What should you do if your child tells you they feel they were born as the wrong gender? Do you force them to conform to their born gender or do you support their feeling of being born into the wrong body? We talk to the parent and the doctor of a transgender child to sort through the confusion and discover what science says about gender transitions and how one family navigated the issues associated with having a child you suddenly don’t fully understand.
The Ethical Implications of Genetic Screenings on Children
Science enables us to know much more than ever before. We can be aware of what disorders we could pass on to our kids and we can conduct screenings on children to discover irregularities in their genes. Such screenings can help doctors catch issues early but they can also put a huge burden on families.
Culture Crash: True Crime
True crime stories fascinate us, but they can also have a big impact. We look at true crime and specifically, Michelle McNamera’s book, I’ll Be Gone in The Dark
With the increased use of advanced technology and constant access to social media, many people have started to question their right to privacy, and what that even means, when all their personal information has become public. Jennifer E. Rothman, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, explains that in recent years, people have become more willing to put their information on social media accounts that are accessible to the public. However, this does not mean that people do not want to have control over the information. Rothman states that many social media sites take the information and pictures posted by the users and sell it. While this seems like it would be illegal, users often consent to this when they agree to the terms and conditions. There are many laws out there working to protect social media users from having their information used by the sites, but many people do not know how these laws works.
In today’s digital age, Rothman believes that we should be most worried about the right of publicity which grants a person control over the commercial use of their identity. She explains three aspects in particular that can most affect us. The first is transferability which articulates that by making something into a piece of intellectual property, the rights can be taken away from the individual. Another important aspect to note is the impact on free speech which can hinder the ability to produce or limit stories and information about real people. Finally, she expresses the conflict with copyright laws. It is important to understand the ways in which these laws work in order to be better prepared to navigate social media and understand how these sites use the information provided to them.
When the first prisons were created years ago, they were found on religious beliefs, and many prisons today still embody religion as central to their operations. While inmates are not required to practice a religion, many of them have benefitted over time from religious programs that are provided in prison. Why were prisons found on religious beliefs? And, what is religion’s role in the prison system today?
Tanya Erzen, author of God In Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration, explains that the first prisons in our country were created by religious reformers who thought that prisons would exhibit more tolerance than the current methods of sanctioning criminals. They hoped that through prayer and reflection criminals could be rehabilitated and would no longer commit crimes. Today, almost all prisons in the United States, state and federal, offer religious programs to their inmates. Erzen explains that in the event that a prison is unable to fund religious programs, they will provide other programs, such as drug addiction and education courses, that are likely to be taught by religious individuals. While the different programs provided do vary, inmates believe these groups have been particularly helpful for them because it allows them to receive an education and gives a sense of meaning to people with longer prison sentences. Prison can be dehumanizing, but providing inmates with religious programs that give them hope can make the daunting aspects of prison a little more bearable.
While these programs are helpful for many inmates, some do not believe that these programs are fair, particularly inmates who are not Christian. While these programs call themselves “faith-based,” most are based off of Christianity. Erzen talks about a prisoner who was Muslim that felt that these groups were his only option to receive an education, so he attended the groups despite having different religious views. Furthermore, these religious programs also endorse favoritism in prisons. Erzen explains another instance in which prisoners who attended church on Sunday were more likely to receive things they needed because the warden was religious. He would attend these services and the inmates could hand him slips of paper with a request, and they knew that by the end of the day this request was being processed. While these flaws within religious programs should be addressed, they do not deter from the overwhelming amount of good that they can create.
Tanya Erzen, author of God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Prison Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.
In recent years, Netflix has become a major player in the film industry. They have used festivals as the launching pad for their buzzier titles like the animal-rights movie Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerwitz Stories. Last year, Netflix also made a big splash by acquiring one of Sundance’s biggest hits, Mudbound, which was eventually nominated for four Oscars.
But now comes the pushback: This year, the Cannes film festival announced Netflix films wouldn’t be considered for the fest’s top prize. Director Steven Spielberg said he considers Netflix movies to be made-for-TV and nothing more.
