Gender Roles & Stereotypes




#thecumulativeeffectDoes Arianna Huffington Hate Women?

2 comments | March 14th, 2013


(by Feel More Better) She probably doesn't.  And maybe it's just us, but we think if, as Arianna does, you champion women's rights on the one-hand maybe you shouldn't oversee a business that objectifies, sexualizes and stereotypes women routinely on the other. Whether doing so is moral convenience, straight-up hypocrisy, or a business-decision that ignores its social a minimum it's inconsistent and talking out of both sides of your mouth. And so we started this petition to ask Arianna Huffington to consider the disconnect between what she says and what her eponymous media empire does. We figured that a leader like Arianna must not realize how routine and rampant the denigration is.  She's busy, after all and maybe she doesn't have time to read the Huffington Post. Surely, we thought, being made aware of the problem she'd see it as an opportunity to do right, and to lead.  The evidence of the objectification is so clear, so obvious, so plain to see over and over so many times each could she do nothing? But we didn't just start a petition, we emailed her.  And you know what, she emailed back in about ...

#thecumulativeeffectThe Hypocrisy of Arianna Huffington

1 response | March 7th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 9.56.08 AM

Here are 10 headlines (and a screen shot on the left) from the front page of Huffington Post as I type. You decide if 1 by 1 or as a whole they objectify women. Or, maybe you think they help move women forward in a society that still keeps them back (whether by design or default).  We have our opinion here, and it's that Arianna is being wildly hypocritical, championing women's issues and social justice on the one hand, and overseeing a business that uses objectification and sexualization as page-bait, as regularly and consistently and in as much quantity as The Huffington Post does. Obviously we can all do and think whatever we want.  Arianna has a business to run.  But it seems to us it's nothing short of wildly hypocritical to hold yourself up as a fighter against wrongs when you keep-on perpetuating the wrongs you say you're fighting against. Here are those 10: Sweaty Selena PHOTO: Tina Fey's Swimsuit Nightmare Kate For Playboy Dita's 3D Dress "Teen Mom" Sex Tape Allison's Hot Workout Pants Renee Looks Different Naomi Watts Nearly Flashes All What Liking Boobs Could Mean LOOK: Katniss Everdeen Dons Jaw-Dropping Gown For 50 more ...

A Woman Should…

19 comments | August 29th, 2012


(Submitted by Shelby, a 22 yo Chestist)

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > a youth she's content to leave behind.... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE... > a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family... > A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... > eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her ...

#thecumulativeeffectMs. President

5 comments | July 15th, 2012


When she was born, a friend gave our daughter a little pink tee-shirt reading "future president".  It was ironic, I suppose.  6 and a half years later, I'm not 100% sure why this is among the realtively few things from then that we chose to save...but we did.

I am pretty sure we don't want ER to grow up to be Preident, at least if it were our choice.  Seems a pretty thankless job and one that's hard to do well under any circumstances.  That aside, the bigger question in this moment is whether we think she ~ by virture of being a she ~ could grow up to become president in her life time, or will the oval office remain a sausage-fest?

Our daughter's also black (we're not), and even in retrospect it's stunning and telling to consider that a before a woman did, a black-man made it to the Presidency of a nation whose morality and values can still be doled out with a degree of convenience and arbitariness belying our stated principles.  But that's another story for somebody else's website.

(by Seth from FMB)


#thecumulativeeffectRewriting Fairytales

8 comments | July 10th, 2012


(by Kristen, a Chestist)

I found out I'm having a baby girl over the weekend. To be honest, I was disappointed. Life as a woman in this country is difficult. Beautiful women get a lot more without trying as hard and the rest of us are inundated with media telling us why we're not right for not being those beautiful women.

I didn't want that for my daughter, so I wanted a son. I looked at the ultrasound screen; I saw the difficult life she would have---that I've had---and I cried. And then I realized why it matters more for me to have a girl. It matters because it's time to change my attitude. It's time to make this world understand that beauty isn't as important as what she can do. It's time for me to step up and teach her that she is incredible, smart, talented (no matter what those talents are). And it's time for me to use my own talents to help her understand.

I'm a writer and thanks to my unborn daughter, I have a new project in mind. When she's born, I won't ...

