Buying and Selling on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so for the past couple of months we’ve been bombarded with advertisements (mostly targeting the male buyer) for chocolate, roses, and, more than anything, jewelry.

What is frustrating and perhaps even ignorant about such advertisements is their direct link between gift giving and getting something back. That something is most often physical contact, such as kissing, or hopefully intercourse. Kay Jewelers is a prime example of such messages; their ads feature not only Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day gift giving, but marriage proposals and Christmas gifts as well. Not only are these advertisements extremely stereotypical–they most often portray women and men in the exact same roles, one passive and one active–but they endorse the notion that women are very likely to use their sexuality as a resource to attain material things, such as expensive jewelry.

Men, on the other hand, are depicted as being very likely to pay large sums of money to attain sexual “favors” from women. Overall, the roles depicting men as the buyer (of jewelry, to start out with) and women as the providers of sexual favors, echoes the notions of prostitution. Not only is it annoying that Kay Jewelers’s slogan is “Every kiss begins with Kay,” but the gasping-for-air, about-to-faint depictions of women and images of proactive, strong, protective, masculine men are outdated and boring. Remember the ad depicting a woman who is afraid of lighting and throws herself into the arm of her partner?

These advertisements most often feature adults, but a commercial for Kay’s Open Hearts Collection (by Jane Seymour) shows a man giving his fiancee’s daughter the same necklace that he gave her mother. Not only does the child mirror the adult female response by gasping, but the underlying message is similar: that it is possible to buy sex and love–or in this case, acceptance and even admiration. And all the commercials end the same way, with the giver receiving a “reward” as a result of spending money.

Roundup: Women and Science

After watching the E.U.’s Breathtakingly Sexist Science Video, I decided to go on the Internet in order to see how other countries and/or other media talk about women and science.

China’s first woman astronaut takes the starring role
New York’s ‘Girls Who Code’ to Train Women for Tech Jobs
A greater role for women in sciences in Arab societies
USAriseup talk about encouraging women to all races & ethnicities to obtain science degrees
It is time to stop worrying about female brain and get smarter

Women in science are the solution to solve the wrong equation of stereotypes!

Why the Lowered Expectations for Fathers?

Both a recent U.S. Census Bureau report and an ongoing media campaign around fatherhood have raised some interesting questions about the way that society views a father’s responsibilities. In its “Who’s Minding the Kids?” report, the bureau assumes that when both parents are present at home, the mother is the “designated parent.” If the mother is away from the home, say at work or school, and the father is watching his offspring, the bureau classifies that as “care” – but the reverse is not considered true when the father’s the one who’s away. In other words, if the mother is home watching her children, she’s just considered a parent. When the father does it, that’s looked at as something more akin to child care, not parenting.

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A New Parenting Dilemma: To Heel or Not To Heel

Every generation worries about the upbringing of the next. Many times this includes criticizing the younger generations’ way of dressing. In the 60s it was long hair and bellbottoms. In the 90s the midriff ruled. Now parents are dealing with what their children are wearing at an even younger age. Apparently, baby heels are all the rage!

Good Morning America featured this segment about little girls in high heels. Apparently, celebrity children are leading this trend. Like responsible adults parents are asking question about how these shoes may be affecting their child’s mental and physical development. Maybe it isn’t the best thing to follow a celebrity trend blindly?

I think it would be a shame to push girls to wear heels at 3 years old, 13 years old or even 30 years old. High heels won’t help if you want to climb trees, ride bicycles or walk on the beach. However, shoes are not the real issue here.
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