Swedish toy company says gender roles are outdated

“Leklust, a Swedish-based toy company released its summer 2012 catalog this week with something quite different than most of its competitors’: reversed traditional gender roles. One of the pages depicts a boy (or girl?) dressed as Spiderman, pushing a pink stroller, while a separate page featured a young girl riding a pedaled race car.

“Gender roles are an outdated thing,” the company’s CEO said.

See more here, from The Advocate.


Iris Einheuser

Berit Brogaard writes:

It saddened me deeply when I recently heard of the death of Iris Einheuser. Iris was supposed to attend a conference on aesthetics and relativistic semantics organized by James Young in Victoria, Canada, this week. I had been looking forward to seeing her at the conference. I knew she had been struggling with cancer but she was so young that I believed that she would have been able to make it through. Iris’ colleague Sara Bernstein informed me that Iris passed away last week on March 29, 2012, after officially receiving tenure at Duke University on March 22.

Iris was a very promising young philosopher with papers in prestigious journals and volumes, such as Relative Truth (Oxford), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Nous and Philosophers’ Imprint. Despite her young age, she had already made notable contributions to important issues in core analytic areas. She had an exceedingly bright future ahead of her that was abruptly interrupted by this terrible disease.

Iris received her master’s degree at St. Andrews and her Ph.D. at MIT. She wrote her dissertation on conventionalism under the direction of Professor Stephen Yablo. In her dissertation she argues that metaphysical relations, such as ontological dependence, may be partially grounded in conventions. After teaching a few semesters at Wellesley College, she was hired at Duke University in 2005. She was a prominent person in several core analytic areas, including philosophy of language, metaphysics and philosophical logic. We both had an interest in relativistic semantics, which was how I got to know her. I have learned a tremendous amount from our conversations about semantics and the different notional variants of relativistic semantics.

Iris was a wonderful human being, one of the nicest people I have ever met. Her exceptional intellect and her kindness have always been among the first things people have noted when Iris’ name came up. My former colleague Irem Kurtsal Steen just noted on my update on Facebook that Iris was the nicest person she had ever been interviewed by. That is just how Iris was. She asked the kinds of questions that brought out the best in people, both intellectually and personally. She was philosophically and psychologically insightful in a way that is rare to find in people in today’s busy, internet-based society. Iris’ premature death is an immense loss to the philosophical community. She will be truly missed.

We hope to publish at least one more remembrance of Iris. But please also leave your thoughts in comments.

(Dates corrected above.)

Ashley Judd… on patriarchy

Apparently Judd’s “puffy” face has been a major news story.

That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.


I ask especially how we can leverage strong female-to-female alliances to confront and change that there is no winning here as women. It doesn’t actually matter if we are aging naturally, or resorting to surgical assistance. We experience brutal criticism. The dialogue is constructed so that our bodies are a source of speculation, ridicule, and invalidation, as if they belong to others—and in my case, to the actual public. (I am also aware that inevitably some will comment that because I am a creative person, I have abdicated my right to a distinction between my public and private selves, an additional, albeit related, track of highly distorted thinking that will have to be addressed at another time).

If this conversation about me is going to be had, I will do my part to insist that it is a feminist one, because it has been misogynistic from the start. Who makes the fantastic leap from being sick, or gaining some weight over the winter, to a conclusion of plastic surgery? Our culture, that’s who. The insanity has to stop, because as focused on me as it appears to have been, it is about all girls and women. In fact, it’s about boys and men, too, who are equally objectified and ridiculed, according to heteronormative definitions of masculinity that deny the full and dynamic range of their personhood. It affects each and every one of us, in multiple and nefarious ways: our self-image, how we show up in our relationships and at work, our sense of our worth, value, and potential as human beings. Join in—and help change—the Conversation.

 From here.  (Thanks, T!)