This year, the Ideas At The House blog is trying something new. Each week we share five exciting and provocative ideas, links and articles making waves on the internet.
EVA COX ON WHY TONY ABBOTT IS NOT, IN FACT, A MISOGYNIST
“As possible PM, Abbott is not feminism’s worst enemy. He is a somewhat inconsistent, confused conservative with the attached sexist views on gender roles, which he seems to be trying hard to minimise. He is not in my terms a misogynist.” So wrote Eva Cox this week, one of Australia’s most esteemed feminists who we once immortalised on a stamp.
She explains that while Abbott certainly sees gender as a basis for discrimination, he doesn’t have” a pathological deep dislike of womenkind and an antipathy to what they may stand for”, which is what defines true misogyny.
JEFF SPARROW ON THE UPSIDES OF ‘SEXTING’ APPS
Amidst the furore surrounding the smart phone app Snapchat (and Facebook’s version, Poke), Overland‘s Jeff Sparrow explores whether what has been widely branded a ‘sexting’ app is really such a bad thing after all. Snapchat is unique in that the photos taken with it don’t live forever in digital limbo – they completely disappear after 10 seconds. “Rather than exacerbating the pressure on young women to be permanently sexual,” Sparrow writes on The Drum, “it’s possible Snapchat actually provides a measure of respite.”
THE EMOTIONS FOR WHICH ENGLISH HAS NO WORDS
Why does English have no word to describe the feeling you get after you’ve payed good money for a haircut, only to emerge looking like Jason Donavan circa 1988? Japanese has one: age-otori. In fact, this article published by The Atlantic collects a whole list of emotions and feelings for which English, the second most spoken in the world, has failed to find words to express. Highlights include l’esprit de l’escalier, a French phrase meaning “the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it’s too late to deliver it”, and the German word backpfeifengesicht: “a face badly in need of a fist.” The article also includes a beautiful infrographic (pictured above) illustrating the links between words for emotions in English and other languages, created by design student Pei-Ying Lin.
CHINA RAISED A GENERATION OF ONLY CHILDREN AND NOW THEY’RE FACING THE CONSEQUENCES
Only children have a reputation for being sensitive, complacent, risk-averse and a little bit spoiled. Now, a study from Australian researchers published on The Conversation has found children born in China since 1979 – the year that the one-child policy was introduced – are more likely to be all of those things.
BUSHFIRES, AS SEEN FROM SPACE
The bushfires raging across the country this week were horrifying. The full extent of the damage (and their sheer force) was captured in the photographs taken by a Canadian astronaut from aboard the International Space Station.