And now, the battle is on. Shortly after the Cannes announcement, Netflix announced they wouldn’t bother to bring any movies to the festival if they aren’t in contention for the highest honors. Since that announcement, film lovers have been thrown in the middle of the Video-On-Demand vs. Theater debate.
Does a movie lose merit if it doesn’t run in theaters around the country? Is a Netflix-release good for consumers, since they can watch, say, Will Smith’s latest film, Bright, in the comfort of their own homes? Or is it bad, since it loses some of that essential community feeling that comes with seeing a smash hit movie like last year’s Get Out or this year’s A Quiet Place with a packed audience?
Right now, it seems opinion is split. Of course, seeing a movie in a theater can be a transformative experience. The screen is huge, the sound is turned all the way up, and that means more immersion in the spectacle. But as theaters have gotten more and more expensive, you can also understand why many people prefer catching the latest releases on their couch. Plus, Netflix’s model has opened the doors for filmmakers who wouldn’t have a place at the big-budget-mega-studios.
Ultimately, the battle has only really just begun. It’s Netflix vs. film traditionalists and as for which side will win out in the end? Well, only time will tell.
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal rocked Facebook, many of us have been left questioning what our right to privacy looks like in an increasingly digital world. When it comes to social media, who owns what information, and how do we assert the rights we do have? We talk to a professor of law about the legal issues associated with all those online profiles.
Religion In America’s Prisons
Since the beginning of the US prison system, religion has been suggested as a way to help rehabilitate criminals. We talk to Tanya Erzen, a professor of religion, about why that is and what role prison ministries play in the lives on inmates.
Culture Crash: Netflix’s Battle Against Film Traditionalists
Netflix is becoming a bigger and bigger player in the film world, which is leaving a bad taste in some people’s mouths. We look at the arguments for and against Netflix as a film distributor.
While being an explorer sounds like a job of the past or one reserved for fictitious characters, many people today still do consider themselves to be explorers. But, since there are no longer new territories waiting to be discovered, how do modern-day explorers bring new life to adventures and explorations?
Dr. Nick Middleton, professor at Oxford University, and author of An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist, explains that there are many types of exploration. One way of exploring is learning about a new culture that is not your own. Along with this, he explains that there are plenty of countries around the world that are not recognized on maps. People who are interested in explorations and adventures could research these countries, the people who inhabit them, and their culture. In order to experience an adventure, a person must be willing to step outside of their current understanding of the world and observe another.
Another important aspect of explorations and adventures is understanding the explorers of the past. Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones, historian, explorer, and author of Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery & Adventure explains that prior explorations have often left many unanswered questions. He believes the best way to understand and learn about them is to look at the explorers personal archives because they often have the very first look at new lands, new species, and new people. These old notes and journals hold important information about how we understand the world today.
For more information, listen to this weeks show and check out the links below for more information on Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery & Adventure and An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist.
Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones, historian, explorer, and author of Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery & Adventure
Dr. Nick Middleton, professor at Oxford University, and author of An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist
Sometimes it is nice to enjoy a meal out, but too many meals out at restaurants can become really expensive and make it difficult to maintain a diet. But, not everybody enjoys cooking, and some people may even find it difficult to cook a good meal. Most people would agree that eating out and staying in are two different experiences. Chef and author of Dining In Alison Roman agrees, explaining that being able to have people over and cooking for people you love provides a different way to spend your time and money. Cooking can make people feel good, however this feeling usually relies on the outcome of the meal.
In her cookbook, Roman does a few things in order to encourage people to try the recipes. She explains that the recipes in her cookbook contain accessible ingredients and doable tasks in order to make her recipes appear approachable. If a person understands what the recipe requires, they will feel more encouraged to cook it. Furthermore, she explains that the names of the recipes also play an important role. People are going to be more interested in trying a recipe that sounds appetizing or sounds like something they would make. Another way Roman makes her cookbook more inviting is by taking recipes and adding her own twist to them with different ingredients and techniques. By doing these things, Roman hopes her cookbook can play an important role in people’s lives at home. Cooking does not have to be a daunting task, and with a little practice, it can become something you love to do.