Dad's video on the over-sexualization of young girls shows that we have a lot of work to do
via ericasaysstuff / TikTok

For many men, raising a little girl causes a great awakening when it comes to their understanding of gender. It provides them an eye-opening first-hand experience of the everyday sexism that they probably weren't privy to before.

A survey from the Oxford Economic Papers found that parenting young girls changes men's attitudes when it comes to gender norms.

"They experience first-hand all the issues that [exist] in a female world and then that basically moderates their attitudes towards gender norms and they become closer to seeing the full picture from the female perspective," Dr. Joan Costa-i-Font, co-author of the research from the London School of Economics, told The Guardian.


TikTok user and father of a 14-month-old girl Michael Vaughn provided a great example of this awakening. He gave a passionate, and thoughtful answer to another TikTokker who asked dads when they realized that young women are over-sexualized.

Vaughn finds it insane that we sexualize newborns.

"It was 100% the clothes. And I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn't know how bad," he said. "And then we got a onesie for our daughter that says: 'Sorry, boys, dad says no dating' — sized for a newborn. I guess I'm wondering who they thought was going to date our zero-month-old daughter. But, all the girls' clothes are remarkably annoying for so many reasons..."

Vaughn goes on to describe how clothing designed for little girls isn't just obnoxiously pink, it's also sized incorrectly and less functional than the clothes you can get for boys.

"Like, I don't get why boys get normal shorts and my daughter gets shorts with an inseam of negative two," Vaughn said. "Like, we legit buy boy pants for our daughter because girl pants are sausage casing leggings. I'm not squeezing a baby back into sausage casing every single diaper change. So, it was 100% girl clothes. Girl clothes are the worst?"

Vaughn later expanded on his thoughts about raising daughters to Buzzfeed. After exposing the cultural blindspot in his TikTok video, he shared some steps we can take to help fix the problem.

"The cool thing is you're the parent, which means you get to be involved in what they're exposed to, how they're exposed to it," he said. "This also means you get to set an early standard about what matters, like their talents and interests. In other words: Positive things that help define them that don't involve their appearance."

He gave dads some tips for understanding how young girls are oversexualized. He says to start by analyzing the clothes they see in the store. Even though boys and girls are pretty much the same size when they're toddlers, the clothes are not.

"I recommend starting with the sayings on T-shirts, then comparing size 3T shorts for girls and boys," he said.

He also reminds men that the easiest way to learn about sexism is to listen to women.

"This research also includes asking the women in your life if they'd be willing to share their experiences being over-sexualized as children," he said. "Don't push if they're unwilling; many of those experiences are traumatic."

Vaughn later expanded on his initial comments in a follow-up video.


True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.