October 11, 2016
by cashgloal

Sports scientists say Trump’s “locker-room talk” is just as misogynistic as real college locker rooms

Trump needs to dig himself out of the dugout.

After a 2005 tape recording of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women resurfaced last week, the GOP presidential candidate attempted to use an old sports metaphor to excuse his actions. “It’s locker-room talk, and it’s one of those things,” Trump said at the second presidential debate on Oct. 9.

Trump mentioned the words “locker room” five times during the debate, implying that his comments about grabbing women “by the pussy” were just casual banter, meant to impress the lads after a game (or, in this case, Access Hollywood co-anchor Billy Bush). He also took to Twitter to offer a tepid apology using the same verbiage.

But locker-room talk isn’t just an old sports phrase—it’s unfortunately still a very real phenomena.

Back in 1991, sports researcher Timothy Curry found

that when male athletes talked about women as persons rather than objects, they were ridiculed by their teammates in the form of male posturing, joking, and put-downs. Therefore, to avoid this, “the athlete may choose to present his attitude toward women in a different way, one that enhances his identity as a ‘real man.’ The resulting women-as-objects stories are told with braggadocio or in a teasing manner.”

Twenty-five years after this study was published, Trump has brought “braggadocious” language out of America’s locker rooms and back into the spotlight. It is no better an excuse for belittling sexual assault in 2016 as it was back in 1991.

Recently my colleagues Dr. Tommy Shavers, Dr. Marni Finkelstein, and I published two papers (here and here) that explored the perceived influence that status and social power have on the sexual behavior of male football players at Baylor, a major collegiate university. Baylor University, and most notably their football program, is one of the more prominent athletic programs of late to be under scrutiny for how they educate, deter, monitor, and react to inappropriate sexual behavior. Investigations into sexual assaults allegedly committed by football team members have so far led to the dismissal of their head football coach and the eventual removal/retirement of their athletic director and president.

Our findings suggested that some college athletes are incredibly confident in their ability to conquer (have sex with) women, and indeed view sex as a form of payment for women who associate themselves with them. These athletes perceived themselves to be invincible, superior to their peers, and entitled to whatever and whoever they wanted. Consider a few of these quotes, culled from among the many included in our research:

“We do because we can; because it’s there and we don’t have to try for it… It’s too easy! We can even share a girl (sexually) if we wanted to and that can work.”

“… Even if you one night stand these girls, they don’t care. They’re so thrilled with the fact that they got to hook up with you, it doesn’t matter to them that you don’t talk to them anymore (afterwards).”

“If one isn’t treating you right, you just get rid of her. You don’t keep her around. This becomes their motivation; that you’ll get rid of them if they don’t act right or treat you right.”

The athletes in our study used women for sex, and they also believed women considered sex with them personally beneficial. For example, some athletes believed women wanted to sleep with them because it would give them extra status, and potentially, future financial security: “It’s the cool thing to do, to have slept with a football player,” one participant said. “It’s fun to them—it makes them feel better about themselves.”

Using these comments as a lens through which to analyze current events, it seems Trump’s language—while extreme—is not out of line with what is being said in college locker rooms around the US. And while such graphic talk may not occur in all locker rooms, our study suggests that those with status and power, whether athletes or celebrities, perceive sexual benefits from their status.

In a promising sign, however, Trump’s actions have incensed many professional athletes, who have taken to social media to deny that such conversations occur in their own locker rooms.

By labeling his comments as locker-room banter, Trump implied that all athletes feel, say, and do the same—which they do not. Still, even a few is too many. I’ll leave the final word to Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin:

You can follow Timothy on Twitter at @baghurst. We welcome your comments at


October 8, 2016
by cashgloal

Republican party officials asked vendors to halt work on Trump’s “Victory” project

Trump may not have any mail.

Politico reports that the Republican National Committee has asked mail vendors to halt efforts to elect Donal Trump as part of the party’s “Victory” program.

The Republican National Committee on Saturday emailed vendors working on mailing and printing for the project asking them to stop, at least temporarily, according to an email Politico obtained from the RNC.

“Please put a hold/stop on all mail projects right now,” it said, according to Politico. “If something is in production or print it needs to stop. Will update you when to proceed.”

The “Victory” program has been raising money and coordinating efforts to help elect Trump, since his campaign has little in the way of field offices and other resources of traditional campaigns.


