Teenager Challenges Gender Stereotypes, and Wins!

Thirteen-year-old McKenna Pope recently took on the toy company Hasbro, when she realized that the company’s Easy-Bake Oven wasn’t marketed or designed in a gender-neutral manner. Pope and her parents wanted to buy one of the toy ovens for her four-year-old brother, but found that the toy was only available in purple or pink, and that only images of girls were used in the marketing and promotional materials.

So Pope started a petition asking Hasbro to make a gender-neutral stove that could be marketed to both girls and boys. Over 45,000 people signed the petition, and Hasbro recently announced that a gender-neutral stove will be available next year. We think it is wonderful that a teen girl has the willpower and determination to petition for such a huge change. We also like how she is supporting her younger brother’s interests, and that such a young girl reacted to the fact that boys and girls are presumed to like and want opposite things.

On the other hand, it is also sad that young children are so aware of what is supposedly the “right” way to behave for someone of their gender. Children and teenagers are bombarded with messages on how and how not to act, as well as what activities are deemed appropriate for them. It is not always easy to ignore those messages, as the consequences can easily escalate into ridicule, teasing, and bullying.

Photo of toy stove shared by Flickr user Rosa Pomar under a creative commons license.

Kanye West Doesn’t Like Women

This post comes to us from guest blogger Talia bat Pessi bat Feige bat Ita bat Gittel. Talia regularly blogs over at Star of Davida.

When I first read this article on Experimentations of a Teenage Feminist, the first thing I said to myself was “good God.” It wasn’t a good “good God.” It was a BAD “good God.” A REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, HORRIFICALLY BAD “good God.”

Apparently, parts of Kanye West’s upcoming music video for the single “Monster” were leaked online. (I would like to point out that the album’s title is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.) In the video, half-naked women are drugged or dead, hanging from chains, as West, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Bon Iver make sexual advances towards them. Nicki Minaj also makes an appearance in the video.

The lyrics of the song are pretty bad, too. Bon Iver asks, “Are you willing to sacrifice your life?” Rick Ross then states, “B***h I’m a monster no good blood sucker / fat motherf**ker now look who’s in trouble.” Jay-Z says, “Everybody knows I’m a motherf**king monster” and that “None of you n***as have seen the carnage that I’ve seen…rape and pillage a village, women and children.” Nicki Minaj goes on about how she too is a monster and how she has money now, and that “Bride of Chucky is child’s play.”

West’s lyrics are also appalling. In the chorus, West affirms that he is indeed a monster and calls to his n***as to go to his concert, of course using the f word practically every other word. He then questions whether women are “best living or dead” and informs the listener that he wants “less talk more head,” again firmly establishing that he is a monster and his eyes are “more red than the devil is.” He also complains about how his b***h keeps “acting like I owe her s**t” and is “claiming I bruise her esophagus.” [Read more...]