As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.
The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.
The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.
As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.
My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.
I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.
These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.
Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.
The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.
You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls
*runs to target- i need to get my babydoll one for her 1st bday
ohmygosh and the one from Ethiopia has natural hair which you can’t get from the American Girl “just like you” dolls!
LESBIAN JUDGE WILL NOT WED STRAIGHT COUPLES
It’s nothing personal, but Dallas County judge Tonya Parker does not perform wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples looking to tie the knot. What is her reason? The state of Texas, along with 30 other states, does not currently allow same-sex marriage. Despite recent victories in places like Oregon and Pennsylvania, many states are still in court over the issue leading this openly gay judge to politely turn away couples until marriage is equal.
In an interview with the Dallas Voice, Parker said ,“I’m sorry. I don’t perform marriage ceremonies because we are in a state that does not have marriage equality, and until it does, I am not going to partially apply the law to one group of people that doesn’t apply to another group of people.”
While some are outraged, many applaud Parker, pointing out that same-sex couples have been denied marriages for years and that this is just an ironic dose of how homosexuals are treated.
There needs to be a code word or something that means “my brain is fighting me every step of the way today and I feel like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin, so I need you to forgive everything and go slowly and speak softly and lower your expectations.” And then we could all just be like, “I know I said we could go to a movie tonight but… tangerines.” And the other person would nod and squeeze your elbow or rub your head and you wouldn’t feel like a failure.
I Ship It | a short film by Yulin Kuang
After a bad breakup, Zoe Smallman decides to take down her ex-boyfriend in a wizard rock battle of the bands with help from her best friend, Charlie.
Written & Directed by Yulin Kuang
Featuring original Wizard Rock songs by Kirstyn Hippe
It’s here, finally! We hope you enjoy I Ship It and all the hard work that was put into it by so many people! And if you do enjoy it, please please share it. We need all the help we can get to get the word out on our little film! And don’t forget to check out the alternate ending. And the music videos. Yay!
This is wonderful and you should put it in your eye holes.
From the article:
An email to Utah State University threatened “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the school did not cancel a lecture Wednesday morning by a well-known feminist writer and video game critic.
"Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged," read the message from a sender who claimed to be a USU student.
The message threatened to rain gunfire and shrapnel upon a lecture by Anita Sarkeesian, creator of a feminist video blog and a video series on misogyny in video games. She is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. at the Taggart Student Center Auditorium.
"A Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out," warned the message, sent to multiple departments and individuals around campus. "I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs."
After consulting with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the university decided to host Sarkeesian’s lecture as scheduled, said USU spokesman Tim Vitale.
"We’re an institution of higher learning. We educate people. This is what we do," Vitale said. "This is a chance for students to listen for themselves to the topic, voice their opinions as they choose, and learn something."
The university planned to increase security for the lecture and forbid backpacks in the auditorium.
The writer goes by the moniker “Marc Lepine,” after a shooter who murdered 14 women at a Montreal engineering school in 1989. The writer, as Lepine did in his suicide note, wrote that “feminists have ruined my life.”
"We live in a nation of emasculated cowards too afraid to challenge the vile, misandrist harpies who seek to destroy them. Feminism has taken over every facet of our society, and women like Sarkeesian want to punish us for even fantasizing about being men."
He wrote that increased security was futile.
"Even if they’re able to stop me, there are plenty of feminists on campus who won’t be able to defend themselves," he wrote. "One way or another, I’m going to make sure they die."
Sarkeesian is most famous for her critiques of how women are depicted in video games and popular culture and has received many death threats and terror threats against her speaking engagements. Those threats have escalated since a 2012 online harassment campaign targeted her fundraising for the video series, “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,” which analyzes female stereotypes in the games.
"Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU," the email states. "I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America."
Regardless of what you think about Anita Sarkeesian in particular, this is just sick.
I feel like this is a really important addendum to this conversation:
It wasn’t the threats that caused Anita to cancel her speaking, it was USU, and to a larger extent the country’s lack of gun control that caused her to cancel the event. The people who were suppose to provide security for her and her audience, gave lip service to taking the threat seriously, but when they were expected to cary it out refused to actually do what needed to be done to provide proper security.