Mattel’s Computer Engineer Barbie Leaves the Computer Engineering to the Boys

I didn't write about last week's women in tech fail---scientist Matt Taylor's decision to wear a sexist shirt while live-streaming the Rosetta comet landing---but I absolutely have to write about this week's---computer engineer Barbie. I don't think I've ever seen something with so much potential fail so spectacularly.Some time back my five-year-old daughter Sally found a book at the library that starred Barbie trying out various careers: ballerina, horse rider, teacher, veterinarian, and "ba … [Read more...]


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On Race, Gender, and Being “Unbiased”

Rachel Held Evans recently posted this on her facebook page: Observation: It seems like a lot of young theologians assume that being male makes them unbiased about gender, that being straight makes them unbiased about sexuality, that being privileged makes them unbiased about oppression, that being white makes them unbiased about race, that that being relatively wealthy makes them unbiased about poverty/economic issues, and that being highly educated makes them unbiased (and uniquely qualified) … [Read more...]


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Sexual Exploration and Teaching Children Boundaries

Several months ago, I let the bathroom briefly to grab a towel while the children were bathing. Sally is five and Bobby two, but they actually rarely bathe together because they're both so bath-resistant we usually end up running them through the shower with us instead. Standing in the hall grabbing a towel from the linen closet I heard something along the lines of "Can I see it?" When I reentered the bathroom a moment later I realized that Sally was looking at and touching Bobby's penis. Sally l … [Read more...]


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“Normal Childhood Sexual Exploration”?

When I was around seven, we often got together with a family with a little boy my own age. His parents went to my parents' church, and I think they were in the same Bible study. At some point he began nagging me, wanting me to pull down my underwear and let him see my bare bottom. I didn't want to do that, and I told him as much, but he wouldn't let up. Finally, I gave in. When no one was around, I laid down on the floor face down and pulled my underwear down so he could see my bare bottom. Afte … [Read more...]


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Women Over There Have It Worse!

As some of you may know, Bill Maher and Sam Harris have been criticizing Islam lately, with pushback from Reza Aslan and Ben Affleck, among others. For an interesting discussion of one of these conversations, see this post by Avicenna. Heck, if you want more reading, see this post with a video of Reza Aslan, this response on the Friendly Atheist, and Reza Aslan's recent piece in the New York Times. But in this post I want to touch on a very specific statement made by Sam Harris (during this seg … [Read more...]


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Malala, Nobel Prize Winner and Muslim Feminist

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education. In the aftermath of this award, I have found an … [Read more...]


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More Thoughts on Teaching Consent to Young Children

"When I was at Brogan's house, I kissed him," five-year-old Sally told me recently."Okay. Where did you kiss him?" I asked, curious what sort of kiss she meant."On the back of the head, because he didn't want me to so he was moving all around.""Wait a minute, now---""When we go over to Brogan's house again, I will run and catch him and kiss him again!" Sally proclaimed excitedly."Sally, what should you do if someone doesn't want you to kiss them?" I asked."Just get him … [Read more...]


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