Debra Levin Gelman wrote a terrific post about the princess paradox on Wednesday that I’ve been meaning to comment on here. Toys, clothes, media, just about any kind of consumer good marketed for young girls uses ‘the Princess’ as a hook to get your child to ask you to buy it. Disney and others are using this powerful imagery to reach every younger children in pursuit of purchases and life-long relationships with their brands. Some, like Peggy Orenstein (Newsweek), think these things can actually harm children.
We are pretty much in the same boat as Debra and many other parents – it is almost impossible to avoid the onslaught – so we are forced to find ways to provide our daughter with imagery, stories, media, and other toys and material that can expand and widen her horizons. For us that means a house filled with story books, musical instruments, arts and crafts, Lego Duplo blocks and lots and lots of creative play. It’s fun and I think we’d be doing this whether we were reacting to gender-stereotyped consumerism or not. But I gotta admit – I get mad at times at the marketing of goods aimed at her whose goal seems to be to encourage her to be passive and wait for someone to save her (and yes, I realize there are exceptions).
Boing Boing: Gender stereotypes woven into toy ads
The Achilles Effect: Word Cloud: How Toy Ad Vocabulary Reinforces Gender Stereotypes
Smithsonian Magazine: When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink (the Pink/Blue thing is *recent*).
Metafilter has been running for over 11 years now and it remains one of the greatest online communities. Matt Haughey’s SXSW talk, “Real World Moderation: Lessons from 11 Years of Community”, was videoed, it’s 40 minutes well spent, covering the technology, techniques, and practices that keep it a favorite corner of the web for me and thousands of others. It’s about the people. (via kottke)
Passing this one along from Dave Winer because the sooner we think of passing along things we dislike on the Web, that only can exist with our attention, as viruses, the sooner we remove their influence.
So you *hate* the Rebecca Black video? Well by linking to it you gave her a record contract.
The link economy is an attention-based economy. Links, whether you signify hate or love for the thing you are linking, give it attention and influence.
Think, before you link.
(and yeah, that’s no fun, and yeah, I’m not gonna follow my own advice, so there!)
Oh, and… YouTube: “Death Metal Friday”:
A story is posted about a private company working to build the largest capacity lifter in service and what do a significant number of commentors fret about?
That the government is wasting its money on building it!
It is pretty clear that most of those who are commenting that way have not read (or worst – understood) the story, but the ‘private company’ part was highlighted in the summary.
Check it out – NPR.org (on Facebook): Plans For World’s Most Powerful Rocket Unveiled
But don’t you think there are multiple failures taking place exemplified here? And where do you feel they stem from?