● My new favorite blog Skepchick writes about what happens when a teenage girl posts a headshot of her holding a Carl Sagan book on an Atheist forum. Spoilers: Rape jokes, misogyny, then some more rape jokes. Why is this significant? Because too often this type of behavior is assumed to be the realm of the openly hateful–maybe the super right-wing, or the fanatically-religious, or the men’s rights activists, or the frat jocks–but sometimes we forget that even the supposedly liberal spaces can be hostile and dangerous for women. Things like this serve to remind us that there is still a lot of work to do.
● The Lego Company is releasing a new line for girls…for some reason. Why it’s assumed girls can’t just play with regular Legos, I don’t know. To the surprise of no one, the girls’ Legos will have less boxy, more lithe and shapely figurines, and feature pastel sets with lots of pink. I’m no longer surprised by marketing that is divided into a male/female dichotomy, nor am I surprised that items marketed to girls would be rife with pastels. I even get that it’s more about capitalism then sexism. But really, what is it with marketers being so uncreative that they always seem to reach for the old-fashioned gender stereotypes? Is the part of our brain that makes us want to buy stuff on the opposite side of the critical thinking part? I don’t get it.
● Women in Egypt continue being awesome, in what according to the New York Times historians are calling “the biggest women’s demonstration in modern Egyptian history.” These protests were triggered after soldiers stormed Tahrir Square, stripped a woman of her abaya and revealed her bra. Discussion of the protests requires much more nuance and detail than can be covered in this post, but the gist of it is anger at the military council and its behavior towards dissenters. I don’t know about you but I find the protesters courage really inspiring, and I’ll be following the news closely.
● And you may have seen it already, but frankly looking at current events can be a little depressing, so lets wrap this up with a freaking adorable girl ranting over the ridiculousness of the gender division between boys’ and girls’ toys. Seeing kids learn these lessons so young makes me hopeful for the future.