New stories about the former planet Pluto popped up in my news feed again this week. It has now been over a decade since the definition of what qualifies as a planet was voted over, but this is still a controversial issue to many. I too got a special place in my heart for Pluto, but should what astronomers classify it matter to me?
The lack of legal rights for transgender people in Norway was brought up in our parliament by the Socialist Party back in 2000. In May this year, after 16 years of lobbying and hard work by a lot of people, a new law finally passed that allows any people the right to define their own legal gender. The law came into effect on July 1st.
On the 30th of May Proposition 74L (2015–2016) passed with 79 votes against 13. The law grants any person over the age of 16 the right to determine their own legal gender, though still limited to female or male. Children between the age of 6 and 16 will also be able to change legal gender with parental consent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]