Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

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Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Why Names Are So Easy to Forget” [via The Atlantic]

“Global Parenting Habits That Haven’t Caught On In The U.S.” [via NPR]

“Every Year Since 1974, This Artist Has Photographed Herself In Nothing But Her ‘Birthday Suit'” [via HuffPost]

“Many Women Leave Engineering, Blame The Work Culture” [via NPR]

Continuing our discussion about Robin Williams, depression, and suicide:

“There’s Nothing Selfish About Suicide” [via HuffPost]

“Suicide, a Crime of Loneliness” [via The New Yorker]

Continuing our discussion about the Ferguson riots:

“The Anger in Ferguson” [via The New Yorker]

“Ferguson is an occupation in plain sight and words aren’t enough to change that” [via The Guardian]

How you can help: “Bail and Legal Fund for Those Arrested During Ferguson Anti-Police Demonstrations”

And for something on the much lighter side (or heavier side, as the case may be):
“‘I’d go out in public wearing tight pants to shock people: Life as the man with the world’s largest penis” [via Salon]

[image via The Atlantic]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

27 comments… add one
  • Portia

    Portia August 15, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I actually read the global parenting habits one the other day and thought some of those were awesome. Especially the Vietnamese whistling while the baby pees thing, that is genius! I would totally learn how to whistle to be able to do that…

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  • JK

    JK August 15, 2014, 1:48 pm

    On the parenting thing I can vouch for kids in Argentina staying up late! On schoolnights mine are usually asleep by 9 30, whch is considered freakishly early (Ms 1st grade classmates for the most part are up til midnight, and in school at 7 50 am).
    On weekends or during holidays my kids stay up later, if we go out or dinner they usually just fall asleep in the car on the way home (1 or 2 am for the most part)

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest August 15, 2014, 1:53 pm

      Do you think the kids staying up so late on school nights are tired? I wonder if they struggle in school because of it.
      The only one of these I’d practice is probably the kids eat anything one.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 15, 2014, 2:12 pm

        i’ll answer that: yes, they’re tired. but since all kids in Argentina stay up late, they are all tired, so their fatigue is the new normal. That coupled with the light-headed-ness they live with on a daily basis from living upside down below the equator, they have to adjust schooling accordingly. (I dunno)

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      • JK

        JK August 15, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Well the girls are at a bilingual school, for 8 hours everyday, and the 1st grade class is performing extremely well on a whole, and most of the kids have after school activities, not to mention playdates. So it´s exhausting to me, but they seem to handle it fine. ,)

        Also, WAPS

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest August 15, 2014, 2:35 pm

        Oh I meant the other kids there. I think 9:30 on a school night is pretty normal. I just can’t imagine myself staying up much later than that on a worknight and being able to function the next day.
        Good point on kids handling things better than adults though!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray August 15, 2014, 2:14 pm

      And I can vouch for JK’s kids staying up late!

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      • JK

        JK August 15, 2014, 2:38 pm

        They were on vacation!!!! You´re just a wimp 😛

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 15, 2014, 3:20 pm

        well me being a wimp was never in dispute!

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    • avatar

      HmC August 15, 2014, 2:37 pm

      JK forgive my ignorance, but do Argentinians do any kind of mid-day rest like they do in Spain? I’m not sure if that ritual transferred… but kids staying up late totally reminded me of Spain, and they completely justify it with the siesta, haha. The family I stayed with came home for about 2 hours in late afternoon, went back to work until around 9, then ate dinner around 10 or 11 and went to bed around midnight. It was annoying to have so many stores close in the afternoon, and in general I never really adjusted to that schedule, but they seemed to love it!

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      • JK

        JK August 15, 2014, 2:40 pm

        Little kids do (though mine never have), and shops and stuff close for siesta from 1 to 5, but I´ve only heard of a few older kids or adults actually napping.
        In the northern (hotter) provinces they say siesta is sacred though.

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  • JK

    JK August 15, 2014, 1:59 pm

    The salon article made me feel bad for the guy. He just sounds so sad.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery August 18, 2014, 1:04 pm

      You weren’t the only one. It was like, even after all this time he still didn’t know what to do with it.

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny August 15, 2014, 3:06 pm

    This could probably go under the thread about depression, but I wanted to share it here because it’s more recent.

    I was one of those people that was upset and disappointed in Robin Williams’ suicide, mainly because I (quite ignorantly, I’ll admit) always associated suicide with being selfish. My mother’s cousin committed suicide last year and left behind 3 small children. Life got too hard, the marriage was strained, money got tight, and she couldn’t take it. So, she left those children. In my thoughts about it I couldn’t believe how she could be so selfish! Now, I’m realizing that she may have suffered from more than just “hardships”.

