Sometimes brands are so dopey that you almost feel bad for them for not realizing they were being racist. (Almost.) First Paul Frank were ding-dongs with their Native American tee-pees-and-tomahawks party on Fashion’s Night Out. And now Victoria’s Secret is selling an outfit called “Sexy Little Geisha” featuring an “Oriental” patterned fan and hair sticks with tassles to put in your hair. Keep reading »
There are many in Western society that seem to band together anytime the subject of sex-selective abortion in foreign countries comes up. It’s a tricky topic, especially for those of us who favor unfettered abortion access. Outrage and incomprehension over aborting female fetuses in favor of males is usually the default response, with many claiming the practice is misogynistic, and rightfully pointing out the negative impact it has on many countries, specifically in Asia.
But despite our alarm and discomfort surrounding sex-selective abortion, many in Western society have no issue doing all they can to conceive a specific sex. And while pregnancy screenings to rule out female fetuses abound outside the U.S., there has recently been a surge in the number of parents looking to do exactly the opposite within this country: going to great — and expensive — lengths to ensure that their newborn is a girl. Keep reading »
This piece was originally published on xoJane.com.
When I was a senior in high school [above left], I attended this college prep program held in the sanctuary of a Baptist church across the street from my grandmother’s $1 Soul Food restaurant in south central Los Angeles. High-achieving nerds from all over the city would meet up every Thursday to talk personal essays, financial aid and application fees well past 11 o’clock.
One night the guy I was crushing on gave me a ride home in his mom’s new-but-used white BMW. I think we were debating the merits of the Common app versus the UC app and listening to Tupac at a medium volume when those angry telltale lights began to flash behind us. Jay looked at me and laughed. Those couldn’t be for us.
Of course they were. Keep reading »
Women hold less than 25 percent of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs within the field, and are less likely than males to work in a STEM occupation. But while I understand that there is a severe lack of women within the science field, this PSA out of the European Union of what my days would be like as a female scientist looks anything but appealing. Keep reading »
Sometimes I get worried that we’re progressing too quickly re: women’s rights and race in this country, so it was with some relief that I saw the press release for the Field Guide to Chicks of the United States, which apparently offers “amusing insights into the most distinctive physical characteristics, vocalizations, behavioral tendencies and mating habits of American Chicks from regional and ethnic subculture (or species) across the country.”
Ethnic subculture?! Species? Keep reading »
The issues of male rape and sexual abuse get plenty of sensationalistic air time on “Law & Order: SVU,” but not so much substantive awareness in our day-to-day lives. While it is true that reported sexual abuse of girls and women is far more prevalent than male abuse, I also assume acknowledging or discussing male sexual abuse brings up uncomfortable feelings amongst guys about masculinity and what it means to be a “strong man.” There’s even vicious stereotypes that dog gay guys — who are routinely denigrated as being “not manly enough” — that they must have been sexually abused as kids. In a way, that’s kind of all you need to know about what some (perhaps many) people think of male sexual abuse survivors.
So it makes sense then, from a messaging standpoint, that to reach male victims of sexual abuse, the UK group Survivors UK would address “masculinity” head-on. Their new campaign, which launches this week in time for a rugby tournament in London, features a rugby ball (speared by a nail, I think?) and the slogan: “Real men get raped: and talking about it takes real strength.” Keep reading »
“It’s more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and — you know? But that’s been an image that people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some angry black woman. … You know, I just try to be me. And my hope is that over time people get to know me. And they get to judge me for me.”
– First Lady Michelle Obama reacts to portrayals of her as an “angry black woman.” Michelle has been dogged by this stereotype from the beginning of her husband’s campaign when rumors abounded that she ranted about “whitey”; more recently, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor’s new book, The Obamas, alleges Michelle sparred with her husband’s staff. It is sad in our culture that a woman — who just happens to be black, and may or may not have reasons to be angry (ahem, ahem) — gets dismissively painted with a wide brush as an “angry black woman,” as if she is just behaving the way stereotypes say she is expected her to behave. The new book by MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women In America, is sadly quite timely. [Bossip]
Girls, we say some totally annoying things to our gay guy friends. Just stop it, okay? It’s getting embarrassing. [YouTube]
Foosball, cricket, video games and hot dogs — it’s just another afternoon at Sydney IKEA‘s new “man cave,” where weary husbands and boyfriends can unload while the womenfolk go shopping. I know you’re expecting me to start ripping my hair out at the gender stereotypes here. And I will, in a moment. But I actually think this is a good idea from IKEA corporate’s standpoint. If whining make the customers leave before they spend more money, get rid of them. It probably costs IKEA very little to distract men in their new “man cave,” while allowing the person holding to credit card to cha-ching! even more. Children have their own play station at IKEA — it’s called Smaland — and now another group not known in aggregate for their dedication to long shopping excursions have their own place. I just wish it weren’t so “dude” specific. Not all women love shopping and us ladies would love a “man cave” of our own. [YouTube] Keep reading »
I almost feel bad for black women. It seems like the majority of the time they’re written about in the mainstream media, it’s about one of two topics: Why aren’t any of them married? as a question or None of them are married! as a statement. How frustrating that their representation in culture is thinned down to their marital status, right? The latest example is a new book by Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks called Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone about the so-called “man shortage” among middle-class blacks. As promotion for his book, Banks also published a piece in The New York Daily News last week entitled, “Why Black Women Are Justifiably Bitter: The Bleak Relationship Picture For African-American Females,” which began with the paragraph:
“Stereotypes of black women as angry or bitter are pervasive. They are also more accurate than many people would like to acknowledge: many black women have perfectly good reasons to be angry or bitter.”
Oof. Keep reading »