Something to think about

Some people say that boys’ toys are boys’ toys because boys like to play with them–and that there are fewer female engineers because many women just don’t really want to be engineers. I mean, they’ve got the choice to become an engineer if they want to, right?

But others (like us) feel that it’s more accurate to say that boys’ toys are boys’ toys because we tell them so, because they’re marketed that way, and because we’re so used to them being that way that we don’t really know any different.

Check out this video for an interesting discussion of this issue: 

And how do we feel about counterarguments from toymakers like Mattel that Barbie’s doctor and astronaut costumes historically don’t sell as well as others do, and that “we only kept the doctor’s uniform in line as long as we did because public relations begged us to give them something they could point to as progressive”?*

Since ARK has been on midterms, and now spring break, we’ve been a little spotty about posting. Expect regularity and frequency soon, though!

While you wait, head over to our home campus’s website — –and check us out! Our founders are featured on the front page. We were also featured in Pomona College’s The Student Life ( and Scripps College’s The Scripps Voice ( before break? Read all about it.

Till then, take care.


*Leavy, Jane. 1979. “Is There a Barbie Doll in Your Past?” Ms. Sept. 1979, pg 102., quoted by Jennifer Terry and Alan C. Swedlund. Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture. 1995. pg. 283.
Comic by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal at


We’re all getting busy with midterms, so we’ll keep it brief for you today. These are two letters to the editor of the New York Times lauding New York for trying to limit prostitution by focusing on charging the buyers and sellers of sex, rather than mostly on the prostitutes themselves. What are your thoughts on this? What are your thoughts on prostitution in general? Are prostitutes, as one of the writers says, victims without free choice?


Pictures! BE ♥ HEALTHY!

War on Women

Still believe that the fight for the equal treatment of women is over?

Think again. Look at what’s going on in Virginia.—virginia-s-transvaginal-ultrasound-bill

Stay strong,


Feminist Dilemma: High Heels

I can think of quite a few reasons I was totally unimpressed with the latest issue of Marie Claire. But the worst offender this issue was a certain well-dressed Frenchman.

More alchemist than cobbler, Christian Louboutin transforms women with the flirtatious peep of a toe and click of a sculpted heel…what they walk away with isn’t just a pair of shoes, it’s a priceless feeling of feminine power.

–Marie Claire, March 2012 issue (emphasis mine)

Apparently Christian Louboutin, the famed French shoemaker is celebrating 20 years in the business. In honor of his work, Marie Claire interviewed him. Now, the interview started off okay (besides that bit that made me twitch in the introduction, quoted above), with questions about Louboutin’s career and inspirations. Suddenly, though, on the second page of the interview, things got much worse.

“A man is a fetishist: He polishes his shoes, appreciates the finish, wants to preserve them fora long time. A woman doesn’t care about this. She isn’t proud of having a shoe for 10 years. It’s a natural feminine instinct to accessorize. A naked woman in heels is a beautiful thing. A naked man in shoes looks like a fool.”

–Christian Louboutin, Marie Claire, March 2012 (emphasis mine)


“[Heels are sexy] because one moves more slowly in heels. Walking fast is neither sexy nor engaging. Nobody notices the people who race around. If you’re walking in heels, you’ve got time. It’s much more attractive.”

–Christian Louboutin, Marie Claire, March 2012 (emphasis mine)

Christian Louboutin

I, of course, was totally appalled by these statements, but I wasn’t really sure what to do with my disgust.

I’m a woman who loves business dress–i’m in my element in a pencil skirt and heels. I’ve always known that heels were a little pointless, but I love the way they make my legs look, I love their clicking sound on hardwood floors, I love the added height, and I love the confidence boost they afford me. I also recognize that heels can have the connotation of the “office whore” or whatever–but that’s not who I am, and I have the right to wear them if I want to, right? If they make me feel good, then does it matter?

$625 Louboutin Pumps

Well, it DOES matter.  …I think.

Actually, I’m really not sure. I’m torn between my love of heels and my feminist disgust for the words of Mr. Louboutin.

I like wearing heels because I like the way they make me look and feel–so my first instinct is to stop the argument right there and just wear the heels.

But we need to take a closer look at what heels represent. If they represent the epitome of the “sexy” woman, or work to make women fit more easily into the stereotypical masculine fantasy, then maybe it’s time to put those heels back on the shelf. When I put on the pink peeptoe pumps I splurged on this summer, am I feeling good and confident because I am being true to who I am, or am I feeling good and confident because I’m fitting a stereotype and a fantasy?

I think this warrants some discussion. So what do YOU think?


Why America Hates Women: fighting the internal war

Welcome to 2012, when marvelous things can be achieved—just watch how we go back in time, and back on the great strides women have made.

A few days ago, the inquiry into the Obama administration’s decision to guarantee access to contraception services and other preventative health care free of charge began.  Yet, all of the people testifying at the hearing were men.  When the issue was raised, the Chairman refused to include a female witness.

Shouldn’t women be making decisions about their own bodies? What century are we in, where we don’t let women speak about their own rights? How can men speak for our problems?

Yes, they ultimately did let two women testify.  But that doesn’t change the fact that women were excluded in the first place. Moreover, they excluded from those testifying a Catholic woman who represents the view of most Catholics, which is that Obama’s compromise was reasonable.

What does Santorum’s chief financial backer have to say on the matter? Cross your legs!

Excuse me?

What else? I’m glad you asked.  Apparently, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is now a partisan issue.  First authorized in 1994 by Clinton, it has since been reauthorized with overwhelming support, that is, until this year.  The legislation received no GOP support, though it was sponsored and cosponsored by senators from both parties.

The legislation aims to improve the response to violence against women, including domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault.  According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than three women are murdered by boyfriends and husbands each day.

This issue is still relevant, and should have the full support of those representing the people of this country.  The main objection: victims can’t be discriminated against based on sexual orientation or background.

So, violence against women is O.K. for certain individuals, but not others?  Please explain this to me, because as a human being, I can’t make the same distinction.

Do YOU think there can be too many victims???

Stay strong,