    Over the last few days, I’ve read a lot of the discussions going around about depression and I came across something that resonated with me: “A person with depression might commit suicide in the same way a person in a burning building might jump out of a window : It seems like it’s the only way to escape.”

    It summed it up in a way that made perfect sense to me. I understand that all suicides are not because of depression, and still, there are some instances where suicide is selfish. But, in this case, I feel for Robin Williams, and all others that have battled depression, and I feel sorry for judging so quickly.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster August 15, 2014, 2:14 pm

    The Global Parenting article led me to this article on how French kids eat: http://www.parenting.com/article/get-your-kids-eat-everything
    .
    It’s super interesting! After a trip to Paris last year, I’ve been kind of obsessed with the way French people approach food. This article describes exactly the way my mother raised my brothers and I: we were encouraged to eat slowly, and the idea of us getting “special” meals to suit our tastes was NEVER gonna happen. We did get snacks, though. She wasn’t trying to emulate the French; I doubt she even knows much about French culture now, but it had a similar effect. I’m an adventurous eater and have been, one of my brothers went to culinary school, and we’re all pretty enthusiastic about good food- and wine. You can’t forget the wine!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster August 15, 2014, 2:16 pm

      *always have been (and that typo is my cue to go to lunch!)

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    • Portia

      Portia August 16, 2014, 11:18 am

      My parents were kind of like that too, at least in terms of making us more adult food and encouraging us order more adult dishes. Their way of getting me to try things was saying they’d only tell me what it was after I’d tried it. I was a pretty curious kid, so it worked for me, not so much for my sister…

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  • avatar

    Jane63 August 15, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Jane63 AKA XanderT here, I wanted to take a moment or two to comment on depression. My entire immediate family suffers from it – Mom, Dad, brother, sister, me, and my 2 children – also their father. He and I must have created the perfect storm – both of my children have tried to commit suicide – my father tried as well. One uncle did, 1 cousin tried, & his father did several years later. Depression & suicide seems to have found their place in my family.

    Why? No idea. But, it has. No one that I come into contact with would think that most days I tell myself that I hate myself – not even my kids. It is such an overwhelming feeling. I have a good life (other then always being aware about my kids). I have a good job, have a good home & would seem to have no “reason” to be depressed. Guess what? There is no “reason”. It just is.

    Some of us that suffer do so behind closed doors. Some made of wood and some in our minds. We do try. We put one foot in front of the other. Every. Single. Day.

    I turn to music when I need to get through. Right now my go to song is Soul Shine sung by Beth Hart. “Damn sure better than rain…..We all feel this way sometimes”.

    Thank you, Wendy, for giving everyone here a chance to be heard. Keep up the good work.

    XT

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 15, 2014, 7:22 pm

      So sorry to hear about your struggles, XT. One foot in front of the other.

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      • avatar

        Jane63 August 15, 2014, 8:27 pm

        Thanks, Wendy. No more shame!

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  • dabbler

    dabbler August 16, 2014, 12:57 am

    i’m curious what other’s thoughts are on the women in engineering article, i know there are other women in engineering that frequent this site.
    i’m in aerospace, and the only thing i could really relate to (as a single, non-parent) was the lack of work-life balance. we are frequently expected to put in whatever time the job/deadline requires, whether that means regularly staying late and/or giving up your weekends to sit in front of a computer for 10+ hours on a saturday. it’s hard to imagine what that would look like if i had to worry about a partner or family, and not just myself.
    as far as discrimination goes, my experience has been that being a “minority” works in my favor. but i also work for the government, where being a woman fills whatever diversity quota. so that’s kind of a double-edged sword. while it’s good (for me) that i may get opportunities that i otherwise might not, it also kinda sucks, because there’s always the question in the back of your mind of whether you’re actually advancing on your own merit, or if you simply fulfill that minority quota. not to mention, it sucks for the people that may be just as or better suited for the job, but don’t qualify due to a lack of “diversity”, but that’s a whole other can of worms.
    it is a very career-focused environment, and can be somewhat of a boy’s club, but i’m used to working in male-dominated industries at this point, both in and out of engineering, so maybe i’ve just developed a thicker skin? very occasionally i’ll get comments that irk me, like the time i was pissed off about some ridiculousness that was going on at the time, and one of the guys made some off-hand comment that i was “moody”, simply because i was a woman. like i wasn’t allowed to be pissed because that guy was being an asshole, it must’ve been my fault because i’m female, and therefore “emotional”. but those comments are few and far between. it’s still not ok in any context, but it’s not something i have to deal with on a daily basis, by any means.
    but as far as being unfriendly and hostile, i haven’t come across that yet in my (admittedly, limited) experience. i was set up with a great mentor, and my overall experience has been positive. i do struggle with the confidence issue, but largely due to the fact that i have no background/degree in engineering (I went to art school…), not so much my gender. i’m learning as i go, and i have gained confidence, and expect that to continue with time, and as i grow in this industry.
    i don’t know. i think it’s an interesting, complex topic, and i’m curious what your experiences are.

