What the Ruff, the Spotted Hyena, and the Cuttlefish Taught Me about Gender and Sexuality

Hyenas

Evangelicals support a strict gender binary and see the patriarchal family structure---with a breadwinning father and a homemaking mother---as both natural and in some sense biologically universal. The Bible frequently talks about male and female animals, and, growing up in an evangelical home, I remember being taught that there is no homosexuality in the animal kingdom. That certain animals mate for life was also emphasized in an effort to enforce patriarchal norms.Now sure, I also learned … [Read more...]

Pepper Potts in an Iron Man Suit

iron man

By Kiery KingOriginally posted on Bridging the Gap Pepper Potts was in an Iron Man suit. The suit was keeping her alive. She couldn’t just take it off whenever she wanted to, because to do so before she was in a place to receive proper and necessary medical care would be her death. As it was, the condition that lead her to live in an Iron Man suit was complicated and treatment wasn’t easy, not even for someone close to Mr. Stark. So Pepper Potts wore an Iron Man suit. She wore it every day a … [Read more...]

Are Bugs “Boy” Things and Dolls “Girl” Things?

baby doll

This fall a little girl wrote to Abdo Publishing after becoming concerned that the book she was reading, "The Biggest Baddest Book of Bugs," was part of a series titled "Biggest, Baddest Books for Boys." "Some girls would like to be entomologists too.," she explained. Abdo wrote back, thanking her concern and agreeing to change the series title to "Biggest, Baddest Books." But there was something about the story that struck me: According to the local paper, the publisher responded and told her … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Gender-Based Discrimination in Muslim Homeschooling

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Provided it is not used to isolate children socially or deprive them of an education---or to hide child abuse---I don't have a problem with homeschooling. I am a homeschool graduate myself, and I would consider homeschooling my own children if the need arose. I do, however, have a problem with homeschooling being used as a tool of gender discrimination. I've written about the gender discrimination that can take place conservative evangelical and fundamentalist homeschooling, but it turns out th … [Read more...]

“It’s like their brains time-travel back to 1952″

Draper

In the past, I've done what I've called "awesome comment award." I want to start doing something similar but more regular. I have a lot of readers who say many interesting things, and some of their comments call for a bit more spotlight.Today I want to highlight a comment by reader snowmentality, left last week on one of my posts, "What's Your Favorite Princess?"I love that Sally had the self-confidence to say "I don't have a favorite princess." At her age, I probably would have just nam … [Read more...]

The Children in the Sandbox

Kids-in-Sandbox

Over the holidays I read a novel by Jodi Picoult. I enjoyed the book, but there was one passage that bugged me. In it a mother acts as narrator, and explains that we're all supposed to say there is no real difference between boys and girls, but that that is a "polite fiction." She says all you have to do is look into any sandbox at any park, and you'll see the girls preparing food and the boys smashing things with trucks. Except that this is not in fact my experience.Look, my son Bobby loves … [Read more...]


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