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  1. New Paper Says Sexual and Reproductive Health of “Very Young Adolescents” Is Crucial

    Careful, science. We wouldn't want to empower anyone too much.

    A new study available online ahead of publication in the peer-reviewed journal of Global Public Health says that it's vital for sexual health services to begin focusing on adolescents between the ages of 10-14.

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  2. This Commercial About Teaching Girls Science Has No Right Making Us Feel These Feelings

    No, I'm not crying. I just have something stuck in my... um, soul.

    Verizon's new #InspireHerMind campaign wants to point out the importance of teaching young girls about STEM. To do that, they put out this commercial about how deeply ingrained gender expectations influence the way we raise our children, which in turn influences what they become interested in when they grow up--and not necessarily for the better. Geez, Verizon, heartbreaking much?

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  3. A Very Sarcastic Post: The Privilege of Gaming While Female

    /sarcasm

    A Very Sarcastic Post by Frances. If you’ve had the privilege of partaking in some sweet online gaming while female, then you must be aware of the many benefits that go along with that experience. I mean, in a perfect world everyone would be judged solely on their skills and not their genitals or cup size, but who are we kidding? The gaming world is a man’s world and we’re just lucky to be a part of it, amrite?

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  4. Changing the Face of Women in Anime: The Importance of Ugliness

    Essay

    Since the “girl power” wave of the 90s and early 2000s, many media-makers stateside have been much better about including diverse female characters in media directed toward a younger audience. But while Sailor Moon was one of the forerunners of this well-intentioned movement, much of the material from Japan which has been licensed for release in the States is marketed toward boys or men, and magical girls have fallen out of popular favor (recent reboots notwithstanding). Needless to say, when there are female characters in this kind of media, they are often a love interest, and they often fall into one of a handful of anime stereotypes.

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  5. Kill and Conquer: Traditionally “Male” Values and Video Game Violence

    Essay

    Hey, you! Violence-lover! With the video games! Put that controller down and listen to me, if you can curb your insatiable blood-lust for five seconds. Yes, I can hear you scoff already. Bah! This fool thinks that just because I enjoy video games, I am a violent person! Fancy book-learnin’ people say this is not true! Howsoever that may be the case, let’s talk, you and I. Let’s talk about power in video games. Because you as well as I know the feeling.

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  6. Hurricanes with “Female” Names are Taken Less Seriously, Cause More Fatalities

    "An evacuation warning? She's probably just hysterical!"

    Gender bias has countless serious implications, but here's one that I never predicted: a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows severe storms with "feminine" names are taken less seriously and consequently cause three times the number of casualties than comparable "masculine" storms.

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  7. Teen Wolf‘s Lydia, Defying Tropes of Sex, Smarts, and Beauty in Female Characters

    Essay

    In Teen Wolf, a show full of alpha males and machismo, one of the most interesting characters is something else entirely – a woman. Lydia Martin begins her arc in episode one as a stereotypically ditzy, beautiful, popular girl, but that soon starts to unravel. Over the course of the first three seasons, it is slowly but resolutely revealed how intelligent and powerful Lydia actually is. From a feminist standpoint, Lydia is incredibly important because she starts her story attempting to adhere to the traditional dumb popular girl trope but slowly, through her relationships and character development, drops her pretense to reveal her true intelligence and power as a woman.

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  8. Official Sailor Moon Premiere Party Excludes Unaccompanied Men

    It Came From Outer Space

    The folks behind Sailor Moon Crystal, the rebooted animated series set to premiere this July, have announced their first early premiere event. In partnership with ViVi magazine, the event is timed for June 30th, the birthday of heroine Usagi herself, and will admit no men... unless they are accompanied by a woman.

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  9. Hollywood is a Jerk: Kitty Pryde, Sexism, and Days of Future Past

    Essay

    I don’t like time travel. Excusing the excuse that it’s a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff, most Hollywood time travel consists of altering linear timelines to forestall mistakes, death, and apocalyptic disaster. At its best, it comes across as the screenwriting equivalent of a neat parlor trick, at its worst it’s sloppy, plot-hole-filled writing that has to use sci-fi mumbo-jumbo to cover its own tracks. But the latest time-jumping saga to hit the silver screen -- X-Men: Days of Future Past -- made pretty good on it promises with one major wrinkle; the film itself is an alternative timeline to what happened in the comics, for a not-so-mysterious reason. That reason is Ms. Shadowcat herself, Kitty Pryde, who, instead of being the time-traveling agent of change, acts as the supercharged battery that sends Wolverine back. Though we’ll get into the details below, a canon shift of this magnitude in book-to-film adaptation would normally inspire internet outrage, essays about the changes, and hot debate between fans. Instead, it seems that only a corner of the fan world—the one directly concerned with issues of female representation—has spoken up in opposition. Considering the canonical fanaticism that followed the introduction of a female character to The Hobbit films, you might think it strange to see such a dearth of dissent. Unless what we’re really looking at is the same thing in reverse, another classic case of – everyone say it with me now -- Hollywood sexism.

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  10. Sympathetic Characters: Gender Bias, Villains, & Orphan Black

    Essay

    [Editor's Note: There are no spoilers for BBC America's Orphan Black in this post, some adult language, and lots of good points.] Recently, my husband and I burned through S1 of Orphan Black, which, as promised by virtually the entire internet, was awesome. But in all the praise I’d seen for it, a line from one review in particular stuck in my mind. The reviewer noted that, although the protagonist, Sarah, is an unlikeable character, her grifter skills make her perfectly suited to unravelling the mystery in which she finds herself. And as this was a positive review, I kept that quote in mind when we started watching, sort of by way of prewarning myself: you maybe won’t like Sarah, but that’s OK. But here’s the thing: I fucking loved Sarah. I mean, I get what the reviewer was trying to say, in that she’s not always a sympathetic character, but that’s not the same as her actually being unlikeable. And the more I watched, the more I found myself thinking: why is this quality, the idea of likeability, considered so important for women, but so optional for men – not just in real life, but in narrative?

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