Category Archives: Gender Ideologies

I am a Magnet for Depressing Literature

What is it with modern day books depicting unmarried woman as leading sad lives that involve never leaving their childhood homes? And more importantly, what is it with me finding these books?

Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours revolved around both a modern young editor and three older sisters.  It was about the sisters lives during WWII (with the editor’s mother) combined with the modern tale of the editor and her meeting the sisters.  It wasn’t a bad read but… seriously? Why must it be SO depressing?

Moreover, is there an issue here with twentieth century women who do not marry?  It’s a motif I have stumbled upon at least twice now, and I have to say, I’m not a fan.

So a woman has sisters who are close knit.  So she does not marry.  So life gets fucked up when they’re in their late teens/early twenties.  That does NOT MEAN they have to forget their dreams and sit at home singing “woe is me” songs.  Ruing their lot in life.  It was their choice to stay there.

But why is this even coming up repeatedly?  Is it a leftover mentality from the age of spinsterhood, that a woman without a husband is deduced to a depressed shell?  This is definitely a topic that needs more thought and, more importantly, more evidence.  Are there any other books about unmarried sisters not leaving home and leading depressing lives?  Are there any about unmarried sisters who still remain close despite living content and independent lives?

I may be on a hunt now.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies

I Wonder what Other People Text About

This post begins on February 1, 2012.  One of the news highlights of the day: Susan G Komen For the Cure is no longer giving grants to Planned Parenthood.  My Facebook and every news outlet is alight with this news, with many calling for a boycott.  I discuss via text messages with my friend Megara her thoughts.  Though she is more pro-life and I am more pr0-choice in my leanings, we tend to think alike.  My main question is “What would Susan G. Komen (the person) say?  How would she feel about Planned Parenthood?  If it bears her name, her beliefs should hold the most sway.”  Neither of us know the answer.

In my browsing of the day, I came across a link to the book Pink Ribbon Blues by Gayle Sulik.  I’ve been sulking and complaining about “awareness” campaigns for years.  I hate how every October, everything turns every color of pink, as if Jesus was born a girl and we’re all celebrating her birth.  I’ve always been of the opinion that if I wish to help, I will.  And not through some passive way like buying the pinkified products (we don’t even know if x amount of our money spent even makes it to the cause!) or by switching my Facebook status or picture.  I believe in a volunteer-based, action-based way of changing the world.  We can discuss ideology until we have parched throats and heavy tongues but, as Megara says, “And at a certain point it’s like dude, we’re aware of the problem… now what are we going to do about it?”  Aside from putting me and Megara in charge of the world (I dream big), what are we going to do about it?  And, more importantly, is this “awareness” even helping?

And so, I made my way to reading Pink Ribbon Blues.

This entry picks up at the end of March.  There is still a ton of women’s health issues going about and Ikkalee is both scared and infuriated.  (She has also been preoccupied with work: somehow this last weekend she worked 26 straight hours…)  It is due time I update with my thoughts on the book as I cannot fully give my thoughts on the present day political issues.  Why?  Half of them involve expletives and in general, it’s all too numerous to say.  That and I don’t want to just spew rhetoric; I want thoughtful responses and, if you can’t tell by now, a thoughtful response for me is about two pages long.  I’m surprised I still get calls from surveys.  But anyway.

I thought I would enjoy this book– hmm, where have I heard that one before?— as Ikkalee is not a fan of all the “lazy” activism for cancer.  And by that she means: here, change your Facebook status.  You are fighting cancer.  Here, buy this generic product.  It’s pink so that you can fight cancer!  That has never really sat well with me.  Like it’s good in theory, but…  I do think about the women and men fighting cancer and wonder if this really helps them.  So when I heard about Gayle Sulik’s book, I was glad that finally someone agreed with me and I was no longer the dot in a series of lines.

Throughout the book, I just felt like Sulik was just missing the argument, that, while interesting, she wasn’t saying anything to make me go “YES! OF COURSE! THAT’S IT!”  And this was sad.  I only took a few notes on small things, but I can share them here:

  1. On page 78, Sulik brings into discussion both LIVESTRONG (off topic but those bracelets always bugged me much like the “buy pink and support!” products bug me) and Gilda’s Club.  According to Sulik, these organizations exemplify the masculine and feminine responses to cancer: i.e. that women should be “in favor of nurturance, empathy, and a relational organization” (Sulik 78).  Men, she states, go for more for the “victorious heroism, sporting competition, and the war metaphor” (Sulik 78).  While I do not doubt that these “ethea” exist– in fact, I pretty much know they do– part of me cannot help but wonder since the organizations are based on real people, if their values are in response to the person’s values.  I don’t know enough about Gilda Radner, so I have no idea if my thought has any base, but it’s just a potential idea.
  2. Sulik, like so many people who dabble in Feminist theory, goes into a long discussion in the late 80s-90s pages that involve cartoons aimed at girls vs boys and how this could affect the responses to how women are supposed to deal with cancer.  And of course I have to wonder: Are you over-thinking this?  Sometimes these ideas have merit, but other times an apple is just an apple.
  3. One small thing that bugged me:  Sulik mentions and gives a brief overview of the myth of Persephone.  And through the summary, there is no mention of Demeter.  I get she wasn’t as important in this part, but seriously? Demeter is a vital part to that story.
  4. On page 367, Sulik mentions a campaign entitled “Not Just Ribbons“.  The goal of the campaign is to bring about more than just awareness, to actually get people interested in doing something that’s not just slactivism.  To which Ikkalee says: “YES!”
  5. On page 372, after giving an overview of “campaigns” such as “save the tatas”, Sulik states “The cultural equation of breasts, and having breasts, with women’s heterosexual identity enables pink ribbon products to trivialize and ignore the realities of breast cancer while simultaneously degrading women and putting them in their place” (Sulik 372),  This was the line I spent the entire book waiting for.  It was a FINALLY! moment.  Here was what I thought the book would be about; instead, I was given history, a few case studies (which I enjoy), and not a lot of argument/backing up the argument.  At least that’s how I felt.  But then I made it to this line and it was almost a “HALLELUJAH!” moment.  Here is what had bugged me, written out.  Here it all was.  If only it hadn’t taken over 300 pages to get here.
  6. On page 375, Sulik interposes a quote from a woman with cancer.  In the quote, the woman talks about Race for the Cure and how “people were writing… the names of people they knew with breast cancer…” (Sulik 375).  According to the quote, the woman saw her name on a t-shirt of a woman she didn’t even know.  When she asked the other woman why, she was told ” ‘Well they told us write the name of a survivor… I didn’t know anyone, but I saw your name on someone else’s shirt, so I wrote it on mine, too’ ” (Sulik 375).  That anecdote is so wrong on so many levels and quite nicely exemplifies what exactly is wrong with Pink Ribbon Culture.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Current Politics, Gender Ideologies

After two months, I was finally able to return the book to the library.

The conclusion of my opinion on Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella ate my Daughter.

And so we end with a discussion of Disney and Pixar movies.  I expect my thoughts to end no other way.  Orenstein states at one point, after talking about Tiana’s arrival, that “it was about time that Disney made up for the racism of Song of the South, The Jungle Book, and Dumbo (and Aladdin and Peter Pan)” (Orenstein 180).  My first impact: You forgot Pocahontas!  Remember, Orenstein does not seem to see the racism in Pocahontas, even talking about how “you can gussy up [her] eagle feathers only so much” (Orenstein 14).  Me: WHAT?  Pocahontas is like Aladdin: The stereotypes leading to racism are just slightly obvious.  And to be honest, that statement about eagle feathers?  For someone seeming to want acceptance, Orenstein sure seems to have a few moments of discriminatory thoughts herself.

Orenstein then moves on to talking about how her daughter did not seem to understand that Tiana, not Lottie, was the princess, saying that this was a way of showing how we have been taught to see only whites as princesses.  Though, Orenstein, in all technicality, you are wrong.  Lottie was a princess—princess of the Mardi Gras parade.  Tiana was just a real princess in the end, and a better caliber of princess, though both showed princess qualities (like kindness and understanding) that more people should live by.

Orenstein also seems to think that we are meant to dislike Lottie.  I don’t necessarily see that as true.  Yes, she was spoiled, but she, as Orenstein even admitted, “was ultimately good-hearted” (Orenstein 182).  I think people overanalyze these things.  Hell, I even overanalyze these things.

