Tuesday, June 30, 2009

South Carolina Circus is better than TV!

I have close ties with the state of South Carolina. It's the home state of my parents and the Myrtle Beach area is practically a second home for me. So needless to say I absolutely can't stop watching the insanity going on with the SC gov right now. It's better than the movies, Mamas!!

First, he disappears for a week. Lies about where he is (oh, I'm just hiking. Yeah, that's it. Hiking right up here on the Appalachian Trail!). Then gets caught getting off a plane from South America (Doh!). Last week he held a far too long and kinda creepy news conference detailing his affair with an Argentinian woman, tan lines and all. Now, he's mooning like some lovesick puppy about how his mistress is really his soul mate, but he's going to try to fall back in love with his wife.

Is he dropping acid? Seriously. He's going to "try to fall back in love with her?" Rrriiight. At this point, his wife is probably like, "Uhh, no thanks. You can pretty much just keep it moving." Jenny Sanford is no dummy. FINALLY ... a political wife who's dealing with the embarrassment of a cheating husband with strength and a semblance of dignity instead of being given the standard 2 shots of Jack Daniels and a Valium so she can endure being propped up by her dog of a hubby's side while he spills his cheating guts to the media. AND she let it be known that her main priority was her kids, not her husband's career.

I DO like her! In my mind's eye, I can truly see her smacking him upside his head whenever he opens his mouth and lets dumb shit roll out.

What the hell is going on with these governors? Last year my state's former Governor Spitzer got busted with hookers. This year, my adopted state's governor decides to turn into the roving Romeo. Hmmm. Maybe it's me?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The most un-girly giveaway on the Net!

I'm a girl. I like playing video games. Guess that makes me a girl-gamer. I'm not talking some recent Wii action, either. I'm talking old school Atari, first edition Nintendo, and Sega Genesis. Yeah... I'm old. So?

I was playing Combat when those slow-ass tanks seemed state of the art. I was a quick-shot with that bulky grey Nintendo gun. I dabbled with Street Fighter, stayed up late with Super Mario Brothers, and let's just say that I have a bit of an issue with Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (Don't call me between 8:30 and 10pm, btw. That's Zelda time, baby!)

As a girl gamer I feel obligated to say that the recent influx of pinky frou-frou video games do not impress me. There's nothing wrong with creating games for females. I'm a marketing girl at heart. I understand the need for targeting and segmentation. OK, so maybe some girls don't have a desire to spend weeks exploring stunningly detailed landscape, hobnobbing with fantastical characters, and fighting the forces of evil in the sacred realm of Hyrule (my inner-geek is riding high today!). Maybe some girls don't like stealth and fighting games. That's fine. But don't tell me that this is the best you can do. Jeez!

When I play Mario Kart: Double Dash with my son, we're in a no-holds-barred duel to kick each other's butts. Sometimes I choose to be Princess Peach or Daisy and drive their zippy little feminine cart; and sometimes my son chooses them. That's the point. We can decide whether we want to be a princesses or Donkey Kong or some big lizard dude.

Creating a game "especially for girls" where the main selling point is that it's pink and all about shopping, fashion or make-up {gaaaaak...oh, sorry...dry-heaving} is a little insulting and pretty damn boring. Maybe I want to play a game like that sometimes,but other choices would be nice. And yet, it seems the pink invasion has only just begun...

image from Social Images: Seeing is Believing

David Gardner, CEO for EA's worldwide studios , says the the video game industry is failing women: "They don't want 'pink games'. They are not trying to play girly games where Paris Hilton and Britney Spears go shopping and put make-up on."--BBC News

Amen, David. So in honor of non-girly gamers everywhere, hows about a giveaway? Yes? OK! Check it out...

My Do It All is a toy chest jam-packed with mini-games and mini-tools. Stay close with friends by exchanging Friend Cards, play wicked tricks using the Voice Changer and Sound Effects machine, become a whiz kid with all its amazing reference tools, and even create your own, unique miniature you!

You like? You want? You can win! Three ways to enter...

1. Leave me a comment below.
2. Become a follower of Reign of the Girl-Child on Blogger (publicly).
3. Follow me on Twitter

Giveaway will end Wednesday, July 9th at 11:59pm. Winners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on this site.

Happy gaming!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friends Don’t Let Friends Waste Content!

After my hell month of May, I've come to realize that this summer will be bringing even more weeks of insanity where I barely have time to brush my teeth, much less write a blog post (and frankly, if I choose writing a post over brushing my teeth I need to get my priorities straight).

It's summer! The kids will be home, I'm still consulting and looking for a job at the same time, and family will be coming in and out of town all summer. There's day camp and other activities to deal with. So what's a blogger to do when life gets in the way of her and her laptop? Tracee Sioux of The Girl Revolution has come up with a wonderful solution. A whole summer of link love!

...what if bloggers didn’t waste all our fantastic content? What if we spend the summer copy and pasting our bloggy friends’ content on our blogs? The benefits include...

- We expose our readers to our own fave blogs, passions & friends.
- Our readers get new material all summer long.
- We get new eyes for our blogs by being featured on other blogs.
- We get links that up our rankings.
- Google still likes us for frequent posting.
- We get to spend our summer with kids, friends or on other projects.
We get to read more blogs
- We get to re-juice. Writers need to re-juice.

The key is simple and easy for everyone. I’m talking about a summer of copy and pasting people. Copyright rules apply, links and attribution MUST be included in any story.

How dang easy is that? Well, I'm down. Get the details of how this Summer of Link Love works on Tracee's blog... and let's start sharing!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Would you send your daughter to "Wife Camp"?

There's a new camp program in Canada that teaches girls how to be ladies. It's called Make Over Camp. The goal of the two week class, which is geared to girls ages 10 to 14, is to teach things like table manners, posture, conversation, fashion and make up and hostessing skills. Hmmmm .... interesting.

