Sex and gender at work, in bed, and on the street

Albert Haynesworth, Taylor Swift, and Geronimo!: Your sex and gender morning roundup

May 11, 2011 - 09:00 AM
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Taylor Swift wears sneakers. (Photo: Associated Press)

ALBERT HAYNESWORTH's attorney on charges that the Redskins player groped a waitress earlier this year: "It did not happen." What did not happen? Everything. Nothing happened. Hey,categorical denial is at least more sound a defense than "I don't even like black girls."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The battle over Virginia abortion regulations begins now; the Washington Post's exaggerated claims of equality for gays; the University of Maryland's high standards for sexual assault claims.

AFTER THE JUMP: When to appropriate 'Geronimo'; the gender politics of Cheers; defending Slutwalking:

GERONIMO! Not a terribly appropriate code name for an infamous international terrorist leader you are killing.

THE GENDER POLITICS OF CHEERS: "The politics in particular get to me," Alyssa Rosenberg writes of revisiting the show (what up Netflix Instant!) "It's amazing that a full eight years before Murphy Brown got pregnant, Cheers had a main character who was already an unmarried mother of four get pregnant again, and have the cast be broadly supportive, except for some mild ribbing. I don't know if the show pulled it off because it wasn't yet a ratings phenomenon, or because Carla Tortelli was clearly coded as both ethnic and working-class, and so she didn't need to be attacked as some sort of Threat to the Family because she didn't make single motherhood look cool."

TAYLOR SWIFT dooms her bullies to failure in her latest vid. Snarking on another girl's footwear, however, just might catapult you to super-stardom.

JACK SHAFER on the loose tweets of Rashard Mendenhal, Keith Olbermann, and Nir Rosen: "I reject the idea that Twitter trips up naïve users such as Mendenhall and other athletes who don't fully understand how social media works . . .  Nor do I think that Twitter turns the meek into blowhards, a proposition I'm willing to test with a scientific experiment. And don't even try the 'open microphone' excuse on me. . . . What's more likely is that most of us say five or six provocative things a day about our friends, co-workers, the baristas at our coffee shop, ethnic groups, athletes, celebrities, politicians, other public figures, and anybody else who falls into our sightlines. Depending on the subject, we either mutter the comments so nobody can be outraged, or we pick an audience sympathetic to our views, thereby staying out of trouble."

LINDSAY BEYERSTEIN resolves the feminist/slut dilemma: "If you try to argue that you're not a slut, you're implicitly buying into the idea that there are sluts out there. If there's some criterion that will set you free, that standard will indict someone else--someone with a higher 'number,' or shorter skirt, or a later curfew. So we get bogged down in slut/non-slut border skirmishes over a line nobody should have tried to draw in the first place, and we all lose. The only 'refutation' is to laugh in your accuser's face and get on with your life, however you choose to live it. That's what Slut Walk is about."

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