Human-ities · Science · Vital-Edible-Health

Doctors back circumcision

On 27 August, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concludes for the first time that, overall, boys will be healthier if circumcised1. The report says that although the choice is ultimately up to parents, medical insurance should pay for the procedure. The recommendation, coming from such an influential body, could boost US circumcision rates, which, at 55%, are already higher than much of the developed world (see ‘Cuts by country’). “This time around, we could say that the medical benefits outweigh the risks of the procedure,” says Douglas Diekema, a paediatrician and ethicist at the University of Washington, Seattle, who served on the circumcision task force for the AAP, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

The recommendation is also sure to stir up debate. The practice of circumcision cuts deeper than the body, tapping into religious rituals and cultural identities. What is a harmless snip to some signifies mutilation to others. And in the developing world, many see it as an essential life-saving measure. Condoms are more effective at preventing disease, but are not used consistently.

Excerpt of an article written by Monya Baker, Nature. Continue HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Human-ities · Philosophy · Social/Politics · Theory

Why is feminism out of fashion in contemporary art?

High-profile exhibitions on surrealism and abstract expressionism rarely resurrect debates about the validity of Freudian psychoanalytic theory or Clement Greenberg’s rejection of representation. So it might be germane to ask why the current resurgence of institutional, critical and media attention on feminist art has sparked impassioned discussions about the relevance of feminism in today’s allegedly “post-feminist” art world?

The answer is not only because women of all generations remain conflicted about feminism, but because art is arguably the most appropriate medium to represent feminism’s complex history, meaning and purpose. As the best of the recent feminist art survey shows demonstrate, “feminism” is far from a fixed term. Putting aside feminist theory’s distracting obsession with semantics, the term still encompasses too many and too varied ideological factions, political agendas, identities and histories to fit any single definition that is not troublingly essentialist, reductivist or vague.

One proof of gender equality might be that the feminist movement’s history has played out like other revolutions by splintering into a host of militant and mutually antagonistic subgroups. Yet in spite of divisiveness within the active feminism movement, the revolution’s salient principle – that women are intelligent, capable people – has saturated our culture at large to the point of being taken for granted.

Written by Ana Finel Honigman at The Guardian. Continue HERE

Image above: Art work by the Guerilla Girls. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi