Put Down That Barbie! A (Non-Gendered) Gift Guide for Girls

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Dress-up wedding collections for your little “bride-to-be.” Pretty LEGOs to help her build beauty shops. Dolls skinnier than Barbie and sexier than Bratz. Pink vacuum cleaners and cleaning trolleys, makeup kits and kitchen sets. I spoke with Jennifer Pozner, founder and executive director of Women in Media and News, about the effects of toy gendering […]

Girls Have Their Day


At Montclair (New Jersey) High School today, Emma Fishman will be busy passing out pamphlets to her classmates with facts about girls. The 17-year-old is one of many young people around the U.S. whose voices will carry through school halls announcing the first International Day of the Girl Child. When we talk about women’s rights, […]

Meet Goldie Blox, Goldilocks’ Long Lost Cousin, the Engineer


If Goldie Blox is locked in a cell in the top room of a tower guarded by evil monsters and fire-breathing dragons, she doesn’t wait for a prince to ride in and rescue her, winning her heart in the process. Oh no. Instead, she builds her way out. Using whatever objects she can find, she […]

What Boy Scouts Can Learn from Girl Scouts

Boy Scout Leader

Building campfires, earning merit badges, selling cookies and dodging political controversies–Boy and Girl Scouts need to be prepared. Though the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts came from similar origins, they’ve had a century to grow apart ideologically. As far as inclusion and acceptance goes, Boy Scouts fall far behind the girls. In their latest throwback […]

Teen Girl Wins Photoshop Fight Against Seventeen Magazine

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When Julia Bluhm scanned the pages of Seventeen magazine, she saw young women with perfect bodies. Glossy hair and clear complexions polished off skinny, tanned figures. At 14 years old, Bluhm knew that teenagers with blemish-free skin, perfect hair and stick-thin physiques weren’t the norm. And she was sick of looking at the fakes. So […]

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

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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 […]