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Link Round Up 2

I’m doing another link round up!! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last one, but I’m a busy lady and don’t want to put up a half assed post. I have intentionally not given myself or announced a schedule on how often I’m going to put these out. If I did, I’d end up not delivering a few on time, then get mad at myself and eventually spiral into never doing it again. So there’s a little preview of my brain and a long-winded justification of why it’s been a little while with no mention of this kind of post.

The first article I’d like to share today is this doozy from the New York Times. I’d obviously recommend strongly that you read it, but here's a preview: a man who is on the austism spectrum participates in an experimental treatment for his disorder and it works, changing his life in incredible ways. One of the symptoms of autism is being unable to perceive emotions, and with the treatment he was now able to do just that. But at 50 years old, he’d structured his life in ways that adapted to or fit that lack of emotional perception - he was able to be a partner to a chronically depressed woman and his relationships with friends and family were built on this understanding of his lack of emotional presence. When his emotional perception was turned on, his ability overwhelmed him - his wife’s depression became overwhelming and his relationships felt cruel. This article made me think a lot about non-neurotypical individuals treatment and existence (especially as one, often begging for a cure). It’s assumed that bringing people to neurotypicality is the solution for their struggle, but in some cases, I think the best method for treatment would be to teach people how to best cope and structure their lives around their traits. It's ableist to assume that neurotypicality is the state of mind most ideal for everyone! Also for fucks sake, be nice to people, even if they aren’t able to tell.

Most of the articles I want to share on these round ups will be thought provoking, and this next article wasn’t really that at all, but I enjoyed it deeply. This straightforward piece described the diets and culinary peculiarities of geniuses (of course they tended towards odd). I, of course, enjoyed that this article was about food, but I found a lot of pleasure in noticing how era and geography affected what these folks were eating. Another part of the article I enjoyed was the discussion of how collaboration fosters genius, and how food facilitated that. The piece ends acknowledging how the geniuses mentioned are all men and notes that throughout history, brilliant women were “swept under the table”. I enjoyed that metaphor deeply and felt vindicated by the article closing with that point.

What I’d like to share now is a contrast of two articles which discuss spouses of politically successful individuals. The first I read was about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s hubby, Marty. It was published in 2015, but I just found it recently because I went down an RBG article k-hole, as one does. This article made me FEEL SO MUCH!!!!! Ruth’s husband Marty was a devoted spouse, who also happened to be a fantastic baker and cook (they made a cookbook of his recipes that were so good people thought they were catered! he baked cakes for clerks birthdays!). Look at the picture below of him holding the bible for his wifey to take the oath! That love is palpable, which is why I had to doodle hearts on it. In the article's comments section, readers describe how he was a professor who was kind and incredibly helpful while teaching TAX LAW, which seems like it would lend one to becoming a monster. What a power couple!!

That heart-warming article contrasts sharply with this piece on Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife. This one made me feel a lot as well, but it was mostly sadness. The beginning of the article details how Heidi has always been an ambitious lady, with a lifetime of successes to match her ambitions. Heidi and Ted met on Bush’s 2000 campaign, fell in love and got married. They spent the first year of their marriage in different cities, each being their ambitious selves. After that year Heidi compromised her life for her husband – she quit her job and moved from DC to Texas to be with him, and subsequently fell into a deep depression. I’ve seen other articles that detail her sadness more in depth, and it breaks my heart so much. She eventually found success and fulfillment in Texas, working her way up Goldman Sachs corporate ladder. However, she has once again left her career to support her spouse. Heidi is doing much good for Ted, she’s soft and kind and can build relationships. She acknowledges that she brings a lot to the campaign that he can't deliver. She appears happy and fulfilled in this round of supporting Ted, as she feels like this work has been given to her by God, and I gotta say I’m glad for her, in a weird I'd never want that life in a million years kinda way.

But dang, it just made me so sad to read this article right after the Marty Ginsburg one and think about the gender politics of these spouses. Heidi’s work and behavior is expected, Marty’s is unusual and celebrated. Ruth probably wouldn't have found her successes as well as she did without a husband like Marty. Heidi's being compared to Hillary, both of whom people associate with having found success through their husband. Marty found success on his own. I don’t ever want to be prescriptive, but this kind of work dynamic really bums me out and is really pervasive, BUT I also don’t want to invalidate women’s choices. EHH

I’ll end this post staying on politics as a topic - this time ending with a multi-source defense of Hillary. I like both her and Bernie Sanders, but I HATE the conversation around her, especially when I consider it from the perspective of gender. I am a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, and I really believe some of the intense fervor around Bernie is that he is a male alternative to Hillary. If Bernie bros had been paying attention to qualified women, Jill Stein has been kicking ass for years, with even more progressive views that Bernie, but has slid under the radar in an unsurprising way. Back to Hillary, though. This piece by the Establishment (one of my most recent favorite media sources) thoroughly breaks down the effects of the sexualization of femme politicians. Unsurprisingly, when objectified, women are assumed to be less capable and intelligent than their peers. COOL. It’s a really thorough article, so just read it yourself and then hug a fluffy animal afterwards to help yourself feel better about the state of the world. I said this would be a multi-sourced defense, and my second piece for Hillary is this article, which discusses a piece by a longtime political reporter who calls Hil, “fundamentally honest and trustworthy.” The piece then breaks down why this trait actually undoes her a little - her lawyer trained truthfulness ends up sounding dishonest in how thorough and defensive it is. My final defense of Hillary is this meme. I got really sick of this meme really quickly! And this breakdown sums it up pretty well to me.

That’s my round up for now! WIll post again sometime!