Saturday 29 September 2018

Groove is in the heart... World Heart Day

"A significant challenge for diagnosing women with heart disease is the lack of recognition of symptoms that might be related to heart disease, or that don’t fit into classic definitions. Women can develop symptoms that are subtler and harder to detect as a heart attack, especially if the physician is only looking for the "usual" heart attack symptoms."
Johns Hopkins Medicine

What you can promise for your heart:
::: World Heart Day 2018

Some more "heart songs" for the weekend:
::: Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John & Kiki Dee): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Love is Like an Itching in My Heart (The Supremes): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dionne Warwick): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? (Moby): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Heart of Glass (Blondie): LISTEN/WATCH
::: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Bee Gees): LISTEN/WATCH
::: My Heart Belongs to Me (Barbra Streisand): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Heart of Gold (Neil Young): LISTEN/WATCH
::: Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes): LISTEN/WATCH

Friday 28 September 2018

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

"On Sunday September 30th 2018, over 120,000 distinguished gentlefolk in over 650 cities worldwide will don their cravats, tustle their ties, press their tweed, and sit astride their classic and vintage styled motorcycles to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and men's mental health."
The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Listen to the symphonic tribute to men's health, the "Motorcycle Symphony":

The Motorcycle Symphony from SuperHeroes | Amsterdam | NY on Vimeo.

Wednesday 26 September 2018

European Day of Languages

"The general aim is to draw attention to Europe's rich linguistic and cultural diversity, which has to be encouraged and maintained, but also to extend the range of languages that people learn throughout their lives in order to develop their plurilingual skills and reinforce intercultural understanding. EDL is an opportunity to celebrate all of Europe's languages, including those that are less widely spoken and the languages of migrants."
Council of Europe

photograph via

Tuesday 25 September 2018

"Dear applicant, we regret to inform you...". Rejection letters and politeness strategies in Japan and the U.S.

An analysis of Japanese and US-American rejection letters sent to applicants came to the conclusion that politeness strategies differ. While US-American letters tend to look personal - e.g. by addressing letters personally, often by forename - Japanese letters openly show that all rejected applicants receive the same letter and don't use forenames as not preserving a certain distance would be considered as disrespectful. US-Americans attempt to look positive and communicate concern while Japanese feel less uncomfortable when they are rejected as "one of many" (Baresova, 2008).

"To counterbalance the negativity of refusal and inadequacy with something positive, the Americans frequently added praise for the candidate’s “excellent qualifications”, which, although very personal in appearance, lacked any specifics and were, upon closer comparison, remarkably similar, even between letters addressed to the candidate with many years of experience and the new graduate with no qualifications at all."
Baresova, 2008:108

"It could be argued that the Americans only seem to be more personal than the Japanese, because the Americans also send virtually the same letter to all applicants, but this would be to ignore the more significant fact. Of course neither the Americans nor the Japanese are going to write individualized letters. The difference is that the Americans want to seem personal."
Baresova, 2008:109

"Each culture has a different perception of what is polite, and each language has various devices for expressing politeness. Some situations call for more politeness than others. The importance of politeness increases with the degree of potential offense to the hearer. Rejection is, by its very nature, one of the most offensive speech acts, and if not done politely it is quite likely to negatively impact the hearer’s self-image. Therefore, various politeness strategies are employed to minimize its negative impact. To perform a rejection is not easy, even if both parties have a complete understanding of the language and rituals concerning politeness in that culture. To reject someone from another culture without causing offense or misunderstanding is even more challenging."
Baresova, 2008:11

- Baresova, I. (2008). Politeness Strategies in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Study of American and Japanese Employment Rejection Letters. Olomoue: Palacky University.
- photographs by Micheal Rougier (1964) via and via and via and via

Monday 24 September 2018

Quoting Kofi Annan

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”
Kofi Annan (1938-2018)

photograph of Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Lagergren via

Thursday 20 September 2018

She who has BALLS shall conquer the world.

There was a time when it took a heavy dose of spunk for a women (sic) to stand up and be counted. Joan of Arc hid her gams in a suit of armor to defend Louis's honor. Amelia Earhart donned a sexless jumpsuit to fly into the wild blue yonder. Madame Curie wore whites and gazed longingly at test tubes.
These days, women have finally come into their own - with pants and permanents, muscles and makeup. But there still are a couple of things we can't lay claim to right?
Not any more, Mary. Now we've got BALLS.

BALLS is the new candy sensation that lets you conquer the world. Just pop a few BALLS into your mouth and you'll be ready for anything - a battle with the boss at the office (he can't give you the shaft!); a tough game of tennis with Bob (the score'll be forty/love). ...
And now, wear BALLS on your chest, this attractive, 100 percent cotton yummy yellow T-shirt is available with three tempting teasers:
"You need BALLS to conquer the world."
"She who has BALLS shall conquer the world."
"BALLS candy gives you courage."