#thecumulativeeffectSexual Double Standards

6 comments | June 17th, 2012

double standard

(story submitted by DS, a Chestist)

My best guy friend had a threesome and ever since he told me about it the first time I've had a fantasy about having one (not with him). 

I love sex.   2 guys and me -- twice as many hands, tongues, lips, arms, legs and bodies doing all the things bodies do.  I mean, come on.

I don't think it's ever going to happen.  The perceptions of a guy who has a threesome is so different than if a girl does.  As archaic as I think that is I don't know if I can deal with it.  It's not like a lot of people would know but there's such a double standard.  Some fantasies are meant to stay fantasies I guess. {end story}

DS' story reminds us of Kevin Smith's movie Chasing Amy (with Ben Affleck).  You think there's a sexual double standard for women and men?  What can we do to change it?

Love & SexFinding Myself

7 comments | June 13th, 2012

chestist enthralled

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

Within the last few months I’ve fallen for a wonderful guy: there’s mutual respect, trust, attraction, the works—and though we’ve not yet gone much beyond the ‘making out’ stage I have, yes, fantasized on occasion about taking things further. But. While the fantasies where I was topping were great, the one with positions reversed flooded me with sudden panic. (Editor's NOTE: some of you may immediately know what "topping" is, we didn't.  So we looked it up.  Topping refers to the dominant role in a dominant/submissive relationship.  Thought this would help provide some context.) And when I looked back, and tried to figure why something so – not exactly innocent, but normal – had reduced me to this, this 'edge-of-tears' state, all I could think about was an incident last October, where a relatively new acquaintance violated the boundaries I had laid out as conditions for any activity. When this acquaintance seemed troubled about it some days later, I committed the mistake of saying, without thinking, that it was – okay? Not so bad? Didn’t need to be thought about ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhy Can’t A Girl?

9 comments | June 11th, 2012

double standard

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

I've been living with my boyfriend for 3 years and together with him for almost 5.  We're in love and everything is so good with us.  We've talked a lot about marriage but he hasn't asked me yet.  I feel like I should just ask him; like I should just get a ring and ask him to marry me.  Why can't a girl do that?  Why am I "supposed" to wait for him to ask me?

The only reason I'm not doing it now is because I don't know how he'll react.  What if he's planning something?  I don't want to emasculate him, I just want to marry him.  {end story}

Ah, ye olde double standard rears its head again.  What do you think...of course a girl can ask a guy anything, but why does it still feel like a girl can't (or maybe shouldn't) do this (what with it being the 21c and all)?  Would you ever ask your BF (or GF) to marry you?

#thecumulativeeffectWhich Came First, The Dis or the Delicate Flower?

39 comments | June 4th, 2012

exploding flowers

(story by Mir, from Consider the following scenario: X, Y, and Z are all friends. One day X tells Y something rather personal, and Y is supportive about it, but X asks Y not to mention it to Z, because sometimes Z isn't all that empathetic. Well, Y ends up telling Z and not only does Z totally make fun of X's situation, Z convinced Y that X is being ridiculous, too, and before you know it, Y and Z are still friends, but X is left out in the cold. Now. Are X, Y, and Z women or men? My unscientific research (consisting of... being female and talking to other people) shows that nearly everyone who hears that little scenario will assume that X, Y, and Z are all women. Do you know why? Because men don't do that kind of stuff. If all three of them were men, the story would go like this: X, Y, and Z are all friends. One day X tells Y something rather personal. Y never mentions it to Z. X, Y, ...

#thecumulativeeffectI Want to Be a Housewife.

12 comments | May 1st, 2012

double standard

(story sub,itted anonymously, by a Chetsist. An OOC rewind)

There are times when what makes us happy conflicts with expectations about what we're "supposed" to want and do.  Here's her story:

"Sometimes I really don't want to be a successful career woman...I want to be a housewife."  [end story.]

Can you relate?  Any like examples in your world?

