Gamergate Comes Home

I am not and never have been a gamer. My interest in various fandoms (I'm a Whovian) and my friendship with progressive feminist women who do identify as gamers has given me a window into the community, but it has always been as an outsider looking in. As I've followed Gamergate and various controversies over sex and gender in video games and in the wider cosplay community, it has always been with a certain feeling of detachment.And now, here I am.My six-year-old daughter hangs with the … [Read more...]


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Steve Is a Man: On Minecraft and Gender

Like just about every American child between the ages five and fifteen, my daughter Sally is a huge Minecraft aficionado. As I've watched her play, I've found myself bothered by gender issues that should be easy to fix but instead seem ubiquitous in our world today.The default Minecraft character is a man named Steve. Mojang recently added a default female-looking character (Alex), but it took them five years to do so. Five years. And even today, the pocket edition of Minecraft---the one pl … [Read more...]


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

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...]


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Pepper Potts in an Iron Man Suit

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...]


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

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...]


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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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Gender-Based Discrimination in Muslim Homeschooling

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...]


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