Why Being One of the Boys is Not Better Than Being Girly

Let's start with a story, shall we? Growing up, I went from being girly to being one of the boys. The whole way, I always kind of felt like I was uncool and the outsider. I didn't really fit in with the girls, but I didn't fit in with the guys either.  ...more

Sex in Music: Grammy Edition (NSFW)

The existence of stereotyped, objectifying, explicit content in mainstream music is one thing. The rewarding of it is quite another. And that is where the problem lies for me. In this post I look at exactly what kinds of music is being celebrated by the Grammy Awards in 2016. NOTE: This post includes explicit language and imagery....more

Stop Feminizing Your Sons! Masculine Boys Can Grow Up To Be Good Men Too.

I am a mother of two boys under the age of five.  I knew my life with boys would consist of non stop excitement with:  lifted toilet seats, play wresting, rowdy noises, playing with sticks and dirt, climbing trees, collections of trucks and cars, and the restless that the typical boy displays. My boys are a crazy bunch and although I don’t agree with their rowdiness, their obsession with cars, and their occasional “Woof Woof” chants, I learn to accept that these types of habits is what makes them masculine boys...more

Drunk in Love: What Does This Video Say About Male Sexuality?

I wrote a post earlier this year in reference to Beyonce's Super Bowl halftime show in which I asked all kinds of questions about whether her performance was empowering or objectifying. I recalled that post today when I saw a news item about her new video, Drunk in Love, which features her husband, Jay-Z. Out of curiosity about how she is presenting herself now, I decided to watch....more

The Confines of Colors and Masculine Roles

This is the snake N picked out at the zoo last month, resting snugly in the jack-o-lantern bucket N picked out for Halloween:...more

No Hidden "Feminist Agenda" Here--Just Letting Kids Be Kids

As anyone who writes a blog knows, part of the job of blogging is accepting and responding to criticism. I welcome comments and questions and have enjoyed many interesting conversations with people who have challenged something I’ve written.But of all the criticisms I receive on my blog, there is one that really irks me: the assertion that my discussion of male gender stereotypes is just a thinly veiled plot to turn boys into “honorary women.”*...more

Halloween Costumes Are Here. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

As someone who writes about gender portrayals in children’s popular culture, I am accustomed to seeing some pretty egregious stereotypes in the products marketed to children. In an admittedly crowded field, Halloween costumes have proven, time and again, to be the lowest of the low. This year’s crop is no exception....more

A boy is a man and not a girl: The power of circumcision.

Last week, July 16th 2011, Sharon and I had this enriching discussion. Sharon is a friend I recently met in June 2011, during one of my ‘residence’ tour in Kenya. Often, when we meet, we always have new stories to share.  It was almost evening, the usual time Sharon and I would always sit for our storytelling.  Our conversation is never defined. We talk on all sorts of issues....more

If My Son Makes a Friend Will He Do Better in School?

Earlier this week I stumbled across an education blog that suggested boys who struggle in school lack close friendships. Developmental psychologist Niobe Way proposed that boys experience a "crisis of connection" caused in part by societal messages that close friendships are for girls only, and that the boys who seek them are sissies. The blog went on to link young males' crises in connection to academic failure, substance abuse, gang participation and general emotional malaise. None of this struck me as particularly thought-provoking -- until I read Way's assertion that seating a boy next to his best friend in the classroom could improve his school performance....more

I think we all need to know we're not alone. Thanks for ...more