Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Although I was unable to watch the Academy Awards this year, I am not surprised to find this article, "Dear Oscar: Women Have Stories, Too"- by Tara Sophia Mohr, as an apt reflection on lack of female representation.  As Ms. Mohr points out in her article, " The LA Times reported that men compose more than 90 percent of the five branches of the Academy, such as cinematography and visual effects. Only 6 of the 43 members of the governing board of the Academy are female, and only one is a person of color."  

There are loads of female directors, producers, cinematographers, and the like out there making meaningful films that constantly get passed over or are only recognized in the indie circuit.   Katheryn Bigalow is the only woman in Oscar history to have won for best director in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. 

I agree with her thoughts on how this effects girls (and women for that matter) in that they grow up thinking that this is not an arena of creativity for them and further perpetuates the idea that their only place is in front of the camera. I think that is why classes like ours are so important to learn and be able to raise awareness.

(photo from

Oh Em Gee. The Mary Sue!

You probably heard my fangirl *squee* when I discovered the site, The Mary Sue by way of my last blog post regarding the article "Who In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? CEO, Intellectual, & America’s Most Positive Latina Role Model". I have not spent a ton of time vetting it, but from what I have seen I am in love. The About Us page begins
The Mary Sue hopes to be a place for two things: highlighting women in the geek world, and providing a prominent place for the voices of geek women. Because all we really want is to just be able to geek out with all geeks, of any gender, without feeling like our femininity is front and center for scrutinization.
*swoon* The tag line declares the site is "A Guide to Girl Geek Culture" and the rotating masthead predominately features an assortment of "iconic and well loved female character (s)" . The image above is Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, one of my favorites. The name of the site is from the trope of the generic "Mary Sue". The Mary Sue turned 1 year old yesterday so this Girl Geek has a bit of catching up to do!

Carmen Sandiego

A post on the Miss Representation Media FaceBook page sharing a link had me at "Carmen Sandiego". The poster at Miss Representation shared this quote from the essay by Frances Martel of The Mary Sue

"Sandiego has a particular impact on girls—or, at least, had a particular impact on me—because she was a symbol of cultural rebellion. She is the first major American pop culture example of a mischievous yet beloved hero who also happens to be both a woman and a Latin American."
While I never watched the TV show, I certainly played the video game. Not even when the game came up in my digital autobiography last did I give Carmen the full attention I now see she deserves.

Virtual Girls: Girls and Digital Media: My Digital Autobiography

My Digital Autobiography (link here)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Digigirlz Dubai

I thought that this was a interesting article about digital literacy in another country. I think that it is very important for girls to learn as much as they can about technology. These hands-on experiences can be very liberating for girls.

Friday, February 24, 2012

My Digital Self

I popped open MS Word to work on the Digital Autobiography assignment and found myself drawn to producing a visual chronological timeline. This is due in part to my homeschooling friends who were touting the flexibility of sharing the past when you didn't have to rely on a text book. I cut some from the adult years of my timeline since this course focuses on younger girls. I may add back to it at some time when a grade isn't attached to it. Tabatha's Digital Self This was a fun assignment!

Actress protesting

-This is an interesting story about an actress doing something good and protesting, I thought this was a cool story and thought I would share.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Kind of Princess

As a longtime fan of digital animation and Pixar Studios, I was thrilled to see they are releasing a film with a strong female lead. Brave is the story of Princess Merida breaking cultural stereotypes for her class and gender. The title of the movie attaches a typically masculine attribute to Merida, with "Brave".

I certainly hope there is more of the same in store for viewers after watching the latest trailer where she breaks conventions by speaking out against her arranged marriage by winning her own hand with her archery skills. She splits her own perfectly targeted arrow while disobeying her mother; showing that sometimes the path to standing tall begins with the tiny act of letting go. Check out the trailers here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gender Reinforcement via Cartoon Doll Emporium

According to it's banner is an online "safe haven for imagination;" however safe can have a multitude of definitions. From what I can see from the site "safe" really means "traditional". All of the games on CDE are reflective of traditional roles of femininity. You can find many dress-up/make-up games on the site. Although the site is primarily for little girls there is even a "love and marriage" category for games where every "princess" marries her "prince". The "career" games also portray girls as air flight attendants, teachers, waitresses, etc.

Is this site really exercising the imagination? Or is the site reinforcing traditional gender roles?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Website Recommendation!

In my IM conversation with my partner for class this week, she told me that she felt as though most websites geared toward females are very stereotypical and gender-conforming. I made a recommendation to her that I would like to let everyone else know about as well! is a non-gender-conforming and awesome website, that (despite its very obvious political bias) is full of alternative and interesting articles. They cover everything from politics to movie reviews, fashion to cooking recipes, and advice columns to music recommendations. Additionally, Autostraddle does this from a queer perspective which celebrates all gender expressions. They have regular bloggers who discuss their trials and tribulations as both M2F and F2M transsexuals. Their fashion articles are geared toward feminine dressers, and those who have more alternative tastes, and their advice columns are based directly on reader questions, and are therefore helpful to many people who may have not found anyone else to ask.

