Betty, Ann and Marcia cover the show at their sites such as when Whitney and Alex adopted a dog: "Whitney," "4 men, 2 women" and "Whitney."
"Holiday Shopping Season Brings Sexist Stereotypes To The Toy Aisle" (Elissa Heller, Say It Sister, NOW):
My glowing memories of childhood playtime are filled with Playmobil villages strewn across my basement floor and of pretending to be space explorers with friends, flying my swingset to distant galaxies. My dream job has always been to work at the toy and game store near my house -- I wanted to get lost in the aisles of brightly colored boxes inviting me become an expert jewelry-maker or fight a pirate battle. So when The Washington Post published a holiday gift guide in the Kidspost a few weeks ago, I snuck a peek ["Best toys for the holiday season, as picked by local kids," November 17]. To my utter disappointment, two of the sections stated in bold print: JUST FOR BOYS and JUST FOR GIRLS. I might expect this kind of gender essentialism from toy corporations like Wal-Mart or Toys R Us, but my beloved Washington Post? How could they do such a thing?
Apparently, making clay beads and pipe cleaner animals is "just for girls," and playing with marble ramps and fancy tops is "just for boys." The Post redeemed themselves minutely in my eyes by publishing a letter to the editor with the same views as myself. Still, I have questions for this journalist. Did she decide which toys were appropriate for which gender, or did the children pick them? Were the testers forbidden from trying out the toys assigned to the other gender? It's unfair that the Beyblades Triple Battle Set, which one (male) tester called "the best toy ever," is considered a boys only toy.
I decided to investigate Wal-Mart's marketing of toys to girls and boys this holiday season to see how the country's largest toy seller handles this issue. Interestingly, Wal-Mart breaks some stereotypical gender divides. Most of the toys in their 100 Hottest Gifts for Girls list are arts and crafts, baby dolls, and other pink items, but included as well are Nerf guns shaped like real firearms and rugged bikes in shades of bright green and red, like the Huffy Green Machine 20X (although the full description of this item calls it a "20 inch boys' extreme machine"). The Hottest Gifts for Boys list includes kitchen play sets, jewelry making kits, and a dollhouse.
That's the opening to the NOW piece. Make a point to read it. Talk about it at work or with friends and family.
If you're around children on Christmas Day, you might also want to think about the gifts they received and see how often we fall into stereotypes ourselves?
Earlier this week, I praised C.I.'s "Demonized or ignored, the 21st century American woman." There's another reason to note it now. First, from C.I.'s piece:
The highest ranking officer punished for Abu Ghraib was Janis Karpinski. The highest ranking officer punished was a woman. But Karpinski's story regarding Abu Ghraib has been consistent (that military intelligence was in charge of the area where the abuse took place). And while Karpinski was demoted, others higher up got off scott free. BBC News reported in March 2005:
The top US general in Iraq authorised interrogation techniques including the use of dogs, stress positions and disorientation, a memo has shown.
The document was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through the US Freedom of Information Act.
The September 2003 document is signed by the then commander of US forces in Iraq, Gen Ricardo Sanchez.
The ACLU says the measures go beyond generally accepted practice and says Gen Sanchez should be made accountable.
Sanchez wasn't demoted. And he's really not been effected by his part in the abuse at all. He's currently running for the US Senate out of Texas. And on the Democratic Party ticket. He's a War Criminal but he gets a pass and the male-male obsessed Iraq Veterans Against the War has even taken to vouching for the bastard. Praising his (non-sincere) call for a "truth commission" -- this from the man who, when the ACLU released the documents with his signature, responded by insisting the ACLU was "a bunch of sensationalist liars, I mean lawyers, that will distort any and all information that they get to draw attention to their positions." An attack he's so proud of that he included it on page 431 of the book he 'wrote' with Donald T. Phillips Wiser In Battle.
He's a War Criminal who should be behind bars. But he's a man so he gets to run for the US Senate -- on the Democratic Party ticket, no less -- and he gets pig boys in IVAW to sing his praises. The same IVAW that supposedly gives a damn about Iraqis. You can't dispute a 2003 memo with his signature on it. But, hey, he's a man, and it's rally round the penis time yet again.
POLITICO reports this morning that Sanchez has dropped out of the race:
Sanchez is now emblazoned as the DSCC's biggest recruitment flop of the cycle.
Even if he were to had mounted a credible bid, it would've likely ended in a defeat.
But for Sanchez to leave the party without a candidate with likely a bit more than a month from the filing deadline is an insult to injury.
Hurray. We shouldn't be putting War Criminals in Congress -- bad enough that we've put them in the White House for two administrations in a row.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):