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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Coming soon: the reinventing Barbie bash

By Katie Jo Matekovic

November 21, 2008 | Have you ever stopped and wondered why there is no Bookworm Barbie, Engineer Barbie or maybe a Grandma Barbie? Maybe you have, but Mattel created the stereotype of the Barbie where most of us don't have to think about it.

This year as a sponsor for Women's History Month in March, the Women and Gender Studies program is doing something a little differently, reinventing Barbie dolls. Brenda Cooper, director of WGS and event coordinator, decided not to have an annual keynote speaker and give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to redesign and challenge stereotypes about what Barbie's appearance in reality should look like.

When it comes to Barbies, most are generic and unrealistic so students, faculty and staff should have a blank slate to start with. Other figure toys such as Bratz Dolls, G.I. Joes, etc. are also welcomed to be redesigned.

The overall goal for the reinventing Barbie bash is to offer an alternative, feminist statement, and one that challenges stereotypes.

Brenda Cooper says, "Women and Gender Studies is such a vital and important part of this campus. The Barbie celebrates the WGS students by giving them a forum and voice of what the program means to them and the role of gender in their lives."

Categories and submission guidelines are still in the working and until next semester Cooper and the WGS program are looking for donations of Barbie, Bratz, G.I. Joes or other figure dolls. So in the month of March plan to see a realistic and more defined side to the stereotypical Barbie doll.



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