Feminist Friday: Barbie the Builder


This Week in Ladybits

Hang on to your foundation garments: We have some actual good news for ladybits this week.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down two very anti-ladybits state laws as unconstitutional. So no forcing women to get ultrasounds, and no restricting the use of medications to end a pregnancy. Thanks for not being horrible, Oklahoma justices.

Which is not to say that there wasn’t some suckola news as well.

For example, Mississippi’s Governor Phil Bryant, who’s all about the abstinence-only sex education, blames Mississippi teens for “not caring enough” about using birth control. Not that they’re whiffing on birth control because they’re massively underinformed about it or anything. Yeah, it’s probably that not caring thing.

Just in case you need to rage up for a couch-throwing contest or something, Salon and AlterNet summed up 5 States where GOP Extremists Still Rage Against Women.

Let’s counterpunch that with Victoria Dahl’s amazing piece on why access to birth control matters so much.

And finish off with a nifty little animation on how Plan B works. Not that the people who are trying to restrict birth control access actually care how it works, but it’s nice to have just in case you get a word in edgewise. (Hat tip to The Mary Sue for the link.)


This Week in Gendered Toys

McKenna Pope, eighth-grader and general tower of awesome, loves her aspiring chef little brother and hates the fact that Hasbro has decided that only little girls should be on the packaging of Easy-Bake ovens. So she started a Change.org petition. Check out the video. She’s kind of an Elizabeth Warren-style bad ass.


And Pop has a point: The fact that Hasbro depicts zero boys on the packaging or in the commercials says a lot. And it’s amazing that the message comes through as clearly as it does, since they’re shouting from 1953. Baking is awesome and fun for either gender. I would very much like someone from Hasbro to explain how they’re making more money by cutting out a chunk of their potential sales.

On a more hopeful note, some toy companies are helping to recycle those crusty old gender-role boxes. The New York Times ran a story on a Barbie construction set and pink Lego kits.

Image via Lego.com

These made our dear Lucy Hallowell retch at the idea that (according to the Times) toy manufacturers are adjusting to make dads who shop for their daughters’ toys more comfortable, but I at least like the idea that a few gender lines are getting blurred and a few more girls are getting encouraged to build things when they play.

This Week in Are You Kidding Me?

Shesus Tapdancing Feist, do we really need to tell our fellow women that you shouldn’t fill out a false rape report when you’re just mad about bad sex? Apparently so. Thanks for hurting everyone who actually needs the police to believe her, jerk.

The Bristol University Christian Union’s (apparently longstanding) policy against women speaking at meetings made the news this week. Don’t worry, though, ladies: You can teach at meetings as long as your husband is there with you. I guess so he can take over if you suddenly have to run right out to a shoe sale or something.

A Nevada judge upheld the state’s gay marriage ban because OMG what if the icky gays made straight people not want to get married anymore? No, really.

This Week in Thinky

Ross Douthat would like you to stop being selfish and nontraditional and start having lots of babies. (But probably not if you’re gay or bi? Douthat’s logic is sometimes hard to follow.) He does not say so directly, but Douthat does not so much care about worldwide birthrates, which are, you’ll note, way more than the planet can handle. Mr. Douthat is worried about American birthrates. And I have the teensiest suspicion that by “American” he means “white people,” and that he would like you to shore up the support system for his old age without him having to rely on scary nonwhite immigrants. But that’s just me having suspicions.

Amanda Marcotte did a better job of unpacking Douthat’s psyche in Slate.

A new study taught us that sluttiness is a state of mind, but that slut-shaming isn’t going anywhere. (Hat tip to The Frisky for that first link.)

The CIA is recruiting the Gay.

[Trigger warning] Gawker ran a piece on the attempts to stop the horrific mass attacks on women who have dared to go outside and express their political views in Tahrir Square.

A feature-length documentary on Anita Hill and the Clarence Thomas hearings has been selected for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The Huffington Post collected 25 articles from the past year that they felt “should be required reading for women.” I hate that headline, but, yes, a lot of those articles are very good. Do you have additions to or subtractions from the list? Do tell in the comments.

And Racialicious gave us lessons how to increase media diversity from the London Feminist Film Festival. (Spoiler: You have to work at it.)

The West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is refusing to recognize Cynthia Landis’s name change because she changed her name when she married her partner in Washington, D.C., and West Virginia state law prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages. The DMV will, of course, accept name changes from straight marriages. And that right there is why the patchwork state-by-state marriage recognition we’re doing here in the U.S. is not the magical solution that some marriage equality-hating conservatives claim it is. (Thanks to The Maddow Blog for the link.)

Can we get a little sanity, Mexico? Thanks.

This Week in Awesome

Go get ‘em, Washington. Congratulations to all the newly engaged. Especially Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and Pete-e Petersen, 85.

Rejoice, wonks, nerds, and lovers of financial fair play, Elizabeth Warren got a seat on the Senate Banking Committee. The amount of lobbying that banks did against this alone suggests that this is going to get really fun to watch.

Google donated $1.2 million to The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to help study the way women are shown in children’s media.

Kathryn Bigelow won her second directing award from the New York Film Critics Circle, making the first woman to win two directing awards from the group. She was also the first woman to win a directing award from them at all back in 2009.

Ellen Barkin does not suffer fools gladly. Oh, dear. I might be a fool for Ellen Barkin.

Image via Facebook

ABC has ordered a female cop comedy called Rookie. Community veteran Andy Bobrow will be writing and producing. Fingers crossed.

Leila Cohan-Miccio hilariously rips the hell out of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.


BuzzFeed reminded us of 30 Lessons We Learned from Amy Poehler.

Photo via Buzzfeed

And Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on how your own body language can change the way you see yourself has been up on the net since October, but it’s new to me and it’s pretty great, so we’re calling it news.


Have a great weekend. Get out there and pose like you mean it.