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    • avatar

      Sarahbear August 16, 2014, 11:17 am

      So, my personal experience: I worked for a very large engineering/govt contractor for many years, and now a different company in a totally different role – more program management and technical assessment of all kinds of technology programs. I have a BS and MS in mechanical engineering. I never felt even the slightest bit of gender bias throughout college or in my grad classes – students and professors never looked at the men and women differently. The workplace has been a totally different situation. I echo a lot of your observations above – like sometimes being female works in my favor (but in an insulting way, if that makes sense), as of men feel like they have to be more responsive or respectful to me just because I’m a woman. But on the opposite side, I have to work a lot harder to be taken seriously as a technical person – whereas men are assumed to be smart and technical simply because they’re male, I have to first prove that I’m capable before I’ll receive the same level of respect.

      I’ve also definitely been in a meeting full of men where they’ll skip me in an around-the-room introduction (because they probably assume I’m the admin and therefore irrelevant), or where a guy will bring up a suggestion that I made a week prior and everyone will act like he’s just said something revolutionary. Over the years, I’ve learned how to address stuff like that when it happens, but I’ve also had to become more outspoken with my opinions and ideas so I’m not lost in the shuffle. However, to my prior point, I think women in a ‘man’s profession’ are held to a much higher standard of intelligence/capability than men – if a man says something dumb, other guys ignore it, forget it, move on, but each time a woman makes a mistake then she’s judged as slightly less capable.

      But don’t mistake me as saying that all men are like this or that this experience is consistent for everyone! These are my personal experiences and observations direct from my own life. I’ve also worked with many really fantastic men and women over the years who don’t buy into any of that. However, the old boys club was in place for decades, and it takes a while for long-ingrained attitudes to die out.

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    • Portia

      Portia August 16, 2014, 11:29 am

      I’ve been lucky so far as a woman in social science, since a lot of my classmates are female and the field I’m in is somewhat more encouraging to women. I did have a friend in grad school who was engineering undergrad and got her doctorate in biogenomics and she was one of maybe 2 or 3 in her program. It wasn’t a lot of hostility, like you said, but there were a couple of times when she would complain that her make colleagues for their data results from the genetic sequencing guys slower and had to tread more lightly when trying to make them get a move on, bringing up a personal reason to get a day or two off (like when she had to deal with her parents’s shitshow divorce), that kind of stuff. Sometimes they brought up that same “emotional” bs too.

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      • Portia

        Portia August 16, 2014, 11:31 am

        Then again, I’ve encountered my fair share of women in authority positions who were way harder and more dismissive of younger women than the men I’ve dealt with. I have one horrible, glaring example from my last internship that just makes me sad…

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      • dabbler

        dabbler August 16, 2014, 12:36 pm

        yeah, sometimes women in management can go a little too far in the opposite direction. i just had an issue with my current direct boss’s boss. i started as an intern, and we still being paid way below industry standard after 4+ years. i had to fight to be brought up to the level i should be, and she was the one that was really pushing back, while my male boss was fighting for me. i guess it kind of surprised me. it’s not like i was expecting her to be all rah-rah-sisterhood, but you’d think a woman in upper management in such a heavily male-dominated industry would be a little more sensitive to pay inequality. especially when all i was asking for was to be paid a fair market value.
        but, i also i have very few women i work with on a daily basis in general here, and none that i work with (directly) in management positions. in a previous job, not in engineering though, the office area was mostly women, and man they were awful to work for. someone actually told me that they never intended to hire a female for my position, because the boss/owner couldn’t handle working with other women. she was pretty nasty, and seemed like she went out of her way to make life miserable for me sometimes.

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      • Portia

        Portia August 16, 2014, 5:08 pm

        I’m really hoping that it will get better with time. I think a lot of the upper management/authority women succeeded in a time when they really had to fight hard to do well and now see younger women having an easier time than they did and get a little mad. Like, one of those “dues” type of things? I don’t know for sure, but that’s what makes sense to me. Not that women are the only ones who do this: a lot of the changing around of the requirements for my degree I think came from a place of thinking we had it too easy and making up for that…

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