"“A lot of our audiences are kids and teens, and they want to be in on the joke. And they’ll listen again. We’re just a little looser with this stuff than most traditional first ladies.”" -- Michelle Obama, interviewed by Variety.
If you have a small kid they have probably spent countless hours with characters such as Barbie, Dora the Explorer and Frozen's Elsa. Now you can scar them for life and instill some valuable life lessons about personal hygiene and healthcare in general with gross and weird video games such as Dora dentist day, Dora hair care, Elsa Arm Surgery, Barbie Sore Throat, Nail Surgery And Foot Spa 2, Sole Surgery, Jimmy At The Doctor, Barbie Shave, Cinderella Pumpkin Accident, Hello Kitty Care, Justin Bieber At The Doctor, Pregnant Ariel Injured, Dentist Fear, Ladybug Skin Doctor, Elsa Brain Doctor.
Ten-year-old Eva writes a blog in French about things she does – such as triathlons – and learns – like the symbolism behind hopscotch (Le jeu de la marelle in French). She also writes about programming her fully open-source Thymio robot. She ran into some difficulty coding it, however, and with a usage goal in mind, she applied to the Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship, alongside urban designers, data scientists and hardware specialists. Her application was accepted. [more inside]
Katherine and Isabelle Adams are 9 and 11 years old. When they learned that girls in many places have to walk for miles to get to the nearest well (and clean drinking water), they decided they wanted to help. They started selling their origami ornaments to fund a single well in Ethiopia. When they overshot their goal, they just kept going. [more inside]
As girls, we grow up learning not to trust other women, because we're told there are only so many opportunities to go around, only so many good men to be had, only so much beauty to be shared. We are lied to.
America’s biggest toy company is changing the most famous body in the world. Classic, curvy, tall and petite; 7 skin tones; 22 eye colours; 24 hairstyles; 8 hair colours: meet the new Barbie Fashionistas.
Throughout our lives, women hear insidious, often-conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman, about how we should act, talk and look. [more inside]
Goldieblox brings you the most adorable Year in Feminism.
The Lost Girls: 'Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.' Part of Spectrum's Sex/Gender in Autism special report. [more inside]
Refuse to share a pencil, reject a boy, say no to your imprisoned dad — all of these can get a teen girl killed in El Salvador's gang war - "Aby, whose best friend disappeared, is still staying at home. Her latest aspiration is to be the director of NASA." Warning: Some of the depictions and images in this story are graphic. [more inside]
How do you get your Frozen-obsessed daughters to try softball? Give the team a Frozen theme..
Barbie Breast Feeding had you drag and drop the baby from the cot to Barbie’s chest where it drinks enough milk that it promptly develops a stomach ache and then requires a leg massage and a nappy change. I assume that might be closer to reality, except instead of wiping a flower which exists in place of your child’s genitals you’re actually dealing with human poop and children can get that EVERYWHERE.Philippa Warr on the Weird World Of Frozen Pregnancy Games. SLRPS
In their annual gathering of Emmy-contending comedy actresses, The Hollywood Reporter hosts a roundtable conversation featuring Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer"), Lena Dunham ("Girls"), Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish"), Kate McKinnon ("Saturday Night Live"), and Ellie Kemper ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt")
In December of last year, the NYC-based digital art nonprofit Rhizome successfully Kickstarted an online exhibition of cloud-emulated copies of the three CD-ROMs created by Theresa Duncan and based on young girls' everyday experiences. Last month, they were made available for play for a minimum of one year with probable extension. You can read about - and, thanks to embedding - play them at Rhizome itself and The Verge (or just play them right here). Note: you may have to wait in a queue. Also, you may have to wait a while for the computer running the game, which will be streamed to you, to start up.
DC is partnering with Mattel, Lego, Random House and others to launch DC Super Hero Girls universe for girls. Here's seven things CBR hopes they can acheive.
Rainbo: First Blood. Dawn of the Red. Wonder Womban. What do these puns have in common? Well, they're all monikers for different styles of Period Panties, humorously allusive undergarments intended to be donned during the wearer's menstrual cycle.
