Celebrating Madonna, the Ultimate Rebel Role Model

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Aug 18, 2018

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In The Buzz Cut, we give our take on all of the intellectual and Internet-famous, celebrity and bizarre, buzzy and overlooked news we gossiped about all week.


The future is female. Happy Birthday to Madonna, the ultimate, who celebrated her 60th birthday this week. We enjoyed this lovely tribute to her decades of breaking down barriers. That badass spirit continues in the latest generation: Check out these girls, who are kicking gender stereotypes in chess to the curb. But female domination in another area might have a downside: The prevalence of female-voiced artificial intelligence — in real life and in movies — is perpetuating outdated stereotypes of women as subservient helpers, tinging the future with the inequities of the past.

The demand for better care. If you’re looking for better healthcare, pick a female doctor. Studies show that female doctors listen more, a result of which is better patient treatment. Perhaps especially if you’re a woman: Doctors downplaying women’s health issues is not a new phenomenon, but what is new is the tidal wave of reports of medical sexism, and women’s efforts to challenge it. (Including on The Swaddle — in case you missed it, check out our coverage of women’s health not getting the attention it deserves.) The field of neuroendocrinology can be inspiration for these efforts. The field was originated by men, who led labs hostile to women. But now, women dominate the field of research seeking “to understand the biological mechanisms underlying reproduction, parental care, development, social bonds, aggression, learning, metabolism, and stress.”

The quest for a kid. American and Danish sperm is the most popular sperm around the world. And Caucasian sperm is a growing luxury good in non-Caucasian countries — including India. After you take a shower to rinse those facts off you, listen to this fascinating podcast about the history of infertility. And then check out this profile of a woman who is trying to redesign fertility services so they’re more inclusive of parents-to-be who aren’t coupled.

The reinvention of the hjul. That’s Swedish for ‘wheel,’ which feels appropriate given this article exploring how Ikea adapts its products to new markets like India. And here’s a peek into efforts to update the design of the wheelchair, which hasn’t evolved much since its invention in the 16th century.

The view from inside. Do you know what a psychopath is, exactly? Probably not — but anyway, it’s one of those things you’d recognize if you saw it. Except it’s not — this profile of a woman diagnosed as a psychopath challenges common assumptions around the personality type. And in a final perspective-bending link, we bring you an article on the genetic roots of synesthesia, a phenomenon that allows some people to taste colors, or see sounds.

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Written By The Swaddle Team

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