Purple NoiZe by Veronica Berglyd Olsen


Cut-out from Sinfest comic from October 2011.

The Troubles with Gender

There is, as some of you may have noticed, a debate going on in the skeptics community about the – how shall I put this – status of trans women. I’m very busy writing a book on the subject of gender diversity, so I spend little time on Facebook and Twitter these days, but from what I have seen there are a lot of problematic arguments flying around in various comments. Let me make a few comments of my own on some key points.

Artist's impression of "Nostalgia for Infinity" from Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space. Image created by Yann Souetre.

Essay: When Curiosity Kills

Science is a tool, and is inherently about understanding and knowledge. But science has also been used to destroy, a topic often explored in science fiction. Science is a double-edged sword, and science fiction sometimes becomes science reality.

The history of science is riddled with brilliant scientists making discoveries that have changed the course of history, but learning how to manipulate the sometimes violent forces of nature isn’t always a good thing.

A photo of the Lego model of the ATLAS detector.

Playing with Legos at Work!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been spending a lot of time here at the University of Oslo putting together a Lego model of the ATLAS detector.

The ATLAS detector is one of the four main particle detectors sitting on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva. The ATLAS experiment was one of the two main experiments involved in the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2012. My research group at the University of Oslo contributed to the design and construction of parts of the inner sections of the ATLAS detector, and has been involved in the research following the start-up in 2009.

Screenshot from the video with Laverne Cox sitting in a chair on the left and bell hooks on the right.

Video: Dialogue Between Laverne Cox and bell hooks

This is an amazing dialogue between Laverne Cox and bell hooks.

Embedding the video doesn’t seem to work, but you can watch it on colorlines.

Description: Laverne Cox is a critically acclaimed actress who currently appears in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, playing the groundbreaking role of “Sophia Burset,” an incarcerated African American transgender woman. Laverne is the first trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television show. Time Magazine named Sophia Burset the 4th most influential fictional character of 2013.

Image of Patrick Steward holding a sign that reads "Defend rights for women and girls - Amnesty International".

Why Should Feminists Care About Men?

The media is currently full of people with opinions about feminism, like this pieces in Time, but little or no knowledge of the history of feminism and what feminism is in terms of its diversity of ideas and approaches. Feminism is constantly presented as a monolith, constructed as needed by cherry picking whatever suits the critic. Feminism is anything but.

Most people who know a bit about feminist history know that feminism came in waves. In addition there are several branches and off-shoots of feminism, like for instance queer theory. Sure, there are bad off-shoots too, off-shoots that hate men or anything they deem tainted by “maleness”, but they are not the norm.

Feature: Video Games

Video: Are Video Games Sexist?

Christina Hoff Sommers likes to pretend she’s a feminist while being incredibly anti-feminist at the same time. Surprise surprise, the dudebros love her for it. Here’s a video response to one of her in-support-of-gamergate videos. It’s hilarious! If you want more entertainment, the comment section is full of ad hominem attacks on the guy who made […]

Pink, cermaic necklace with the transgender symbol.

Why Do Trans Women Transition in a Sexist Society?

The facebook page “Lesbians and Feminists Against Transphobia” posted an email they received on their page. It was an email from a feminist cis woman asking about trans women. I’ll try to split up the email and respond to each part of it. The email is quoted with the permission of the author.

«This is probably a really stupid question to y’all, but to me trans issues are kinda complicated and I don’t really understand, I’m trying to learn not trying to offend, I apologize if I do. But could you explain, in simple non academic language if possible, …»