• San Antonio, Texas has passed a historic nondsicrimination bill that will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. The ordinance, said the city's mayor, is a definitive statement that "there are no second-class citizens in San Antonio." [BuzzFeed]
• Some enterprising asshole created a site called GhettoTracker, ostensibly so that users can aid travelers by pointing out "which parts of town are safe and which ones are ghetto, or unsafe." After a well-deserved public shaming, the site has been retitled "Good Part of Town," but no worries—so far it looks to be just as racist and horrible as its first incarnation. [Gawker]
• In better-than-usual toy news, Lego unveiled its newest figurine—or "minifig," if you're hip to the Lego lingo—and she's a female scientist! In what's probably just a coincidence, she also looks exactly like my 8th-grade biology teacher, Ms. Rofman. [Fuck Yeah, Feminism]
Look at the set of flasks on her, huh?
Anything you want to add? Let us know in the comments!
LEGOs are some of the most creative toys around for kids. When I was growing up, I loved mixing together sets and building whole worlds (including assembling a perfect replica of Jurassic Park whose quality I will defend to this day) and never saw them as a toy meant for either boys or girls.
But recently, LEGOs have come under fire for two reasons.
A few posts ago, in Slut Shaming and the Empowered Young Woman, one reader commented on the way that asexuality is written out of a lot of the most visible debates on what it means to be mature, empowered, and sexually self-aware. She also observed that asexual feeling, identity, and relationship practices are so nonexistent in pop culture that it's almost impossible to know where to begin analyzing it. In her high school experiences as well as in mine, dating was one of the biggest status symbols you could achieve, and it was fairly well assumed that dating was the gateway to rounding those bases and scoring a home run, as it were. (I've never been too clear on that base analogy, and the fact that it doesn't really seem to translate for GLB people isn't its only problem.) As The New Goodnight Kiss documents, for some young people, sex has become a lot more openly casual than what I remember. But that activity still has a lot to do with teenaged pecking orders, even as it may also have to do with fulfilling experiences of sexual freedom or the development of positive relationships for some young people. So what about asexuality and youth culture? How do kids learn to associate certain values with being sexual and not being sexual?