Journalist and Middle East Expert Barbara Victor analyzes the events in Egypt, and the Middle East and how they may effect the United States and all of us!
Originally posted to my blog ReelGirl on January 20.
Lots of comments on my last post about Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and that no matter how no matter how hard parents try, girls and boys adamantly refuse to be nudged out of their prescribed (marketed!) gender roles.
Orenstein elaborates on this challenge in her book: right around ages 2 -3, kids begin to understand that there’s something called a ‘boy’ and something thing called a ‘girl ‘and that something important differentiates between them. The problem is, they’re not sure what that is. Orenstein writes, “The whole penis-vagina thing does not hold quite the same cachet among the wee ones as it does among us.”
Orenstein recounts a story about a kid, Jeremy, who wore his favorite barrettes to school and was taunted by another kid who said, “You’re a girl!”
Jeremy denied it, arguing that he had a penis and testicles. The classmate replied, “Everyone has a penis, only girls where barrettes.”
Thank you Peggy Orenstein for writing the brilliant book Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Every parent should read this new, excellent analysis of the ubiquitous princess kid-culture and its various mutations in the world of grown-up women.
Orenstein, a NY Times journalist, mom, and writer takes on and deconstructs two (so annoying!) messages every parent hears if she dares to challenge the monarchy of these frothy creatures.
Myth number one: we’re just giving girls what they want!
Orenstein responds with a brief history of marketing and information on child brain development– some major points paraphrased here:
Pink Children were not color-coded until early twentieth century. Before that, babies wore all white, because to get clothing clean, it had to be boiled. Boys and girls also used to all wear dresses. When nursery colors were introduced, pink was more masculine, a pastel version of the red, which was associated with strength. Blue was like the Virgin Mary and symbolized innocence, thus the girl color. When the color switched is vague. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Alice in Wonderland all wear blue. Sleeping Beauty’s gown was switched to pink to differentiate her from Cinderella.
Originally from Feministing.com’s January 3rd “What We Missed”
“One New Yorker subscriber is demanding her money back after a recent edition of the magazine only included two bylines by women, out of 76 pages of content. She plans to return every edition of the magazine that contains fewer than 5 female writers.”
by Lisa Hix, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to Yahoo’s 2010 Year In Review Blog on December 21st.
The last time bullying seized the national dialogue was in 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and killed 15 people, including themselves. The school massacre, the fourth deadliest in U.S. history, led the nation to look hard at the link between bullying and violent acts. More than a decade later, a surge of high-profile suicides in 2010 reveals that the bullying turf has spread online.
“Cyberbullying” was born from new technologies popular with post-millennial youth, including text messaging and social networking on sites like MySpace, Facebook, Formspring, and Twitter. The most recent data from the Cyberbullying Research Center, formed in 2004, shows that 20% of 12-to-18-year-olds now report being cyberbullied, but other surveys put that number closer to 43%. The stats are troubling, although CRC co-director Dr. Justin Patchin points out, “Much more traditional bullying still takes place than cyberbullying. As much as cyberbullying has been in the news, still more youth bully and are bullied in the old-fashioned ways.”
by Andrea Zak, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to her blog Andrea-Zak.com on December 21st.
The globalization of the world economy and the increased ease of relating to people via social technology, both domestically and internationally, has made interpersonal ties with digital contacts as seamless as real world relationships for Gen Y, changing our notion of community. Rachel Botsman, co-author of the newly published What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumerism, discussed some of the findings of her research in a TED talk earlier this year.
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by Lisa Hix, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to Yahoo! 2010 Year In Review Blog on December 17th.
Suddenly, spies were all around us, in film, on television, and — notably — in the news. In November, WikiLeaks created a political firestorm, releasing 250,000 classified documents that indicate U.S. diplomats performed low-level spying. Earlier that month, director Doug Liman’s “Fair Game,” a fictionalized take on the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, hit the theaters, prompting a heated political debate. In December, alleged sleeper agent Katia Zatuliveter, who worked as an aide for a member of the British parliament, faced deportation to Russia — the latest in a line of so-called “sexy Russian spies” to raise the pulse of reporters and readers in 2010.
The news stories contain a certain amount of schadenfreude. After all, what could be more humiliating for a spy than having her cover blown? But the flurry of TV and film counterparts, possessing both sexual and martial powers, has glamorized real-life failed spies — even when they’re spying for the other side. Here’s a look at the ladies who led us astray this year.
by Donna Decker, Woodhull Alumna
Originally posted to Ms. Magazine Blog on December 6th.
On December 6, 1989, 21 years ago today, 25-year-old Marc Lépine entered the University of Montreal engineering school, École Polytechnique, with a Sturm and Ruger mini 14 concealed in a plastic garbage bag. Days earlier, he had visited his mother and given her a birthday gift: Joyful, an album of piano music by two Christian brothers, the Bowkers. He knew he would never see her again.
Lépine had applied to École Polytechnique twice, been rejected both times, and had visited the campus on at least seven prior occasions. But this time was no rehearsal. Lépine unveiled the semi-automatic and headed toward classroom C-230, where graduate-level mechanical engineering courses were taught.
In classroom C-230, students and the professor turned to stare at Lépine when he entered. Listen up, he told them. Women to one side of the room, men get out. No one moved until Lépine fired into the ceiling. Then the men left the room. Alone with nine women, Lépine said, “I am here to fight against feminism. That is why I am here.”
(This post first appeared on my blog ReelGirl which rates kids’ media and products on girl empowerment)
At first it seems like possible good news. Disney/ Pixar announces: no more fairy tales, code for princess movies. Great! No more damsels in distress who end the movie by landing a man. Now we’re going to have a slew of new movies with cool girl heroes who bravely rescue boys from peril, exuding power and beauty by performing all kinds of risk-taking tasks and challenges.
First of all, the reason the fairy tale movies are stopping is because Disney/ Pixar executives have decided that little girls aren’t worth making movies for at all.
The LA Times reports the fairy tale movies “appealed to too narrow an audience: little girls. This prompted the studio to change the name of its Rapunzel movie to the gender-neutral ‘Tangled’ and shift the lens of its marketing to the film’s swashbuckling male costar, Flynn Rider.”