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As a sociologist concerned with inequality, I think the juiciest question to ask is, are all voices treated equally? That is, do we empower some gender presentations and disempower others? This question is the central question explored in the movie, In A World. The movie, which was written and directed by it's star Lake Bell, is about a young woman who is trying to break into the voice over acting world, but struggles mightily because the industry is male dominated. In the movie and in reality, when Hollywood wants an authoritative voice, a powerful voice, or simply "the voice of god", they turn to male voice over actors more often than not. We should stop and ask, why is it this way? Are masculine voices just naturally more powerful? Nah. If you've spent anytime with opera singers you know that both male and female voices can rattle your ribcage. The answer then must be cultural. Read full article & view trailer from: In a World.



New reports show the growing trend of mobile media as pediatricians warn families to get grip on their kids' digital diets. That children in the U.S., from newborns to 8-year-olds, are spending less time in front of traditional television and computer screens than they were two years ago is the good news found in a new report. The bad news? Most of those children are now spending increasingly more time in front of newer–and more mobile–digital screens that a growing number of people carry with them nearly everywhere they go. And worse still, according to new guidelines from the pediatric medical community, also released Monday, both the short-term and long-term impact on these children could be devastating. "Among families with children age 8 and under, there has been a five-fold increase in ownership of tablet devices such as iPads, from 8% of all families in 2011 to 40% in 2013. The percent of children with access to some type of 'smart' mobile device at home (e.g., smartphone, tablet) has jumped from half (52%) to three-quarters (75%) of all children in just two years."Read article online



Researchers at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab are delving into questions posed by sexualized depictions of women in video games. Bailenson is particularly interested in the Proteus Effect: how the experience of acting in a virtual body, known as an avatar, changes people's behavior in both the virtual and real worlds. For example, when someone wears an avatar that is taller than his actual self, he will act more confidently. People who see the effects of exercise on their bodies in the virtual world will exercise more in the real world. The Entertainment Software Association estimates that across mobile, PC and console platforms, 45 percent of American gamers are female. But few game titles feature female protagonists. In many popular games in this fast-growing industry, female characters are in the minority; more often than not, they are sexualized.

Read Stanford's Research



It's not news that Twitter has a woman problem. Not a lack of women Tweeting, but rather a lack of women on the company's board. Just as they prepare to go public next week, Twitter has found itself at the center of the controversy regarding the overall lack of female representation on the boards of some of the largest players in Silicon Valley. Sources indicate that Twitter is going to appoint a woman to the company board, but is planning on waiting until after its IPO, a move that has the National Organization for Women calling on Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to get a woman on the board now. "The excuse that there aren’t enough qualified women is older than the internet," said Sonia Ossorio, President of NOW-NYC. "Twitter may be the future of social networking, but the all-male Board of Directors follows an age-old trend of excluding women." With a 62% female user base, the absence of a woman on the Twitter board is particularly shocking, and it certainly doesn't help when flyers with buxom beer babe cartoons are found posted on company bathroom doors. This flyer was spotted in the women's bathroom at Twitter by engineering manager Jill Wetzler, just as Mr. Costolo attempted to defend its board against critics claiming sexism. Jill took to Twitter to share the offensive poster, sparking hundreds of tweets in support of women employees at Twitter. Please tweet in support for many women to be appointed to the board. ContactCEO @dickc and include the hashtag #TwitterBoard .Read full article
Sign the petition!



With depression and suicide in the United States on the rise, it's important to suss out what makes people unhappy. Simply the expectation that one should be ecstatically happy at all times is a major contributing factor, Aaker said, adding that many people chase that high by always acquiring new things: relationships, jobs, smartphones, to name only a few. Social media has a grip on people's happiness. A recent study suggested that people's self-esteem plummets after spending time on social media networks like Facebook. Many social media users carefully curate their photos and posts on Facebook to present the best, happiest image. Onlookers, however, compare their happiness to the perceived happiness of others and conclude that their lives don't measure up. Those negative thoughts "stick" to us more easily than positive thoughts, Kelley said, and so people should spend more time reflecting upon and appreciating the happy moments. Both stress and social media can promote happiness as well. It's all a matter of the right kind of stress and the right use of social media. Read full report

Watch panel highlights online.



Paul Krugman writes that the GOP's hostility towards the poor and unfortunate has become an all-out "war on the poor." The consequences of the painful cuts to food stamps taking effect today offer a glimpse of the casualties and collateral damage to come. Today, millions of American families are being pushed over the "hunger cliff," as the food stamp program is cut by $5 billion due to the expiration of funding increases from the 2009 stimulus. The increase was triggered by the influx of Americans into the program, in the aftermath of the financial crisis and ensuing recession, and was meant to expire when the crisis passed and demand for assistance returned to normal levels. But for one in seven Americans — including 15.9 million children, and 925,000 seniors — in "food insecure households, the crisis never passed. What was already a daily struggle to get enough to eat will become even harder today." Read article online
Related: More than 1.2 million K–12 students for the 2011-12 school year were homeless. This staggering number is considered underreported, since many kids take great measures to hide their homelessness due to embarrassment, and parents do their best to stay under the radar for fear of losing their children.
Also Read One Million Homeless K-12 students.



"When I read about what happened to you, I'm filled with terror. I feel paralyzed. I recognize that it's the same terror I felt when I witnessed violence as a child, which kept me frozen, stifled and silent. I used to cry myself to sleep while they screamed right outside of my bedroom. I was always alone. I don't want to be frozen silent when I witness violence. That's not how I want to live. In spite of my own struggles, I'm writing to let you know that I stand with you. I stand with you, Marissa, hand-in-hand with other men in my life who haven't found their voices yet, either." Share what you have witnessed. Join in the conversation below.
AND check out the new version of Tough Guise 2: The Ongoing Crisis in Violent Masculinity. Read review here


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