I recognize, and have always recognized, that I’m kind of a sucker. And someone who’s spent as much time as I have working in advertising really should find herself less entertained by it. But here’s the thing: After spending so much time in recent times insisting to us that what Lego girls really want is pastel-purple bricks, “mini dolls,” and pre-made sets requiring minimal assembly, Lego has made an ad that I really like. Are they doing it to get money out of people? Yes. It’s what’s known in the industry as an “advertisement.” But it’s one that shows a girl playing with Legos the way research indicates girls play with Legos: Taking the world around her and creating a world of her own, using her imagination to see...read more
[Content note: sexual abuse, ableism]
In 2010, a 9-year-old, developmentally disabled girl at a school in Los Angeles was sexually assaulted on five different occasions by a fellow student during an after-school program. When her parents sued the LAUSD, the district’s expert witness, celebrity psychologist Dr. Stan Katz, testified that her low IQ reduced the amount of emotional stress the girl suffered, acting as a “protective factor.”...read more
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People have said important things about Michael Brown, protests in Ferguson, and a grand jury’s decision not to hold Darren Brown accountable for killing an unarmed black teenager....read more
Barbie is one educated and versatile woman. She’s been, among dozens of other jobs, a dentist, a doctor, a sign language teacher, a special education teacher, a surgeon, a paratrooper, a jet pilot, an ambassador, a firefighter, an architect, an astronaut, a ballerina, a chef, an Olympic gymnast, an unspecified business executive, a news anchor, a cat burglar, a magazine editor, and the president of the United States. And now, per the book I Can Be a Computer Engineer, she’s a computer engineer (or at least can be one)....read more
[Strong trigger warnings for rape]
Jesus. This again.
Recently, in a comedy routine, stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress brought up a fact that has largely been ignored over the past eight years: that Bill Cosby has been accused of drugging and raping multiple women. Among them is Joan Tarshis, whose story of two encounters — and not just one — has some people bringing up that familiar, reprehensible speculation that of course she brought it on herself, or else she’s lying....read more
Feeling the need to shake it off at the end of a long week? Sure you are. Want to do it without watching Taylor Swift? You might. Like people with huge hair in shiny Spandex? Yeah you do....read more
Time magazine’s annual poll of the year’s “worst words” looks for words that make you “definitely cringe,” even “exhale pointedly,” even “seek out the nearest pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids.” And it asks people to “vote another word off the island” (and if I never hear that phrase again, I’ll be okay). This year’s poll includes bae, basic, bossy, disrupt, I can’t even…, influencer, kale, literally, om nom nom nom, obi, said no one ever, sorry not sorry, turnout, yaaasssss, and… feminist....read more
Fox News’s “The Five” wants young women to know that you’re really too stupid right now to participate in public life. Not too stupid in general — someday, you’ll be old enough and conservative enough to vote or serve on juries. Just not right now. The Five discuss the age and gender gap as it could influence the midterm elections and then veers off to let young women know that right now, while you’re healthy and hot, you should just focus on Tinder and Match.com and let the grownups make the decisions....read more
So. “Beyonce feminism.” Roxane Gay is against it. (Annie Lennox, too.)...read more
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets — mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. … Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
In Florida, Stand Your Ground was used as the foundation of George Zimmerman’s defense after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. In South Carolina, it was used to defend a man who walked out of the house with a gun to confront “women thugs” who had threatened his daughter; he ended up shooting a teenage boy in his car instead. Also in Florida, Marissa Alexander has repeatedly been denied the chance to use the Stand Your Ground defense against charges after she fired a warning shot above the head of her abusive husband. This month, Charleston prosecutors moved to further endanger the Marissa Alexanders of South Carolina by saying that Stand Your Ground shouldn’t apply to victims of domestic violence who confront their abusers....read more