Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Free Speech (or Not) at Stanford by David Leonhardt: “Over the past few years, some American universities have seemed to back away from their historical support for free speech. Hamline University in Minnesota effectively fired a teacher who showed a 14th-century painting of the Prophet Muhammad in an art history class. A Princeton student lost her leadership position on a sports team after privately expressing an opinion about policing. Stanford itself allows students to file anonymous complaints against other students, including for speech. Now, though, Stanford seems to be drawing a line in defense of free speech.”

The Moral Case Against Equity Language by George Packer: “The project of the guides is utopian, but they’re a symptom of deep pessimism. They belong to a fractured culture in which symbolic gestures are preferable to concrete actions, argument is no longer desirable, each viewpoint has its own impenetrable dialect, and only the most fluent insiders possess the power to say what is real. What I’ve described is not just a problem of the progressive left. The far right has a different vocabulary, but it, too, relies on authoritarian shibboleths to enforce orthodoxy. It will be a sign of political renewal if Americans can say maddening things to one another in a common language that doesn’t require any guide.”

The Catch-22 for Working Parents by Stephanie Murray: “America wants to have it both ways: insisting that poor single parents work while shrugging its shoulders about the conditions that can prevent them from doing so. The result is a system both careless and cruel. If we want needy parents to work, then we ought to take steps to ensure that it’s possible for them to both work and parent well. If we’re unwilling to take those steps, then we should find a way to support families regardless of whether they work or not. And if we won’t do either, then we must admit that we aren’t really interested in helping parents at all.”

Why Americans Care About Work So Much by Derek Thompson: “Workism is not a simple evil or virtue; rather, it’s a complex phenomenon. It is rooted in the belief that work can provide everything we have historically expected from organized religion: community, meaning, self-actualization. And it is characterized by the irony that, in a time of declining trust in so many institutions, we expect more than ever from the companies that employ us—and that, in an age of declining community attachments, the workplace has, for many, become the last community standing. This might be why more companies today feel obligated to serve on the front lines in political debates and culture-war battles.”

In Afghanistan, women and girls are being erased by Shabana Basij-Rasikh: “This girl, like every Afghan girl who refuses to give up on her education, had two choices: go overseas or go underground. Become a refugee from Afghanistan or, effectively, become a criminal within Afghanistan. Pursue the limited educational opportunities open to refugees, or pursue them in our homeland and hope the Taliban never find out.”

What if Kids Are Sad and Stressed Because Their Parents Are? by David French: “It’s a question I honestly ask myself. I know that my experiences online drift into family life. I know that my anxiety can radiate outward to affect my kids. Our own addictions — to alcohol or drugs, yes, but also to information and outrage — can devastate our families.”

We want objective judges and doctors. Why not journalists too? by Martin Baron: “I believe our profession would benefit from listening more to the public and from talking less at the public, as if we knew it all. I believe we should be more impressed with what we don’t know than with what we know — or think we know. In journalism, we could use more humility — and less hubris.”

Michigan’s Catholic bishops should support repealing state’s anti-union ‘right-to-work’ laws by MSW: “Unions do more than help strengthen the economy for average people and poor people. They are fonts of solidarity in a society drowning in libertarian myths. They are bridges in our polarized culture, uniting conservative members of the building trades with progressive members of the nurses’ unions. It is for all these reasons that the Catholic Church, from the papacy on down, has supported labor unions.”

Is Therapy-Speak Making Us Selfish? by Rebecca Fishbein: “She recommends practicing something called mutuality, which involves thinking about the other person’s needs and your needs at the same time, and deciding which are more urgent to prioritize at the moment. There may be instances when it’s necessary to bail on plans, ignore a text, speak up when you feel slighted, or take space from a trying friendship, but there are people on the other side of these interactions with their own sense of interiority.”