Yes, I’m Buying The Katniss Everdeen Barbie For My Daughter


When Mattel unveiled the new Katniss Everdeen Barbie this past week, I expected another hyper-sexualized Barbie that looked like Jennifer Lawrence. Eh. But who am I to dismiss a feminist Barbie? So I took another look. The characteristics are standard Barbie. Swathed in mascara? Check. The waist of an unrealistic waif? Check. Slightly resembles a […]

Why the Reactionary Right Fears the Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts

In 1924, James E. West, then the leader of the Boy Scouts of America, threatened to file suit against the Girl Scouts of America for patent violations over the word “scout.” For years, West had mounted an aggressive public relations campaign against the Girl Scouts, fearful that their ambitious program of outdoor education and community […]

Beauty and the New LEGO Line for Girls

Lego ad

A few years back we published this fantastic ad for LEGOs as an example of gender-neutral advertising. It appeared in 1981; during my childhood, I’m happy to say. The ad offers nice context for the new effort by LEGO to capture The Girl Market. Their new line of LEGOs, LEGO Friends, has gotten a lot […]

Happy-To-Be-Nappy Barbie

natural hair Barbie

This week, a group of black women in Columbus, Ga., started a campaign to donate 40 black Barbie dolls to young black girls. And here’s the twist: Before gifting the Barbies, the women used boiling water and pipe cleaners to transform them into curly-haired “beauties.” In my 32 years on this earth, I’ve owned a […]

In Time for the Holidays, One Toy Store Nixes Pink and Blue


With the holidays fast approaching, many folks will find themselves standing in the aisles of a toy store faced with one big question: boy or girl? The majority of big-box toy stores–and even many local ones–tend to organize their aisles based on gender. Eye-searing pink pervades the girls’ section, which is packed with dolls, princess […]

Want to Stop Sexual Harassment at Work? First Stop it in School!


Sexual harassment allegations by four women against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain have made the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace headline news. What many people may not realize is that such harassment is a widespread problem in middle and high schools, too. During the 2010-11 school year, nearly 48 percent of students in […]

And the Pawnee Goddess Spirit Award Goes to … the Trans-Friendly Girl Scouts of Colorado!


For their recent stance against gender injustice, I hereby nominate the Girl Scouts of Colorado for a Pawnee Goddess Spirit Award. What’s that, you ask? On October 13, Amy Poehler’s Parks and Recreation warmed feminist hearts with an episode about the Pawnee Goddesses, a fictional girls’ scouting group so popular that the towns’ boys petition to […]

We Love the Female Orgasm! Do You?

female orgasm

Starting college is pretty exciting; everyone’s meeting new friends, getting the hang of their classes, and, if they’re lucky, learning about female orgasm. A few weeks ago, my college’s Sexual Health Educators brought the program “I Love the Female Orgasm” to our student body. After seeing the attention-grabbing posters around campus, my roommate and I […]

A 17-Year-Old Does SlutWalk


At the crack of dawn I sneak soundlessly into my mother’s bedroom. Luckily, it rained last night, so the sky is wet and dark and soporific, so I don’t wake her. I tiptoe over to the closet, which looks like the holy arc in synagogue where they keep the Torah, and in my nervous haste […]

Sexed-Up Starfire Doesn’t Sit Well with 7-Year-Old Fan


Dear DC Comics Editors, In response to your new Catwoman and Starfire comics, I’m not going to rant like Comics Alliance (though you need to read that) or Andrew Wheeler (also an excellent read) or Ms. Snarky (you may want to take notes on that one.) Instead I’m going to hand over my forum and let […]