food for thought: being bodies at work edition

Clearly, I’ve over-committed myself the last couple of weeks and have fallen behind on the Uprooting Racism project. It will return when life evens out a bit. In the meantime, here’s another week of links.

Michael Hiltzik @ The L.A. Times | Does your employer really care about your ‘wellness’? Maybe not.

[The ruling] can be seen as a victory for the cause of workplace health, for the goal of the Honeywell program was to discourage smoking, obesity and other bad health behaviors and outcomes in its workforce. It can also be seen as a defeat for worker privacy and independence, for the EEOC saw the program as intrusive and coercive.

Either way, the case underscores the growing popularity of wellness programs in the workplace — and also illustrates that big companies may be using them to save money, rather than really providing their employees with better health. That’s because the evidence for the former is strong, but evidence for the latter is weak. In fact, there’s very little data supporting the notion that wellness programs produce better health, and considerable doubt that they’re even designed to do so.

Mike Jones @ Context Junky | What would trauma informed archival access look like?

I’ve been thinking: what should archives and archivists be doing to better support people who have experienced such trauma? Many in our profession are used to dealing with researchers, academics, family historians – people described snootily by some as the ‘educated public’. But if our services and access regimes are tailored to people like this, are they suited to others who may desperately need access to archival records for a whole variety of other reasons? What of people who have been discriminated against, marginalised, traumatised or abused? What of Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, or refugees who have been through the detention system, or people traumatised by war and conflict, or those whose human rights have been violated?

Sarah Mirk @ BitchMedia | NPR Explore Why the Voices of Women are Taken Less Seriously.

The team at NPR worked with animator Kelli Anderson to put together this animated video of Selena Simmons-Duffin’s great audio report, “Talking While Female.” The report discusses how people have an tendency to think lower-pitched voices have more authority and express greater knowledge. This can lead to people dismissing the voices of women, saying that people who speak in higher-frequency ranges don’t know what they’re talking about. This trend plays into mansplaining, of course, but also it’s important to recognize how men host the majority of podcasts. Because radio is a male-dominated field, listeners are used to hearing deeper, male voices more often as hosts. As women make headway in becoming TV anchors, radio hosts, and starting up women-hosted podcasts, maybe the listening tastes of audiences will change, too.

Miles Howard @ Cognoscenti (WBUR) | Privilege, Luck And Hard Work Brighten Prospects For Some, But Not All, Millennials

Let’s take that argument one step further: Millennials who have gotten relatively lucky in the post-recession economy shouldn’t be leading a discussion about upward mobility and financial solvency for an entire generation. This conversation needs to begin at the bottom of the economic ladder and go up from there, because, after all, those of us closer to the top have made it already, haven’t we?

Francesca Stavrakopoulou @ The Guardian Education Blog | Female academics: don’t power dress, forget heels – and no flowing hair allowed.

Essentially, the message is the same: unless women dress modestly and conservatively, they look out of place in academia, because fundamentally, they don’t have the right bodies to be academic authorities.

This infuriates me, and I refuse to accept it. My intellectual abilities as an academic should be judged on my work: my research, my publications, and my lectures. This is how I have earned and now own my place in academia, regardless – or in spite of – my “feminine” appearance.

PhDisabled | Event Organizers: Give Access Information Up Front. Please?

Imagine the scenario: it’s a bright and early weekday morning. Birds are singing outside your window. You sit down with a hot cup of coffee to check your emails. You’ve received notice of a forthcoming event that directly relates to your research interests. Brilliant! You think, proceeding to find out when and where the event is, booking yourself a ticket if needed, and putting the whole thing in your diary.

Except, when you’re disabled and chronically ill, this isn’t how it goes. In this version of events, clouds cover the sun, your coffee is a bit sour, and you let out a sigh at having to undertake the ritualistic rigamarole of having to work out whether the event is set up so that scholars with access needs like you can get in and can participate.

Got links? Please send anything you think relevant to our group for inclusion in the weekly food for thought round-up. Emails, Tweets, or submissions via comment thread are all welcome.

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