Saturday, July 20, 2013

The "Mask" Of Masculinity

That's professor and author of Guyland Michael Kimmel on the Kickstarter page of a documentary called The Mask You Live In.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom, director of the documentary Miss Representation, that looked at the portrayal of women and girls in the media, now focuses on masculinity with The Mask You Live In. (Say the title slowly and it sounds like "masculine." Get it?)

From the film's Kickstarter page:
The Mask You Live In documentary will examine how gender stereotypes are interconnected with race, class, and circumstance, and how kids are further influenced by the education system, sports culture, and mass media- video games and pornography in particular. The film also highlights the importance of placing emphasis on the social and emotional needs of boys through healthy family communication, alternative teaching strategies, conscious media consumption, positive role modeling and innovative mentorship programs.

The Mask You Live In hasn't completed filming and they're still raising funds at the moment. It would be very timely to look at the portrayal and challenges of black masculinity in America in light if the discussion of race and the perception of black boys after Trayvon Martin's shooting and George Zimmerman's acquittal.

You can read more about the The Mask You Live In and contribute to doc here.

(H/t: Huffington Post)

Prince William To Take Paternity Leave

Whenever the next in line to the British Crown is born, his father will take paternity leave.

Prince William will be the first senior British royal to take statutory paternity leave when the Duchess of Cambridge (aka, his wife Kate Middleton) gives birth to their first child any day now.

If you think William is a royal and doesn't have a job in the common(er) sense - as I thought for a moment - you might remember he is a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot in the British Royal Air Force.

His two weeks of paid leave may not add much to their royal coffers, but I think it's a great example of a high-profile new father taking time off to be with his new baby.

Read more from Yahoo/AP

Thursday, July 11, 2013

14-Month-Old Plays With Dad's Cellphone, Buys Car on eBay

It's not as bad as it sounds. The car was very cheap (just over $200), the parents will keep it and maybe give it to the young shopper when she can drive.

But it's a good reminder: I need to keep a sharp eye on Spencer when he's on my phone!

(H/t: Mashable)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day Trip: Hastings-On-Hudson

A couple of weeks ago*, we took a trip to Hastings-On-Hudson, NY. And while not much was happening on the town's Main Street, it was much livelier on, well, the Hudson.

We walked to MacEchron Park where there was a tennis club, kayakers and a playground that Spencer took advantage of.

The best part was the beautiful view of the Hudson River.

To get a sense of the view of the Hudson, take a look at this video. You might be able to see the George Washington Bridge.

*I thought about posting sooner, but the video wouldn't have come well. Then I read today that Instagram now allows pictures and video to be embedded. So, here you go!

What Is Happiness?

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively.
-Eleanor Roosevelt
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
-Steve Jobs

What is happiness to you? Finding a good job? Spending time with your family?

This week, Time magazine has a cover story and several articles on happiness: what it means to different people, who has it and who doesn't, and a how to get it. Time also quotes several people throughout American history, like Roosevelt and Jobs above, on the finding of happiness. And there's a piece about what Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers meant by "the pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence.

Read the articles in Time.

Photo credit: Oliver Munday/Time

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mos Def Is Force Fed To Protest Treatment Of Guantanamo Bay Detainees

This is tough to watch.

Actor and rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, was force fed to protest the treatment of detainees at the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The video was produced by the human rights group Reprieve and released by the Guardian website.

It was clearly difficult for Bey. He eventually stopped the procedure because it was too painful to continue.

The demonstration was based on the Standard Operating Procedure written by U.S. Southern Command and published online. Of the 166 prisoners, 106 are on hunger strike and about 45 are being force-fed.

Again, this is difficult to watch. But it's important to know what's happening there.