In a stirring NYT op-ed, author Catherine Newman talks about the kind of girl her daughter has become and who she may yet be. Her daughter, Birdy, is intensely moral, unconcerned with being "pretty," indifferent or hostile to strangers who want to strike up conversations about her appearance. She is polite about things like second helpings of food or asking for assistance in locating her rain-boots, but doesn't care if you know that she thinks gendered toy-aisles are stupid. It's a delicate balance, but an important one.
Read the rest
After the UK tabloid the Daily Mail "reviewed" Amanda Palmer's Glastonbury appearance by reporting extensively on the fact that one of her breasts "escaped" her bra, Palmer responded with a dandy song called "Dear Daily Mail," which she performs here. The Mail is not even usable as birdcage liner -- it's a kind of one-note joke of immense and terrifying popularity, and whenever I see someone reading it in public, I always check to see if they've got velcro shoe-closures. Hard to believe that someone who takes the Fail seriously could muster the intellectual power to tie their own shoelaces.
Amanda Palmer: Dear Daily Mail
Tor.com has just published a preview of Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, a wonderful, forthcoming graphic novel due at the end of August (I've got a review queued up for publication-day). It's a great, swashbuckling, girl-positive adventure comic that kids and grownups alike can enjoy, and the excerpt that went up today really gives you a feel for it.
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Stephanie sent this pic of a tiny pink Stormtrooper cosplayer to Fashionably Geek. They say it was a little girl in there, but that seems to be citing facts not in evidence. In any event, this kid is hella cute.
Little Girl Proves Stormtroopers Look Good In Pink [Cosplay] [Amy Ratcliffe/Fashionably Geek]
(via Wil Wheaton)
Jane Austen will appear on a new issue of the English £10 note, a welcome break in the sausage-fest that presently constitutes our specie. The new Bank of England governor Mark Carney -- a Canadian, from a country where the money is staunchly blokey -- confirmed the change after the outgoing governor Mervyn King let it slip.
"Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature," the new governor said.
He also announced that the Bank would carry out a review of the process for selecting the historical figures who appear on banknotes, to ensure that a diverse range of figures is represented.
"We believe that our notes should celebrate the full diversity of great British historical figures and their contributions in a wide range of fields. The Bank is committed to that objective, and we want people to have confidence in our commitment to diversity. That is why I am today announcing a review of the selection process for future banknote characters," Carney said. The review will be overseen by the chief cashier Chris Salmon, whose signature appears on banknotes.
What an amazing turn of events. The only thing that would make this better is more women on the money -- I look forward to the Ada Lovelace fiver and the Emmeline Pankhurst 20.
Jane Austen to appear on £10 note [Katie Allen and Heather Stewart/The Guardian]
Kylaiajmaa made traditional gender rolls!
I made traditional gender rolls.
(via The Mary Sue)
Tuesday Cain is the 14-year-old Texas girl who designed the "Jesus isn't a dick so keep him out of my vagina" sign that went viral in a photo that showed her friend holding it up in front of the Texas Capitol. She was protesting Texas's misogynist, retrograde anti-Choice law. Afterward, a number of self-identified Christian opponents of abortion heaped the vilest, cruelest abuse on her, calling her a "whore" and worse. In this editorial, young Ms Cain explains how this made her feel, and reminds us that calling young women "whores" does not make your case for you.
I'm going to be honest about what it feels like to be called that as a 14-year-old girl who has never had sex and who doesn't plan to have sex anytime soon.
I feel disappointed.
It's hard for me to understand why adults would be calling me this. It's hard for me to understand why anyone would use this term for a 14-year-old girl.
It's not anyone's business, but as I said, I am a virgin, and I don't plan to have sex until I am an adult.
But none of those facts make me feel any less passionate about fighting for a woman's right to choose and the separation of church and state in my home state of Texas.
I'm The 14-Year-Old Who Wrote The "Jesus Isn't A Dick So Keep Him Out of My Vagina" Sign In Texas And Was Labeled A "Whore" By Strangers Online
A reader writes, "It's a 4-minute music video with geek girls holding up signs talking about the 'fake geek girl' thing and bullies."
This reduced me to tears.
Nothing to Prove - Geek Girls & The Doubleclicks
The Trekkie Has the Phone Box has analyzed the way women are presented in the second of the Star Trek reboot movies; and compared it to Gene Rodenberry's original show, which went to great lengths to establish gender parity and racial diversity in its depicted future. The analysis goes into some convincing detail and makes me think that the reboot is a very retrograde move in the history of the Trek franchise and how it deals with women.
Star Trek 2 Bechdel Test
Princess R2D2 is one of the many cosplayers who turned out for a charity lightsaber relay race on the Pacific Coast Highway, but she is surely the cutest of them all. As the Mary Sue points out, she can smuggle her own plans to the rebellion.
Meet Princess R2-D2 [Cosplay]
(via The Mary Sue)
At The Conversation, neuroscientist Melissa Hines talks about what little biological basis there is behind the idea of heavily gender-coded toys for children
. It's true that male and female fetuses are exposed to different hormones before birth and that might affect what kinds of toys they're interested in later. But it's also true that there is natural variability in both hormone levels and interests within
the sexes and (intriguingly) human babies all
prefer reds and pinks, regardless of their sex. (Meanwhile, human adults prefer blue colors, regardless of sex.) — Maggie
Kyle from Bumperactive sez, "Support the thousands of Texans standing for Women's Reproductive Freedom at the State Capitol this morning with a 'Come And Take It' Uterus tee, printed by Austin printshop Bumperactive and designed by liberal Texas troublemakers Cole Latimer and Carrie Collier-Brown. $12.00 from the sale of each $25.00 benefits Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and The Texas Democratic Party in an equal split. The design is riff on the famous flag of the Texian Settlers in the first battle of Texas Revolution. The imprint is a one-color screen-print on a Texas Orange pre-shrunk Gildan tee."
Come And Take It
Andy sez, "Why should all world protesters have to wear the mask of a white guy? We made wearable Guy Fawkes masks of men and women of all skin tones." Download them all.
Diversifying the "Anonymous" Guy Fawkes Mask - ANIMAL
North Carolina House Republicans have, without notice, inserted sweeping changes to the state's abortion rules into a motorcycle safety law. Effectively, they've reintroduced the abortion bill that Governor Pat McCrory had threatened to veto.
“It is a disgrace to North Carolina that legislators have again resorted to sneak attacks to move their anti-women’s health agenda forward,” said Melissa Reed, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Health Systems said in a statement. “Once again there was no public notice that this bill would be heard. The public and even many legislators on the committee only learned this was a possibility at 9:57am -- three minutes before the committee was to meet -- when a political reporter was tipped off and posted it on Twitter. This is outrageous and not how the people’s business should be conducted.”
Without notice, NC House rushes forward new abortion bill
Members of the decadent nouveau riche of Shenzhen in South China have provoked online outrage by taking up breast-milk consumption as a high-status health treatment. According to sources quoted in the Times of India, agencies recruit wet nurses from among recent mothers and pay them $2,000-$4,000 to allow rich people to nurse from their breasts, or to pump milk for later consumption.
"This adds to China's problem of treating women as consumer goods and the moral degradation of China's rich," wrote Cao Baoyin, a writer and regular commentator in Chinese media, on his blog.
Breast milk drinking by rich adults provokes outrage in China [Saibal Dasgupta/Times of India]