Tongues are wagging over a sweet video of Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth in which he recounts to Ellen a conversation he had with his four-year-old daughter.
Since she is growing up with twin two-year-old brothers, it's no surprise that she wants to be just like them.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War star, like all parents, wasn't equipped for the awkward exchange in which his little girl declared that she wants "what [the boys] have between their legs."
When Hemsworth explained that she is a girl - and nature will in due course provide her with her own set of body parts - his daughter was having none of it.
"I don’t want breasts!" she said. "She goes, 'Like I really want one.' I was like, 'A penis?' She was like, 'I want a penis!'"
Of course situations like this spring up and catch all parents unawares. They're called teaching moments. But Hemsworth's "You can be whatever you want to be" response missed the mark, according to many.
Mostly because it's not a biological fact. Girls can't just grow penises.
Commenters were quick to point out that a better response would have stressed that being a girl is something to be proud of in its own right. That a girl can be everything a boy can be. That possessing a penis doesn't make you less; it doesn't make you more.
But the fact is, the girl is four. Four year olds are full of fanciful curiosity. Hemsworth gave her the kind of simplistic reply that is age appropriate for a four year-old.
No matter which gender she grows to identify with, I'm sure Hemsworth and his family will love and support her all the same. And in the meantime, hopefully we wake up to the idea that real superpowers don't reside inside a person's tights.
Image Source: Flickr
When I signed in to Facebook this morning, the first thing I saw wasn't the latest celebrity gossip or grumpy cat meme - it was this Amber Alert for a missing five year-old girl:
Now, in the time it took to write this post, little Julia was found. She's safe and sound. And that's amazing. However, this post isn't about one particular child, but about how information gets disseminated to the masses.
For all its flaws - and there many - the world's social network is winning in some areas. Previously, you wouldn't hear about abduction alerts and missing child cases until the evening news (assuming you watched the news at all).
Facebook expedited that process, with news travelling from social circle to social circle, share by share. Even then, it was a painful, somewhat fluky process.
Not so anymore. The automatically generated Ambert Alert was the first thing I saw in my newsfeed. It was probably the first thing you saw, too. I didn't see it via a friend or a neighbour's post, either.
In doing so, Facebook has cast the net wide, and this is huge for the likes of York Regional Police. With all eyes and ears open, the likelihood for tracking down missing persons is infinitely greater. Such alerts give children the best chance of coming home safely. Such alerts give worried-sick parents a degree of comfort knowing everyone is on the lookout.
So by all means, read the alerts and share them. And be sure to let others know the moment children like Julia are found. Social networking means we all play a vital part.
Libraries have long been veneered for providing free access to all. It's one of the last remaining public spaces in which users can drop in and read or use a computer, no questions asked.
But a library in Newmarket, Ont. fears it's being confused - even abused - as a facility for its homeless population. Some of whom may also suffer from drug addiction or mental illness.
Staff has taken to handing out letters to certain patrons reminding them of the location of "free showers and laundry facilities."
Of course personal hygiene is always a major concern in public spaces - particularly during the hot summer months. However, to blatantly target and call out specific individuals for being smelly is not only rude, it's discriminatory.
You can't please all the people all the time. This appears to be the chief concern of the library's CEO Todd Kyle, who says other patrons frequently complain about the fact that such individuals are allowed to visit the site at all.
“I’ve had people comment to me that it’s too bad we have human rights laws, otherwise you could kick them out," said Kyle. "I don’t have a response to that.”
Neither do we, frankly.
A few letters have been doled out to people who are probably down on their luck and likely have nowhere to go.
Clearly a library does not obviate the need for housing and social services. Instead of singling out and discriminating against certain people, staff would be better trying out compassion.
By all means post notices around the library making such facilities known. Why not even bring in representatives from social services for a free workshop or information session?
But whatever you do, never lose sight of what makes libraries so indispensable: the fact that they are there to serve everyone.
It's in the name: public libraries exist for every solitary human being. Whether it's to take shelter from the elements for a while, to use of computers to surf for jobs or housing, or to use the phone to call said social services, they provide an important service.
Public libraries are a cornerstone of human dignity. Please, Newmarket, let's keep it that way.