But is the stereotype of premenstrual aggression empowering or invalidating of female emotion? And why on earth are we still afraid of periods? [more inside]
But is the stereotype of premenstrual aggression empowering or invalidating of female emotion? And why on earth are we still afraid of periods? [more inside]
What's the scariest thing in the world? Ask your teenage daughter. Ninja Pizza Girl is a game from independent game studio Disparity Games.
I’m pitching my idea for "baddies" to the Disparity Games design think tank. It consists of me, my wife and however many of our daughters happen to be in the room at the time.… Raven looks up. "Robots aren’t scary Dad.… Zombies aren’t scary either."[more inside]
I’m getting a little tetchy with this unreceptive design group. I ask Raven, "So what are teenage girls scared of?"
Raven thinks for a moment. She looks sad. "Other teenagers," she says.
How To Be Cool So Girls Notice You. A brief but informative guide for the gents, courtesy of WikiHow.
Meet the Radical Brownies. In Oakland, activists from Black Lives Matter have started a Girl Scout-style troop of girls of color ages 8-12 that puts the focus on social justice, taking the girls on marches for police accountability and offering merit badges in "Radical Beauty" and "LGBT Ally." [more inside]
"Today, most American adults can call up some memory of sex ed in their school, whether it was watching corny menstruation movies or seeing their school nurse demonstrate putting a condom on a banana. The movies, in particular, tend to stick in our minds. Screening films at school to teach kids how babies are made has always been a touchy issue, particularly for people who fear such knowledge will steer their children toward sexual behavior. But sex education actually has its roots in moralizing: American sex-ed films emerged from concerns that social morals and the family structure were breaking down." — Slut-Shaming, Eugenics, and Donald Duck: The Scandalous History of Sex-Ed Movies
This mom got fed up. Companies have been down-sizing their clothing for years as fashion trends call for "slimmer" cuts and silhouettes. Clothing sizing is an issue. Maybe there needs to be a mandated standard of clothing sizes? No cutting corners or skimping on measurements. [more inside]
WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course to make it more welcoming to female university students, celebrating women in computing history (and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated, and making children's books and toys (even dollhouses!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US. If you want to join Mindy Kaling in supporting young girls entering computer science, tech, and coding, there's a lot [more inside]
Black Girls Hunger for Heroes, Too: A Black Feminist Conversation on Fantasy Fiction for Teens.
What happens when two great black women fiction writers get together to talk about race in young adult literature? That's exactly what happens in the conversation below, where Zetta Elliott, a black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children, and award-winning Haitian-American speculative fiction writer Ibi Aanu Zoboi decided to discuss current young adult sci-fi.
Reelgirl: Slut-shaming Princess Leia or protecting childhood from adult sexuality? HitFix: The Terrible Unspoken Implications Of Star Wars' Slave Leia [more inside]
Frustrated with the modern toy market's focus on female characters with uncomfortable costumes, uninspiring back stories, and unrealistic body proportions -- "most are created for the adult male collector, decidedly more Hooters than heroine" -- Wellesley alumnae Julie Kerwin and Dawn Nadeau joined forces with the legendary creative team at EleventyPlex to crowdfund a new line of fierce, Joan of Arc-inspired action figures, designed to encourage girls to embrace their inner strengths and imagine themselves as self-made superheroes: I Am Elemental. [more inside]
Previously, Hello Flo, created this hilarious video about spunky young girls at summer camp and then First Moon Party, a celebration of a young woman's first period, which she fakes with glittery red nail polish on a pad, so desperate is she to begin menstruation. And now, another feminine hygiene product gets in on the image of powerful young women who menstruate by asking what it means to say someone does something "like a girl." Yes, I kick like a girl, and that's a good thing. [more inside]
At only thirteen years old, Tavi Gevinson was proclaimed the world's most famous fashion blogger. At the age of fifteen, she founded Rookie Magazine, an online magazine aimed primarily at teenage girls. Her newest project? Being a grown up. (Previously on Metafilter.)
