Girls, are you sick of boys' superior spatial skills? If so, just plant yourself in front of a video game for, say, 10 hours and you'll be prepared for a career in math, science or engineering!
( A new study out of the University of Toronto found that video game play improves women's spatial ability... )
*cough*try using Second Life*cough* - technically, it's what's called a MMORPG, 'Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game', but it's also not
a game at the same time. Most gamers aren't interested in whether they've got enough inventory to pay the rent, for instance. Building is a big part of participation, and that includes homes and other buildings on one end of the size scale, and clothing detail and jewelry on the other side. The gender ground is effectively levelled, because even those players who have identifiably masculine or feminine names may decide to wear an avatar of the other physical sex, either part-time or full-time - and you have no way of knowing whether their typist is an XX or an XY... and it never really seems to make a difference. (Outside of Caledon and the other civilised areas, your mileage may vary.)
In a related vein, though (no heart-surgery puns intended), take a look at GamerDad
As a freelance game critic, who had just become a parent, I realized something: I play every game that comes out. I read most websites, most magazines, and am privvy to super-secret press releases. But when I walk into Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target, and look at the games for the kiddies.... I have no clue what's good and what's bad. I realized that the game press has (almost) completely ignored the parents among its readership. For shame!
Then I saw KidsDomain and The Children's Software Revue and, while they're excellent publications for what they do, they don't really satisfy the needs and curiosity of the hardcore gamer. I visited message boards and noticed there's a lot of hardcore gamers out there and many of them want to share gaming with their kids. There's also a lot of moms and dads out there concerned about the negative rap gaming gets in the mainstream press.
GamerDad exists because I think there are parents out there who want straight talk about gaming. Want to share games with their kids or at least learn about what their kids are playing. Maybe they want to talk to other GamerParents and kids about why they love games, why their kids love games, and what games are good.
Oh, that and the fact that I'm also a stay-at-home dad... and I needed something to do during naptime.
(GamerDad just had a mostly-genetic quad bypass after dismissing atypical symptoms of his heart attack for three hours [eek!] before seeking attention - he's doing well and the gamer community really helped out with the bills.) Here's an approach to develop girls' skills AND have fun with your kids AND still be responsible in parenting. :) Not that I think any of you need help, but points of view are always interesting.
Some of you might remember a while ago I picked up on somebody's going off about Bat-family costumes -- the boys got a full, serious Batman or Robin uniform, while girls got cutesified Batgirl miniskirts and stuff that doesn't even LOOK like her uniform in any incarnation. Here's a new non-super one at which Broadsheet's curling a collective lip
: 'Sexy Anna Rexia' - 'you can never be too rich or too thin'. HAHAHAHA, oh, that's HILARIOUS, poor self-image killing teenage girls! What a great costume!
...in the annals of "sexy costumes," a micro-industry straddling Halloween garments and fetishwear, flogging flagrantly demeaning images of women is old hat. Along with the nasty nurses uniforms and naughty schoolgirl get-ups, there's the Brick House costume, a brick-patterned minidress with three operable apertures: a door at the crotch and two windows fixed over the breast. The Brick House's date can wear the Brick Layer costume. Funny! The Doll in a Box consists solely of a pink polyfoam box effectively turning a woman's body into a Barbie-like product. The box is labeled "Pretty Polly, the Poseable Dolly!"
Which reminds me, I just accidentally found out from a completely separate source about a very specific subgenre of bondage called 'ponygirls' which is actually kind of fascinating in its out-there-ness and heavy roleplay element. I'll... let you look for yourselves, though. (Yes, there are ponyboys, but apparently they are fairly rare.)
Irrelevant to fetishes, one reason to point this out is another Salon article about a new book
pointing out how the ubermacho reaction to 9/11 that keeps being cultivated is also trying to shove women back into a post-WWII role. 'There's the adoration of the firefighters and of the "Let's Roll!" male heroes of Flight 93 -- remembered always for their college sports achievements and their regular-guy toughness -- while the stewardesses who boiled water to throw on the terrorists were written out of the myth.' and 'Faludi concludes Chapter 3 by asking, "If women were ineligible for hero status, for what would they be celebrated?" Well, see Chapter 4: "Perfect Virgins of Grief."' Notice the female war hero most celebrated was passive during most of her misadventure; it's easy to celebrate the victims and the dead, not the living
She apparently doesn't address the concept of Karen Hughes [*spits to one side*], Condaleezza Rice and Bush's other female appointees/staff, but one could point out that they're cast in the Adoring Supporter roles, each of them. I would remind you of Rice's rather... interesting... 'joke' reference to the soi-disant
President as her 'husband' that one time....
I'm not actually rambling here. It makes one wonder - this burgeoning choice of 'sexy' costumes, almost exclusively female-targeted: How is this related to Faludi's summation of the attacks against feminism and women? It can be seen as part of the trivalisation of women as a class, that they're only available as sex toys once they've been pinkified and role-shaped by childhood games and toys. What happens when a busy woman is given a choice between quick (all in a package for $35) and demeaning, or slow (making her own costume) and expressive?