Saturday 31 March 2018

Guidelines for Nonhandicapping Language in APA Journals, by the Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology

"The use of certain words or phrases can express gender, ethnic, or racial bias either intentionally or unintentionally. The same is true of language referring to persons with disabilities, which in many instances can express negative and disparaging attitudes.

It is recommended that the word disability be used to refer to an attribute of a person, and handicap to refer to the source of limitations. Sometimes a disability itself may handicap a person, as when a person with one arm is handicapped in playing the violin. However, when the limitation is environmental, as in the case of attitudinal, legal, and architectural barriers, the disability is not handicapping—the environmental factor is. This distinction is important because the environment is frequently overlooked as a major source of limitation, even when it is far more limiting than the disability. Thus, prejudice handicaps people by denying access to opportunities; inaccessible buildings surrounded by steps and curbs handicap people who require the use of a ramp.

Use of the terms nondisabled or persons without disabilities is preferable to the term normal when comparing persons with disabilities with others. Usage of normal makes the unconscious comparison of abnormal, thus stigmatizing those individuals with differences. For example, state "a nondisabled control group," not "a normal control group."

The guiding principle for nonhandicapping language is to maintain the integrity of individuals as whole human beings by avoiding language that
- implies that a person as a whole is disabled (e.g., disabled person)
- equates a person with his or her condition (e.g., epileptic)
- has superfluous, negative overtones (e.g., stroke victim)
- is regarded as a slur (e.g., cripple)."

::: More: APA Style

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photograph via

Tuesday 27 March 2018

"Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.", by Orson Welles (1944)

In the years between Versailles and Munich, there was an argument common among the Englishmen, Frenchmen and Americans as to who won the war. Nobody won that argument for the sufficient reason that nobody won that war. This time there won't be any argument; whose advance is greatest toward Democracy, that nation will be counted victor. (...) We aspire to that leadership, and there's worth and honor in our ambitions for an American century. (...) Only the wasting sickness of disunity, the pestilence of race hate, can cheat our children out of that fulfillment.

This war is fought against the source, the very causes of race hate. These are military objectives or this war is without end, without meaning and without hope.

We are persuaded that our fight is against denial of man's equal dignity, men and women so persuaded are dying on the battlefronts. We've sent them little bottles of our blood and we've bought bonds, but tomorrow morning we expect to wake up to another prosperous day, and they will be dead. Who says there's nothing we can do about it?

If we can't die in behalf of progress, we can live for it. Progress we Americans take to mean a fuller realization of democracy. The measure of progress as we understand it is the measure of equality enjoyed by all men. We can do something about that.


Our continent, sanctified to the uses of liberty, has been named the new world. For most of the races of man this is a new place to live in. For all races it promises a second chance.

Much is against us on the records: we oppressed the Indian, we stole the Black Man from his home and held him in bondage. Our sins matched patterns and examples, though; we begot more life than we destroyed, and the fragrance of American freedom rose over the stench of butchery. If the conquerors and slavers left us a mad strain of hate—hate by the sons of slavers for the sons of slaves—we've told our children that this was hate from the old world, that in our climate it must finally perish.


Our Republican splendor in this new age will shine by its own virtues, not by virtue of contrasting tyranny, and what was excused in us before is no longer excusable. The morality of the auction block is out of date. There is no room in the American century for Jim Crow.

The times urge new militancy upon the democratic attitude. Tomorrow's democracy discriminates against discrimination; its charter won't include the freedom to end freedom.

What is described as "feeling" against some races can't be further respected. "Feeling" is a ninnyish, mincing way of saying something ugly, but the word is good enough for race hate when we add that it's a feeling of guilt.

Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature. But this is true: we hate whom we hurt and we mistrust whom we betray. There are minority problems simply because minority races are often wronged. Race hate, distilled from the suspicions of ignorance, takes its welcome from the impotent and the godless, comforting these with hellish parodies of what they've lost—arrogance to take the place of price, contempt to occupy the spirit emptied of the love of man. There are alibis for the phenomenon—excuses, economic and social—but the brutal fact is simply this: where the racist lie is acceptable there is corruption. Where there is hate there is shame. The human soul receives race hate only in the sickness of guilt.

The Indian is on our conscience, the Negro is on our conscience, the Chinese and the Mexican-American are on our conscience. The Jew is on the conscience of Europe, but our neglect gives us communion in that guilt, so that there dances even here the lunatic spectre of anti-semitism.

This is deplored; it must be fought, and the fight must be won.

The poll tax is regretted; it must be abolished.

