The Problem with Gendering Kids’ Halloween Costumes Is Othering, Not Sexualizing

I recently came upon a Huffington Post article titled "Halloween Costumes Are Sexualizing Our Youngest Trick-Or-Treaters." In the article, blogger Raina Dellisle wrote about going shopping for Halloween costumes with her preschool daughter and coming upon these gendered police and firefighter costumes:As Dellisle explains: Halloween costumes that put a sexy spin on uniformed occupations (or anything for that matter) have been popular among women for years, but for little girls? I would b … [Read more...]


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What Happened to Teaching Kids to Respect People’s Name Preferences?

When I was in middle school, I briefly tried out the youth group at my family's evangelical megachurch. I was homeschooled, and wasn't used to being around so many public schooled kids, and I had no idea how to fit in or even identify with any of the kids there. But the real problem I ran into had to do with the youth group leader. See, he wanted the kids in youth group to call him Andy*. My parents forbade me from calling him that, and required me to call him Mr. Jones*. And because I refused … [Read more...]


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What My Cisgender Children Have Taught Me About Gender Identity

As a parent, I am very passionate about breaking down the gendered rules society expects my children to play by. I decided early on that I would not push my children into gendered play, and indeed, that I would try not to gender play to begin with. In fact, I push the boundaries even in areas like clothing. When my son Bobby was born, I put his older sister's perfectly good outgrown pink baby clothes on him (I would have bought gender neutral baby clothes to start with, but we were given a … [Read more...]


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The Battle for the Target Toy Aisle

Yesterday I found myself in Target in search of a tablet charger. On the way to the electronics section I walked by the toy aisles. And then I stopped and stared. I knew that Target had decided to remove the gendered labeling from its toy aisles, but there's a difference between hearing the announcement and seeing the result. It was beautiful. Don't get me wrong, the toys themselves are as gendered as ever, but with the plain wood backing the division was less obvious.Some might think this a … [Read more...]


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Are Creationists Withholding Information from Children?

I recently came upon an article by Lou Doench responding to a response by Neil Carter to a comment made by Lawrence Krauss. If you're confused, don't worry! I was too! Basically, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss said that parents who teach their children creationism are committing child abuse.“It’s like not allowing your children to have medicine, not allowing you children to be vaccinated, for example, is child abuse, because you are doing them harm.” “In some sense, if you withhold in … [Read more...]


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Part of Parenting Is Letting Go (School Edition)

School approaches, and in my Facebook feed I've seen many posts by moms sending their children off to kindergarten for the first time. They're worried. They're scared. They talk about crying over their impending separation, and about wondering if maybe they should keep their children home a few more years---homeschooling is better known, now, especially among the more progressive hippie types who grace my friend list. The tenor at school orientation was similar.On some level this feels … [Read more...]


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When Love Is Abuse

Love. Love. Love. It seems to be all I hear about.I was raised in an evangelical home. Between five and ten years ago I went through a time of incredible pain at the hands of my parents. They believed I was bound by God to obey them even as an adult, they freaked out when my beliefs began diverging from theirs, and they cracked down, hard. Their efforts to control and manipulate me can be safely termed emotional abuse. I cried so much during that time. I was still so young, and out on my own … [Read more...]


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