Thursday round-up!

// 19 March 2009

Sociological Images thinks Dora the Explorer’s make-over is no surprise, given how the character has been increasingly used to market gendered toys.

The US is to sign the UN gay rights declaration – see Lesbilicious for more.

Arizona wants to introduce a 24 hour waiting period before women can access abortion – Pam’s House Blend has the full story.

A new report has charted the victimisation experienced by trans kids in US schools, with almost 90% reporting verbal harassment, half had experienced physical harassment. As well as attacks from other kids, the report is pretty damning on the response from school staff, who seem to be ignoring and actually contributing to bullying:

Less than a fifth of transgender students said that school staff intervened most of the time or always when hearing homophobic remarks (16%) or negative remarks about someone’s gender expression (11%).

School staff also contributed to the harassment. A third of transgender students heard school staff make homophobic remarks (32%), sexist remarks (39%) and negative comments about someone’s gender expression (39%) sometimes, often or frequently in the past year.

See the full breakdown at Pam’s House Blend.

The government of the United Arab Emirates has launched a campaign to harass ‘masculine women’.

Muslimah Media Watch calls attention to a not-awful BBC story on women’s roles in Egyptian mosques.

Renee at Womanist Musings posts about some fantastic menstrual calendars.

Armenian feminists are protesting the ‘red apple’ tradition, whereby after a marriage the groom’s family “inspect the bedsheets” for blood (to check, ineffectually, if their new daughter-in-law was a ‘virgin’). If there’s blood, they send the bride red apples. Activists are symbolically burying apples, to call for the practice to be buried too – see Jezebel for more.

Cath Elliot posts more examples of the sort of comments she receives at Comment is Free.

And, last but not least, the second Tell it WOC Speak carnival is up.

Photo by nova.zembla, shared on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Comments From You

Renee // Posted 19 March 2009 at 3:18 pm

Just popping in to say thanks for the linky love. Those calenders are wonderful because they represent women across race and body size and shape. I love the inclusivity.

Posie Rider // Posted 20 March 2009 at 3:47 pm

On Dora, check out this press release from Nick/Mattel says it all really:

“The new line to hit stores this fall is geared toward girls ages 5 and up. Dora’s Explorer Girls will feature dolls with accessories and computer-connected features. Using the computer mouse, girls can change the hair length, earring color, necklace color and eye color of their Dora doll. An online destination will offer girls a virtual Dora world with mysteries to explore and solve, downloadable speech and music as well as a “magical alert system” tied to the doll.”

See more at

Wierdly, the ‘magical world’ sounds quite good, with Dora campaigning on environment issues in her community and the like. It’s a shame these good intentions will probably be ignored in favour of, shock, making Dora’s earrings pink, then purple, then green ad infinitum.

Kez // Posted 22 March 2009 at 11:54 am

Posie Rider – “It’s a shame these good intentions will probably be ignored in favour of, shock, making Dora’s earrings pink, then purple, then green ad infinitum.”

I don’t know why you should assume that. I’m sure that I as a child, and hopefully my daughter (she’s a bit young yet) would be equally if not considerably more interested in exploring and solving mysteries, etc, than in changing the colour of Dora’s earrings, which would, let’s face it, soon get very boring for even the “girliest” of girls.

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