Pop Culture

The Sexualization of YA Fiction

The Sexualization of YA Fiction

Most people think of teenhood as a time of raging hormones and awakening sexuality. “Experimentation”, “hormonal” and “out of control” are things we tend to associate with young adults and sexuality. Young adult fiction seems to have picked up on these associations and has one-upped its adult counterpart in terms of obsessing over sex and sexuality. I have read a lot of young adult fiction. I pref... »

What it means to be a woman in nerd culture: The fake geek girl

What it means to be a woman in nerd culture: The fake geek girl

The ‘fake geek girl’ trope revolves around the idea that girls interested in anything remotely geeky, aren’t actually interested, no all they want are boyfriends. I have a problem with this. Not only does this  rely on a two dimensional view of women who live to ensnare men by any means possible (particularly those irresistible guys who view them as sex objects), but it also resu... »

The Lessons of Success

The Lessons of Success

There’s a piece of received wisdom that says we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. When you fail, it says, you learn what not to do in the future, you learn about yourself and your reaction to stress, you learn who you can count on, you learn about problem solving and about which elements of your plan work. We learn a great deal from our failures, I don’t think anyone woul... »

Will You Be Disappointed In Me?

Will You Be Disappointed In Me?

I recently had someone very close to me ask this question in regards to taking a job at Starbucks. They’ve been serially unemployed and are getting desperate. Many of my friends are in similar positions: they work in retail, food service, temp positions, or are serial interns. I’m sure my friends aren’t the only set of millennials that find themselves falling off the path of “what was supposed to ... »

Danica McKellar’s Fun Little Bites of Mathy Goodness

Danica McKellar’s Fun Little Bites of Mathy Goodness

Danica McKellar, who has actual math degrees in addition to being an actress, is trying to get girls interested in math.  She’s starting a webseries! Math Bites!  I’m suspicious of this.  Increasing the participation of girls in science and math in the face of stereotype harm and the president of Harvard is an excellent goal, but in my experience, strategies for this tend to degrade in... »

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Pokéballs

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Pokéballs

Hello, and welcome to breaking the fourth wall, a new series where I take popular science fiction ideas and explore the different ways they could possibly work. This series will involve heavy speculation and fan theory, and is mostly just a fun exercise. I do not think that pokéballs could exist, although a man can dream. Pokémon X and Y have been out for almost a month now, so you can count this ... »

Rape as Backstory: Not Buying It

Rape as Backstory: Not Buying It

I have a problem with certain Strong Female Characters. I, as much as the next feminist, would like to see strong, complex, interesting female characters. However what I find unfortunate is when we are reduced to “strong” female characters, and those characters are given some very predictable backstories that play into certain extremely sexist stereotypes about cold women or women who hate men. On... »

Teen Skepchick’s Reality Checks 7.4

Teen Skepchick’s Reality Checks 7.4

Technology to detect moving objects through walls inspires obligatory X-ray vision analogy. (via MIT News) Prince Charles reveals his love for Doctor Who, proving once and for all that homeopaths are people too. (via BBC News) Self-consciousness reaches a physiological peak in adolescence. Nobody is surprised. (via Science Daily) Crocodiles have very sensitive skin, even without moisturiser. (via ... »

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