being the working parents of two small children is a jarring one. There’s a big difference between the pleasant fatigue that comes after a long run and the bone-weariness of sleepless nights with little ones. For more than a few runners and triathletes I’ve known, that shift can lead to resentment—who are these little people who are messing with my training schedule?” I Don’t Need Rock-Hard Abs to be a Good Father and Husband – Role / Reboot

“Michelle Obama is–refreshingly for many of us–lauded for being nurturing, beautiful and stylish as well as whip smart, athletic and strong. And we imagine that Obama has the strength to make her needs known and that if she has, for now, chosen motherhood, that it is the role she wants. She is a black woman free to make that choice. These things are revolutionary for black women, even if some white women see business as usual.” A Black Mon-in-Chief is Revolutionary: What White Feminists Get Wrong about Michelle Obama – Clutch Magazine


Egg Essentials: 21 Tips, Tricks & Recipes – Care2

Emergency Paleo Food – PaleoNonPaleo

Treat and Prevent UTIs Without Drugs – Chris Kresser

Natural Dental Products – The Primal Parent

Beauty & Body Image

“A lot of the rhetoric that surrounds fitness uses phrases like “building your best body” and “being the best possible you,” as if “the best possible you” is one that has firm triceps and a tight ass.  It’s not about being more compassionate or helpful or kinder or braver.   Perhaps that’s because cultivating the intellect or developing a set of ethics is beyond the scope of most fitness media, but I do think it’s striking that the language chosen to convey the benefits of fitness is one that equates a fit body with the “best possible you.”” Your ‘best possible you’ is more than just your body – Fit and Feminist

“But whether we treat our bodies as foes or as slaves, we seem to expect them not to resist, revolt, or die from the abuse. We enter these battles without an exit strategy, with an almost adolescent short-sightedness. We ignore dissenting voices from our bodies — after all, they’re only property. Most of us can never be as thin as we’d like, but if our bodies try to tell us this, we deny it like a stubborn child. “Mind over matter,” we say. Perhaps genetics didn’t give us the breasts we want, so we go to a doctor to cut us open and implant artificial ones. “It’s what I want,” we say, never thinking to consult our bodies about what they want. We’ve made up our minds, and damn the consequences.” The War Within: Your Body, Your Self – Adios Barbie

“Here is the thing about wearing high heels.  There will always be stares and there will often be comments.  When I put on my heels, I know for a fact that I am going to get stares.  I know this.  But, I’m six foot tall, so I get stares even when I’m in flats.  Knowing that they’re coming has helped me prepare for them.  And, I’ve found that if I’m confident in my look, it changes the nature of the stares and comments.  Seriously, exuding confidence changes the stares/comments from “Holy smokes, Hubert, look at that freakishly tall woman” to “I wish I were tall; I bet she can reach the top cupboard so easily.”” Confidence in Heels – Fashion for Giants


 50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities – Tiny Buddha


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