Here’s this week’s assortment of interesting tidbits:
It’s amazing what we will do–and what corporations will enable–to suit our cultural expectations.
Looking to make life a little bit easier for their female clientele, the Japanese chain Freshness Burger launched the “Liberation Wrapper” to mask a woman’s mouth while eating. With this new burger packaging, which features a closed-mouth smile, women could now get the mouthful they so desired without the fear of public disapproval. Since switching up their wrappers, Freshness Burger has seen a 213% increase among women ordering their biggest patty.
Not everyone realizes Time and other weekly news magazines use different covers in the U.S. and around the world. Last week, ours had a fat joke about Chris Christie; the rest of the world got a cover referring to the article on the “gods of food” who, in keeping with at least conventional Christian concepts of gods, are all male. Melissa McEwen has something to say:
The problem here isn’t that [David] Chang is getting accolades, it’s that women who are equally talented aren’t sharing in the spotlight. Time can throw around words like “reputation” and “influence” all it likes, but the bottom line is that the media (and the culinary industry) doesn’t give women the same space to goof off as it does men. Women have to be serious about their talents, lest folks dismiss them as unskilled. Of course, behaving professionally is also likely to get a woman labelled as an icy bitch who isn’t a team player. All of which plays into the whole “boys club” dynamic that Time claims to be merely chronicling.
McEwen also name checks Alice Waters, who is from our own back yard and should never be left out of any great chefs article.
The only thing that makes this 35-year-old virgin story worth a link is Laurie’s hilarious comment that whatever Amanda McCracken and Bill Clinton might do together, they’d both agree that it wasn’t “sex.”
We may be huge proponents of nude photographs, but we are also fond of consent. Apparently, for about thirty years, the Ivy League colleges took a different view.
Between the 1940s and the 1970s, … Harvard, Yale, Wellesley College, Vassar as well as Brown University, were among the elite American colleges that asked all the young men and women enrolled in their first year, to pose nude. Thousands and thousands of pictures were taken of students, including such notable names such as George Bush, Diane Sawyer, Meryl Streep and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The unusual photo sessions were part of a larger project run by … William Herbert Sheldon, who conducted them in co-operation with the universities. While the general idea was that the photos were meant for the use of studying scoliosis, rickets and other posture-related deficiencies, it’s believed they were actually being used to research something rather more sinister. Strong evidence in Sheldon’s classified written material has shown that the researcher was using Ivy League freshmen students to study the correlation between a person’s body shape and their intelligence.
Aside from the complete lack of written consent (and the dubious consent of doing this when your place in college probably depended on it), I can’t even start about body shape, intelligence, presumptions of intelligence based on Ivy League school admittance and success, and more. Not, of course, to mention either class or race.