Girls play sports, too

Last week the adorable GoldieBlox video made everyone smile and pointed out the idiocy of how toys are marketed to girls. If you haven’t yet watched the video, it’s worth a peek:

This week, everyone seems to be annoyed with GoldieBlox because the Beastie Boys are mad that their song was parodied in the video. This blog post is not about that, but if you need to know more, check out this good breakdown – GoldieBlox and the Three MCs.

This blog post is about the emotions that were brought up with everyone’s first reaction to the GoldieBlox video: girls are more than just frilly and pink.

My niece is 13 and is awesome at volleyball, basketball, and softball. It’s kind of a no brainer that cool gifts for her would include some sports-related items like t-shirts and posters. She already has some great t-shirts that say things like: “You wish you threw like a girl.”

But finding those great items is not as easy as I thought it would be. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because if you look in the toy aisles at any department store it’s clear that the sports stuff is no where near the pink aisle, but searching online I thought I’d find better stuff.

On the first page of Google search results for “sports gifts girls” are some idiotic things:

  • Pottery Barn Teen Gifts for Girls Sports Decor page is full of sports posters…of men. Okay, there are a couple of women, but why is the basketball poster men? Last I remember, we even had a professional women’s basketball league in this country, and you can bet my niece knows some players.
  • All-Star Athlete Gifts for Teen Girls has things like a frame for cheerleaders, a frame for your football player boyfriend, ping pong sets, and a ton of t-shirts for male professional sports teams. Although, if you look at the All-Star Athlete Gifts for Teen Boys it’s really not much better, but it’s all very male-centric, so they at least have someone who looks like them on the crappy gifts.
  • Sporty Chick: Sports Gifts for Athletic Friends is Seventeen Magazine’s suggestions for gifts you’d get sporty friends, because apparently sporty friends wouldn’t be caught dead reading Seventeen. Either you’re girly and read Seventeen or you’re sporty and don’t, of course. Some gems in the Seventeen suggestions: gluing paste because “Just because she’s sweating on the field, doesn’t mean she could care less about her hair!” (their grammar mistake, not mine); and the Unruly Hair Beware Set because “It comes with all sorts of hair ties, headbands, and clips so she can look cute, even when she’s working up a sweat!”

This is just depressing, because doing the same search for boys yields way better results. But girls play sports, too.

No, really, they do. Lean in, male-centric world, because you need to hear this.

Girls play softball, which is pretty similar to your baseball. The ball is a bit bigger, and the bases aren’t as far away, but it’s pretty much the same. Did I blow your mind?

Well how about this: they also play basketball. I know! It’s crazy, but it’s true.

And don’t even get me started about swimming, golf, car racing, volleyball, football, cheerleading, lacrosse, tennis, etc. If you look real close, you’ll see women playing all of these things. You may have to remove your rose-colored-sports-equals-men glasses first, but don’t be alarmed with what you see. It’s not a threat to you, it’s just women playing sports.

And since women are playing sports, you know what? They’d also like to buy t-shirts and posters showing them playing these sports. I know that may seem like an odd concept, because we should be looking up to the real sports figures, the men, but every now and then it’d be cool to see a women on a poster. Maybe young, impressionable girls seeing themselves on a sports poster, besides cheering for a man, would be a good thing. Just a thought.

More Than This & other book reviews

I reviewed a lot of books lately, my favorite being More Than This by Patrick Ness. He has solidified his place as an author I will automatically read, without even knowing a thing about the book. If his name is attached, I’m reading it.

Some other books in this group I definitely didn’t like as much as More Than This. Two of them completely disappointed me.

More-Than-ThisMore Than This by Patrick Ness

I read this book in a day.

That could be my whole review, because even though I read a lot, I don’t often finish a book in one sitting, so you know it has to be good. Although now that I think about it, this is the third Patrick Ness book I have finished in a day. I just can’t put his books down.

More Than This opens with a death. Seth is in the ocean, off the coast in Washington state, waves throwing him against the rocks, and his skull fractures. He dies. It’s when Seth wakes up that the story begins. …more

days blood starlightDays of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Last year I read and loved Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The story followed Karou, a human raised by chimera, creatures from Eretz that have animal and human attributes. In Eretz, the chimera are at war with beautiful seraphim (or angels), one of whom Karou falls in love with, which becomes an issue when Karou discovers she’s a reincarnated chimera. Brimstone, the chimera who raised her, uses the teeth of humans and animals to reincarnate fallen chimera and he has been hiding Karou in our world.

When we last saw Karou, she and Akiva (the beautiful angel) are on the outs, Brimstone is missing, humans are made aware of angels, and Karou decides to enter Eretz to search for her family. Days of Blood & Starlight picks up right where Daughter of Smoke & Bone ended and we get the full picture of what has happened in Eretz. …more

BestOfConnieWillisThe Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Short Stories

I’ve been reading The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories for a couple months now. This isn’t because it’s bad; it’s because it’s so good. Each of these stories is award winning, so there really isn’t a bad story here, and I wanted to savor them. And even though there isn’t a bad story in these ten, I do have my favorites.

A Letter from the Clearys, a 1983 Nebula award winner, is a quiet yet powerful look at life after a nuclear war. A girl and her dog walk back to their home after visiting the post office to announce that they received a letter from the Clearys, but the letter was clearly written before it all happened. …more

sex and violenceSex & Violence by Carrie Mesorobian

Evan Carter is used to being the Eternal New Guy. Moved from school to school because of his father’s work schedule, Evan is never around long enough to make friends. He’s also not interested in relationships with women, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t hook up. He knows how to find women for flings, and at his latest boarding school it’s no different. But this time, he runs into a problem – the ex-boyfriend. After he’s beaten to a pulp, Evan and his father move to a family lake cabin in Minnesota so Evan can heal, both physically and emotionally. …more

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl: a nice book about nice students doing nice things at a nice college. They have nice families, too.

That really sums up Fangirl, the book that was the biggest disappointment for me this year.

Maybe I put too much pressure on Fangirl. I had high expectations considering everyone was praising it and it comes from Rainbow Rowell, the author behind Eleanor & Park, one of the best books I read this year. I assumed Fangirl couldn’t be bad because Eleanor & Park was so good, but Fangirl isn’t. It’s so incredibly boring. …more

Bellman blackBellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

I absolutely loved Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, a great gothic mystery surrounding the details of a reclusive author’s life. I still recommend that book to people, so I was excited to finally have another book by Setterfield that I hoped would be just as fabulous.

Unfortunately, Bellman & Black completely let me down. I don’t know what happened between the The Thirteenth Tale and the release of Bellman & Black, but Setterfield lost her strong storytelling.

Bellman & Black follows the life of William Bellman and I loved how the story began with a young Will playing with three boys in the fields behind his house. …more