The Female Funny

7 comments | April 19th, 2012


(story by Allison Goldberg and Jen Jamula, co-creators of Blogologues)

The writers are 2 funny people.  And they happen to be ladies too.  Imagine that.  If you're in NYC, go see their show.  If you're not, fight and defy stereotypes wherever you can.  Stereotypes aren't funny.  Usually.  Here's their story:

Stereotypes are interesting. They point out so many very true things. Alli is Jewish, and she definitely always checks for quarters when we pass pay phones. Jen is Polish, so obviously she’s an idiot. Mexicans are lazy, Asian men have small penises, and women? Don’t get me started. Women. Ugh. They’re so... not funny.

We all know that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are exceptions, not the rule. I mean, come on! Have you been to the movies? Men, men, men.

Oh, wait.

That’s right.

Just in case you thought that performance was the one field where women are overrepresented (well, us and the gays) ... WRONG! The Huffington Post recently reported that 1 out of every 3 roles goes to a woman, and pointed out that “[t]his means that men's stories out number women's by the same ...

#thecumulativeeffectWhy and How

8 comments | April 16th, 2012

dude, wtf

(by OOC)

Why do you think our culture objectifies women so much more than men?

Why do you think we have idioms like "man up" but no equivalent on the other side of the gender aisle?

Why is beer a "man's drink" and a white wine spritzer a "lady drink"?

Why is it okay to insult a boy or a man by saying they're acting like a girl? 

Why is acting like a girl usually presumed to be a bad thing?

Why do men hold doors for women, but women don't for men?

Why's it still more common (and sometimes expected) for a man to pick up a first-date check than a woman (if you don't go dutch)?

Why is it considered so much more natural for younger women to be with older guys than it is in the opposite?  Why are women "cougars" and men are

Why is it so much more common for physically beautiful women to be with physically unattractive men?  (Think, would you ever see a male version of Sophia Vergara ever married to a female version of Ed O'Neil?)

Why can men walk around without their shirts on every beach ...

#thecumulativeeffectThe World According to Google

7 comments | April 9th, 2012


With nothing else to do on a quiet Easter morning, we were thinking about this story submitted by one of you a year ago, and started randomly putting words into Google's Image Search to see how the world looks through the eyes of the Great Google in the sky.  We'll admit that our analysis is not a thorough one, but a quick look atthe first images that come up seem to reinforce a lot of gender stereotypes, and interestinly - by and large - women are shot from the nipples up while men from the shoulders.  Hmm.

Take a look and let us know what you think about what you see (and don't) in the comments.  Also, add your words to the library below and let's see what your world looks like through the eyes of search. 






White Men:

White Women:

African American Women:

African American Men:








#lifestagesTea for You, Tea for Me

31 comments | March 22nd, 2012


(story by Mir, from Both of my kids were big fans of the ubiquitous pretend tea party when they were little. We always had a tot-sized tea set (or two) floating around, and I would obediently fold myself into a child-size chair when directed, so that we could sip our air together. My daughter often donned a special outfit for the occasion---either from the dress-up clothing or her closet---while my son usually opted only for a funny hat. ("This is my tea drinking hat!") She would hold her pinky up and "act fancy;" he would dig through the play food and serve me a banana on a hot dog bun or something similarly weird, and then laugh and laugh at my reaction. I want to tell you that I treasured every moment of those tea parties. I'd love to be able to say that in the moment I knew that it would all be over in just a few short years, and I savored it fully. I could tell you that, but it wouldn't be true. Sometimes I savored ...

It’s Only Hair…Right?

89 comments | March 13th, 2012

chestist soup

(story by Mir, from WouldaShouldaCoulda)

No one is ever going to accuse me of being easy-going; my teenager's favorite thing to say to me, these days, is "Geez, Mom, CHILLAX." (I am, I suspect, the only person with whom she uses that word, and the humor is partially because of that, of course.) I can be a bit persnickety, yes. A little high-strung at times, sure. I have strong opinions on many things. I'm okay with this.

One of the issues on which I cannot be bothered to feel strongly, however, is hair. Hair grows. No hair decision is irreversible; even if you're terribly unhappy with your choice, eventually you can do something else. It's just... not that big of a deal.

To me, this makes sense. To some folks who know me, though, I guess it was a little surprising when I let my young son grow his hair long. Or when I let my daughter dye a streak in hers. But to me, it was a easy way to let the kids have a bit ...