Category Archives: Gender in the U.S.

“Inspiring Women”: Mattel’s Release of New Barbies

Mattel has announce the release of three new Barbies available for purchase as a part of their series “Inspiring Women.” These new dolls are created to look like Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and Katherine Johnson. The anticipated release of these dolls is beneficial because it continues to recognize the accomplishments of women as well as takes more steps towards positive inclusion in popular culture. As we progress as a society, it is important to maintain diversity and support positive inclusion of minority groups within popular culture. What are your thoughts on these dolls? Do you believe that Mattel has taken the appropriate steps into becoming a more inclusive corporation? How can other corporations that contribute to popular culture also become more inclusive?


LINK to article for more information.

Single Moms’ Wage Gap – Paper Topic

The Cost of Being a Single Mother (Article by Aparna Mathur: Forbes)I decided to write my paper on the wage gaps for single moms.” The article included does a good initial overview, touching on some of the complexities of the issue. Its finger points first at one potentially misleading fact – that women are making up a majority of the workforce. Most of us know that and, even with this being true, we know that women are still statistically being paid less than men. Other stats support that both parents in a household are working more and collectively earning well above the average cost of living. Questions have been raised, though, about quality of life, specifically pertaining to work-life balance. Many households with two working parents report problems balancing work and home life. Quality of life can be called into question, even with those earning decent incomes.

So, what might this tell us about a household where a single mother’s income is the sole income for the home? Even though she’s earning one thousand more than a married woman, what’s the single mom’s work-life balance? How’s the quality of life shaping up in that household? In America, woman are still socially responsible for the lion’s share of household duties and caring for children. What’s a single mom’s work-life balance? How is she excelling in her career? Is she able to provide adequate support beyond finances for her home? Is she able to participate in networking developmental opportunities outside the home? Are her children able to do the same during their formative years? Is there a cloud of non advancement over these homes? Does this affect a single mom’s self esteem and willingness to pursue greater opportunities. How is her job responding to this challenge? Are they supporting her development are are they taking advantage of a loyal but stagnated employee. I hope to explore this story that is permeating our communities more and more, as American society trends towards more single motherhood.



Company Receives Criticism for Hinting at Production of Woman-Friendly Snacks

Based on an article published by the BBC, PepsiCo has hinted at launching a new line of chips that would be more suitable for women to snack on. These chips would be able to “fit in a handbag” and reduce “how loudly the crisps crunch when eaten.” Later in the article, the company has stated “‘don’t lick their fingers’ and ‘don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavour into their mouth.'”

As a result, many people have taken to Twitter to mock the company for their idea. While certainly laughable, this company’s idea brings up a larger problem. There has been a trend among companies and their advertisements of women that define women and femininity in a way that is extremely patronizing. Women are portrayed as weak based on societal expectations we have been forced to adhere to. What are your thoughts on this?

Using Privilege for Good

The topic centered around equal pay has been a long lasting debate. It is no secret that women get paid less than men. This same logic applies in the land of the rich and famous, Hollywood. If you are a women of color, you earn even less than white women. Many actresses have been vocal about this issue, but not much has been done to correct the problem. Depending on your status in Hollywood and other factors, it will determine if people will listen to you. Actress Jessica Chastain, a white woman, has been vary vocal about the pay gap that occurs in Hollywood. From her friend and former co-star actress Octavia Spencer, a black woman, she learned about the pay gap between white women and women of color. She was saddened and decided to do take a stand against this issue. Chastain found out that in a movie her and Spencer are due to star in that there was a major pay gap between the two. Chastain decided to tie her contact with Spencer and asked for a larger salary. In the end, she helped influence and increase Spencer’s salary five times than her original salary. Chastain used her privilege to help someone’s voice be heard. I think what she did was amazing. Using your privilege to help others is something people should do. I think that more and more, people are realizing the type of power they have and are trying to channel it through good avenues.

What are your thoughts?

-Haita Toure

Anna Julia Cooper

We are reading about his North Carolinian for our class this evening. Did you know there is now a historic marker in Raleigh for her? I ran across it one day and was surprised to see the word “feminist” on it — I don’t know that I have seen that on a historic marker anywhere, though I have not been up to Seneca Falls or Rochester New York.

Cooper Historic Marker

And her publication, A Voice from the South, has been digitized here:

A Voice from the South



Are Women of Color being left out of #Metoo?

