+
More

There's 1 simple question every parent should ask their kids tonight. It's about Santa.

Unlearning gender-based stereotypes is actually pretty easy. Here's how.

Christmas is just a couple short weeks away, and there's no better time to think about Santa's physics-defying ride around the globe.

7 billion people, 10,000 homes per second, and just 48 hours (thank you, time zones!) to do it? It's not a job for just anyone. Clearly you have to have some major skills to pull it off.

But — does Santa have to be a man?


GIF from "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Anomaly, which is a creative agency behind the #MoreWomen campaign, set out to find out how integral Santa's gender is to the job of being Santa.

In the video, a group of kids is asked if a woman could do Santa's job.


And they want you to try this at home! GIFs via Anomaly.

The answers were kind of, well, disturbing.

It's not so much the whole "Santa has to be a man" aspect that's disturbing, but more the reasons why a female Santa just wouldn't work that raised some eyebrows.

That's exactly the point the video is trying to make.

Many of the kids' reasons why Santa couldn't be a woman centered around stereotypes.

There's the bad driver ...

... the mom ...

... the migraine-prone ...

... and the weak.

The video encourages parents to use the question about Santa as a way to talk to their kids about stereotypes.

Studies show that gender-based stereotypes (such as "women are weak" or "men are good drivers" or — well, you get the idea) are often learned at home and at a young age.

Which is neither to say that the kids nor their parents are anything other than lovely human beings. They probably are!

"Subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female." — Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience

But when parents' subconsciously model of their own parenting style off of those same gender roles, kids pick up on that.

Here's how Clara Moskowitz at LiveScience describes one study:

"Fathers issued more imperatives (such as 'Put the toy in the bag') and polite commands ('Why don't you try pushing that') than mothers, while mothers gave more play leads, such as 'Wanna look at the book?' or 'Let's see what's in this bag.
***
Ultimately, these subtle gender differences between how mothers and fathers act could be imparting important lessons to children about what it means to be male and female. The kids might pick up on the fact that daddies are more assertive and mommies are more passive and incorporate that into their own behavior over time."

Great Christmas movie or greatest Christmas movie? GIF from "Jingle All the Way."

And the same thing goes for what kids see in the media.

If the only behavior kids of all genders see as a representation of girls and women in movies and TV shows are them shopping, playing with dolls, and doing other traditionally feminine things, that's going to have a lasting effect on their whole concept of what girls are like.

Not that there's anything wrong with enjoying shopping. GIF from "Mean Girls."

Talking to your kids about stereotypes is just one way to help them unlearn them.

Unlearning stereotypes doesn't have to be hard. Really, it's as simple as making sure kids know that there are people who exist outside of them.

Show your kids sports heroes like Serena Williams, who shows that women don't have to be weak; comic strips that show that, yes, men can be emotional (and it's OK); videos that demonstrate how odd some of society's gender-based double standards are; or even just the fact that some people exist outside the gender binary.

The path to unlearning some of those stereotypes can begin with asking kids a question like "Could a woman do Santa's job?"

The key is to get young minds thinking about the world, questioning the limitations and stereotypes in place (another example: "Why is it always that a princess needs saving by a man? Why never a prince being saved by a woman?") and understanding that there are no limits to what they can do in life.


"Whoa, whoa, whoa, guys. Who says you can just 'win' me?" GIF from "The Princess Bride."

All of this is a part of why it's important to have diverse representation in media.

When kids are little, they're sponges for the world around them. And if all they see are very narrow depictions of what boys are "supposed" to be like and what girls are "supposed" to be like, they'll wind up trapping themselves in those boxes.

By starting this conversation, you're helping them process the amazing potential that is life!

So go ahead, ask your kids if a woman could do Santa's job. At very least, it'll start an interesting conversation.

Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
Internet

Relationship expert tells people to never get married unless you're willing to do 3 things

"If you and your partner (both) are unable or unwilling to do these 3 things consistently forever, you won’t make it."

Relationship expert gives people advice on getting married.

Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. Learning someone else's quirks, boundaries, and deep views on the world can be eye-opening and hard. But usually, the happy chemicals released in our brain when we love someone can cause us to overlook things in order to keep the peace.

Jayson Gaddis, a relationship expert, took to Twitter to rip off people's rose-colored glasses and tell them to forego marriage. Honestly, with the divorce rate in this country being as high as it is, he probably could've stopped his tweet right there. Don't get married, the end. Many people would've probably related and not questioned the bold statement, but thankfully he followed up with three things you must be willing to do before going to the chapel.

Before going into his reasons for why he tells people not to get married, Gaddis explained that he is a person that "LOVEs being married." I mean, it would probably make him a pretty weird relationship expert if he hated relationships, so it's probably a good thing he enjoys being married. Surely his spouse appreciates his stance as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Humanitarian Helen Keller circa 1920.

In a 1954 documentary short, humanitarian Helen Keller expressed that her greatest regret in life was being unable to speak clearly. But given that she could not see or hear, her speech was quite remarkable.

Keller was born in 1880 and, at the age of 18 months, contracted an unknown illness that left her deaf and blind. But with the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she was able to overcome her disabilities and become an outspoken advocate for the voiceless and oppressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

10 years ago, a 'Stairway to Heaven' performance brought Led Zeppelin's surviving members to tears

Heart, John Bonham's son and a full choir came together for the epic tribute.

Led Zeppelin got to see their iconic hit performed for them.

When Billboard and Rolling Stone pull together their "Best Songs of All Time" lists, there are some tunes you know for sure will be included. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is most definitely one of them.

It has everything—the beauty of a ballad, the grunginess of a rock song, the simple solo voice, and the band in full force. "Stairway to Heaven" takes us on a musical journey, and even people who aren't necessarily giant Led Zeppelin or classic rock fans can't help but nod or sing along to it.

Of course, it's also been so ubiquitous (or overplayed, as some would claim) to become a meme among musicians. Signs saying "No Stairway to Heaven" in guitar stores point to how sick of the song many guitarists get, and when Oregon radio station KBOO told listeners they would never play the song again if someone pledged $10,000, Led Zepelin singer Robert Plant himself called in and gave the donation.

Keep ReadingShow less