A Brief History Of Crossdressing

Humans are designed to compartmentalize objects, ideas, and experiences. It’s how we survive. Our early ancestors’ ability to instantaneously decide a whether a situation was safe or dangerous was imperative if they…

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The Most Offensive Toys Ever Made

Obviously targeted at children, toys are meant to engage them in various ways and stimulate their imagination. As a child, for the first 10 or so years of your life, the toys you have invariably help shape who you become. With that in mind, a lot of pressure and power is foisted onto toy companies, who are constantly creating the next big thing that malleable minds just can’t do without. When they succeed, you get the Slinky, the hula hoop or Tickle-Me-Elmo. When they don’t, you get stuff like this:

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Offensive Toys Oreo

Barbie dolls might be popular, but they do have a sketchy history of misogyny and racism. Perfect example – the “Oreo Fun Barbie”. Originally, it was simply meant to be an innocent team-up between Mattel and Nabisco. However, nobody working there appeared to be aware that the word “Oreo” also has a very offensive meaning – that of a black person trying to be white (because they’re black on the outside and white on the inside, get it?). Suffice to say that this toy caused quite a stir and was quickly pulled off shelves. Source: Heidi and Frank

Offensive Toys Specs

No description required. Just in case you want to fool your friends with this “oriental disguise” (those are some stupid friends). You might think that this is a thing of the distant past, but a quick Google search shows them available for purchase from various shops, labeled under “Costumes”. Just in case you want to go as a racist stereotype for Halloween. Source: Funny Junk

Offensive Toys Tramp

If you’ve ever wanted a homeless man action figure, this is the one for you. Technically, it’s a character from Dick Tracy called Steve the Tramp. However, the box simply says “The Tramp” and he’s accompanied by this description: “ignorant bum…you’ll smell him before you see him”. Unsurprisingly, the toy was discontinued for being a little insensitive towards the homeless. Source: Village Books

Offensive Toys WTC

Always research before you buy, lest you wish to make light of one of the biggest shocks to the United States in recent memory. One hapless company did just that, buying these irreverent toys—to be used as candy bag prizes—from another company without really knowing what they were first. 14,000 of them were packaged and sold before huge numbers of complaints got the candy bags pulled from shelves. Source: Heidi and Frank

Offensive Toys Money Box

This 1882 toy embodies all of the 19th century’s normalized racism in one fell swoop. In case you haven’t figured it out, it’s a piggybank. You put the coin in his hand, raise it and he swallows the coin. Source: Flickr

Offensive Toys Spanish

Mattel wanted to put out a Spanish Barbie. So they opted to borrow from bullfighting—a hotly contested sport and one that fascist dictator Franco promoted as a symbol of the state. This move received a lot of complaints (including from celebrity Barbie fans) and the toy was discontinued. Source: Fotopages

Offensive Toys Shape Shifter

The limited edition series known as Shape Shifters made Marvel toys that…well, shape shifted. And by that, we mean that they had hidden weapons they could pull out. For The Punisher, the designers decided to give him a “crotch launcher”. And it actually fired…all you needed to do was cock his weapon! Source: Retro Daze

Offensive Toys Nimbus

At first glance, this just looks like a replica broomstick from the popular Quidditch game in the Harry Potter series. Just put the broom between your legs and take off! What’s wrong with that? Well…it vibrates. And just because it looks like a broom doesn’t make it ok to sell vibrators to kids. Some parents simply opted for the obvious solution of taking out the batteries, but this was still not enough to prevent the toy from getting pulled. Source: Heidi And Frank

Offensive Toys Dora

This one is just guilty of bearing an unfortunate shape. Admittedly, children might not find anything wrong with this. Others with a bit more empirical wisdom might think otherwise. The pink color and the giant D in the middle don’t help things, either. Source: Taringa

Toy Batman

This toy is pretty straightforward. First you open the plug in Batman’s butt and fill him up with water. Then you pull the trigger in his crotch and it makes him squirt out his mouth. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Source: eBay

Why You Should Thank Power-Hungry Catholics For Halloween

Most modern festivities are the result of a decades-long process of borrowing (which is not always a peaceful process), and Halloween is no exception. Had it not been for the Catholics wanting to stamp out any Celtic spiritual influence, you might have to search for other reasons to eat and drink in excess at the end of every October.

A Brief History Of Birth Control

birth control pills

Fun Fact: the progestin birth control pill was originally submitted to the FDA for approval as a treatment for “menstrual disorders,” because the researcher feared it would not be approved as a contraceptive product. Once approved, the box featured a warning label that stated “warning, this pill will likely prevent pregnancy,” and doctors began prescribing it off label. Source: NPR

For almost as long as humans have existed, we’ve been trying not to get pregnant, often in some interesting and creative ways. While abstinence is the only form of birth control that’s 100% effective, it’s not that interesting to write about. This journey through the history of contraception–from ancient herbal concoctions to glow sticks for your vagina–will make you thank your lucky stars that all the average American woman has to do to receive quality birth control today is buy health insurance, find a doctor who takes that health insurance, make an appointment, allow aforementioned doctor to stick things inside of her, pay her co-pay, bring her prescription to the pharmacy, wait for a pharmacist to fill the prescription, and then take one pill every day at the same time.

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How Starling Murmuration Research Could Save A Species

Tornado Shaped Starling Murmuration

Source: Joey Clark

A black shape shifts in the sky, fluidly retracting and expanding, catching the attention of people who pull off to the side of the road to watch. While you might be picturing a scene from The Conjuring, in reality this incredible occurrence is little more than gathering of starlings. In fact, millions of starlings gather each year during fall and winter, forming thick flocks that twist through the sky and create beautiful patterns known as starling murmurations.

Starlings form Bird Shape

Source: Neil MP

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