Getting Our Hands Dirty: STEM Learning, Girls, and Gardening

Gardens have come a long way since the US Victory Gardens during WW I & II

By Sayantani DasGupta I was thrilled to hear that this spring, Harvey Mudd College in California made history by granting more engineering degrees to women than men, with 56% of their graduating engineering class being female. Because the sad fact remains, there is a dearth of women (and minorities) in STEM (science, technology, … [Read more...]

Toys Wars: Studies Show Media Messages about Boys and Girls Matter

Most used words in ads for boy toys. (courtesy of Achilles Effect)

By Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker; crossposted with permission from JenniferShewmaker.com     There are very clear lines drawn in advertisements directed to children between who (and what) toys are for, boys or girls. Packed into these ads are consistent messages about behaviors, interests, and activities that are … [Read more...]

Body Shame Bowl XLVII: Advertising Cultural Ideals Does No One Any Good

Go Daddy's "Perfect Match" advert

By Allison Epstein, Intern (2013) Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere away from any form of mass media, you’ve probably noticed a common theme in print ads and commercials. Advertisers are now not only selling us products, they’re selling us another object that we consume by virtue of just seeing it: ourselves. Not … [Read more...]

Girls like Boogers, Boys like Romance: Let’s Get Beyond Gender in Children’s Books Already, People!

"Lunch Walks Among Us" the first in the Mad Scientist series by Franny K. Stein

By Sayantani DasGupta Back in September 2010, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) sent cyberspace into a tizzy with the article How to Raise Boys who Read. Hint: It's not with gross-out books and video game bribes. I don't think the article is really that controversial. The writer, Thomas Spence, rants a little about Captain … [Read more...]

The LEGO Disconnect on Gender

lego-friends-box

By Crystal Smith As most readers may know, there has been a huge uproar over LEGO’s newest product line, LEGO Friends. (Google it. You can’t miss it.) Regular readers [at The Achilles Effect] might also know that LEGO has been one of my favorite targets for a while now. Like the people protesting the LEGO Friends line, I have … [Read more...]