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Scans Prove There’s No Such Thing As a ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ Brain

Jessica Hamzelou
New Scientist
The idea that people have either a “female” or “male” brain is an old one. To test the theory, scientists looked for differences in brain scans of 1400 people. They found that very few people had all of the brain features they might be expected to have, based on their sex. Averaged across many people, sex differences in brain structure do exist, but an individual brain is likely to be just that: individual, with a mix of features.

Have We Hit Peak Inequality?

Chuck Collins
Other Words
These 400 billionaires have greater wealth than 190 million of their fellow Americans put together.

Portside Needs Your Help

Once a year, Portside asks our readers for support. Every year our readers come thru. We run these appeals for just two weeks. If you have already contributed, many thanks! If you have thought of going to our donate page, but haven't...please do. Here's why we are asking for your support.

The Unthinkable

David Lehman
American Poetry Review
"in a world where war is the natural state of affairs," writes the New York poet David Lehman, the unthinkable surrounds us all--the ones with "dough," "the refugee who cannot lost his German accent," even those whose aim is "to live at peace."

Here's What It's Like to Work at Planned Parenthood

Kevin Drum
Mother Jones
After two days of near silence, Republican presidential candidates are finally praying for the victims of the Colorado attack. Praying is always okay, even for sinners. It's a turn of phrase that doesn't risk showing even the slightest desire to protect Planned Parenthood from future attacks. Republicans might not want Planned Parenthood workers killed, but they sure don't seem to mind if their angry hordes do everything just short of that.

Fighting Back Against the Rising Tide of Nativist and Racist Reaction

National Political Committee, DSA
Democratic Socialists of America
Recent tragedies have shown all too clearly the state of crisis in which we find ourselves. The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting illustrates how right-wing hostility to women's rights makes those providing and seeking reproductive services targets for murder.

Stripping Away Invisibility: Exploring the Architecture of Detention

Victoria Law
Monthly Review
Like the people within, immigrant detention centers are often invisible as well. Photos and drawings of these places are rarely public; access is even more limited. Canada has three designated immigrant prisons, and it also rents beds in government-run prisons to house over one-third of its detainees. Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention begins to strip away at this invisibility.

Message from the Moderators to Our Portside Culture Readers

Last year also saw the launch of Portside Culture, with reviews, news and analysis on the arts and letters. The service Portside provides is in greater demand. Thousands are discovering that there is a Left in the US, and our daily posts help give a sense of its real scope. We turn for you to help because as we grow, so do our financial needs. We will continue, but to measure up to a re- charged and re-vitalized movement, your contributions will make all the difference.

Jets and Predators - Report from Germany

Victor Grossman
Germany is constitutionally barred from foreign missions but that never bothered anyone in the government. Germany's rulers, in coalition armchairs or skulking in lobbies behind them, are very determined to expand political, economic and military power, not just in Europe but to far distant shores as well. Some dangerous bombs from the last century are still found in Germany; they must be defused. This applies equally to dangerous ideas.

The Maquiladora Workers of Juárez Find Their Voice

David Bacon
The Nation
Low pay, abusive conditions, no union representation - employees are fed up and fighting back. About 255,000 people work directly in Juárez's 330 maquiladoras, about 13 percent of the total nationally, making Juárez one of the largest concentrations of manufacturing on the US/Mexico border. Almost all the plants are foreign-owned. Eight of Juárez's 17 largest factories belong to US corporations,

In Oaxaca, Teachers Won’t Give Up the Fight

Eric Larson
Oaxacans in 2006 tied the repression of education workers to broader frustrations with official impunity and deep-seated social and economic inequality. Those frustrations continue to animate everyday life. In confronting today's new challenges, Oaxacans are doing more than simply “saying no.” They’re drawing from an array of experiences – including that of the Oaxaca Commune in 2006 – to imagine collective alternatives, and make them real.

Yesterday's Fund Appeal Error Was a Glitch, But Our Appeal Is Real

Maybe you tried to contribute to Portside yesterday, and our website didn't cooperate. Yes, for a short time it was impossible. Not because we don't really want and need your support, but because some security we implemented to counter a cyberattack didn't work properly. If you tried to contribute and succeeded: Great, and thank you! If you tried and failed, please try again. And if you haven't tried yet ... here's why we're asking.