Monday morning listicle round-up!

19 Jan

Happy Monday!

As you guys know from my previous posts on ways to teach toddlers about consent (and why we should do it) and gender stereotyping in baby clothes, I’m always interested in the ways in which we pass on messages about gender and sexuality to kids. Since I work as a nanny now and spent years as a high school teacher, these are issues that I see played out in my everyday life time and time again.

The perfect gift for feminist moms in your life!

The perfect gift for feminist moms in your life!

Today’s listicle round-up focuses on feminist parenting, teaching, and child-raising in general!

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Having it all vs. leaving it all behind

14 Jan

Well, it’s that time of year: the time when every single headline, advertisement, and news show shouts out the idea of “new year, new you!” with relentless enthusiasm.

They promise that 2015 will be the year you lose those last five pounds, get him to propose, get pregnant, kick-start your career, pay down your debt, find inner peace, and be your BEST YOU EVER.

I happen to like the old me just fine.

I happen to like the old me just fine.

I’m here to argue that you’re already pretty awesome. And that you’re already the best you you can be right now. And that if you do like the idea of the new year as a clean slate when you can kick a bad habit or start a project you’ve always wanted to start, then more power to you.

But my problem with the cultural messages around New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely ask you what YOU actually want to do or improve this year. They assume that the best possible life, for women, means having a high-powered, satisfying career and a fulfilling family life (usually with kids). This vision implies owning a home, disposable income for travel to peaceful or exotic places, and a supporting and adoring husband.

Unfortunately, this version of a ‘new you’ makes some incredibly privileged assumptions about race, class, sexuality, and mental and physical health. It also makes some pretty bold assumptions about what women want.

This is where some women might begin to wonder if mainstream feminism is coming around to bite us in the ass. As blog post after think piece after hard-hitting interview ask “can women ever REALLY have it all?”, nobody’s asking us if we WANT to. And over all of that noise is the implication that if, via feminism, women now CAN have it all, then we, as feminists, are obligated to make it happen.

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The only 2014 year-end post you’ll need!

30 Dec

2014 was a HUGE year for feminism; whether you’re for or against it, this year you couldn’t escape it.


In fact, “feminist” was SUCH a buzzword this year that Time magazine listed it as one of the words it wants banned in 2015, asking “when did it become a thing that every celebrity had to state their position on whether this word applies to them, like some politician declaring a party?” (um, the answer to that question is that it became “a thing” when every journalist realized that by asking that question, their interview would get clicks”.

Time then apologized for the word’s inclusion, claiming that they’d meant to “invite debate”.

But let’s be honest, the inclusion of “feminist” on the list in the first place was probably just a stunt attempting to capitalize on its popularity this year.

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Last-minute feminist gift guide!

22 Dec

Before I head out to do my own last-minute holiday shopping, I figured I’d post a quick last-minute gift guide for you too!


Who wouldn’t love some threads from the awesome Feminist Apparel?

Check out this list of 20 feminist gifts from put together a feminist killjoy gift guide.

Here’s the official 2014 holiday gift guide from diversity in YA (it’s also featured in my feminist reading list / gift guide).

If you’re looking to make someone a mix tape, check out Feminist Campus’s “sleighin’ it” playlist (or my top 12 Christmas songs by women).

Any other ideas for great feminist gifts? Leave them in the comments!

The twelve babes of Christmas – my top 12 Christmas songs by women for your holiday playlist!

20 Dec

When it comes to Christmas, I love all of the traditions that come along with the holiday. It’s a little ridiculous, actually. For instance, after I was so upset last year that my mother had decorated the tree before I got home from England, this year she left the tree undecorated until after I got home on the 17th (waaaay later than the tree’s ever been left undecorated!) so I could do it. Just this morning I finished going through all of our old ornaments, each one with a name and date painstakingly written on the back in Sharpie, commemorating the person who gave it to us and the year that they did.

One of my favorite ornaments on our tree. Yes, it is a sequined brontosaurus.

One of my favorite ornaments on our tree. Yes, it is a sequined brontosaurus.

I also love Christmas music. LOVE. In fact, my mom has me curate the Christmas playlist every year because I’m guaranteed to find versions of Christmas classics as done by her favorite bands. Killers? Got ‘em. Death Cab? Of course.

But as I listened to my playlist this year, I was struck by how few female artists I have on it. So I decided to put together a list of my favorite Christmas songs by female artists to remind myself of all the great woman-fronted Christmas music there is out there! (Obviously I did not include “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” since we already know how I feel about that one…).

So here we go – my top twelve Christmas songs by women! (Click the title for each to go to the song on YouTube).

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Randomly Wednesday listicle round-up

11 Dec

Hey kids! I was going to make this week’s round-up another super-fun gift-focused one, but I didn’t have enough links saved. So instead, you’re getting one with lots of disheartening information about sex in America! Yay!

I will have to look up where the phrase "the birds and the bees" came from...

I will have to look up where the phrase “the birds and the bees” came from…

I’m a big proponent of comprehensive, accurate education around sex, sexual health, and relationships. So obviously I’m concerned with:

The eight most absurd lessons Americans teach kids about sex.

and the:

Seventeen lies we need to stop teaching girls about sex.

Just in case you’re wondering how that kind of information can affect our treatment of girls and women, here are nine female book characters punished for having sex.

And lest you think that that kind of punishment only happens in fiction, here are five ways our society unfairly punishes women for their sexuality.

How can a biscuit be wicked? Five reasons to stop calling foods “bad”

8 Dec

This story starts, as so many stories do, with some biscuits. That’s cookies, to my American readers. Milk chocolate digestives, to be exact.

You see, I ate about a dozen of them the other day in the office. They were there, just sitting in front of me. I was doing mindless work in a desolate meeting room… it happens. I wasn’t thrilled that I’d eaten so unhealthily (especially since that was my lunch) and was dreading the inevitable sugar crash, but didn’t really give it much thought.

I only regret that they weren't dark chocolate.

I only regret that they weren’t dark chocolate.

However, a while later one of the women from the office came in to fetch the biscuits to share amongst the rest of the office. She took notice of how many I had eaten, gave me a dramatically conspiratorial wink, and said “aren’t you wicked!” before walking out the door.

Guys, I was stunned. My gut reaction would have been to burst out laughing at the fact that someone had actually said something so ridiculous, but I was too taken aback by the realization that a lot of people wouldn’t see her statement as ridiculous at all.

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Holiday shopping links round-up!

6 Dec

And… it’s December! Time to start thinking about your holiday shopping, if you haven’t already. Here to help is today’s listicle round-up!

Thanks, stock photography!

Thanks, stock photography!

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Black Friday links round-up

28 Nov

Happy Black Friday to all my American readers! In light of the events in Ferguson this week, I’ve focused this week’s links round-up on activism surrounding Ferguson and Black Friday.


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A haircut is never just a haircut: Tangled

27 Nov

I wasn’t planning on writing anything this week – it’s a busy busy week, as I’m packing and moving, so I’d given myself a break.

But then I watched Tangled.

Tangled-2010My motivation for watching this film was, to be honest, sheer vanity. Apparently when she was at Euro-Disney, the girl I nanny for saw a picture of Rapunzel and said “Hevvah happy!” (Hevvah is her pronunciation of my name).

Now, I try to escape the confines of patriarchal standards of beauty as much as the next feminist, but if a two-year-old thinks I look like a princess, I’m not going to argue!

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