Double Standard and Harassment

Ms. Melissa Atkins Wardy writes at length on her blog Pigtail Pal & Ballcap Buddies about attitudes towards boys and girls and how it connects with street harassment. She starts by describing a threatening incident that her daughter’s friend went through, and connects it to the culture at large:

“The way the incident happened, there was something about her that this guy felt made it worth his while to engage with her in a very threatening manner. In this encounter, she wasn’t simply walking by on a sidewalk and he chose to cat call her. In this instance he put himself in her path, stopping her in her tracks thereby treating her as an object to be moved or disrupted, as opposed to an autonomous human being with thoughts, feelings, and purpose. […]

“From infancy boys are taught to be rowdy rock ‘n roll bad boys who are little masters of the universe and tiny stud muffins.

“From infancy girls are taught to be sweet and pretty, things to be adored and kept beautiful while pleasing everyone around with the sweet prettiness.

“These messages are all over media, apparel, toys, and are relayed by people who interact with our children. […]

“Unless taught by his family, a boy is less likely to learn from our culture that girls and women are worthy of respect and equality or that aggression does not make you a man.

“Unless taught by her family, a girl is less likely learn to offer herself as a whole person rather than a sexual object or that she can be many things without needing the approval of men. […]

“By the time they are teens most boys will have seen very little media that respects women and most girls will have seen very little media in which women ask for or take respect. Then we consider all of the advertising they have seen up to this point, the vast majority of which shows women as objects to be used for male sexual desire. […]

“So when I […] think about my friend’s daughter being harassed while she is out for walk I, [sic] also think about how this fits into the big picture in how we raise or children and what messages we choose to accept or reject. I think about how I try to teach parents to see the forest through the trees, and that while one gendered item or media component may seem trivial, it all adds up to a deep, dark forest we have to shepherd our children through. We also have to teach them how to find their own way, because we won’t always be by their sides.” [emphasis added]

(Quoted at length to fully reproduce the point.)

Kudos. Because patterns of behavior matter, and patterns of abusive behavior need to be nipped in the bud.

Murals from Trash and Paint

Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo (aka Bordalo II) uses paint and scraps plus various pieces of trash to form huge 3D murals in cityscapes. To highlight just two examples, here is a frog and a raccoon:

Wow! Because looking at trash with fresh eyes is a skill that needs to be treasured!

Teaching Positive Masculinity

Mr. Courtney Robinson, Dean of Students at Facing History High School, has established male-oriented programs in New York that teach models of maleness, change the way men think about their masculinity. He connects with highschoolers through questions and debate, but also by going over plain everyday occurrences. Natascha Yogachandra reports in The Atlantic:

“Robinson listens intently to the students’ problems and responds with short suggestions for nonviolent solutions. It’s a male place, a haven for these high-school boys to talk about the things they ordinarily would find difficult to air in public.

“The purpose of these programs is to give boys the chance to rethink maleness, and to change the way men treat women and each other. Moore, the one who always brings up basketball, says that the group isn’t for the weak-minded. ‘This is for people who got strong minds; who are willing to step up to the plate and really become a young man.'”

Mr. Robinson is also undeniably committed to his students. Despite an offer for a supervisory position, he chose to stay at Facing History High because, in his words,

“[m]e seeing y’all and being here to support you all [to] graduate and move forward and be able to deal with your problems, and help you all make it through and give you all advice means more to me than whatever dollar amount they were going to give me.”

Kudos. Because there shouldn’t be only one way to be a man. Because diversity is where our strength lies as a species.

Light Installations Bring a Rainbow of Colors into Spaces

Artist Peter Erskine incorporates laser-cut prisms into existing spaces. He is interested in exploring the interplay of light, space, and architecture. So far Erskine’s work has appeared in and on both modern and historical spaces, with equal success.

Peter Erskine Great Trajanic Hall in Rome

Great Trajanic Hall, Rome, Italy. Peter Erskine.

Peter Erskine Milan Central Station

Milan Central Station, Milan, Italy. Peter Erskine.

Beautiful.

Because light and color can draw the eye into unexpected details and reveal new ways of looking at your surroundings. Because different points of view are what makes the humanity so amazing.

I’ll Hold Your Cane If You’ll Hold My AT-AT

An older fan couple cosplay Han Solo and Princess Leia at the 2015 Emerald City Comic Con:

Photo by Fanpup101 on Twitter. The walker with an AT-AT sign is the best!

Because also fictional characters get old, and because when we non-fictional characters getting old, it doesn’t mean we lose our sense of humor!