More Gendered Advertising—Sigh

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I've talked before about gendered advertising. I want to take a moment to give some more examples. First, there's this:Because English and history are for girls, but calculus and physics are for boys. Duh. And we wonder why boys disproportionately go into STEM fields while girls disproportionately go into the humanities?Here's another: Barnes & Noble has book collections for boys and girls.Here are the overviews for the two collections:Because action, … [Read more...]

On Chivalry, Opening Doors, and Basic Humanity

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Chivalry. There was a time when men opened doors for women, but now we have lost all of that. Honor, bravery, chivalry. And now, if a guy holds a door for a woman he has to worry about the possibility of being dressed down for his effort by a man-hating feminist. Or so goes the narrative I was taught growing up in an overtly patriarchal home.¬†And it's a narrative that's not hard to find using google. Men are confused, these articles say. To hold the door or not hold the door? Women don't … [Read more...]

“Men Are Strong” and “Women Are Weak”

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Tennessee Republican Congressman John Duncan explains why he doesn't think his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act is a bad thing: "Every bill is given a motherhood-and-apple-pie title," Duncan said outside the House chamber. "But if you voted [based] on the title, you'd vote for every bill up here. If we'd all done that, the country would have crashed a long time ago."So this is another bill with a motherhood-and-apple-pie title," he added.Passed in 1994 and renewed twice without … [Read more...]

Teenage Boys and Pedophilia: Evangelical Purity Teachings Blur the Line

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Last week I briefly mentioned Debi Pearl's suggestion that working mothers should worry that the babysitters they hire to watch their kids might have their boyfriends over for sex on the job. I pointed out that if you're worried that your babysitter isn't trustworthy, you should find another, and that there are plenty of responsible teenage girls out there. One reader responded with this comment: Geneder essentialism alert! Boys can babysit as well. Yes, yes they can, but not in Debi's world, … [Read more...]

Who Wants to Talk about Downton Abbey?

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I don't usually do this, but the season 3 finale of Downton Abbey came out last night and everyone seems to be talking about it right now. It's a fascinating show from a historical standpoint, but there's also a lot there to analyze from a gender or class standpoint. There's also a good deal to think about from a religious standpoint (especially Sybil's take on religion and the conflict over whether Tom and Sybil's daughter should be Anglican or Catholic). Since it's one of my favorite shows, … [Read more...]

Men Aren’t Sex-Addled Beasts, They’re Just Individuals

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Men are no more rapists in their natural state than I am asexual in my natural state.~ Hannah As a young conservative evangelical, I was taught that I had to dress modestly to protect them from "stumbling" into sexual sin, and that it was natural for a guy to keep pushing for sexual favors, and it was my job to say no. I was taught that men were visual and easily aroused, and that men think about sex constantly. I was taught that men were to pursue and women were to be pursued, and that I … [Read more...]

Point, Counterpoint: Talking about Gender Differences

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Conservatives insist that there are huge differences between the genders while feminists insist that inasmuch as gender differences exist, they are social constructs. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, conservatives insist. Or are they?I recently stumbled upon an article by Suzanne Venker published on Fox News. The title? "To Be Happy, We Must Admit Men and Women Aren't Equal." Venker is on the "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" side. Let's look at her article and then turn … [Read more...]


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