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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Daily Drift

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Today in History

1214 At the Battle of Bouvines in France, Philip Augustus of France defeats John of England.
1245 Frederick II is deposed by a council at Lyons, which found him guilty of sacrilege.
1586 Sir Walter Raleigh returns to England from Virginia.
1663 British Parliament passes a second Navigation Act, requiring all goods bound for the colonies be sent in British ships from British ports.
1689 Government forces defeat the Scottish Jacobites at the Battle of Killiecrankie.
1777 The Marquis of Lafayette arrives in New England to help fight the British.
1778 British and French fleets fight to a standoff in the first Battle of Ushant.
1793 Robespierre becomes a member of the Committee of Public Safety.
1861 President Abraham Lincoln replaces General Irwin McDowell with General George B. McClellen as head of the Army of the Potomac.
1905 The International Workers of the World found their labor organization in Chicago.
1909 Orville Wright sets a world record for staying aloft in an airplane–one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds.
1914 British troops invade the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and begin to disarm Irish rebels.
1921 Canadians Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin at the University of Toronto.
1944 U.S. troops complete the liberation of Guam.
1953 Representatives of the United Nations, Korea and China sign an armistice at Panmunjon, Korea.
1964 President Lyndon Johnson sends an additional 5,000 advisers to South Vietnam.
1980 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran dies in Cairo, Egypt.
1981 William Wyler, director of Ben Hur, dies.
1993 Israeli guns and aircraft pound southern Lebanon in reprisal for rocket attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas.
2002 The largest air show disaster in history occurs when a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others.

Why I Will Never Shave My Legs Again

Why I Will Never Shave My Legs Againby Suzannah Weiss
Suzannah Weiss’ first person account of leg shaving.
My first exposure to the female coming-of-age ritual of leg shaving occurred during sleep-away camp at age eleven. In an almost ceremonial fashion, my cabin-mates would bring buckets, shaving cream, and razors out onto the deck for “shaving parties” on weekend afternoons. I and some other late bloomers sat quietly on the benches, observing a rite we were too embarrassed to ask our mothers about and too well-behaved to partake in without their permission.
That summer, I developed an obsession with leg-hair removal and the ladylike status I’d supposedly attain once I adopted the practice. My friend and I would sit on the beach piling sand on our legs and removing it with shells, prepping for the real thing. But every time I resolved to ask my mom about it, I would clam up, scared of being deemed too immature for mystically smooth legs.
Back then, it was a given that I would shave my legs one day; the question was only when. I took that for granted, as if hairless legs were a biological characteristic of the adult female that I would unveil by removing the unsightly hair clouding my true nature. The problem was, shaving my legs never felt natural. I don’t remember quite when I started, but I was around 13 and probably used razors I found in my bathroom without consulting my mom. There was a period of smoothness and a pleasant cold feeling when I first pulled my sheets over my legs, but there was a longer period afterward where my legs felt prickly to the touch. And there was also the occasional cut and razor burn, not to mention the extra time added to my already long showers.
I put up with the physical discomfort of shaving all the way until college because I couldn’t tolerate the potential social discomfort of having legs that stood out. But as I became more aware of the excessive standards our society imposes upon women’s appearances, I grew angry that something as benign as body hair had caused me so much concern. The ideal of smooth legs was about pleasing men, not pleasing myself (though some women have told me they shave to please themselves, and they should be able to make that choice without judgment as well). After all, men were never considered gross or unclean for having much more body hair than I did.
I stopped shaving once and for all around my junior year of college, and surprisingly, nobody has (at least openly) objected. One boyfriend even told me he liked my natural legs because they showed I thought for myself rather than blindly following conventions. When I mentioned I sometimes felt self-conscious about my legs, another boyfriend said it would be ridiculous for him to take issue with legs that were far less hairy than his.
I have, however, decided not to date men because they answered in the affirmative to the OKCupid question, “Do you think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved?” One great barometer of how much a man respects women is whether he believes they have an obligation to look aesthetically pleasing to him. When I asked one guy to explain why he answered yes to that question, he responded, “It’s unappealing and uncomfortable if I’m sleeping with them.” I’m still scratching my head over that last reason. If it’s uncomfortable to brush up against someone with body hair, why doesn’t he shave? Leg hair isn’t uncomfortable to touch (if anything, it’s only uncomfortable in the prickly between-shaves stage), or else we would hear more people complaining about men’s body hair; it doesn’t hold the potential to increase body odor like armpit hair; and, in my experience and that of all the women who lived before leg-shaving became a mainstream custom in the 20th century, it’s not inherently unattractive. Shaving one’s legs is a subjective decision that should be made by the bearer of the legs.
Needless to say, shaving wasn’t the mystical entrance into the cult of womanhood that I hoped for. Instead, not shaving made me feel more mature — because I rejected an illogical but powerful double standard in favor of what made more sense to me.



Wage Board Approves $15 An Hour For NYC Fast Food Workers

Wage Board Approves $15 An Hour For NYC Fast Food Workers

More Than 100 Doctors Tell Big Pharma To Stop Making Cancer Drugs So Expensive

As militiamen 'stand guard', Army tells recruiters to treat all armed civilians as a threat

Image: Armed civilian stands outside Army recruitment office (Screen capture)
The military is responding to the waves of civilians who have positioned themselves outside of recruitment centers in the name of 'protecting' U.S. personnel.

Town Won’t Let Muslim Build Secular Summer Camp Because He Could Use It To Turn Kids Into ISIL

Town Won’t Let Muslim Build Secular Summer Camp Because He Could Use It To Turn Kids Into ISIS A town in Michigan has come together to block the creation of a summer camp for kids because the man who wants to build it is a muslim. On what grounds...

The Big Problem With The Republican Cabal’s Crusade Against ‘Sanctuary Cities’



Oklahoma prosecutors seized assets from suspects to pay down their student debt and live rent-free

Suited man with money bag (Shutterstock)
Law enforcement authorities argue that civil forfeiture is necessary to fight drug trafficking.

Deputy indicted for false info in search warrant for drug raid that left toddler maimed

Bounkham "Bou Bou'" Phonesavan (Family handout)
A federal grand jury in Georgia has indicted a former sheriff’s deputy involved in a drug raid that left a 19-month-old child severely burned from a flash bang grenade explosion.

Here’s how our criminal justice system is biased

Rosemary Aquino arrested by sheriff's deputies in Martin County, Florida on Feb. 1, 2015 [YouTube]
From start to finish, the system reflects the problems and biases of the humans who run it.

Oak Flat: The Latest Land Grab From Native Americans

Oak Flat: The Latest Land Grab From Native AmericansAn attachment to a "must-pass" bill gives sacred Native-American land to a foreign mining company. How did this happen and what can we do about it? 

We filed complaint against Oregon bakery to ‘stop being bullied’

Backlit lesbian couple close together outdoors (Shutterstock)
The woman whose discrimination complaint against an Oregon bakery eventually resulted in a $135,000 award for damages did not initially realize she had lodged a formal complaint with state authorities.

The Equality Act Could End Legal LGBT Discrimination For Good

The Equality Act creates federal LGBT nondiscrimination protections, but it also does more than that.

Planned Parenthood Attacks Are A ‘Campaign Of Deception’ Says The New York Times

Planned Parenthood Attacks Are A ‘Campaign Of Deception’ Says The New York Times The anti-abortion crowd has been all worked up in recent days over the video released by the Center For Medical Progress, that purports to show that Planned...

Have You Heard Of Solar Desalination?

If Not, You Will Soon.

Could This Genetically Modified Rice Feed The World Without Warming The Planet?

Animal Pictures