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The Washington Post reports on female genital mutilation among Iraq’s Kurdish population. This one is brutal, be warned – particularly the photos. Via Jezebel

Shark-fu has a must-read post, over at Shakesville:

The first time I was gay bashed I was seventeen. I was in college and walking to the T in Boston with a girl friend. We had gone to a club and were returning to campus…we held hands, even though we weren’t a couple…and, as we rounded a corner to approach the T station a group of men came towards us down the sidewalk.

Researchers at San Francisco State University have found that, unsurprisingly, LGB teenagers rejected by their families are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, reports Pink News:

The study found that LGB young people who had experienced higher levels of rejection from their family were 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide, and almost 6 times more likely to become depressed, than young people who experienced no rejection from their families.

Rejected LGB teenagers were also found to be 3.4 times more likely to use drugs and 3.4 times more likely to engage in unprotected sex than other young people.

The reason that men do better than women at competitive chess is because more men play chess, reports Scientific American. Via Jezebel again.

Just why is the media obsessed with Colonel Gaddafi’s female bodyguards? Yusra at Muslimah Media Watch says:

As a Libyan woman, aware of how other Libyan women view the bodyguards, I can assure you, they are by no means the archetype of liberty or the crusaders of women’s rights. I for one do not define liberal values as trailing in the footsteps of a dictator.

Over at AlterNet, Dean Baker says that two financial regulators in the US stand out as “doing the right thing” – Brooksley Born, former chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation:

Basically, the women who enter the financial world have not been fully integrated into the club. They are still outsiders. Therefore, they are more likely to blow the whistle on the sweet deals that can make hundreds of millions for the boys, while leaving the rest of us out in the cold.

Time Magazine thinks it’s time for Michelle and Barack Obama to have a boy – Renee at Womanist Musings has more:

How can the US compete on the global stage if the men that they elects do not produce male heirs? Can we say overvaluation of masculinity? The American people, supposedly exist with a unique state of evolvement because unlike other nation states they have the courage to elect leaders who have not produced male progeny.

Time however, does not hesitate to suggest that Michelle should throw out her birth control and take one for the team. Since she has already given up a high powered career, why wouldn’t she want to get pregnant; God did after all give her the ovaries. Why else do women exist if not to take one for the team.

Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican started vlogging.

The Art of Manliness blog ran a competition for ‘Man of the Year’, to celebrate “men who epitomize the manliness that used to exist before the arrival of metrosexual pretty boys”. Look who won.

Was the Wallace & Gromit Christmas special sexist?

And Sociological Images wonders if these ads are criticising the way women’s bodies are used to sell products, or sending up the idea that it’s a valid criticism.