And poll tax thinking must be outlawed. This is a time for action. We know that for some ears even the word "action" has a revolutionary twang, and it won't surprise us if we're accused in some quarters of inciting to riot. FREE WORLD is very interested in riots. FREE WORLD is very interested in avoiding them.

We call for action against the cause of riots. Law is the best action, the most decisive. We call for laws, then, prohibiting what moral judgment already counts as lawlessness. American law forbids a man the right to take away anothers right. It must be law that groups of men can't use the machinery of our Republic to limit the rights of other groups—that the vote, for instance, can't be used to take away the vote.

It's in the people's power to see to it that what makes lynchings and starts wars is dealt with, not by well-wishers, but by policemen.

For several generations, maybe, there will be men who can't be weaned from the fascist vices of race hate. We should deny such men responsibility in public affairs exactly as we deny responsibility to the wretched victims of the drug habit. There are laws against peddling dope; there can be laws against peddling race hate.

That every man has a right to his own opinion is an American boast. But race hate isn't an opinion; it's a phobia. It isn't a viewpoint; race hate is a disease. In a people's world the incurable racist has no rights. He must be deprived of influence in a people's government. He must be segregated as he himself would segregate the colored and Semitic peoples—as we now segregate the leprous and the insane.

Anything very big is very simple. If there's a big race question, there's a big answer to it, and a big answer is simple like the word "no."

This is our proposition: that the sin of race hate be solemnly declared a crime.

What makes this difficult is the conservative fear of raising issues. Let's admit that this fear is often no more sinister than an honest dread of going to the dentist. But let's respect the effectiveness of reactionary manipulations of that fear, which is the fear of anarchy and revolution. It is put to wicked use against the same general welfare conservative opinion seeks to protect. Forced to acknowledge Hitler's enmity, conservatives are loathe to admit that even as he surrenders in Europe, he may succeed in America. Let conservatives evaluate the impudent candor of fascism in Argentina and be reminded that the heroic survival of our liberty is no proof of its immortality.

Our liberty has every day to be saved from marauders whose greed is for all things possessed by the people. Care of these possessions is the hope of life on this planet. They are living things, they grow—these fair possessions of democracy—and nothing but death can stop that growth. Let the yearners for the past, the willfully childish, learn now the facts of life, the first of which is the fact of that growth.

In our hemisphere the growing has begun, but only just begun. America can write her name across this century, and so she will if we, the people brown and black and white and red—rise now to the great occasion of our brotherhood.

Column written by Orson Welles for "Free World" in July 1944, via

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photographs by Walter Carone (1950) via

Monday 26 March 2018

"Voodoo Macbeth". An All-Black Shakespeare Adaptation Directed by Orson Welles.

"It was a big political event. And there was a riot that night, the police were around because there was a big part of the black community that thought we were making fun of the blacks (...). The whole speech of Shakespeare was invented by the blacks (...) I brought none of the Shakespearean tradition to it."
Orson Welles

Orson Welles (1915-1985) was 20 years old when he made theatrical history directing the first black professional production of Shakespeare (McCloskey, 1985). The setting was moved from Scotland to the Caribbean and the witches were changed to Haitian witch doctors (via).
At a time, the U.S., including Hollywood, were segregated, an audience of 10.000 "flocked to Macbeth on its opening night on 14 April 1936" (via) to Harlem's Lafayette Theater where it debuted (via).
"The 150-strong cast were all black and the majority had little previous acting experience. The production was part of a government programme called the Federal Theatre Project which was aimed at boosting employment and opportunities during the depression. It gave black actors the opportunity to play ‘real’ acting roles rather than crude racial stereotypes.
However, Welles faced protests from within the black community who felt that he was making a mockery of his cast, whilst Shakespeare purists felt that it mocked threatre’s traditions. Ultimately both were proved wrong and Welles’ production was a resounding success with both black and white audiences."
"Once the play went up, self-appointed purists decried the all-black production as a mockery of Shakespeare and the institution of the theater itself. African-American actors were fine as entertainers, but were certainly not meant perform the classics. It “wasn’t Shakespeare at all,” wailed one critic, but rather “an experiment in Afro-American showmanship.”"

- McCloskey, S. (1985). Shakespeare, Orson Welles, And the "Voodoo" Macbeth. Shakespeare Quarterly, 36(4), 406-416.
- images via and via

Friday 23 March 2018

Living Kidney Donors & Gender: Women Donate, Men Receive

"Instead of simply congratulating women on their altruism, we need to ask about possible reasons for the existing gender imbalance and check it for matters of fairness and undue pressure on a vulnerable group."

