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In conclusion, LEGO is a land of contrasts.

LEGO does something good! (Sets revolving around female scientists sold out in one day; previously.) LEGO does something bad! (Sets with major petro-company branding.) [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 12, 2014 - 85 comments

Orange is the New Black is the new Alabama?

The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT (famous for once housing Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black) is converting from a women’s prison to a men’s prison. Where will the inmates go? Aliceville, AL; a location more than 1,000 miles away, nowhere near a major airport, and 45 miles away from a train station. Eleven United States senators sent an open letter to the director of the Bureau of Prisons last month, and the transition remains in a state of delay. Piper Kerman wrote a NYT op-ed with her perspective.
posted by oceanjesse on Sep 24, 2013 - 38 comments

The Opt-Out Revolution, Revisited

In 2003, the New York Times published a lengthy article by Lisa Belkin about women who were choosing to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms: The Opt-Out Generation. In the the last ten years, the article's conclusions regarding upper-middle-class women's choices about work and motherhood have been debated, studied, rediscovered, denied, lamented, and defended. It's been noted by many that "most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t." Ms. Belkin's piece also never mentioned what what a disaster divorce or the death of a spouse can create for dependent women in such situations. After a decade, the Times is revisiting the topic: The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2013 - 64 comments

You've ruined my dreams.

When Nada Al-Ahdal discovered that her parents had sold her she ran away. She is 11 years old, and this is her message. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 22, 2013 - 32 comments

Bearing Witness

Private Ceremonies. "Most women don’t talk about their abortions and miscarriages. Virtually none go through the experience with a loved one at their side. The greatest gift an abortion counselor can give is to bear witness, to be with a woman as she goes through this private journey, to witness her strength and weakness, her grief, her relief, her pain." A first person essay from a former abortion counselor.
posted by zarq on May 21, 2013 - 34 comments

The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project collects user-submitted reports from women to document their day-to-day experiences with normalized sexism, including sexual harassment and job discrimination. Entries can be submitted at the site, in an email to founder Laura Bates or to their twitter account. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2013 - 200 comments

"I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother."

The Mom Stays in the Picture - When Allison Tate wrote about how "Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen... I'm everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them", it resonated with many other women. "To read through the notes that came with the thousand-plus photos (and yes, we have read every single one) was to read the minds of today's mothers. Over and over you told us that you don't look the way you want to look, don't look the way you once did. Even when joining a movement created around the motto 'I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother,' you felt the need to apologize." (via middleclasstool's other half)
posted by flex on Oct 12, 2012 - 50 comments

The Growing American Fertility Divide

Knocked Up & Knocked Down Why America's Widening Fertility Class Divide is a Problem [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Sep 27, 2011 - 89 comments

Oh this is ladies night and the feelings right...

Due to being sanctioned for unruly fan behaviour, the football match between Turkish teams Fenerbahce and Manisaspor was due to be played in an empty stadium. Until someone in the Turkish Football Federation had the idea to only allow women and children under 12 to attend. [more inside]
posted by PenDevil on Sep 21, 2011 - 106 comments

Progesterone Gel Helps Prevent Preemies

One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2011 - 18 comments

"Serial monogamy" and "domino dads"

A University of Michigan study has found that 1 in 5 American women have had children by several different men. Time Magazine dubs the phenomenon "domino dads". The study is the first of its kind to survey Americans from all walks of life, and it finds that the practice can be found across economic classes. But is its publication putting an unfair spotlight on black women?
posted by shii on Apr 5, 2011 - 63 comments

"You can't move mountains by whispering at them."

Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
posted by zarq on Jan 22, 2011 - 61 comments

Things that are hard about not moving to Bolivia

I am thirty three years old and have not once seriously considered moving to Bolivia. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 12, 2010 - 144 comments

atrocity archives

BABIES’ skulls dashed against rocks; attempts to twist off the heads of toddlers. Girls, their mothers and grandmothers (and sometimes male relatives too) raped at knife- or gunpoint, the weapons then used to inflict mutilation. Women hauled off to camps or just tied to trees and gang-raped. Thousands of children, some as young as nine, snatched or recruited by armed gangs (or regular forces) and made into drug-crazed killers, the girls among them often serially abused or taken by commanders as “wives”. Such are the horrors reported from some recent conflict zones... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 21, 2009 - 41 comments

Billionaires have more sons

Billionaires have more grandchildren through their sons than through their daughters, because the status advantage is more reproductively valuable to the sons. Therefore, it would be adaptive for the mothers of their children to bear more sons than daughters. But surely that can't be; mothers can't control the sex of their children. Oh but so it is: billionaires have 60% male children. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jan 17, 2009 - 69 comments