October 3, 2016
by cashgloal

‘The Exorcist’ Recap 1×02: The Centipede Human

Part of the original Exorcist’s mass appeal was its zeitgeist aspect– it takes places in Washington, D.C. and features a young girl, Regan, exhibiting taboo sexual behavior and disrespecting her parents, compelled by some unseen force. At one point early on Regan, in a kind of half-possessed state, tells an astronaut he’s going to die in space, then pisses on the carpet in front of him– Kennedy’s dream of extreme progress and achievements doomed and urinated upon abruptly.

September 24, 2016
by cashgloal

Gabon’s highest court says Ali Bongo won its controversial presidential elections

Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon pledges to give his inheritance to a youth foundation.

Gabon’s Constitutional Court on Friday (Sept. 23) upheld the re-election of incumbent president Ali Bongo, extending his family’s five-decade rule over the oil-rich, small Central African nation.

Bongo was announced as the winner of the country’s general elections, which were held late last month. He won the vote by a slim margin of 6,000 votes ahead of his closest rival, Jean Ping.

Ping, a career diplomat and former head of the African Union, rejected the results and called for a recount. Immediately after the announcement of the results, deadly riots broke out in the capital and the country’s national assembly was burned down. The government responded to the riots by imposing an internet curfew, cracking down on the media, and arresting more than 800 people.

There are fears that new protests will break out in reaction to the court’s final ruling.

Ping insisted that the vote was fraudulent and filed a legal challenge with the country’s highest court. The Court was tasked to conduct an audit of the electoral tally sheets and to decided whether do a recount of the vote or declare Bongo the official winner. A team of observers was also sent by the African Union to follow the deliberations.

The recount was done despite the fact that government officials stated that the ballots were burnt immediately after the elections. Both the UN and the United States called for calm and restraint as the court’s decision was being awaited throughout the country.

The country’s top court is headed by Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, a former beauty who had two children with Bongo’s late father, Omar. For over 20 years, she has overseen the nine-member court, which opposition members refer to as the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” for kowtowing to the Bongo regime. Ping himself doesn’t fall far from the Bongo family tree since he was once married to one of Bongo’s sisters.

Following the court’s decision,the government also said it would hold Ping responsible if clashes erupted following the ruling, according to the BBC. On his end, president Bongo renewed calls for political dialogue with the opposition and urged unity amongst citizens.

“When we come out of an election and families are having to mourn their dead, it means we’ve betrayed democracy,” he reportedly told a crowd of his supporters. On his Twitter handle, the president wrote that he would make his win a victory for all Gabonese people.

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September 21, 2016
by cashgloal

India Inc. is actually quite considerate towards new dads


Corporate India is ahead of the curve vis a vis the country’s paternity leave laws.

While the laws almost exclusively concern themselves with new mothers, companies have been doing their bit to ensure that men get days off, too, making India one of the world’s best countries for new dads.

Today, 75% of Indian organisations provide paternity leave, according to a report by human resources consultancy Mercer. This figure has increased from about 60% in 2014. That makes India among the five countries—after the US, Australia, the UK, and Canada—with the highest shares of companies that grant paternity leave above the statutory requirement.

Mercer’s report was based on a global survey polling over 250 private companies in India.

The survey results are particularly important because India’s paternity leave policy has for long focused only on the public sector, requiring those companies to provide up to 15 days off, but setting no obligation for private companies. While the maternity leave provision was recently extended to over six months, there’s no sign of things changing for new fathers.

Nevertheless, Indian companies are taking the lead. Organisations are starting to become more sensitive to the needs of their employees, offering better benefits, including both paternity leave and days off for parents who adopt children, according to Kangan Shekhar, Mercer’s India benefits product head.

“Overall, companies are developing (a) higher EQ (emotional quotient),” Shekhar said. India’s talent crunch is encouraging firms to do more to retain their best employees for whom work-life balance is becoming an increasingly important concern, she noted.

Though it is technology companies that mainly get all the press for their generous leave policies, paternity leave is on offer across sectors in India. Even the more mature industries are on board, suggesting that times really are changing, with more acceptance of a father’s role in child-rearing.

The only problem: the number of the days of paternity leave hasn’t changed in most companies from around five days. However, with increasing awareness about the benefits of such leave, for both fathers and mothers

, it’s high time India’s laws did more to reflect the new reality.


September 18, 2016
by cashgloal

An “intentional” explosion shook New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29

New York City firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York

This story has been updated.

An explosion shook several blocks of Manhattan on Saturday night, injuring dozens of people, blowing out windows in the area, and rattling nerves across New York City.