According to a report published in 2002, male family members are less likely to donate than their female counterparts. A large Canadian transplant centre found that among those who were acceptable for donation, 36% of wives donated versus 6.5% of husbands. In Germany, women were twice as likely to donate to their husbands, or: men were more reluctant to donate to their wives  (Dobson, 2002). A comparison between female and male kidney donors at a hospital in Delhi shows that in 2012 82% were female and 18% male, in 2015 75% were female and 25% male. When it comes to recipients, men clearly outnumber women. In 2012, 93% of kidney recipients were male and 7% were female, in 2015 79% were male and 21% female (via). The Swiss Organ Living Donor Health Registry analysed data from 1993 to 2003 and came to the conclusion that 65% of kidney donors were female and 64% of recipients were male (Thiel, Nolte & Tsinalis, 2005). Gender disparities were also shown in an analysis of living-donor kidney transplants carried out from 1987 to 2014 in England: 54.7% of donors were women, 39.4% of women were recipients. Differences among ethnic groups could be observed (Peracha, Hayer & Sharif, 2016). Italy is no exception, recipients are males, donors are females (Puoti et al., 2016).
"More than half of living donors are female, females are less likely than males to be on the organ transplant waiting list among chronic kidney failure patients, and wait-listed females are less likely to recieve either a cadaveric or living renal transplant. This disparity not only exists among spouses, in which female-to-male donation rates represent 68-73% of cases, but also between biological relatives, with more mothers, daughters and sisters donating and more fathers, sons and brothers receiving kidney allografts."
Kayler et al. (2003)
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- Dobson, R. (2002). More women than men become living organ donors, online
- Kayler, L. K., Rasmussen, C. S., Dykstra, D. M., Ojo, A.O., Port, F.K., Wolfe, R. A. & Merion, R.M. (2003). Gender Imbalance and Outcomes in Living Donor Renal Transplantation in The United States. American Journal of Transplantation, 3, 452-458.
- Peracha, J., Hayer, M.K. & Sharif, A. (2016). Gender Disparity in Living-Donor Kidney Transplant Among Minority Ethnic Groups. Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, 14(2), 139-145.
- Puoti, F., Ricci, A., Nanni-Costa, A., Ricciardi, W., Malorni, W. & Ortona, E. (2016). Organ transplantation and gender differences: a paradigmatic example of intertwining between biological and sociocultural determinants. Biology of Sex Differences, 7, online
- Thiel, G.T., Nolte, C. & Tsinalis, D. (2005). Gender Imbalance in Living Kidney Donation in Switzerland. Transplantation Proceedings, 37(2), 592-594.
- photograph by Nina Leen (1909-1995) via

Wednesday 21 March 2018

An Adpology

A group of British advertisers had the brilliant idea to apologise for sexist clichés communicated in advertising such as "implying that the highlight of your day is eating yoghurt".

Directed by Tiny Bullet, produced by Thomas Thomas Films

Monday 19 March 2018

Naughty Homophones

homophone, definition:
1. Phonetics. a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.
2. a written element that represents the same spoken unit as another, as ks, a homophone of x in English.

Tim Torkildson was a teacher in Provo, Utah. He was also an education blogger. On his weblog, he wrote a posting about homophones ... and was fired by the owner of the language school he was working for. Homophones would be associated with homosexuality, some students could become offended or think the school had a "gay agenda". The teacher could not be trusted to write a regular blog. That was in 2014 (via and via and via).

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photograph by Robert Doisneau via

Thursday 15 March 2018

The Fortune 284

Since 1955, Fortune Magazine has been ranking the 500 largest US-American companies by total revenue. The Center of American Entrepreneurship analysed the Fortune 500 data for 2017 and found that 43% of them were founded or co-founded by a first- or second-generation immigrant. Among the largest Fortune 500 companies their occurence is even higher (52% of the top 25 firms, 75% of the top 35 firms) (via).

photograph via

Thursday 8 March 2018

Girl or Woman? Language Matters.

In the late 1970s, Robert Brannon gave 462 college students a story to read which described a female's application for a high-level executive position. In one version, she was referred to as a "girl", in the other as a "woman". Students then had to rate her personality traits.

Results: When the female applicant was called a woman, students described her as more tough, mature, more qualified, more deserving of a higher salary than when she was referred to as a girl.

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- Brannon, R. (1978). The Consequences of Sexist Language. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Meetings, Toronto.
- photograph by Joseph Szabo (1976) via, copyright by owner(s)

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Atelier de conversation

"There are no strangers. Only people who we do not yet know.'"