Twilight

What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2008 - 226 comments

Women and children, depending on credit rating

"Women and children, first," is a familiar cultural refrain, with its popular roots in the gallant sacrifice made by the male contingent aboard the doomed Titanic. Their sacrifice has inspired poetry, sculpture, male social clubs, and, of course, cinema. Yet, this sacrifice of near-mythic scale was in some respects a myth, with survival statistics skewing well in favor of men of higher social and economic class than children (and, to a lesser extent, women) of lower status.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 25, 2008 - 70 comments

A Shiny New Generation

Miss Bimbo invites users to become the "coolest, richest most famous bimbo in the whole world". Unsurprisingly, the site, which encourages girls as young as seven to give virtual dolls breast implants and put them on crash diets, has been widely condemned by parents and children's activists. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Mar 25, 2008 - 23 comments

Sugar and spice and nothing nice

"A paper around her neck said she was Ida, but Ida said nothing at all." So tells the story of the saddest, unluckiest girl that ever lived. [more inside]
posted by ZachsMind on Sep 6, 2007 - 17 comments

The Opt-Out Myth

The "Revolution" that isn't. The idea that well-educated women are leaving their careers behind and choosing to stay at home is a recurring story- notably in "The Opt Out Revolution", Lisa Belkin's 2003 essay in the New York Times. A closer examination [.pdf, long] challenges the idea that women are returning home as a matter of biological "pull" rather than a workplace "push", and argues that how the media portrays the personal decisions of a few obfuscates the real social needs of most American working families. In 2007, the United States is one of the few countries in the world without paid maternity leave.
posted by ambrosia on Mar 16, 2007 - 55 comments

obstetric fistula

Outcasts in Their Own Villages "More than one million young women with the condition are scattered throughout the so-called fistula belt that stretches across the southern hem of the Sahara from Eritrea to Mali. Because of their severe incontinence and smell, many have been ostracized by their families and villages and live by themselves or with fellow fistula sufferers. They are the lepers of the desert." [also see]
posted by kliuless on Jun 16, 2005 - 15 comments

Lionel Shriver wrote an interesting book.

Woman wins Orange Prize for novel "many people will hate" Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of the few novels I've read in which the protagonist admits that she dislikes her child and is ambivalent (to put it mildly) about motherhood in general. In this case, she has good reason--the boy has a few problems, which culminate in a school gym massacre (preceded by something really grisly). (I'm not giving anything away by saying this, it's not a mystery novel.) Many people do indeed hate it; I personally thought it was fascinating. See also The Independent, The Guardian, ID Theory, Salon, and many more.
posted by scratch on Jun 8, 2005 - 58 comments

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell

The Talk of the Book World Still Can't Sell (NY Times link) About two months ago, a new book about women putting careers before babies, and risking going childless, got a lot of publicity and was expected to be a huge seller. Wrong. Did it scare women? Did it sadden women? Was the coverage unfair (most of it highlighted the 'infertility after late 30's' angle, instead of balancing/choosing between career and family)? Or, did the massive publicity subvert sales by summing up the story and findings?
posted by msacheson on May 20, 2002 - 27 comments

Has A&F stepped over the line this time?

Has A&F stepped over the line this time? Calling it the "modern-day version of Underoos," a national clothing company is selling thong underwear in children's sizes - with the words "eye candy" and "wink wink" printed on the front.
posted by KevinSkomsvold on May 19, 2002 - 35 comments

Massachusetts' acting governor Jane Swift (R) is bed-ridden, about to give birth to twins. State legislators (mostly Democrats) are challenging her right to run the state via telephone. Sleazy, sexist politics? Or do they have a point? Is it irresponsble for an elected official to start a family while in office? (more inside)
posted by jpoulos on May 10, 2001 - 41 comments

Business as usual.

Business as usual. "Children, the weakest link in our society, are raped, battered, shot, tortured and murdered, while their tormentors go unpunished. Pedophiles roam the globe in search of countries where their offense is viewed as tourist entertainment. Women are beaten and abused without recourse on a daily basis; the cruelty of parents and employers is often dismissed as disciplinary measures necessary in the home or the work place; wars are waged in which women and children are the main victims. We look the other way, or, at best, applaud the launching of well-meaning organisations expected somehow to ease our feelings of guilt at the havoc wrought on innocent and helpless people's lives."

While I find this author quite provocative, I see that later in the article she mentions an alleged lynching that may or may not have taken place. Is this Cassie Bernall revisited?
posted by ethmar on Dec 11, 2000 - 20 comments


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