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image (1978) via

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Karen Horney and Psychoanalytic Feminism

"Psychoanalytic theory, if Horney is correct, is a theory of masculine psychology."
Kerr (1987)

Karen Horney was born in a little German town in 1885. As a young girl, she argued with her parents to let her attend grammar school - which was not the most typical thing to do for girls. Later, Horney studied medicine and - inspired by Freud - psychoanalysis. And later again, she started criticising Freud ... and was criticised for doing so (Hitchcock, 2005).
"Like all sciences and all valuations, the psychology of women has hitherto been considered only from the point of view of men." Karen Horney
"The view that women are infantile and emotional creatures, and as such, incapable of responsibility and independence is the work of the masculine tendency to lower women's self-respect." Karen Horney
"Karen Horney's contributions to psychology and, in particular, the psychology of women, are considerable. She remains one of the only women to be included in personality theory texts and was the first woman to present a paper on feminine psychology at an international conference. Her critique of Freud and the entire discipline of Psychology as androcentric unfolded in light of her observations relating to the sociocultural determinants of women's inferior position. She found it problematic that women were defined in relation to men and argued that penis envy, if it existed at all, was rooted, not in a wish to possess a penis but, rather, in a desire for the status and recognition afforded to men by the culture. She further argued that men's need to succeed and leave a name for themselves sprung from womb envy - their inability to carry and bear children. Horney was particularly moved to defend women against the charge that they were naturally masochistic. Women's dependence on men for love, money, security, and protection led women to overemphasize qualities like beauty and charm, Horney argued, but also to seek meaning through their relationships with husbands, children, and family."
Held (2010)

"Even in Freud's circle, not all analysts agreed with Freud's assessment and there were debates concerning women's sexuality and the roles of castration and penis envy therein, notably among Karl Abraham, Ernest Jones, Helene Deutsch, and Karen Horney. Horney in particular argued for an inherent feminine disposition that is not merely a secondary formation premised on castration and she took issue with the ostensible effects of penis envy and women's supposed feelings of inferiority. As with some later feminist criticisms of Freud, Horney attempted to retrieve female sexuality, and by extension a valid form of feminine existence, by appealing to a genuinely independent nature and holding culture culpable for women's subordinate status. By thus reasserting the primacy of biological and social forces, however, Horney disputes precisely the idea that is central to Freud's hypothesis and that marks psychoanalysis as a unique field of inquiry, that of a distinctive psychical realm of representation that is unconscious."
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"The conception of what is normal varies not only with the culture but also within the same culture, in the course of time." Karen Horney
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- Hitchcock, S. T. (2005). Karen Horney. Pioneer of Feminine Psychology. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
- Kerr, N. J. (1987). "Wounded Womanhood". An Analysis of Karen Horney's Theory of Feminine Psychology.

Monday 17 September 2018

Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?

Well, do they? This is a question the Guerilla Girls ask every now and then. According to the feminist activist artists,
... in 1989, less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art sections were women, but 85% of the nudes were female,
... in 2005, less than 3% of the artists exhibited were women, but 83% of the nudes were female,
... in 2012, less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art sectios were female, but 76% of the nudes were women (via).

photograph (Picasso retrospective at the Tate Gallery showing Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, by Burt Glinn, 1960) via

Friday 14 September 2018

Gerontophobia. A Mass Neurosis.

"gerontophobia in British (dʒɛˌrɒntəˈfəʊbɪə)
an abnormal fear or hatred of old people or the idea of growing old"
Collins Dictionary

"morbid fear or dislike of old persons"

"Gerontophobia is the unreasonable fear and or irrational hatred of older people by society and by themselves. It is indeed a phobia, i.e., a malady, which according to our admittedly insufficient studies engulfs one-fifth of the population of the United States in varying degrees with variations in groupings, ages, marital status, and education.
(...) It is, in reality, asking for action, (...)
In every paper on gerontophobia, in every interview, we have stressed the all-inclusive nature of the social neurosis. One of the major difficulties seems to lie in the fact that it is a mass neurosis with the seat in the individual reacting not only on his immediate environment. Thus, we find it in young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, and in all groups of society."
Bunzel (1972)

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- Bunzel, J. H. (1972). Note on the History of a Concept - Gerontophobia. The Gerontologist, 12(2)
- photograph by Vivian Maier via

Thursday 13 September 2018

When Women Express Anger

"We investigated whether expressing anger increases social influence for men, but diminishes social influence for women, during group deliberation. In a deception paradigm, participants believed they were engaged in a computer-mediated mock jury deliberation about a murder case. In actuality, the interaction was scripted. The script included 5 other mock jurors who provided verdicts and comments in support of the verdicts; 4 agreed with the participant and 1 was a "holdout" dissenter. Holdouts expressed their opinions with no emotion, anger, or fear and had either male or female names. Holdouts exerted no influence on participants' opinions when they expressed no emotion or fear. Participants' confidence in their own verdict dropped significantly, however, after male holdouts expressed anger. Yet, anger expression undermined female holdouts (...)."

