Girls’ Education: A New Priority for the White House

14251280457_6e683c42fb_z

The White House launched an initiative Tuesday aimed at combating girls’ reduced access to education around the globe. Let Girls Learn will use $250 million from the federal government and other sources, including private-sector donations, to fund programs dedicated to improving girls’ educational opportunities. Said President Obama in announcing the initiative: Wherever they live, whoever they […]

Canadian High Schoolers Won’t Take Dress Codes for An Answer

shutterstock_200598194

“Two, four, six, eight! Give us a policy before it’s too late!” What started as a student protest to change the dress code at a Canadian high school turned into a much-needed discussion of sexual harassment—and has led to the drafting of a new district-wide policy that covers both issues. The chant was a rallying […]

Too Young to Marry

Photo by Stephanie Sinclair/Too Young to Wed

The following is excerpted from Too Young to Marry in the Winter 2015 issue of Ms. Subscribe today and get the issue delivered straight to your doorstep! When Kakenya Ntaiya was a 7-year-old schoolgirl in Kenya, she worried that her family would soon marry her off and she would be forced to become a child raising children. She had […]

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Rebecca: Early Puberty a New Normal

shutterstock_232153369

Judy Blume’s 1970 classic, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, guided my generation through puberty. The book chronicles an almost-12-year-old girl’s struggle as she prays that her mom will get her a bra, and then deals with her nervous excitement and embarrassment when she starts having periods. Today, Blume would have to write about the […]

Breaking Down the Pink Aisle/Blue Aisle Barrier

1965429_239503782899476_200267433_o

If you’re still thinking about last-minute shopping, it’s not too late to stop and consider the No Gender December campaign from Australian organization Play Unlimited. While their tagline, “Stereotypes Have No Place Under My Christmas Tree,” presumes everyone is celebrating Christmas, their message is one that’s gone global as a quick look at their pledge page reveals, with more […]

Criticism of Sasha and Malia Obama Shows How America Views Black Youth

Screen shot 2014-12-02 at 10.54.39 AM

Yesterday, GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten resigned amid a firestorm of criticism over her disparaging comments about Sasha and Malia Obama. Referring to the short skirts the First Daughters wore to the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning ceremony and their perhaps less-than-thrilled expressions on her Facebook page, Lauten asked the 13 and 16 year olds to “try […]

Our Dolls, Ourselves

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 12.48.37 PM

On the Ms. Blog just over four years ago, I wrote about Mattel’s (then) newest and largest doll launch: the Monster High line. Mattel was proudly offering girls dolls that were “different” and that strayed from the look of their long-lasting progeny, Barbie, and her contentious, estranged cousin, the Bratz dolls, (at that time, still […]

10 Reasons Why Willow and Jaden Smith’s NYT Interview Is the Best Thing Ever

willowcrop

Jaden and Willow Smith gave an interview to The New York Times’ T Magazine earlier this week that is incredibly smart—a fusion of Buddhist philosophy, physics and earnest idealism. But people are coming for Willow and Jaden—the children of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith—instead. Gawker called them “nuts.”  The Grio called them “confusing,” a […]

GoldieBlox On the Block Again

Screen shot 2014-11-07 at 5.26.18 PM

GoldieBlox, a relatively new toy company whose mission is to entice girls into the field of engineering, is no stranger to controversy. Their previous advertisement quickly went viral and both heartened parents seeking “alternative” toys to what their daughters are more routinely offered, and enraged those who saw the line as capitulating to commercial pressures to […]

Victory! Thrift Store Pulls Sexy Halloween Costumes for Girls

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 3.29.33 PM

If you’re a Halloween enthusiast, you may know that one of the best places to pick up inexpensive pre-fab costumes is the local thrift store. What you probably wouldn’t expect to see are skimpy, sexed-up outfits for little girls—but that’s exactly what one Canadian thrift store had on offer recently. Mom and writer Raina Delisle penned a […]