Don't get me wrong; kids today are definitely in need of manners. And I'm talking basics, like "please" and "thank you" type stuff. And helping kids understand the need for making good conversation, respecting elders, table manners, and I'll even give you good posture (i.e. walking like you don't have a bag of sand down the back of your pants), is great. Of course these are lessons that should be taught by parents, but that's a whole 'nutha story. The things that bother me about Make Over Camp are:

1) The name. In my mind (which granted is a little twisted but I've learned to use it to my benefit) "Make Over " is synonymous with "you're not good enough the way you are." Sending that message to 10-year-olds? I no likey.

2) Make Over Camp is for girls only. This part bothers me a bit more than the name. All kids need these lessons, not just girls. Teaching girls how to dress, wear make up, talk nice and set a table is fine, but what the hell are the boys learning? Creating and marketing this program for girls makes it into more of a what some people are calling a "wife camp".

Teaching niceties to girls alone makes sociologist Marc Lafrance irate. “It might as well be called Wife Camp! Is Betty Draper happy on Mad Men? No! She’s miserable! Things like makeover camp send the message that a girl’s value lies in being entertaining, ornamental, totally innocuous, accommodating and polite,” said the assistant professor of sociology at Concordia University. -- Macleans.ca

I have to agree with the professor on this one. What about you?

Friday, June 19, 2009

New York Healthy Teens Act Passed!

I've been ranting and raving for the past year about funding for comprehensive sex education for our kids here in New York State. The bill for the Healthy Teens Act had been floundering in the State Senate for about 5 years. Meanwhile, the teen pregnancy rate in New York State (and everywhere else) has been rising. But today, I received the following in my inbox from the Family Planning Advocates of NY State:

We are excited to announce that this week, the New York State Assembly passed the Healthy Teens Act with huge bipartisan support! The 129-16 vote shows just how much educating your community and your Assembly member about the need for comprehensive sex ed has paid off.

The Healthy Teens Act would create a grant program to support school and community efforts to implement age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education programs. This program is vitally important in statewide efforts to educate young people to make healthy decisions and to prevent unintended pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

If you see me smiling this weekend (despite the forecast for more rain...where the heck is spring, anyway?!) you'll know why.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Wordless" Wednesday. Umm, not really.

I see that a lot of blogs participate in Wordless Wednesday. It's not something that I've ever done myself, but I enjoy visting all of my favorite blogs to see the images that everyone else is posting. Today, however, I'll make the exception and add something to the Wordless Wednesday hoopla.

Ok, so it's not exactly wordless, (and obviously I'm already doing it wrong because I got this big ass introduction going) but just turn the volume down and it'll be just as good. Believe me, you don't need the sound anyway.

Note: This has absolutely nothing to do with girl empowerment or smart mama discussion. It's just a lil' something that had me on the floor for about 10 minutes and made me choke on my juice. It would be wrong not to share that.



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Open her mind. Expand her horizons.

In my book Feel Good, Girl!, I have an exercise called Mind Twisters where I challenge the girls to look at everyday things in a different light. For example, the concept that "pink is for girls" and "blue is for boys" is generally accepted by most people. But why are we so quick to conform to the pink/blue rule?

My daughter loves blue and has lots of blue elements in her room. When she brings new friends over to visit someone is guaranteed to ask, Is this your brother's room?.

And don't let a little boy get caught wearing a pink shirt or hat. In certain places he could be teased right off the playground. That's a lot of power for a color, no?

The way we view other people is another area that can be twisted up a bit. How much do our perceptions of people who look or act a certain way, impact how we feel about them? For example.

But my favorite twist-able topics cover the areas of gender cues and sexism.

Mind Twisters are a great way to get girls (and adults) thinking about the unwritten rules in society and the ways that we conform to them ... for better or for worse.

I recently came across a site with a huge collection of thought provoking images that definitely qualify as Mind Twisters. Sociological Images is a blog on the website for Contexts, a magazine published by the American Sociological Association. It features a collection of images (taken from magazines, television, videos,and even store shelves) and commentary that encourage a deeper look at our societal norms from marketing to beauty standards, to the way toys are sold.

SO interesting. I'm hooked!

Illustrations courtesy of Feel Good, Girl!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Girl-Friendly in a girl-hostile world

Let's face it, Mamas. No matter how much the media screams "GIRL POWER," the fact is, our society is not very girl-friendly at all. Don’t believe me? Just ask blogger Tracee Sioux, who got a nasty surprise when she typed a certain word into Google.

One only has to Google the word “girl” to realize that the very word we use to identify young females of the human species, our precious daughters, has tragically become a four-letter word synonymous with porn. This tragedy is a result of a consumer culture that says it’s not only okay, but quite profitable, to consume girls.

Finding nothing but degrading images and sick fantasies from simply typing your gender into a search engine can be a bit disheartening. Or how about realizing that after flipping through magazines, watching TV or listening to the radio for an afternoon, your primary purpose in the world seems to be as something to be ogled, admired, grabbed and put on display and in to service?

What's your name? Are you good at math? Do you play a wicked flute? Can you run faster than all the boys in your grade? Who cares, honey!? Just make sure that you have a rockin' bod and a cute boy on your arm in time for swimsuit season.

Above magazine is targeted to ages 12 to 17, BTW. Sigh. Girl Power? I don’t friggin' think so.

But alas, my job is to shine a light in the places were real-deal girl empowerment is more than an idea used by marketers to sell lip gloss and shampoo. You want girl-friendly, you gotta look for it. Here are some good places to start.

The Girl Revolution
Sticker Sisters
What About Our Daughters
New Moon
Girls Can't What?
Shaping Youth
Girl Ambition

Stay tuned for more.

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