Nostalgia for the past has been rearing its feathered head in marketing campaigns over the past several years, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Retro styles, re-released music, and 80s cartoons (Transformers, anyone?) are being made over for the new millennium as consumable items for a whole new crop of youngsters with babysitting money burning a whole in their pockets. And while I'm all for nostalgia, something just doesn't seem right about how these products are being revamped. Not only are their makeovers subtly (and not-so-subtly) sexist, they are also poorly designed and downright boring.
I'm always interested in how people in different regions, cultures and religions go about teaching sex ed. While I got the two awkward puberty videos in elementary school and a few "this is a vagina" overhead project lessons in high school, I think almost everything I knew about sex growing up came from Seinfeld.
I recently bought this art book 1000 Extraordinary Objects which is, as you'd imagine, page after page of extraordinary objects. A whole section is devoted to "the body" and lays out artifacts of sex ed from around the world, most of them handmade. I spent a while poring over the pages and think they're worth sharing—their funny, homemade, simple look definitely beats my television and overhead slides for creativity.
Kar Kar and Tak Tak: Designed in 1997 by the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) as part of a sex education campaign, the dolls fit together to demonstrate intercourse. Tak Tak ("tak" means "moral" in Cantonese) and Kar Kar ("kar" means family) have similar faces so children can understand the equality of the sexes. "Tak Tak and Kar Kar can be used to perform a puppet show on topics like giving birth, knowing one's private parts and pubery changes," explains David Cheng of the association. A valuable service: Parents polled in one Hong Kong survey turned out to be too ignorant about sex to teach their children the facts of life. According to a FPAHK 1996 youth sexuality study, 78 percent of children in Hong Kong learn about sex from pornography and mass media.
Much of the feminist movement has been wrapped in a maternal bow. Suffrage was sold to naysayers as a way to give mothers a say in government, not to mention the view that women would clean up politics. Organizations like Moms Rising and CODEPink appeal to women as caregivers and moms for ending wars and realizing universal healthcare. But a funny thing happened on our way to a feminist society - we also impacted the way boys and men are viewed.
First of all, I can't say that I ever thought I would be writing about WASPs for one of our Adventures in Feministory! Before you close this tab, stick with me (my story gets better)! I'm talking about a whole new kind of WASP, one that actually belongs in the air.
So I was riding in the car yesterday, fiddling with the radio dial, when I was blindsided by a gigantic bag of douchiness, masquerading itself in radio EP form. Coming through the speakers in my friend's Kia were these words (poorly sung, I might add):
Shush, girl! Shut your lips!/ Do the Helen Keller, and talk with your hips!
I'm sorry, what? Do the HELEN KELLER? Because the ideal woman is unable to hear, see, or speak and can only communicate through hip gyrations? Once I recovered from the severe case of douchelash these lyrics brought upon me, I was able to do a bit of investigative research. The song is called "Don't Trust Me," and the offenders performers are the Colorado-based duo 3oh!3. Apparently, this single and its creators are sweeping the nation this summer, delivering a message of doucherty and douchetice for all. Peep the video for further evidence of this:
More decency-defying douchebaggery after the jump!
Happy Fourth of July, feminists! To commemorate our nation's independence, here is a reminder that we can all wear our American flags and our feminism on our sleeves when we're out and about today:
You said it, sister. As always, thanks to all of everyone who has been sending us hilarious LOLz! Do you have an idea for a feminizt LOL? Make your own by visiting I Can Has Cheezburger and send 'em to us here. Have a great, firework-and-BBQ-filled weekend, and happy LOL-ing!
Happy 4th of July weekend! We know that a large portion of this great country is in tune with pop culture in one way or another. And music is a large part of that culture. We also know that last week, the King of Pop died, which has brought things to somewhat of a halt, so to speak. It is safe to say that almost every person in America has contemplated the death of Michael Jackson over the last week. The reactions have been anywhere from grief to apathy to supposed suicide pacts between some of his hardcore fans. Undoubtedly, Jackson's influence was huge, and speculation about what his life was really like into every nitty gritty sordid detail will surely unfold in the coming months. I heard someone say no one this influential in America, hell worldwide, has died since Elvis. And sure, it was too soon. Historically, there are hundreds of musicians that have died before their time, due to things like murder, eating disorders, suicide. So in paying homage to America and some of its ever honored musicians, I've made a mix of songs from artists who died young. Some whose deaths made just as much of an impact on us as their lives.