The story behind the most romantic photo, here. It’s sweet, you must read it.
The link below is very reminiscent of the anti-sexism workshops I ran in schools..
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I had a child dealing with gender variance (defined as “behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female”) in my classroom that I realized how important it is to teach about gender and break down gender stereotypes. Why did I wait so long? I should have taken a hint from that kindergarten teacher years ago. As I thought about how to approach the topic, I realized that the lessons I was developing weren’t just for Allie. She had sparked my thinking, but all the children in my class needed to learn to think critically about gender stereotypes and gender nonconformity.
One teacher’s approach to gender bullying in her classroom from Angelique.
This post is for the 99% of the blogosphere.
Every year around this time, sites trot out their top 100 lists (yes, I’m looking at you, Babble). They open up their blog awards as click-bait, slapping advertisements down the side of the page while they encourage nominees to encourage their readers to vote for them. They do calls for the best of… the best of the food bloggers and the best of the tech bloggers and the best photography. They create clickable lists of people to follow on Twitter — declaring certain accounts the accounts you need in your feed if you’re going to have your finger even touching someone who is touching the zeitgeist, making us believe that we’re not part of the zeitgeist anymore since there is a 1% living it for us.
Because then there are the rest of us.
The 99% of bloggers who write the content that doesn’t get recognized in any enormous way. The daily posts about both the remarkable and mundane elements of life. The people we actually connect with and love and would cry if they left the blogosphere. The 1% are the bloggers we’re dying to meet just to see what they’re like in the face-to-face world. The 99% are the bloggers we’re dying to spend time with because we just know it would be a fantastic conversation with a likeminded individual.
Blogging was — at one time — about leveling the playing field. About taking away the gatekeepers of publishing and allowing every voice to have the potential to be heard. And that is still what it is, though it’s almost as if people are too scared to allow ourselves equality, so we create these “best of” and “top blogger” lists in order to remind ourselves of some old time that doesn’t actually need to exist.
And for anyone who makes the argument that these lists tune out the cacophony of the blogosphere, allowing voices to be heard, I’d accept that argument if the lists changed yearly. But they don’t. And we all know that.
What bothered so many of us about the Twitter conversation about feminism was that Tom Matlack trotted out (as so many men do) that same tactic of attempting to silence women’s anger by suggesting that it poses a threat. Tom tweeted at Jenn Pozner that some men are afraid to speak up out of fear of female reprisals. Kind of being proven right here. Now Jennifer Pozner is a well-known feminist media critic, but she’s hardly in the position to carry out “reprisals” against anyone for speaking out, not that she would if she could. Nor was Jenn (or Kate Harding, or Amanda Marcotte) engaged in throwing stones, which didn’t stop Tom from describing the “pelting” he was taking from feminists.
A short while later, Tom tweeted I really thought the MRA guys were crazy until I engaged the wrath of the feminists. Insane. Though I doubt Tom thought this through clearly, this is the textbook “gaslighting” to which Yashar refers. No feminist had called Tom a name equivalent to the names he (and I) are regularly called by MRAs (“mangina” is the epithet of choice from the Basement Boys); it didn’t matter. Jennifer and Amanda were “insane.”
What the hell went wrong at The Good Men Project by Hugo Schwyzer.
Two very different takes on the girly Lego controversy…
I know you spent a lot of money on market research. But all you’ve really researched is the effect the massive marketing has on kids. Look at your 1981 girl and your 2011 Kim Kardashian wannabe lounging in her hot tub with a drink. All that you’ve researched is how to help turn our daughters from the beautiful kid into the plastic one. Lego is better than this. That’s why we love your toy. That’s why we buy it. But now, instead of helping kids grow, you’re stunting them.
We’ve all moved beyond the nature versus nurture debate. Now we understand babies brains come into the world full of potential. The experiences they have determine how their brains develop. For example, babies are born able to mimic and make all kinds of sounds, but as they learn a particular language, their brains start to produce particular intonations and they lose their ability to make many sounds. Kids who learn to speak other languages early retain that ability to make different sounds for a lifetime. Limiting kids’ experiences limits their brain growth. That’s why gender stereotyping is so dangerous.
