WashPo: The sexist double standard behind why millennials love Bernie Sanders

It is precisely Sanders’s au-naturel-ness that endears him to his young fans: his unkempt hair, his ill-fitting suits, his unpolished Brooklyn accent, his propensity to yell and wave his hands maniacally. Sanders, it appears, woke up like this.

These qualities are what make him seem “authentic,” “sincere” even — especially when contrasted with Clinton’s hyper-scriptedness. Sanders, unlike Clinton, doesn’t give a damn if he’s camera-ready.

This is, of course, a form of authenticity that is off-limits to any female politician, not just one with Clinton’s baggage.

Female politicians — at least if they want to be taken seriously on a national stage — cannot be unkempt and unfiltered, hair mussed and voice raised. They have to be carefully coifed and scripted at all times, because they have to hew as closely as possible to the bounds of propriety available to both their sex and their occupation. They can’t be too quiet or too loud, too emotional or too cold, too meek or too aggressive, and so on.

But they also can’t appear to be trying too hard, either. At least if they want the kind of enthusiastic millennial support that Sanders enjoys.

In which you take an actual complex issue and write the laziest, most offensive story you can about it. Millennials are not supporting Bernie Sanders because of his “unkempt hair” and “ill-fitting suits”. The authenticity factor has nothing to do with physical appearance, but is grounded in the issues and the way that each candidate speaks to us about them (AKA Hillary “just chillin’ in Iowa” Clinton vs. Bernie “I’m going to speak to you like the adults you are” Sanders). 

Do women in politics and in virtually every profession face unfair and sexist criticisms that men don’t? Yes, of course we do. And Secretary Clinton has been a victim of this double standard, but if you look at where that criticism is coming from it is not “millennials” and this type of half-baked writing does nothing to address the actual issue and only serves to degrade and dismiss young voters.

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January 25th 1890: Nellie Bly completes her round-the-world journey

On this day in 1890, pioneering American journalist Nellie Bly completed a 72 day round-the-world trip. Born Elizabeth Jane Cochran in 1864, Bly had little formal schooling, and ran a boarding house in Pittsburgh with her widowed mother. When she was 18, Bly sent a fierce response letter to an editorial in a local paper entitled ‘What Girls are Good For’, which claimed that working women were a ‘monstrosity’ and women should remain in the home. The paper’s editor was so impressed by her rebuttal that they offered her a job; it was at this point that she adopted the pen name ‘Nellie Bly’. Bly made a name for herself through her eloquent advocacy for women’s rights and her investigative journalism, which took her to Pittsburgh slums and Mexican villages. By 1887, Bly had outgrown Pittsburgh and took a job working for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. She continued her interest in feminist issues, interviewing activists like Susan B. Anthony and anarchist Emma Goldman. Building on her previous undercover experience (she had posed as a sweatshop worker to expose poor working conditions) Bly sought to expose the treatment of patients in an infamous New York mental institution. She did so by going undercover as a mental patient, feigning insanity and living in the asylum for 10 days; her exposé shocked readers with its account of neglect and physical abuse. Bly worked closely with the subsequent investigation, and helped secure increased mental health funding and regulations. In 1889, inspired by Jules Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in Eighty Days, Bly was tasked by her newspaper with beating the fictional record. Travelling primarily by boat and train, after 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds, Bly set a world record for traversing the globe. She returned on January 25th 1890, stepping off a train in New Jersey to cheering crowds. While she was soon beaten by George Francis Train, the feat made Nellie Bly an internationally-famous figure. She married a millionaire industrialist in 1895 and soon retired from journalism, becoming president of Iron Clad Manufacturing Co. upon her husband’s death and inventing several devices for the business. Nellie Bly died in January 1922, aged 57, but is remembered today for her outstanding achievements, which paved the way for women in journalism.

Last October, China ended its 35-year-old policy of restricting most urban families to one child. Commonly referred to as the “one-child” policy, the restrictions were actually a collection of rules governing how many children married couples could have.

“The basic idea was to encourage everybody, by coercion if necessary, to keep to … one child,” journalist Mei Fong tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.

Fong explores the wide-ranging impact of what she calls the world’s “most radical experiment” in her new book, One Child. She says that among the policy’s unintended consequences is an acute gender imbalance.

“When you create a system where you would shrink the size of a family and people would have to choose, then people would … choose sons,” Fong says. “Now China has 30 million more men than women, 30 million bachelors who cannot find brides. … They call them guang guan, ‘broken branches,’ that’s the name in Chinese. They are the biological dead ends of their family.”

How China’s One-Child Policy Led To Forced Abortions, 30 Million Bachelors


The US is killing more civilians in Iraq and Syria than it acknowledges

ISTANBUL, Turkey — In almost a-year-and-a-half of bombing Iraq and Syria, the United States admits to killing just 22 innocent people. That number is impossibly low.

A GlobalPost investigation has unearthed a disturbing truth about the US military campaign against the Islamic State: Many more civilians are dying in American airstrikes than the US government acknowledges. People in Iraq and Syria can see what is happening. And so can the enemy. The Islamic State portrays the conflict as a war on Sunnis and a war on Muslims. When the coalition kills civilians — and does not investigate and apologize — the Islamic State fills the void with propaganda. 

According to the US Department of Defense: “No other military on Earth takes the concerns over collateral damage and civilian casualties more seriously than we do.” Yet our investigation found there has been no honest official estimate of how many civilians the United States has killed in Iraq and Syria. Even if civilian casualties are an inevitable part of war, the American public is being fed the comforting illusion that this war can be fought without shedding much innocent blood.

And that is simply not the case.

Read the full story here.

Psychologists can use highly specific terms in their research. As a service to their readers, reporters try to phrase the jargon in everyday terms. This is essential for easy reading, but a lot of important nuance can be lost that way.

Betsy Levy Paluck, a social psychologist at Princeton, writes that her research on “highly connected kids” in social networks is often described as work on “cool kids.” But that’s misleading. “Some of these highly-connected kids are really not cool,” she writes.