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This week feels like it is going on forever. How is it only Thursday? I’m counteracting with one of my favorite, incredibly ridiculous Star Trek videos. You’re welcome.

(Source: youtube.com)

We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome / The Dissolve

DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 considerably expands the world introduced in the first film, and that expansion includes a significant new presence: Valka, the long-lost mother of dragon-riding protagonist Hiccup, voiced by Cate Blanchett. The film devotes much of its sweet, sensitive middle act to introducing her, and building her up into a complicated, nuanced character. She’s mysterious and formidable, capable of taking Hiccup and his dragon partner Toothless out of the sky with casual ease. She’s knowledgable: Two decades of studying dragons means she knows Toothless’ anatomy better than he does. She’s wise. She’s principled. She’s joyous. She’s divided. She’s damaged. She’s vulnerable. She’s something female characters so often aren’t in action/adventure films with male protagonists: She’s interesting.

Too bad the story gives her absolutely nothing to do.

Queer Autistic Author Corinne Duyvis Talks About Her New Radically Diverse YA Novel, "Otherbound" | xoJane

Out this week from Amulet Books, Corinne Duyvis’ “Otherbound” is the story of Nolan, a boy trapped between two worlds: Every time he closes his eyes, he’s transported to an alien landscape — and someone else’s mind. Amara, a girl living in a parallel universe, is navigating a world of magic, danger, and horror, and as Nolan and Amara become aware of each other, they realize that the only way to save each other is to work together.

This book is already an exciting and wild ride, but more than that, it’s an example of much-needed diversity in children’s literature, and it couldn’t be coming out at a better time, given that the We Need Diverse Books campaign is still going strong. The book features queer sexuality, disability, racial diversity, and so much more, making it a refreshing break from the endless Wonderbread of summer blockbuster YA.

Deeper Levels of Stigma | Unstrange Mind

But now that we know that Robin Williams had Parkinson’s, what is the first thing I see? “It’s still tragic, but it’s more like a rational choice now.” and, “I feel as if, now came out he had Parkinson’s disease, we can agree he had a reason to choose to die.” and “If laws for euthanasia where better he could have chosen to die among his loved ones, family and friends and not alone and cruel.”

I’m happy to say that others joined the conversation and spoke about why those kinds of attitudes are so chilling to disabled people. But still, the immediate reactions of able-bodied people shocked me. And it showed me that we still have so much stigma to dig ourselves out from under.

The Next Time Someone Asks You 'What Was She Wearing?' Just Ask Them To Watch This. You Should Too.

Victims of sexual assault have a lot to be afraid about. It turns out that only 3% of rapists ever see the inside of a jail cell. Think about that for a moment. Now that you’ve thought about it, listen to Zerlina Maxwell do a talk on how we can help solve the problem. A lot of messaging focuses on blaming the victim. Yet, when cities like Vancouver actively ran campaigns to tell guys what constitutes rape, they decreased sexual assault by 10% in one year. Education is key. And Zerlina is here to educate you.

(via Tangent Artists)

(via Tangent Artists)

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, John Oliver explores the racial inequality in treatment by police as well as the increasing militarization of America’s local police forces.

(Source: youtube.com)

10 Tips for Talking About Sexual Violence with Your Sons

This is so incredibly important.

Oregon's 1,250 schools have just 144 librarians, library group says | OregonLive.com

Oregon schools, which had 818 full-time librarians in 1980, are down to just 144 full-time-equivalent licensed school library specialists, the state school library group reported Thursday.

Oregon people, pay attention! This will hurt your kids’ learning!  

The article is from June, but I haven’t seen anything to say that the situation has changed.

5 Things You Shouldn't Say to Women Who Don't Want Children — Everyday Feminism

Even as women continue to break down the barriers of gendered expectations, they continue to be faced with an allegedly fundamental question: whether or not to have children.

We still live in a world where family and children are deeply associated with women, to the point where women are taught that having children is essential to having a strong sense of self.

Fortunately, most people who don’t live in the dark ages agree that women are allowed to have passions and careers and lives outside of the home, which leads to an interesting thought: what if you’re perfectly content not having kids?

Kids, fertility, and women’s decisions and attitudes about family are predictably the subject of much anxiety in our society. The notion that a woman might not want kids conjures up all kinds of visions of the embittered boss wedded to her career or the introvert with ten cats.

But having children is a personal decision that should be respected and should not have to be justified in any way.

Yet the belief that women somehow can’t be complete without children lingers and leads to some pretty ignorant statements.

So here is a guide on what not to say to a woman who doesn’t want to have children.