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Wising-up or dumbing-down?

In 2011, insurance giant Suncorp began issuing a range of new insurance products designed specifically for women. These are marketed under the brand name “Million Dollar Woman“, a name that is cleverly evocative of the material aspirations of middle Australia. (Perhaps not so cleverly, and no doubt unintentionally, the name is also slightly reminiscent of the US-based conservative activist group “One Million Moms” – yes, the Christian fundies who are demanding that “open homosexual” Ellen DeGeneres be removed as spokesperson for a major retail brand. Oops!) Read More…

Patrolling for trolls. Rarr! (Is that the sound trolls make?)

Happy new year everyone! I’ve been a bit quiet for the last few weeks. Over the Christmas break I learned that an 8 day stomach virus + a persistent head cold = nastiness that impairs the will to live, let alone blog. Yes, all the terrible images you’re picturing in your mind are accurate. Now think of those images in the context of a hiking trip in the wilderness and a 6 hour bus ride to get to said wilderness. I can tell you’re jealous. Read More…

Female empowerment fail

NASA Barbie

Spotted recently at a Smithsonian Institution gift shop in Washington DC. I’m not sure what I like more: the pearl earrings or the carry-on luggage (‘cos a girl can’t go to the moon without her hair straightener!). Maybe NASA space missions need flight attendants?

Update: the Armstrong Air & Space Museum actually describes the doll as a “flight attendant” on its website. There is no hope for humanity.

Witty or slutty

Witty or slutty: Halloween in the USA for the uninitiated foreigner

Halloween in North America for the uninitiated foreigner is an eye-opening experience.

My first ever visit to a Halloween costume store in the lead-up to my first ever Halloween was not what I had expected. I’m not a prude, but after entering the women’s section of the store and perusing the wares on display, I wasn’t quite sure where to look. A wave of middle-class anxiety briefly took hold of me. Wait, am I in a sex shop? Why are there brand names like ‘Leg Avenue’ and ‘Forplay’? Read More…