Don’t Try to Get a Child to Conform to Gender Expectations

Happy Feminism

Caroline Hax writes an advice column for the Washington Post, accompanied by the work of “relationship cartoonist” Nick Galifianakis. In this particular article, a child’s grandmother asks for advice on how to remedy her lack of girlish interests. Hax provides a wonderful response illustrating how arbitrary the lines we draw around gender really are and the importance of accepting each person as is – especially when the majority of society will not.
Don’t Try to Get a Child to Conform to Gender
by Carolyn Hax

Dear Carolyn:

Our granddaughter’s behavior is causing our family a great concern and anxiety. She is 8, attends an all-girls school, is very good in studies and tops in tests. She is very athletic and enjoys taking part in only boys’ sports, such as martial arts. She likes to wear only boys’ clothes and cuts her hair very short like a boy. The only time…

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Mature Content Warning

Reblogged from Think Banned Thoughts

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Gendered crayons.

Gendered crayons? (from feminist philosophers, or original here)

Gendered crayons?

No black crayons for princesses! Even your outlines must be princess-colored! No green either – too bad if you wanted to draw trees. Boys, don’t you dare press too lightly with that red, that would defeat the purpose of denying you pink.

(It also strikes me how many products geared to boys are themed with an object –trucks, cars, trains, etc – and girls’ are a “character” such as a princess. We tell boys what they should like and we tell girls who they should be.)

Kudos, however, to Crayola, for not gendering any of their crayon offerings. The closest they come is the font for glitter crayons, but it’s still the most-gender neutral packaging for something glittery that I’ve come across. Even their pink-tone collection features an un-gendered crayon mascot (and pink is only one of many color collections).


Unfortunately the same can’t be said for ALL their product lines. To save you the trouble, there is no “boys activities” section of the website. (you can enter in manually and it directs you to ALL products)

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Pen & Ink Porn, Part II: Conveying Sensuality Through Sight Alone.

In light of the open call for submissions for Smut Peddler 2014 (A lady-made collection of comic erotica – buy the previous version), I thought I would do another post about sexy comics. Last time I told you my favorites, now I’ll elaborate on why they are awesome, and include some more.

Several months ago, inspired by comics of this sort, I decided I wanted to create a sex-positive webcomic. As a scientist and feminist, I saw it as an opportunity to challenge the stereotypical sexlessness of both groups in a fun way. My first order of business was to hone my drawing skills: I have art and illustration experience but am nowhere close to a pro. So it began.

Early on,  I was confronted with the question “what makes a drawing sexy?” Is it the shapes of bodies? The acts depicted? The expressions on the faces? The story? The dialogue? The onomatopoeia?

The short answer is “all of the above”, but the real answer is “it’s complicated”. First, lets talk about bodies. I struggled with how I wanted to style bodies in my work – most of the training I had was in life drawing, so I was used to realistic proportions. In most mainstream comics, female bodies are idealized to the extreme: perkiness levels unachievable without silicone, waists too small to fit intestines, any and all fat isolated to the butt and breasts.

                                                                                                                   by Drew Sheneman

A search for more diverse representations of body type led me to explore the world of independent erotic comics. This taught me two important things:

1) I have a long way to go, skill-wise, before I will be able to create anything nearly as creative and sexy as what is out there. Therefore, a polished webcomic from me is not imminent, but I will post sketches as I continue to practice.

2) Once you move away from mainstream “sexy” body types (for both women and men), it becomes clear how important all the senses are to sexual experience. The hottest erotica excels at going beyond visual stimulation.

When I say this, I don’t mean “I’m female so I like a convincing story and emotions” (an overused simplification that hardly describes what women like). I mean touch, taste, sound, smell and the secondary senses. How does an artist convey all of that when she only has our eyes at her disposal? Naturally, our brains are good at associating visuals with other desirable feelings. The most talented artists make it easy for our cranium to connect with our clitoris. Part of this is by depicting real world sex and not just being an illustrated version of mainstream video porn. 

Ever notice that people sweat and make incomprehensible noises when they have great sex? Josh Lesnick has.


How about skin’s elasticity? Breasts squish and lips stretch, and Trudy Cooper knows it.

