Posts tagged “stereotypes”

Mamas, don’t let your babies…

With Occupy Oakland confrontations behind us (I hope), Halloween ahead of us, and technology all around us it seems increasingly challenging to navigate the complexities of parenting. Here’s a little taste of what some moms and dads are grappling with today:

For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets [] – Children continue to be a familiar presence in civic unrest in this piece that takes a look at the intersection between protesting for economic justice and parenting. Some supporters believe exposing children to such controversies helps to teach them critical thinking skills and introduces them to fundamentals of civic engagement. Others express concern for children’s safety and fear potential trauma.

And so it goes in the second month of Occupy Wall Street, where children are becoming an increasing presence as parents try to seize a “teachable moment” to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to the right to protest- A group called Parents for Occupy Wall Street, headed by Kirby Desmarais, a Brooklyn mother and record label owner, even organized a sleepover at the park for more than 80 parents and children on a recent weekend night. (The families had to be moved at dawn to make way for new police lines and barricades.) Spin-off parent groups have sprung up in other cities like Denver and Seattle.

‘We’re a culture, not a costume’ this Halloween [] – The Ohio University organization, Students Teaching About Racism in Society, have launched a campaign to get people to think twice before donning a costume that reduces an entire culture to a stereotypical caricature. Proponents contend that confronting stereotypes helps combat racism, while opposition in editorial forums has touted that fun and lighthearted nature of the holiday, indicated it’s nothing to be taken too seriously.

It’s a seasonal point of controversy, but even after widely publicized controversies such as the “Ghetto Fab” wig at Kohl’s and Target’s illegal alien jumpsuit, costumes of stereotypes abound. On Google’s shopping section, several pages of “Mexican costume ideas” are available, from “Mexican donkey costumes” to sexy serapes and tequila shooter girls.

Tiger Moms and Digital Media [] – A psychotherapist specializing in internet and video game addiction offers 9 guidelines to parents who wish to help their children develop normally, with a healthy relationship to digital media. I find myself particularly challenged by number 8, Model what you preach. “Ouch of awareness” from this parent of an 8 year-old who has more apps on my iPhone than I do and yes, he installed the entire entertainment system when we recently relocated.

I’ve been specializing in this problem for many years. For reasons I cannot explain, I saw the approaching flood, when internet addiction was only a trickle. Now, that flood is upon us. Statistics tell us that between 6 and 13% of the general population meets criteria for Internet Addiction. In the college age population, that number stands between 13 and 19%! That’s a lot of young adults who are addicted to digital technology. In S. Korea and China, the problem is growing so rapidly that those governments have declared Internet Addiction to be their #1 public health threat.

Wash that patriarchal and limiting perception right out of your hair

This story (link may expire) about an evolution in Japanese shampoo marketing points to a loosening of traditional advertising personas (and an associated shift in beliefs about who their customer really is).

Kaori Sasaki, who heads a communication consulting company, said Japanese businesses long viewed female consumers in three oversimplified categories – the housewife, office worker and schoolgirl.

But that formula is rapidly growing obsolete as more women pursue ambitious careers and more mothers join the work force, she said.

“Marketing is changing to reflect a changing lifestyle,” Sasaki said. She noted a recent TV commercial for detergent that depicts a man doing the wash – something once virtually unthinkable in male-dominated Japan.


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