“Disney is releasing a Latina princess soon, mija,” I declared to my daughter as we drove away from her school and on our way to pick up her dad. “Good!” she said firmly. But of course, I rarely let that be the end of any conversation. “Why good?” I probed.
What followed was a discussion of how we both recognized that Latinas deserve a princess that looks like them — this is despite the fact that my husband and I worked hard to minimize “the princess effect” in our home. Princesses were far from banned. Rather we opted for a different approach: we emphasize strong princesses like Leia, Wonder Woman and Xena (not a real princess, but warrior princesses counted). I also would bring up real-life princesses who did good in the world whenever I could. Oh, the way I used to bring up Princess Diana and Queen Noor! Goodness. We also discussed the strong traits of the Disney princess kingdom: Ariel was adventurous, Belle loved to read and Rapunzel knew how to wield a cast-iron skillet. As you can see, we aren’t anti-Princess, but we are anti-”I’m a pretty-princess waiting for a prince to save me.” Keep reading »
I’m a TV junkie. Once my kid finally falls asleep, you’ll find me splayed out on the couch, flipping through the over 800 channels we apparently subscribe to. And my tastes run rampant: I’m just as happy sitting through an hour of “Alphas” on the Syfy channel as I am watching Barry’s antics on “Storage Wars” or crossing my fingers for a “Charmed” marathon on TNT. I DVR “30 Rock” to watch each week as well as the latest episode of “Top Chef.” Truly, there is very little I won’t watch.
Oh, except Nickelodeon’s new channel for moms, NickMom. You probably won’t find me watching that anytime soon, despite being a mom. On October 1st, NickJr — a channel originally created to provide age-appropriate programming for preschool children — began airing a block of nighttime programming “just for moms.” When I heard the news, I started wondering what I, a self-professed TV fiend and mom, was lacking from my already jam-packed television watching schedule. Keep reading »
I’ve always loved Halloween. The candy, the Jack-O-Lanterns, the parties, and of course, the costumes. I’m no stranger to awesome Halloween costumes. I’ve been everything from a box of crayons (four-years-old) to a genie (10-years-old) to Britney Spears pre-public meltdown (27-years-old, while eight months pregnant — it was a truly brilliant costume if I say so myself).
One thing I love about Halloween is the ability for both kids and adults to play pretend for an evening. One thing I don’t love about it, however, is that if you lack the time/desire/sewing skills to scour Pinterest and create a homemade costume, your choices for children are sadly limited. Keep reading »
When most people think about street harassment, they think about what women wear or about how women should respond to catcalls. But there are other, more subtle, effects of street harassment and how it affects women’s existence in public space. Recently, The Wall Street Journal noted that only 11 percent of the participants in India’s Delhi Half Marathon were female and one of the reasons they gave for why women in India don’t run is the “stares and calls from drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.” In other words, women don’t go outside to exercise when they live in fear of street harassment. Keep reading »
A funny thing can happen in politics: You make a comment and it might come back to bite you weeks, months, or even years later. That’s what just happened to Representative Roger Rivard of the Wisconsin legislature, who’s found himself in a very tight race with a Democratic opponent, which means the gloves are off when it comes to digging up dirt.
Some rather nasty comments he made about rape 10 months ago are suddenly in the national spotlight while they passed without a ripple originally, illustrating how in politics, you’re never truly safe from your past. Keep reading »
“Girls” star Lena Dunham evokes a passionate response from bloggers and journalists, especially in women’s media. So I’m a bit nervous about admitting that my thoughts on Dunham’s oeuvre is neutral, even dispassionate. She’s overexposed for a small and fairly meh body of work: “Tiny Furniture” wasn’t that great and I got bored with “Girls” about three episodes in and stopped watching. Her role in the zeitgeist doesn’t interest me much, either. I’m sick of talking about how she takes her clothes off in her work. I’m sick of talking about whether she is racist or just dopey. I’m sick of talking about whether she’s the voice of a generation, or a voice of a generation. It’s not jealousy or hatred that I feel, just a profound feeling of I’m over it. IMHO, Lena Dunham gets a lot of attention for all the attention she is getting. But still, she is everywhere. Keep reading »
I grew up in the ‘80s on a tree-lined neighborhood that skirted the edge of New Haven, Connecticut. Nobody really traveled down my short street unless they lived there or were visiting, and my family was friendly with all of our neighbors. With a backyard that was mostly brambling bushes and trees, I spent the majority of my childhood playing right out in front of my house, alternating between frolicking in the garden (much to my mother’s chagrin) or biking up and down the sidewalks with friends. A good portion of that outside time was spent with friends, by myself, or with my younger brother in tow, but mostly unsupervised by adults. Sure, my mom stuck her head out every now and again, and a neighbor was never far off. But the majority of my outside play was independent and unstructured. Keep reading »
Last week, we told about about that alleged near-death-by-butt-chugging incident of a Pi Kappa Alpha brother at the University of Tennessee. Yesterday, Alexander P. Buttchugger, I mean Broughton, came forward to deny all charges that he took Franzia (or anything) up his ass and that the details of his story were fabricated. In a press conference led by his fraternity lawyer, Daniel “Foghorn Leghorn” McGhee (you can watch it above), Broughton denies even knowing what butt chugging is, so how could he have done it? But way, way, more importantly, they want you to know that Broughton is not GAY.
This is the most awful press conference I’ve ever seen for a number of reasons. I’ll get to my many gripes in a moment. But first, let me ask you this: If this were simply a near-death binge drinking incident, would this kid be holding a press conference? Keep reading »
My name is Amelia. I am a feminist. I also have a Pinterest account. If a recent lengthy piece on Buzzfeed (wait, Buzzfeed does “lengthy”?) is to be believed, these two things are antithetical. According to Amy Odell, the editor over at Buzzfeed’s lifestyle vertical, Shift, Pinterest is “killing feminism.” So, as a feminist who uses Pinterest, I’m, like, killing some part of myself, I guess?
Odell’s thesis is based on the fact that Pinterest’s 23 million users are overwhelmingly female (60 percent) and that they use it to curate “retrograde, materialistic content,” like “recipes, home decor, and fitness and fashion tips,” which Odell claims are staples of women’s magazines that the Internet was “supposed to help overcome.” Odell also derides the fact that Pinterest users don’t go there to read articles, which I find kind of hilarious coming from someone employed by a website that is dominated by photos and funny captions, her lengthy screed notwithstanding. Odell says websites like Jezebel, Feministing, and The Hairpin are examples of places on the internet where women “can find smarter, meatier reads just for them,” but is clearly disappointed (and even surprised) that their existence hasn’t done away with the female desire to “scrapbook every imaginable physical aspect of their dream lives.”
Call me crazy, but I don’t see what the fucking problem is. Keep reading »
I have something to say to my lady blogger friends who write about domestic violence. Please tread more carefully with your words, and please don’t be so sure you know what you’re talking about. Unless you a) have been in an abusive relationship or b) are a professional who is trained to treat people in abusive relationships, you could be doing more harm than good.
The most recent debate that had my hair standing on end was the conversation that erupted around Dr. Drew Pinsky’s comments on Lance Bass’ new SiriusXM radio show. Keep reading »