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.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less

RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

Keep ReadingShow less

She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

Keep ReadingShow less