Friday, February 14, 2014

What We've Been Reading...

Happy Valentine’s Day MWPC friends!

This article, written by the blog, sparked our interest due to their focus on the growing trend of ultra-genderization in children’s toys by toy companies. The article was written in response to a resurging 1981 advertising campaign by LEGO featuring a young, red-headed girl proudly holding a LEGO house she built shortly before posing for the picture.

The original 1981 advertisement has received significant attention in the girl empowerment stratosfear recently because it issues an important reminder that toys should remain inclusive to all children, and should not strictly attract to either girls or boys. The author believes toy companies have stopped using the creativity of the child to produced the message in an advertisement as seen in the 1981 ad, and instead uses the toy to deliver messages of gender to children.

The young girl pictured in denim overalls, Rachel Girodano, posed for a new picture along side the 1981 version of herself, but is now holding an ultra-feminized LEGO toy targeted to young girls. Giordano is now a doctor living in Seattle and agrees that the current “gender segmenting toys interferes with a child’s own creative expression.” Do you think gendered specific toys are affecting children, specifically the goals of young girls?

Facebook Executive Sheryl Sandberg’s non-profit is partnering with Getty Images with the hopes of changing the image of what a working women looks like in today’s world. Stock photos now typically show a working woman juggling an aspect of family life with her professional life in a way that perpetuates stereotypes. Sandberg believes the images of women shown in stock photos “often fall into the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome, and you can’t be what you can’t see.”

Getty Images, one of the largest providers of stock photography, will now offer more contemporary images portraying working women as surgeons, painters, bakers, and soldiers. Sandberg hopes that by changing the visuals of working women in society the stereotypes entrenched in our society will disappear and new ones will emerge. This is an important step, and we applaud both and Getty Images! Read more about it here.

The Sochi Olympics have been a big stage for female athletes, with the addition of five new female events to the games this year. More females than ever before have been able to showcase their skill, strength and speed in Sochi, with thousands watching from around the world. The United States recently celebrated a gold medal win from Kaitlyn Farrington in halfpipe snowboarding, which in the past has typically been a male dominated sport! These were the first Olympic games for 24 year old Farrington, making this win especially exciting for her. Competing against a slew of well decorated olympic veterans, Farrington’s only goal was, “to reach the final round of the competition,” which she certainly succeeded in! For more about Farrington’s exciting win, check out the Washington Post’s article here

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton spoke to a group of New York University women as a part of her “No Ceilings” project, a collaboration between the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. During her appearance, Hillary was asked for her best piece of advice for “aspiring female changemakers.” Her lengthy response can be found here. Thanks for your inspiration, Hillary!