Published on January 2, 2018, this article by the Huffington Post discusses the conversation around the movement #Metoo and the place Women of Color hold within the movement. According to the article, women of color feel as if their voices and stories are being drowned out or not heard, even though this movement was created by a black woman. In my opinion, this could be due to the fact that the movement has gotten bigger and white women (especially celebrities) are at the forefront of the movement. This can easily make other groups seem forgotten. The article makes a point to mention that Women of Color have higher rates of sexual assault and harassment compared to white women. With statistics like that, you would think there would be more stories from women of color being heard. The article reveals stories from Women of color on the sexual harassment and assault they have faced in the past. Some of their experiences are some that I have experienced myself.  From being told to cover up in front of men so I don’t drawn attention to myself to being groped in public by men. This behavior has become normalize by society. When will it end?  Another point in the article that I agree with and is something that we touched on in class is that certain issues are not considered a problem until it affects the white community. This is when people begin to have conversation which can be frustrating because people of color have been saying it has always been a problem.

What are your thoughts?

-Haita Toure


Return Of Kings

I’m sure many of you know who Sophia Bush is, the actress that starred as Brooke Davis on the hit show One Tree Hill. Today on Twitter, she posted a link to an article about the Return of Kings. With us having discussed rape in todays class, I felt compelled to share the link with the rest of you.

The Return Of Kings is a community of men who “aim to usher the return of the masculine man in a world where masculinity is being increasingly punished and shamed in favor of creating an androgynous and politically-correct society that allows women to assert superiority and control over men”. You can read their full list of “community beliefs” here.

I personally don’t agree with any of their beliefs, but they have gained a lot of momentum this past year and have set out to recruit even more “masculine men” on February 6, 2016. They have managed to organize 165 meetings in 43 different countries, and are open to requests for hosting in cities not listed. I am aware of a few feminist groups that are planning to show up at the intended meeting locations hoping to bring public awareness to the controversial “pro-rape” and “anti-women” rhetoric. While these beliefs might not be threatening when privately practiced, this group continually publishes their beliefs online in hopes of expanding their followers.

Here is a list of a few posts:

8 Things That Make A Girl Stupid And Useless

Why You Should Avoid Women Who Claim Rape At All Costs

5 Simple Steps For Not Getting Raped

Women Should Not Be Allowed To Vote

I focused more on the group’s beliefs toward women, but the Return Of Kings have equally degrading posts about anything that does not meet their heterosexual male criteria.

Human Trafficking In Our Own Backyard

We all know that human trafficking exists, but we tend to think it’s “over there,” not here in the U.S.  How do you feel about trafficking being a problem in our own backyard?

I just saw this article about Human Trafficking in Charlotte, NC and how it’s becoming an increasingly large problem.  Apparently, as Charlotte puts more and more sports arenas and hotels up – making the city more attractive for visitors – trafficking increases. See the complete story by clicking the link below.

Lest you think that Charlotte is the only place in NC with a problem, the Raleigh area is also a hot spot for human trafficking. And it’s a big issue according to The Salvation Army of Wake County. It runs a program called Project FIGHT (Freeing Individuals Gripped by Human Trafficking).  They’ve seen trafficking cases with women as old as 63 and girls as young as 9.  According to the article below, human trafficking goes on in the Raleigh area (and around the country) right in front of our eyes, but we don’t see it. Is it because we don’t want to?

What has to happen before we have a government crack-down on trafficking here in our state – and in this country?  Why isn’t this issue a HOT TOPIC each night when we turn on our local news? Is it that we believe these women and girls aren’t really enslaved? Can 9 yr old children choose such a life? Does media (and public) silence have to do with the women’s socio-economic status?  Race? Do we believe the women somehow brought this existence on themselves? Why aren’t more women demanding action from our authorities and politicians? I find it incredible that we hear so little about this.

What are your thoughts?

Katie Basile

Target Ditches Gender Labels on Toys

Thomas Hennessey

Target announce that they will no longer gender label their toy sections in their stores.  They also stated that they will no longer use gender signifying colors as a way to designate area through out their stores by gender.  A Target spokesman stated “We tried to look at what makes sense and what doesn’t”, over the past year Target among other stores has gotten backlash from costumers who believe that there is no reason for these labels.  Changes to stores will begin throughout the next few months.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Thomas Hennessey

I am going to both apologize and warn you in advance that this post is not a news article exactly. As some of you may know October is Domestic Violence awareness month in the United States. This awareness month came from a day of solidarity in the early 1980’s, in 1989 congress passed a law designating October to be domestic awareness month. Some cities through out North Carolina have events to raise awareness but as far as I can tell Greenville is not one of those cities.  The city of Greenville is not the only offender in my opinion however, I also investigated ECU news to see if there was any events planned or articles written but I have not found those yet.  Above I have placed the link to President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation on National Domestic Violence awareness month and I have also attached the North Carolina Department of Justice report on domestic violence related homicides in 2013.

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