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. [more inside]
Remember Goldieblox who fought for their right to infringe? Beastie Boys have agreed to settle the lawsuit, for a percentage of the revenues to be donated to one or more charities selected by Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls. Class.
Laura is super passionate about girls fighting evil, creating collages with short stories about various groups of girls fighting off demons - from radio DJs and the interns at Night Vale, to Dorothy Gale, travelers, and of course Beyonce. Sometimes the girls are helping the demons: evil counterparts to Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, the underwater orchestra, even the underlord's admin assistant. Sometimes they fight each other; sometimes they fight themselves. Some of these fighters are real. Sometimes they'll let you borrow their style.
Every so often, ethnic dolls make the news, like this recent piece on Nigeria's Taofick Okoya who started his own line of Nigerian dolls after giving up his search in frustration. Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his "Queens of Africa" and "Naija Princesses" a month, and reckons he has 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market. But the history of dolls outside of 'mainstream culture' exemplified by blonde blue eyed Barbie has been rife with prejudice and stereotypes. As the African middle classes emerge, is this an opportunity that gives rise to domestic toy industries?
You probably know of Paul Dini as the guy who, over the past 20 years brought to television Batman, the beloved DC's animated universe (with Bruce Timm) and Duck Dodgers (among many other things). He's now working at Marvel after 20 years with Warner Brothers. Speaking recently on Kevin Smith's podcast he claimed that executives are spurning female viewers because they believe girls and women don't buy superhero show related toys, which may go some way to explaining the Wonder Woman decision (previously). (via) Dini's comments come at a time when many feel that the gender segregation of toys is regaining strength.
Toy-startup GoldieBlox (previously) had already proven their marketing savvy - then their new commercial went viral, and might even earn them an on-air spot during the Superbowl. But now they've got a lawsuit on their hands - brought by the Beastie Boys. [more inside]
Before the days of Roe v. Wade (and sometimes after) girls who got pregnant were sent away. Now one of the places that housed them is closing. [more inside]
After a fight with a former friend, reportedly over a "boyfriend situation", Rebecca Sedwick was suspended. When Rebecca reported she was being bullied, the school worked with Tricia, Rebecca's mother, to change Rebecca's schedule. Tricia had her daughter close her Facebook account, too. [more inside]
"The question was not so much what the bracelets said but whether school officials used reasonable judgment when they concluded that such apparel was inappropriate and might lead to more egregiously sexual and disruptive displays, all in the name of advocating a cause." Special bonus: The knockers displayed in a Google ad running below the innocent image of a boobie-bracelet-bedecked wrist.
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]
Merida, Pixar's "Brave's" red-headed heroine will be crowned Disney's 11th princess on May 11. And just in time for her royal coronation, she has been given a "Victoria's Secret" makeover. This makeover has caused some outrage in the blogosphere, and has even inspired a change.org petition launched by A Mighty Girl, a girl's empowerment website.
The Atlantic reports on the 2008 removal/"archiving" of the original three American Girl dolls, dolls whose arrival on the market in 1986 represented a "sensibility about teaching girls to understand thorny historical controversies and build political consciousness." [more inside]
Little Girls R Better at Designing Superheroes Than You is a (sparsely populated) Tumblr with illustrations based on little girls in superhero costumes, by Eyeburst. [more inside]
"Despite her pedigree, success came slowly," the story bravely ventured. This slowness was maybe not so apparent to several thousand other 24-year-olds who want to be actresses, but who haven't even figured out how to get to a reading for Law & Order to fail at it. Tom Scocca on Nathaniel Rich, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, and cultural nepotism. (Related: How David Carr Became the Daddy of Girls)
An intriguing essay on how young women in Georgian England were able to do science by hiding in the pursuits of the domestic arts.
"Women didn’t find it easy to participate in late eighteenth century science. Experimentation and discovery were not easily compatible with the ideals of domestic femininity – but there were women who rejected these social expectations and became active and renowned."