Re: my earlier post on manic pixie dream girls (which I have corrected to give coinage credit to Nathan Rabin at A.V. Club). Here’s the ever-brilliant Anita Sarkeesian at Feminist Frequency on the subject. And in case you missed it, here is…well, just watch and enjoy!
Archive for May 2012
Sociological Images is ruining my life. I can spend hours looking at their images tracking….well, everything (God and the U.S. dollar) but especially the evolution of gender: there’s their current Lego series; the periodic rants on pet ownership; how video game ads have changed; men’s/women’s toilet signs from around the world and the take-down of Zoe Deschanel-style “manic Pixie dream girls” (a term coined by Nathan Rabin at A.V. Club and further explained by Feminist Frequency). Things you never think about, never notice, but that shape us all the same. Love. LOVE!!! One of my favorites, is from about a year ago: a round-up of products for kids. Among them, onesies that include a list of “ingredients” on the tummy. What are boys made of? Love, energy, and dirt: And girls? love, beauty and kindness: Then there’s this photo of ride-aboard trucks at Target: The boys’ version is red and is, appropriately, called a Lil’ Fire Truck Ride-On. [...]
Here’s one for Mother’s Day. Interesting. Posting it fast, but hope to comment here–or perhaps in “old media” soon…. Your thoughts?
Pixar is all but putting up signs saying, ”EVEN THOUGH BRAVE IS ABOUT A GIRL BOYS AND MEN WILL LIKE IT! WE’VE GOT DICK AND BUTT AND FART AND VAGUELY HOMOPHOBIC JOKES! SEE?NO COOTIES HERE, GUYS, NO SIRREE! YOU CAN SEE THIS AND STILL BE A MAN!” What a bunch of cowards. This new trailer is clearly pandering to a male audience that may have qualms about a “princess” movie. Funny, yes, but I certainly don’t recall any equivalent assurances to women in campaigns for their previous twelve features, even when there were no female characters involved. Or was there a major aimed-at-the-ladies campaign before the original Toy Story that I missed? I thought not. I’ve blogged about Pixar’s atrocious record on female characters before (actually multiple times). And in Cinderella Ate My Daughter I wrote: I cannot help but feel, after waiting patiently–and sometimes not so patiently–through twelve genre-busting films about male [...]
I wrote earlier this week about the must-read YA novel, Kepler’s Dream, which was officially published yesterday. I’m thrilled to report that the book is already racking up stellar reviews. In this coming Sunday’s New York Times “Book Review” the discerning Dani Shapiro–herself a wonderful writer–calls the book “delightful” and “marvelous” and ”full of smart, subversive commentary on the numbing effects of contemporary youth culture.” She adds: But in the end it is Ella’s voice–utterly captivating, idiosyncratic, rich and memorable–that ties all the pieces together in, yes, a kind of dream logic, making this not only an entertaining book but an absorbing and artful one. From Library Journal: Ella’s divorced mother has leukemia and her father is busy guiding trips for his fly-fishing-trip business so the 11-year-old is sent to stay with her grandmother. Neither of her parents gets along well with her father’s mother, and Ella hasn’t ever met her. She joins [...]
The Drudge Report gets, um, props for breaking the story of the week on Monday: it ran this picture of the Secretary of State, front and center without makeup. Forget about Chen Guancheng, this is a national shanda! As Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel wrote: I guess we’re all supposed to gasp and feel faint, to acknowledge that yes, Hillary Clinton is a real live human with monstrous, terrible flaws, and this is the pictorial proof of that. And now she should hang her head in shame and Matt Drudge wins, and he’s automatically King of America forever. Let’s set aside, for the moment, the fact that we should all look so good–and be so healthy–at 64 (which, for the record is still in a woman’s prime….). Watching that picture go viral, I recalled Deborah Tannen writing in the New York Times Magazine that no matter what women wear they are “marked.” That’s linguistics-speak for [...]
Looking for a new “fight fun with fun” book for your middle grade daughter (or son….)? Honey, have I got two for you. Kepler’s Dream, the debut YA novel by Juliet Bell, is about 11-year-old Ella, a clever, compassionate girl whose mother’s cancer treatment and father’s disengagement exile her to “Broken Family Camp” for the summer: staying with her severe-natured grandmother in her peacock-ridden hacienda in Albuquerque. Neither of them is happy about the arrangement. Ella is afraid her mother may die, but all her grandmother seems to care about is her crazy library full of books When a rare and much-loved volume, Kepler’s Dream of the Moon, is stolen, however, Ella decides it’s up to her to find it. The result could be the key to healing her broken family. This is the kind of book I used to love as a girl, back in the days before the [...]
Over the past couple of months, I tried to get a number of editors to bite on this story: the town of Redbank, NJ (which calls itself “hippest town in NJ” thereby, ipso facto, making it not) has painted itself pink “to raise awareness of the importance of breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment.” I wanted to take apart the whole premise, possibly doing an annotated “memo” of its press release a la Harper’s. Couldn’t get anyone to go for it. I was reminded of the concept again today by Anthony Moro, husband of Rachel Cheetham Moro, the author of The Cancer Culture Chronicles blog (and inspiration to activists everywhere) who died earlier this year of breast cancer. Rachel died in the hospital sponsoring this event. And she would have hated. it. As Anthony writes on the blog, “painting the town pink”: …doesn’t help prevent death from breast cancer. More mammograms don’t [...]
When we called people “plastic” back when I was a teenager, it was an insult. These days, apparently, not so much. Joe Kelly, over at The Dadman (an expert on how to father girls, as well as husband to Nancy Gruver, founder of New Moon Girls online community/magazine) sent me a press release discussing the 71% rise in chin implants in 2011, in large part driven by teen girls asking to have the procedure done…for prom. That’s right, 20, 680 surgical procedures at $3,500-$7,000 a pop were performed last year. There has also been a spike in “ear-pinning,” (for those up-dos) which Darrick Antell, a spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, informally called “Clark Gable Wings.” Antell told the Sunday Times: At proms in the past, teens would line up for photographs and face the camera. But the rise of more informal images, captured during video chats or by smartphones when they are [...]
Sarah McMane, a high school English teacher in Upstate New York , accomplished poet and mom of a 2-year-old girl. She also founded an annual coffeehouse-style annual performance of original student poetry. Each year, as a model for her kids, she contributes an original poem of her own. She sent me this year’s piece, which I loved so much I thought I’d post it here. Enjoy. Clementine Paddleford, incidentally, was an American journalist, food writer and activist. _________________________________ For My Daughter “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” –Clementine Paddleford Never play the princess when you can be the queen: rule the kingdom, swing a scepter, wear a crown of gold. Don’t dance in glass slippers, crystal carving up your toes— be a barefoot Amazon instead, for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet. Never wear only pink when you can strut in crimson red, sweat [...]