For better or worse, products and the designed world are used as tools for self-determination. In childhood, toys become part of a playful process of becoming ones’ self. Child psychologists have known for decades that through play, children learn empathy, “try on” identities, and experiment with their place in the world. Essentially, in childhood we play our way through discovering who we are. Unfortunately for kids today, the designed world doesn’t leave much room for them to explore. Most toys come with pre-defined identities and stories, which rob children of the joy of imagining these things. There is also a dearth of open-ended toys, or toys without instructions and right and wrong answers. This leaves few opportunities to figure out how to use a toy, experiment, fail, and invent the story of where it came from, and why it does what it does. READ MORE: The Case For Letting Kids Design Their Own Play | Co.Design | business + design.
As recommended by followers of the BuzzFeed Community. I also recommend reading the comments for why these books were recommended by users – heart-rending.
Image Credit: Farrah Penn / Via BuzzFeed
These books showed you that it was more than OK to be gay. READ MORE: 16 LGBT Books That Will Actually Change Your Life | BuzzFeed
Image Credit: AmericanGirl Library
The Care & Keeping of YOU is the godliest book that ever freaking existed. If you didn’t have this sh*t growing up, I’m not quite sure how you survived. READ MORE: Friendly Reminder That American Girl Doll Created The Ultimate Puberty Bible | BuzzFeed
An international tech competition targets Silicon Valley’s diversity problem, aiming to inspire girls around the world into taking up — and sticking with — technology. READ MORE: For these girls, tech is a rewarding challenge | CNET.
A bookseller explains how Kamila Shamsie’s call for gender equality in the industry, and the fiery debate it provoked, could lead to greater diversity all around. READ MORE: Battling bias on the shop floor: how bookstores can support diversity | Books | The Guardian
At the link the author further recommends in the article 23 books about girls for little boys to read. Great post!
I recently took my infant son to a gathering where he played happily on the floor, the center of attention in a ring of adults who were all interacting with and admiring him. Then I mentioned that his new favorite toy is bright pink. The men in the circle chuckled awkwardly and exchanged glances, and then someone joked: “so does that mean he’s gay?” I see this kind of gender policing happening so often, so early, for little boys.
In a related issue, when Nicola Griffith posted her astonishing data showing that books about women don’t win awards, it begged the question: why don’t men seem to care about women’s stories? Why don’t judging panels value the experiences of women? And yet I’ve heard this offhanded sentiment from friends of mine who are men: “I guess it’s a pretty good story — even though it’s about a girl.”
The root of the problem, I believe, isn’t simply that men don’t care about women or can’t imagine women’s experiences. It’s that they are actively shamed — even as infants! — when they show interest in anything perceived as “girly” or as a compromise to their masculinity. They’re not supposed to like pink, or dolls, or dresses, or princesses, or stories about girls. They hear it first from their caregivers and authority figures, and then from each other once they’ve internalized the message. READ MORE: Let’s Stop Shaming Little Boys Who Read About Girls | BookRiot
We already knew that publishing is hard for women. VIDA’s annual count is a persistent reminder that, while the gender gap in publishing has begun to close, it’s still far from approaching equality.
But novelist Nicola Griffith had a feeling that it just wasn’t women writers that were underrepresented; books about women were absent as well. “I’ve been counting, subconsciously then consciously, for 20 years when I was first published and started to see how skewed the playing field was,” Griffith told Fusion. So Griffith gathered the data, and published it on her blog last week.
She found that regardless of the gender of the author, major awards overwhelming favored books about men and boys. READ MORE: Novelist Finds That Books About Women Don’t Win Major Awards | Jezebel
We are hearing more and more about gender equality issues in the tech industry. I liked this particular article from CNET, as studies are referenced which provide evidence that the more diverse teams are, the more innovative and financially successful the company will be. Overt and subtle biases of sexism toward women and girls are also discussed.
Silicon Valley’s male-dominated culture could cost the technology industry the thing it values most: innovation. READ MORE: It’s not women who are the problem in tech land | CNET.
You may also like: Women in tech don’t get the same respect as men, survey says | CNET
The one struggle of being a woman who reads is that you want to read everything. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by bestseller lists , because there just isn’t enough time in the day to read every hot new book. Between near-constant recommendations of amazing memoirs, new sequels and a terrifyingly long list of bookmarked Internet longreads, it can be stressful to choose what you should pick up next. Knowing which classics you’re missing from your reading repertoire is easy — it’s a little harder to remember what you’ve missed from three years ago.
We’ve done a little bit of the hard work for you (or maybe just increased your book stress… sorry) by pulling together a list of incredible titles from the past few years that you should add to the pile on your bedside table. These books by women are just a few of the incredible titles published recently — an exhaustive list would be hundreds of books longer. Those listed here are some of the most-discussed, thought-provoking and life-changing books from a diverse group of women writers. They make you rethink what being a feminist means, offer life advice to women of all ages, and reinforce your long-held belief that Tina and Amy should be your best friends and life coaches forever. The novels are some of the finest writing from woman authors. From lighthearted memoirs to harrowing thrillers, there’s a genre here for everyone.
Here are 21 books published in the past 5 years that all women should read. READ MORE: 21 Books From The Last 5 Years That Every Woman Should Read | Huffington Post
It’s a truism to say that Hollywood is a boy’s club but Dr. Stacy L. Smith of the University of Southern California put this saying into stark, empirical terms: a mere 4.4% of the top 100 box-office releases in the USA were directed by women. That’s it. It’s a percentage that should be used to describe the amount of cream in whole milk, not half the human race.
The truth is that the film industry in general, not just Hollywood, is dominated by men. In books on cinema and classes on film history, female directors frequently get overlooked.
Over at MUBI, someone aptly named Ally the Listmaker has taken great pains to counter that. She has compiled an exhaustive collection of movies by women. Ally’s list contains over 1400 movie titles, mostly films made within the past 20 years.