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

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...]


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The Children in the 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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Why I Put My Son in Dresses

So I recently came upon an article titled My Son Wears a Dress and That's OK with Me. In it, a father explains his two-year-old son's penchant for wearing dresses like his four-year-old older sister. Every morning my four-year-old daughter, Sydney, drags a chair into her closet and plucks a dress off of the rack. I try to lean her in other directions---“Why don’t we try shorts today?”---but Sydney’s stubborn. And I think she deserves the freedom to choose what she wants to wear.My son, Asher … [Read more...]


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Talking about Female-on-Male Domestic Violence

I recently came upon a video in an article titled This Is What Happens When The Public Sees A Woman Abusing A Man. The video runs through a scenario of public domestic violence twice, first with the man abusing his female partner and second with the woman abusing her male partner. In the video, several individuals ultimately step in and stop the male-on-female abuse, but no one steps in to stop the female-on-male abuse.When this topic comes up, one explanation for the different response … [Read more...]


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Unhelpful Things (Some) Atheists Say

Yesterday, Ed Brayton wrote a post titled Atheists, Please Stop Saying These Things. I thoroughly enjoyed it and agreed with what he had to say. Below are summaries of his points (in his post he offers lengthy explanation under each). 1. Please stop saying that “we’re all born atheists.”2. Please stop trotting out simplistic reasons why people believe. 3. Please stop explaining the creation of religion in equally simplistic ways.4. Please stop conflating fundamentalism or Biblical li … [Read more...]


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