“Women today may feel they have come a long way since the inequality of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. But the shelves of many toy shops paint a very different story, says today’s Daily Mail
“Where once toys may have been marketed in neutral colours to target both boys and girls, now they are much more likely to be gender stereotyped – blue for boys and pink for girls. The issue has been highlighted by campaign group Let Toys Be Toys, who recently shared a picture comparing the toys on sale in Argos in the Seventies to today on their Twitter feed.
“While decades ago toy pushchairs, prams and household equipment like play ovens came in whites, reds and blues – aimed at both genders – today the majority are all pink. And while the items above aimed at girls relate to being domesticated, in contrast boys today are encouraged to play with science sets, cars and action heroes. Let Toys Be Toys, set up by a group of British parents last November, are calling for this to change. They are petitioning retailers to stop segregating their products ‘for boys’ and ‘for girls’.One of the campaign’s founders, Tricia Lowther, 44, a self-employed copywriter from Durham, who has a five-year-old daughter, told the MailOnline: ‘It does bother a lot of parents, we seem to have tapped in to a huge and growing sense of frustration with the way toys are promoted according to outdated, illogical and sexist stereotypes. Continue reading “Gender and toys: the bad news”
The Invisible War has done something exceptionally rare. Rather than tackling an issue that’s safely in the past, Kirby Dick and his subjects have confronted an ongoing culture of sexual violence and grotesque indifference in one of the country’s most respected institutions, reports todays Daily Beast.“And instead of being dismissed as Hollywood liberalism, or creating a temporary spike in awareness that dissipates shortly after its release, The Invisible War is helping push forward action in Congress and substantive reform in the military itself.
“It’s one thing for a movie in Oscar contention to get snared in politics, or to seek out political relevance as a way of linking a film to a larger narrative. … Since The Invisible War’s release, federal action on sexual assaults in the military has instead accelerated. On January 23, the House Armed Services Committee held hearings on the investigation into Lackland Air Force Base, the site of the Air Force’s basic training: a staff sergeant stationed there was convicted of rape and sexual assault last summer, and 32 instructors are alleged to have sexually coerced or formed relationships with their students that violate military regulations. The New York Times wrote “that they are doing so is in large part a tribute to” The Invisible War, though Dick said he was frustrated that so many congressmen left the hearing to attend a vote, skipping the part of the program where assault survivors testified about their experiences.”
Full story at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/07/the-invisible-war-how-oscar-s-military-rape-documentary-might-change-everything.html
This week Brown University announced that it will join the list of institutions for higher education expanding student health care services by providing sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) to transgender students.
According to the Brown Daily Herald, the Brown Student Health Insurance Plan will cover 14 different sexual reassignment surgery procedures starting in August, Director of Insurance and Purchasing Services Jeanne Hebert confirmed. The move puts Brown among of schools such as Cornell, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania that cover at least some sex reassignment surgeries.
“’We identified this as an important benefit for students to have access to,’ Hebert wrote, adding that the change was in line with “Brown’s efforts to support all students.” The coverage will be funded through renewal rates paid for next year’s student healthcare coverage, she wrote. In general, the total package of sexual reassignment surgeries, hormone therapy and other services can cost up to $50,000.
“Kelly Garrett, LGBTQ Center coordinator, said she has strongly advocated this change for the past several years. A milestone in the movement to add coverage for these surgeries was the inclusion of hormone treatment in the current school year’s coverage plan, Garrett added. The sexual reassignment procedures that will be covered are “very standard and very comprehensive,” she said. Continue reading “Brown University health care to cover reassignment”
“A leading expert on addictions says there still remains a ‘tremendous misunderstanding’ about the problem in our society,” reports the Chatham Daily News in a story about psychiatrist Gabor Mate.
“People see addictions as some lifestyle choice that somebody makes,” but “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘My ambition is to become an addict,'” say Mate. A keynote speaker this week at the Chatham-Kent Addictions Awareness Conference, Mate said “addiction is a response to suffering and most people who are severely addicted were traumatized as children. As a result, he said, people in this situation have pain they try to soothe with drugs.”
Continue reading “Addiction and identity”