Once a week, people from all over the world meet at the Atelier de conversation in the Centre Pompidou in Paris to talk to each other, to improve their French. People who would otherwise probably never meet come together at a place where "social and cultural borders dissolve" (via).

Author and director: Bernhard Braunstein
Awards: Opening Film, Cinéma du rèel 2017, Paris/France; Documentary Special Jury Prize, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2017, Karlovy Vary/Czech Republic; ARTE Documentary Film Prize, Duisburger Filmwoche 2017, Duisburg/Germany

"The therapy aspect is very important, but there are a lot of other aspects. I think the language is important and there are really people who are struggling and want to learn something and they’re writing down vocabulary. But there are also a lot of people who are coming there to find friends. The people connect and become friends, some help each other to find a flat or even move in together. So, this social part is very important and, of course, they are all going through a difficult experience and they feel that they can talk about it together. This is the therapy part of it."
Bernhard Braunstein

"We need to start to become human, rather than talking about the masses of immigrants that will destroy us, we should see the individuals. I think this is something you can see in my film. You see that these are people, these are humans with a story and not somehow a danger."
Bernhard Braunstein

Monday 5 March 2018

(Un-)Quoting Frederik Jacobus Johannes Buytendijk

"Football as a game is first and foremost a demonstration of masculinity as we understand it from our traditional view of things and as produced in part by our physical constitution (through hormonal irritation). No one has ever been successful in getting women to play football. ... Kicking is thus presumably a specifically male activity; whether being kicked is consequently female - that is something I will leave unanswered."
Buytendijk (1953:20)

"Kicking differs essentially from throwing. For one thing, kicking is by nature more aggressive than throwing; for another, throwing is linked to catching, i.e. receiving, whereas kicking is linked to kicking back. ... One can certainly throw like a girl, but one can only kick like a man."
Buytendijk (1953:20)

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- F. J. J. Buytendijk (1887-1974), Das Fussballspiel. Eine psychologische Studie, published in 1953
- photograph of the Dick Kerr Ladies F.C. via

Sunday 4 March 2018

The League of Ordinary Non-Gentlemen

Today, Italians go to the polls. Immigration has become the key issue which automatically means that the radical right has a party programme: Italians first. The party Lega Nord per l'Indipendenza della Padania (The Northern League) was founded by Umberto Bossi who in 2017 was sentenced to two years and three months' imprisonment for using hundreds of thousands of euros in public funds to pay personal expenses. Former Northern League treasurer Francesco Belsito was sentenced to two years and six months. Umberto Bossi's son Renzo, by the way, was also convicted and given a sentence of one year and six months (via and via and via).

The founder of this party is the man who married in 1975, aged 35, and promised his wife to finish his university studies soon. After all, he was not really working and his mother was paying for his studies, so he had to hurry. In 1979, he told everyone that he had finally received his doctorate degree and would soon start to work as a doctor at the hospital Del Ponte in Varese. His proud wife bought him a beautiful brown briefcase which he left with every morning when he went to work, at the hospital, as a doctor. One day in 1981, in the meantime he had obtained his second degree, his wife went to university where - surprise, surprise - she learned that her wonderful husband had never finished his studies and never worked as a doctor (via and via). His son Renzo, of course, is completely different. Okay, he was charged with embezzlement too but at least he really got a degree. In fact, it was a bachelor's degree in Economics and Management at Kristal University in Albania. In 2013, Renzo Bossi was charged with corruption in Albania because "he earned a degree in social sciences without spending a single day in university. He has never been in Albania and he doesn't know the language" (via and via).
Now, the party's leader is Matteo Salvini. He studied at the University of Milan, never graduated but at least never pretended to have. Salvini was also involved in Bossi's fraud (via), he is a strong supporter of the football team A.C. Milan (which - what a coincidence - was owned by Berlusconi until last year), he supports Trump, opposes the embargo against Russia and same-sex marriage ... because, you know, traditional family values. He is the man who is going to rescue Italy by suggesting the introduction of segregation in public transport with reserved seats for "real" citizens of Milan but also for women to protect them from savage immigrants who he is going to deport as he is about to start a "controlled ethnic cleansing" (via and via).
This is not about the right, the left, or the centre. This is a party that offers no solution to any problem. Instead, it rides on the current wave of populist nationalism telling people how unfairly they are treated, that they themselves are not part of the so-called system but concerned about "the people" who they are fighting for making sure Italians get what they deserve. It is only about gaining votes with a rhetoric the world has not yet got tired of. This is also about a lack of style, class, and diplomacy in politics.

images via