To give you an idea of why I think there is a problem now, look at this castle set, which we considered buying for Pumpkin for Christmas:
And tell me what is missing.
In the article, it says that Lego’s research showed that boys around the world think that a castle without a dragon is worse than no castle at all. Well, Pumpkin would think that a castle without a princess is not really a castle, and I suspect a lot of other little girls would agree with her.
We bought her a house set instead. I was annoyed, because she wants a castle for Christmas, but I knew that the Lego one would not be acceptable to her. If that toy was really “unisex” it would have the knight and the dragon and a princess.
I’ve written before about how I am annoyed by the feeling amongst some feminists that pink and princesses are necessarily bad. My opinion is a bit more subtle. I wouldn’t want my daughter to be into princesses to the exclusion of all else, and I’m not thrilled by the fact that Disney seems to be the sole arbiter of what it means to be a princess these days, but I don’t think the fact that my daughter is going through a princess phase is a sign of doom, particularly if I can find Lego sets and other “good” toys that work with that interest while also letting her stretch some of the skills that are considered traditionally male (like spatial reasoning).
Within hours my penis-lifting comment had apparently bunched more than a few panties.
Parents were horrified. Who knew this might happen? Not us. OK, we probably knew – but seriously? Asking exclusively for dads to help is offensive on so many levels to me. I am freakishly strong and could mount a trébuchet with the best of them [Editor’s note: Um, honey, you don’t actually mount a trébuchet]. As someone who was a single mom for a good long time, I take issue with the assumption that every home has a dad to contribute. But most of all, I resent the message we are giving to our daughters that because of their gender, they are unwelcome to participate in physical tasks – that they are not strong enough and that only a man qualifies. I resent the message to all our children that we judge the value of contribution based on sex and not competence. What the hell year is this? I better double-check that.
So, I received a slap-on-the-wrist email about how correspondence should be g-rated because some of the students are on the email list. I was slightly confused by this because, in my mind, “penis” is g-rated. Honestly, I would love to have been more colorful – but that would have been inappropriate. I was also slightly confused because it seemed perfectly OK with everyone to send socially regressive requests out that diminish our girl’s sense of worth – but they are now circling the wagons because I used the word penis? To thirteen year-olds? Really?
But today I want to talk to you about a third kind of “failure”; the main kind Autumn critiques in her post. The failure of trying to look beautiful… but not quite getting there. Autumn quotes Siobhan O’Connor of No More Dirty Looks:
“We had people privately e-mailing us and saying, I just can’t do it... I guess the mentality was, Well, if I look bad with no makeup, no big deal. But if you look bad with makeup—it’s like you’ve said to the world, This is the best I can do.”I’m embarrassed to admit this, because it is in no way cool or strong or feministy, but a few days after my wedding to Mr Musings, I woke up and started crying. I cried and cried and cried and cried, for a whole hour. Maybe two.
I cried because I’d seen a bunch of photos our guests had uploaded to Facebook and, well, to say I didn’t like them was an understatement. It was hardly the first time I’d seen a photo of myself that I hated, but that these were photos of me as a bride made it sting all the worse. Because to paraphrase Siobhan O’Connor: “If you look bad as a bride – it’s like you’ve said to the world, This is the best I can do.”
Recent discussions of poverty have revealed themselves to be, in fact, coded conversations about race. When Newt Gingrich talks about poor kids having no work ethic and Donald Trump agrees, they discuss poor kids interchangeably with black or inner-city youths. For years politicians, policy wonks and others have used “disadvantaged,” “underprivileged,” “inner-city,” “urban” and “poor” as code words for black and brown people.
This is not just a polite effort to avoid explicit mentions of race; it is an attempt to link African Americans to these characteristics, constructing a pathological view of black America. Poverty is, according to this view, a problem confined to the black community, the result of cultural pathologies. This view reached its ultimate expression last week with Gene Marks’ much refuted “advice column” for poor black kids that was published in Forbes.
There are loads of photographers who take the body as their subject matter—hey, it’s nothing new. But the women in this post made a point of portraying the body as something to be celebrated and combined with fashion, sociological thinking, or mythology. It’s so much more than just snapping a photo.
(Again, most of these links are ones I’ve also put on my twitter account but just in case you don’t do twitter and are missing out on my links and just have to have them..).