And how one moment blends into the next for a kaleidoscope of sensations? Jess Fink‘s free-form panels contribute more than just a unique style (Chester 5000XYV)


The fact that women have labia, pubic hair, and curves isn’t lost on Amanda Lafrenais(Titty Time, available through subscription to slipshine)


Environments that accentuate different sensations on skin? Sylvan Migdal (Curvy) has you covered!  


While Oh Joy, Sex Toy is more educational than arousing, Erika Moen wins the prize for most diverse body types!
diverse bodies



Unsurprisingly, sexy isn’t about plastic people getting poked and prodded. The best erotica pays attention to detail and doesn’t always feature anatomy conforming to the Grecian Ideal. And that’s a good thing.

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Great contribution in NY Times by Sally Haslanger; comments not so much

Feminist Philosophers

This week the NY Times will have five articles by and about women in philosophy. Sally’s is a great beginning. A sample:

With these numbers, you don’t need sexual harassment or racial harassment to prevent women and minorities from succeeding, for alienation, loneliness, implicit bias, stereotype threat, microaggression, and outright discrimination will do the job.  But in a world of such small numbers, harassment and bullying is easy.  

Odd but familiar is a recurring charge in the comments (as of now, 3:30 am cst): Sally hasn’t explained why there are so few women.

One’s reminded of the unpleasant joke, “Aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?”

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One Reason Why False Rape Allegation Statistics Are So High

Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog

Guest Post by Dana Hunter (originally published on En Tequila Es Verdad at FreeThought Blogs)

Men, even good men, believe women lie about rape. There’s this myth that runs amok saying that some enormous proportion of rape accusations are just women lying to get attention, or revenge, or to hide their summer fling from mommy and daddy. And they believe it without question.

When male friends toss that grenade at me, I toss it back by asking if they know what the percentage is. “Fifty percent,” they’ll say, or above, depending on which MRAs their stats are coming from.

“It’s two to eight percent,” I say, and I need to remember to never do this when they’re walking or have something in their mouths, because the good ones are always staggered, and they always gasp. “But even those numbers are on the high side.”

I don’t need…

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Why do men have nipples?


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Morning feminism is my favorite kind of feminism.



Because I spent this morning at my desk indulging in page after page of pro-gender-equality journalism (don’t tell my boss), I thought I would at least share some of it!

It started with this one (thanks facebook friends):
All the Selfish Reasons to be a Male Feminist

And lead to reading several more by Noah Berlatsky (follow him on twitter):

The Spectacular Now and the Problem with Geek Girls on Film

Hey, the Gender-Role Revolution Started Way Before the Millennial Generation
read this)

‘Twilight’ vs. ‘Hunger Games’: Why Do So Many Grown-Ups Hate Bella?
(interesting, though I’ve watched neither)

And then on another one from The Atlantic:
Pink Wasn’t Always Girly by Anna Broadway

And this feature from Ms. Magazine on “My So-Called Secret Identity“, a new comic book featuring a feminine heroine without the sparkling-lingerie outfit.

Which lead to the Ms.Blog and this:
Feminism and “Real Men” by Shira Tarrant

And more… but those are the ones I wanted to share.

Bye for now!

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My thoughts on porn

I will eventually blog about porn/feminist porn myself, but for now VulgarVag’s post hit’s the nail on the head.
Stay tuned for a post on the psychology of porn once I do my research ;-).

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American Women, Brown-Eyed Girls, and All the Single Ladies.

Why do we use the terms that we do to describe people with two X chromosomes? It’s worth thinking about. When should we use girl, woman, or an alternative such as lady?

From Happy Feminism:

“The question then is: why isn’t it as offensive to call an adult woman a “girl” as it is to call an adult male a “boy.” Is it just because women have accepted a lower position in society or does the term “girl” just not carry the same negativity associated with the term “boy”?

Regardless of which word you use, it’s important to know the impact of your words. Each word categorizes its subject with a fixed meaning, so it is crucial that our words categorizing people maintain equality.”


Why the difference?
Girl 2.(b) sometimes offensive: a female servant
Boy 1. often offensive: a male servant

via Should We Be Offended By the Term “Girl”?.

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