What we read: May 22, 2020

Normally, this weekend would kick off the beginning of the summer here in the States, but will only some parts of normal life resuming, I still can’t figure out what day it is. I literally lived Thursday twice this week.

Meanwhile, I am hanging onto the dream that the re-opening of my state isn’t going to be the oasis of the 2020 COVID19 desert when premature re-opening results in a resurgence of the virus and even more restrictive quarantine-in-place measures.

There have been many reports about the uptick in domestic violence cases since the pandemic began, and that report is scary. But, I think it is important to make it clear that the pandemic is exacerbating domestic violence not causing it. Being forced to shelter-in-place with abusers is making already bad situations worse because the victim can’t leave. But, abusers were abusers before the pandemic and they will be abusers after, too. It neglects to admit a cycle of abuse and the systemic structures that allow it to happen when articles suggest that the increase in domestic violence reports are only happening because of the pandemic. The pandemic, at least in this case, is not at fault. As always, the abusers and a system that enables them is.

Okay, so I’m reading like everywhere that things won’t be the same after the pandemic, but I’m wondering how much of that is true. Here, Vox reports that group fitness won’t be the same again—but I’m wondering how much this is true? Do we know what changed permanently after the last pandemic (that wasn’t due to normal changes such as those due to advances in technology)? This is a real question. Any historians out there?

Thinking about the history of colonization in the United States, two Australian scholars drew a correlation between how COVID19 is affecting everyone’s lives and colonization. I think the comparison is an interesting one and interesting to read if only because it brings awareness to the impacts of colonization on indigenous peoples. But, I’m also wary of any comparison that silences the voices of indigenous people and fails the acknowledge historical and present trauma perpetuated by colonization.

Oh dear, Strava is going to charge for some of its best features. Whatsoever will runners, cyclists, and swimmers do to log their miles and compete with complete strangers on random and arbitrary route segments such the aptly named “right angle” segment of my normal run route that is literally just a random right turn from one street to another with absolutely zero discerning features except that it is a right turn. Cyclingtips.com thinks you should probably just pay for it, and they make a good argument for why. I’m not planning to, but that’s only because I’ve been a reluctant Strava user, so I’m sort of delighted that maybe I won’t have to use it any more if others stop using it.

If you are looking for an interesting and inspiring read of endurance, check out the story of Gaëlle Bojko’s bike ride across Siberia’s Lake Baikal.

In other simply amazing news, the Grinduro California Gravel bike race broke barriers by setting aside race slots for women and non-binary competitors and sold out quickly. This sets, hopefully, an important precedent for other races to make spots for women and non-binary athletes, and it also proves that yes, we do want to compete. Perhaps, it’s not a lack of interest but a lack of perceived support and belongingness that has kept the participation rate of women and non-binary athletes so low. This goes a long way in showing athletes that this races will be a safe space. That, on its own, is important.

I’m just learning about the University of Kentucky cheerleading sexual assault and hazing case; I’ve just started looking into it more, but the allegations are terrible. I won’t say that they are shocking, because being shocked is a privilege, and we shouldn’t be shocked by how toxic masculinity and rape culture has been allowed to persist and thrive in collegiate athletics.

Less seriously, although still particularly relevant, if you’ve dyed your own hair and had a disastrous impact, Allure has some tips on how to fix a bad dye job. I’ll say that while every article is like “don’t do it, it’s not safe,” and “you can’t remove hair color,” that has not been my experience. In fact, I dyed my hair gray for a few weeks of the pandemic, then removed the color using Color Oops and re-dyed it my more normal shade of light brown and my hair seems to be fine. I’m not a hairstylist and don’t take this as professional advice, but I say, live a little. It’s hair, it grows out for most, and if this is your only opportunity to try a fun new color, you should do it.

Most of my family has stopped asking if I’ve “met anyone special” (well, my immediate family never did), but I’d really like it if society in general stopped expecting women to want to partner up and settle down. I have and probably will again partner up, but I never plan to settle down. Full stop.

And, finally, the most important thing you’ll read today: Who you’re most compatible with during a crisis according to your sign. And, just a friendly reminder that compatibility also refers to friendships, work buddies, and hairstylists.

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