“The early indication is this was an intentional act,” Bill de Blasio, the city’s mayor, said in a press conference near the scene of the explosion. But he added, “There is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization.”

The explosion occurred near 135 West 23rd Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, which is a public housing complex for the blind.

James O’Neill, on his first full day as the city’s police commissioner, said the cause of the explosion has yet to be determined. In a sweep that evening, police located a plastic bag containing a pressure cooker with wiring and a cell phone a few blocks from the site of the explosion. It was unclear if the device was active or inert, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Local news reports said a dumpster outside the building exploded around 8:30pm local time. Images of a dented dumpster were tweeted from the scene:

At least 29 people were being treated for injuries, but none of them were life-threatening, officials said. The scene was calm in the aftermath of the explosion, as police and other officials secured the area and swept for explosive devices. Another area, a few blocks north, was also closed off by police investigating another possible explosive device.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for US president, immediately raised the specter of terrorism at a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on, but, boy we are really in a time,” he said soon after the explosion. “We better get very tough, folks.”

Earlier in the day, a smaller explosion disrupted a road race to benefit marines and sailors in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Nobody was injured, and officials said it was caused by “pipe bomb-style device.”

“Based on what we know at this hour,” de Blasio said, “there is no specific connection to the incident in New Jersey.”


September 15, 2016
by cashgloal

Foreign journalists are wanted for $3,000 by Chinese authorities for inciting unrest in a village

We're coming for you, foreign forces.

Five Hong Kong journalists were detained by police and later expelled from a fishing village in China Thursday morning (Sept. 15), as authorities offered cash rewards to people to turn in “foreign forces” apparently behind a local rebellion.

At least five journalists from Hong Kong newspapers Ming Pao, the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and digital news website HK01 were arrested by police Wednesday in the village of Wukan in Guangdong province, about 150 miles from Hong Kong. Three were found during a police raid at a house, while two were intercepted by police before entering the village, Ming Pao reported (link in Chinese).

On Tuesday (Sept. 13), riot police blockaded Wukan village to quash a long-running dispute over land rights and the arrest of the village head on corruption charges, with bloody scenes ensuing as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protestors. Information about the crackdown was entirely blocked in mainland China, and journalists from the BBC were barred from entering the area on Wednesday.

According to Ming Pao, around 20 plainclothes and uniformed police surrounded the village house where three journalists—two from Ming Pao and one from SCMP—were staying, at around 9.30pm on Wednesday. A team of plainclothes police then broke into the house, manhandled the reporters into a seven-seater car, and took them to a police station in the nearby city of Lufeng. The three, along with two reporters from HK01, were detained there for five hours, and were ask to sign a letter promising that they would “never do illegal interviews in Lufeng again.” Local officials then drove them overnight to Shenzhen, just across the border with Hong Kong.

Ming Pao said the three journalists were badly treated during the raid. The SCMP reporter was thrown to the ground, while a Ming Pao reporter was punched despite following police instructions to squat. The police officers accused them of being “thieves” during the arrest, Ming Pao said.

SCMP confirmed with Quartz that one staff reporter was detained and questioned by local authorities in Wukan on Wednesday, and said the reporter “was released early this morning and returned to Hong Kong unharmed.” “We condemn the detention of our reporter, who has proper journalist credentials issued by the Central Government authorising him to work in the mainland,” a SCMP spokesperson said in an email.

A spokesperson with HK01 told Quartz that the two staff reporters returned to Hong Kong this morning but didn’t reveal more details.

Authorities are on a hunt for foreign journalists inside Wukan village. BBC reporters were expelled from the scene earlier. Since Wednesday afternoon, loudspeakers began to broadcast messages to villagers telling them that those who could offer clues to finding “foreign forces” hiding in the village would be awarded 20,000 yuan (about $ 3000), villagers told Ming Pao (link in Chinese). Earlier, police arrested 13 villager protestors for “disturbing public space and transportation orders.” The reward for tips of the whereabouts of the five other wanted villagers is 100,000 yuan.

Authorities denied a violent crackdown had occurred and condemned the protests. An op-ed published Thursday by the nationalistic state-run tabloid Global Times blamed the rebellion on “foreign forces,” a narrative often propaganted by the government when unrest happens. The article accused foreign media of inciting chaos by faking news of the death of an 83-year-old female villager during the crackdown.

“Shakespeare once said that rumor is like a flute… Those foreign forces are addicted to the flute and have even turned their illusions into the truth. But Wukan villagers have long seen through such tricks. And they are not interested in being fooled,” the Global Times article ended.