In this week’s episode of Past Present, Natalia, Niki, and Neil debate the American Heart Association’s denunciation of coconut oil, the growing use of genetic testing for genealogy, and whether Pornhub is the new Kinsey Report.
A story in the Atlantic reported that African Americans are using genetic testing sites like 23andme.com to trace their roots since the process of enslavement had denied many of them written records of their ancestry. We debated whether interest in genetic testing was an extension of the obsession with family trees and what it means that some white nationalists are looking to genetic testing to “prove” their whiteness.
An article in New York magazine argues that “Pornhub is the Kinsey Report of our time.” In our discussion of pornography, technology, and censorship, Niki recommended Ray Haberski’s It’s Only a Movie! and Natalia added John D’Emilio and Estelle Freedman’s Intimate Matters for useful readings on the topics.
What’s Making History
- Neil discussed the origins of the myth that JFK said “I am a jelly donut” in his 1963 speech in Berlin.
- Niki talked about the fiftieth anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act. She wrote about FOIA in a recent article for Vox.