Too Young to Marry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 […]

The Power of Proactive Parenting

I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a fantastic childhood. My memories of being a child are full of summer camp, getting absorbed in sci-fi and fantasy books, writing notebooks full of stories, playing with friends out in the woods, traveling, riding roller coasters and watching beloved Saturday morning cartoons. My parents […]

4 Clothing Items Schools Should Ban So Girls Don’t Look Like “Prostitutes”

In response to some girls wearing leggings, jeggings and tight jeans to class, a school in Devils Lake, North Dakota, responded calmly and reasonably by insinuating that the girls’ clothing made them look like prostitutes and banning the pants in question. A controversial, reaction perhaps, but the school officials’ hearts are in the right place; after […]