kindle case

Imagine, for a moment, that we could tell at birth (or even before) whether a child was left-handed or right-handed. By convention, the parents of left-handed babies dress them in pink clothes, wrap them in pink blankets and decorate their rooms with pink hues. The left-handed baby’s bottle, bibs and dummies – and later, cups, plates and utensils, lunch box and backpack – are often pink or purple with motifs such as butterflies, flowers and fairies. Parents tend to let the hair of left-handers grow long, and while it is still short in babyhood a barrette or bow (often pink) serves as a stand-in. Right-handed babies, by contrast, are never dressed in pink; nor do they ever have pink accessories or toys. Although blue is a popular colour for right-handed babies, as they get older any colour, excluding pink or purple, is acceptable. Clothing and other items for right-handed babies and children commonly portray vehicles, sporting equipment and space rockets; never butterflies, flowers or fairies. The hair of right-handers is usually kept short and is never prettified with accessories.

Nor do parents just segregate left- and right-handers symbolically, with colour and motif, in our imaginary world. They also distinguish between them verbally. ‘Come on, left-handers!’ cries out the mother of two left-handed children in the park. ‘Time to go home.’ Or they might say, ‘Well, go and ask that right-hander if you can have a turn on the swing now.’ At playgroup, children overhear comments like, ‘Left-handers love drawing, don’t they?’, and ‘Are you hoping for a right-hander this time?’ to a pregnant mother. At preschool, the teacher greets them with a cheery, ‘Good morning, left-handers and right-handers.’ In the supermarket, a father says proudly in response to a polite enquiry, ‘I’ve got three children altogether: one left-hander and two right-handers.’

And finally, although left-handers and right-handers happily live together in homes and communities, children can’t help but notice that elsewhere they are often physically segregated. The people who care for them – primary caregivers, child care workers and kindergarten teachers, for example – are almost all left-handed, while building sites and garbage trucks are peopled by right-handers. Public toilets, sports teams, many adult friendships and even some schools, are segregated by handedness.

You get the idea.

It’s not hard to imagine that, in such a society, even very young children would soon learn that there are two categories of people – right-handers and left-handers – and would quickly become proficient in using markers like clothing and hairstyle to distinguish between the two kinds of children and adults. But also, it seems more than likely that children would also come to think that there must be something fundamentally important about whether one is a right-hander or a lefthander, since so much fuss and emphasis is put on the distinction. Children will, one would imagine, want to know what it means to be someone of a particular handedness and to learn what sets apart a child of one handedness from those with a preference for the other hand.

We tag gender in exactly these ways, all of the time. Anyone who spends time around children will know how rare it is to come across a baby or child whose sex is not labelled by clothing, hairstyle or accessories. Anyone with ears can hear how adults constantly label gender with words: he, she, man, woman, boy, girl and so on. And we do this even when we don’t have to. Mothers reading picture books, for instance, choose to refer to storybook characters by gender labels (like woman) twice as often as they choose non-gendered alternatives (like teacher or person). Just as if adults were always referring to people as left-handers or right-handers (or Anglos and Latinos, or Jews and Catholics), this also helps to draw attention to gender as an important way of dividing up the social world into categories.

—  Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender (p. 144-145)

To celebrate the end of filming the 3 season of Outlander … Nothing better than a phrase from the last chapter of Voyager

“America,” I said softly. “The New World.” The pulse beneath my fingers had quickened, echoing my own. A new world. Refuge. Freedom.“Yes,” said Mrs. Olivier, plainly having no idea what the news meant to us, but still smiling kindly from one to the other. “It is America.”Jamie straightened his shoulders and smiled back at her. The clean bright air stirred his hair like kindling flames.“In that case, ma’am,” he said, “my name is Jamie Fraser.” He looked then at me, eyes blue and brilliant as the sky behind him, and his heart beat strong in the palm of my hand.“And this is Claire,” he said. “My wife.”..
Diana Gabaldon

there’d be spells that hogwarts students do to make their electronics work, have wifi, charge electronics, and use all kinds of muggle things that usually go haywire around so much magic. at parties someone brings their iphone, cranks the party playlist, does a levitating charm on it and puts the muffliato spell on the doors. every year a couple older students get in trouble for being careless with the giant flat screen tv’s they smuggle in but pretty much everyone whose job it is to do that gets away fine with their bigger on the inside boxes. wii parties in common rooms. walking into the ravenclaw dorm to hear beatles songs playing from a pink-cased kindle while students study in small groups.