The Politics of Middle School Leggings Activism

Somehow I missed Amanda Hess's recent article, Middle-School Girls Picket for the Right to Wear Leggings. It may seem a little thing, but the little things are often also the most achievable. Today Amanda followed up on the issue with another article, Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty. Interviewee Sophie Hastings has only just hit her teens, but I found her amazingly perceptive.First, Sophie explains how she got involved in leggings activism---and why leggings became a … [Read more...]

A Rape Trial from behind the Scenes

I found this comment from reader enuma of interest, and thought I'd share it. The way rape trials play out will of course vary from place to place, but this idea that accused rapists are de facto considered guilty is ridiculous. I'd like to believe that consent isn't that difficult to grasp, but when I was a juror for a rape trial I watched a defense attorney come *thisclose* to convincing some of the jury that not trying to escape, and then giving up on an escape attempt from a rapist (because … [Read more...]

A Complete Misunderstanding of the Term “Rape Culture”

The nation's largest and most influential anti-sexual-violence organization is rejecting the idea that culture — as opposed to the actions of individuals — is responsible for rape. This is the first sentence of Caroline Kitchens' recent opinion piece in Time Magazine, It's Time To End the 'Rape Culture' Hysteria. Kitchens is a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. And yet, with that one sentence, Kitchens makes it clear that she does not understand what is meant by the term "rape cult … [Read more...]

“Those are for Boys!” and Other Stories

Two days ago I wrote about gender and confirmation bias and some of my own experiences as I raise my two young children, one girl and one boy. There's a lot I didn't write and there will be more posts on this topic to come, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the comments on that post, as many of my readers weighed in with their own experiences, either as children themselves or raising children today. Feel free to add more of your own stories in the … [Read more...]

Bobby’s Trains and Confirmation Bias

Bobby's face was pressed against the glass surrounding the electric train set. The trains were running, whistling, and crossing each other's paths. It was his favorite part of the children's museum. Even at only one year of age, children have interests and show preferences, and one of Bobby's definite interests is trains.Just then, my husband Sean's Uncle Dale walked over and smiled at Bobby. "Look at him!" he said. "He's obsessed with that train. He's such a boy!" I frowned. I hate it when t … [Read more...]

Sorry Gentlemen, This Homeschooled Girl’s a Feminist

You know those moments where you step back from something and you're not even sure what you just read? I'm having one of those moments, because I just stumbled upon Louis Markos' article, "Why Homeschooled Girls Are Feminism's Worst Nightmare." Speaking as a homeschooled girl and a feminist, let's see what Louis has to say, shall we?I have become famous (or infamous) at my university for my ability to spot immediately a homeschooled girl, at least the kind of homeschooled girl who majors in … [Read more...]

“Too Much Estrogen”? HuffPo Sets It Straight

I've felt for quite some time that many men are so used to male domination that gender equality feels to them like female domination. Do you know what these men don't have? The experience of living as a woman in a world that is in many ways still very male dominated. Just like white people frequently don't notice an absence of diversity in a movie while people of color will generally be keenly aware of that absence, even so men are frequently unaware of just how male dominated so many things … [Read more...]