The result: During group deliberation, a gender gap was created since expressing anger leads men to gain influence and women to lose influence even when they make identical arguments. The authors come to the conclusion that the "diverging consequences might result in women potentially having less influence on societally important decisions than men, such as jury verdicts." (Salerno & Peter-Hagene, 2015)

"Our study suggests that women might not have the same opportunity for influence when they express anger, We found that when men expressed their opinion with anger, participants rated them as more credible, which made them less confident in their own opinion. But when women expressed identical arguments and anger, they were perceived as more emotional, which made participants more confident in their own opinion. This effect can't be explained by women communicating anger less effectively or looking different when they express anger because we took all of that out of the equation. The effect was due to participants thinking that anger came from a man versus a woman."
Jessica Salerno

"What is most disturbing about the findings is that they were produced by anger, specifically. If you think about when we express anger, it is often when we really care about something, when we are most passionate and most convicted about a decision. Our results suggest that gender gaps in influence are most likely to materialize in these situations--when we are arguing for something we care about most.
Our results have implications for any woman who is trying to exert influence on a decision in their workplace and everyday lives, including governing bodies, task forces and committees. The results from this study suggest that if female political candidates express their opinion with anger, during the debates for example, it is possible that they might have less influence than if they do not express anger."
Jessica Salerno

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- Salerno, J.M. & Peter-Hagene, L.C. (2015). Law  and Human Behavior, 39(6), 581-592, abstract
- images (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) via and via

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Forever Young. Working in the Advertising Industry.

Ageism affects a great many people in the workforce, including those working in the advertising industry. According to a study carried out in the U.K., people working in advertising, marketing, media, and public relations think (know?) that the industry is ageist. In the ad industry, ageism is significantly worse than the British workplace average. Since 2009, the average age of employees has remained 33.7.

"Almost a third (32%) of respondents have experienced ageism towards themselves, almost three times the British average of 11%, whilst 42% of the ad industry employees polled have witnessed ageism towards others, almost double the British average of 19%.
Ageism also impacts job prospects, the study suggests. A quarter of respondents were turned down for a job for being "too old," and more than half of those (56%) were told they were overqualified."

Diversity is surely discussed and has even become an issue in advertising and media ... Age, however, is not really part of this discussion (via).

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image (Good Neighbor Sam, 1964, with Jack Lemmon and Romy Schneider) via

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Cleavage Application

“Paramount had organized a party for me. The whole world of cinema was, it was amazing. And then here’s Jayne Mansfield, the last to arrive. And for me it was the time when things became incredible. She came straight to my table. She knew that everyone was watching. She sat and was just … Look at the picture. Where are my eyes looing at? I’m staring ... because I’m afraid they are going to explode from the dress and end up in my plate. In my face you can read the fear. I’m so scared that everything that is forced down in her dress will explode and ends up scattered all over the table.”
Sophia Loren

According to Sevag Kertechian's study carried out in France, female applicants wearing low-cut tops are more successful in being invited to a job interview than women dressed in a less revealing manner. Over three years, Kertechian sent applications of two fictional women whose qualifications and photographs were more or less identical - with the only difference that one was wearing a more revealing outfit and the other a more traditional one. These fictional women applied for jobs in sales and accounting. The results: When wearing a revealing neckline, the applicant was invited to a job interview 19 times more often. Of the 200 sales role applications, the low-cut dress submission received 62 more invitations, of the 200 accountancy applications, there were 68 more interview offers when wearing a low-cut dress. Unfortunatley, the recruiters' gender was not considered as a control variable in this study (via and via and via and via).
"Our results showed interesting trends as low-cut dresses significantly influenced the choice of the recruiters, even for accounting positions. Regardless of the job, whether customer-facing saleswoman or office-based accountant, the candidate with the low cut clothing received more positive answers. The results were quite shocking and negative but not necessarily surprising — they show we need to conduct more research." Kertechian
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Photograph of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield (1957) via

Monday 3 September 2018

"We don't embroider cushions here."

Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999) was a French Modernist architect and furniture designer and member of Le Corbusier's studio.

When Perriand applied to work at Le Corbusier's studio in 1927, she was rejected with the following reply: "We don't embroider cushions here." One month later, Le Corbusier visited a show of hers and changed his mind; Perriand became a member of his studio (via).

photographs via and via