You guys should check it out! :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Underweight Women in Japan Face Health Problems

The article discusses how Japanese women are facing the health problem of being too skinny. One of the women in the article, Shiho Aoki, points out the reasoning for the problem being “the pressure for young women to be thin is greater than ever, largely because popular Japanese models are getting skinner. At 5 feet 1 and weighing 100 pounds, Aoki said she was considered ‘fat’ among friends.” The notion that this young woman and her friend’s think she is fat for her height is seriously scary. Though I think this follows suit of young girls and women in America that think they are overweight based on models and actresses. I also found it quite interesting that the opposite can be said for older men to which “Nearly 40 percent of men in their 40s and 50s are considered overweight.” Obviously women are more affected by images in the media than what men are. 
Six Man Panel to Decide Birth Control - Please join the fight with your voice! I am so enraged by this! It feels like we are back in the 1900's and men are still deciding our fate. You can send a message to your representatives by going to this link: Let them know that birth control should be covered by our insurance! We should be represented on a panel that is deciding our fate! Why is Viagra covered, but birth control not? In the Senate, a vote is coming up soon on the so-called "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act," an anti-birth control amendment Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is trying to force through as an attachment to a must-pass transportation bill. If passed, this legislation would deny countless women contraception coverage in their employee health plans. In fact, the amendment would allow any employer or insurance provider (with or without a religious affiliation) to refuse to cover any health care item or service they object to on the basis of "religious beliefs or moral convictions." "Far from being about religious liberty, this ongoing campaign by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and their conservative cronies in Congress is a blatant attack on birth control in the United States," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "Women, regardless of where they work, should have access to health insurance that covers preventive health care, including contraception, with no co-pays and no hassles," said O'Neill. "Employers should not be allowed to enforce their personal beliefs on employees regarding birth control coverage or basic health care. Simply put, all employers and insurers should play by the same rules under health care reform." NOW is closely watching two other, similar bills, one authored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and the other co-authored by Rubio and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va..). Both bills would allow any employer to strip birth control from their health insurance plans. NOW is urging all reproductive rights supporters to contact their senators to ensure defeat of these bills. Birth control is a fundamental part of preventive health care for women in this country, and restricting it is wildly out of touch with the values and desires of the American people. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling shows that 56 percent of U.S. voters -- including men as well as women -- support the requirement for health plans to fully cover birth control. "Enough is enough," said O'Neill. "People are growing fed up with the politicization of basic health care and birth control, and legislators should take note: politicians who try to restrict birth control will pay a price at the polls this November."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chris Brown Grammy Performance

After his Grammy win, Chris Brown tweeted "Hate all u want becuz I got a Grammy now! That's the ultimate f**k off!" he raged on Twitter in a message that has since been deleted from his page. "I'm back so watch my back as I walk away from all this negativity,". He deleted the message since then but what you put on the internet is there to stay. I just think it's funny that instead of using digital media to show the world that he's learned from his mistakes he continually shows that he's not sorry for what he did and that he hasn't changed at all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Can Elmo inspire your kid to become a scientist? Article by Bonnie Rochman

Sesame Street is now adding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) inspired shows to their line up! This is fantastic! Millions of young children watch Sesame Street, I know my kids did, and to incorporate STEM into the show is great news! Read the article in Time Magazine. The message Sesame Street is putting out for kids is about learning, trial and error, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing, and then trying again. I find this great news! Check it out!
"If the program is as successful with science as it has been with introducing preschoolers to language and other skills, that should bode well for the future of America’s doctors, engineers and astronauts." (Rochman, 2012)

Work Cited

Friday, February 10, 2012

Breaking Bread, Breaking Digital Dualism

New York Times author David Carr has a wonderful, mouth-watering piece about the joys of sitting to dinner with a group of friends and eating home-made bread baked from a recipe passed on from the host’s mother. Then he finishes the column with this point about face-to-face interaction:
All of which is a way of saying something that is probably obvious to others who are less digitally obsessed: you can follow someone on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, quote or be quoted by them in a newspaper article, but until you taste their bread, you don’t really know them.
I agree with most everything he says in the column because, besides the last paragraph, his column is a antidote to digital dualism–the idea that online and offline worlds are somehow separate entities, one “virtual” and the other “real.” But his column brings back digital dualism at the end–and does a disservice, in my opinion, to the rest of his points. He starts by explaining how the dinner group first met each other mostly online, then had this beautiful dinner together, and then shared the recipe over email–and ponders whether or not Google would ever find this recipe. (It seems that Carr asked the host, Clay Shirky, for the recipe and I have a feeling that it might soon end up where Google can find it.) 

Monday, February 6, 2012

I probably shouldn't be surprised...

This article talks about a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. I found this while researching for part of my service learning project and I thought I would share it here, as well.

Dove Evolution

YouTube is not allowing me to embed the video, but please go take a look at it if you have a moment. It shows us why our self-image and ideas of beauty are so distorted.