In order to convince her readers of great female voices outside of Disney movies, Orenstein names a few.  While I have not seen any, the name of one made me laugh, especially in the context of being a good movie with a strong female role model.  One of the movies is named Laputa: The Castle in the Sky.  And if any of you know Spanish, you will laugh at the title as well.  And if it’s taken from Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels… Well, Swift was a satirist.  He was also a bit risqué.  He wasn’t exactly “kid friendly.”

Orenstein moves on to talk about how kids don’t understand why you do not want them to have certain things.  The way she says it, I find a bit disrespectful.  She talks about kids being harmed, but treats three year-olds as unintelligent.  Three year-olds (and kids in general) can be smarter than we think.  They may not be able to express themselves perfectly, but they understand things.  Many also are not lacking in the empathy, and that takes understanding of adult situations.  Oh, and “Going all Amish” (Orenstein 186)?  Did you really just say that?  Now that is disrespectful.

On the next page, Orenstein laments the existence of Mulan II.  And truth be told, every loyal Mulan fan I know (myself included) acts as though Mulan II does not exist. Actually, on that thought: What is this Mulan II you speak of and why have I not heard of it? (But assuming I have heard of it, it totally copped a line from a Cinderella sequel.  Seriously, Disney?  I love you but…  Where’s the originality?)

At last we have arrived to the penultimate notes.  And it ends with Pixar and Disney.  Orenstein comments on how the Pixar themes do not have female leads and, after twelve movies, it is about time that Pixar had a female lead.  Orenstein goes even further to make it seem like all the movies do not have any female characters.  In turn, I have to go movie by movie (as I think of them) to point out important female characters.  (Besides—what’s wrong with the guys not getting stuffed aimed at them?  Lately it seems to be “Girls this and girls that” that finally a study came out that says boys are slipping in school because of the emphasis on girls… what’s wrong with making them feel special every once in awhile? But I digress):

  1. Toy Story – well, it is a boy’s room… Not excusing it, but some movies are predominately female, others male.  Both are acceptable.
  2. Small mailman?  Are you talking about Up because Up does not have any mailmen as main characters, even though one is called a small mailman.  And while the movie does center around two males, remember that it was an adventurous, well-rounded female that spurred the older male to adventure in the first place.  That and the awesome animal they find is female.
  3. Incredibles is about a family.  The women are as important as men in this movie.  It has a good mix, from what I can remember, of male and female superhero characters.
  4. Finding Nemo:  Marlin is neurotic, but everyone remembers loveable and forgetful Dory.  Why?  Because since she is so trusting, she is able to solve all the problems with finding Nemo.
  5. Monster’s Inc did not make Orenstein’s list of male characters she had to sit through.  I was going to say that there were no female monsters, but then I remember Roz.  Roz is quite important.  But anyway, an integral part of the movie is Boo—a female.
  6. Wall-E.  I don’t know about you, but female EVE was pretty awesome and good at ass-kicking.

Yes, some of the movies are male-strong, but often supporting characters—NOT protagonists—make the movies and you are overlooking some awesome females in the Pixar movies.  And again, what’s wrong with making boys feel special from time to time?  The movies are also good at showing males and females working together as equals… at least I think they are.

Now the last of the Disney:  Orenstein worries about how Tangled will be when it comes out.  According to Orenstein, who even admits that she may enjoy Tangled, it “will not be ‘Rapunzel.’ And that’s too bad, because ‘Rapunzel’ is an especially layered and relevant fairy tale, less about the love between a man and a woman than the misguided attempts of a mother trying to protect her daughter…” (Orenstein 190).  And you know what?  That’s what Tangled was about! Yes, there was a love interest, but there’s one in the original tale as well.  Yet the love interest does not take up a lot of the movie.  It really is about a “mother” protecting her daughter, and her daughter’s rebellious search for identity and freedom.  A lot of Disney movies have more than just guy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-etc.  Many themselves are quite layered.  Listen to the lyrics, sometime.  Great intelligence there, for the record.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies

It’s only racism if you’re black. It’s only sexism if you’re female.

Part nine of my review of Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate my Daughter.  And the title is because sometimes life makes me think that so much attention is given to one segment of society that we forget about everyone else who may also be having a hard time with discrimination.  That and my thoughts on Pocahontas that follow in this entry.

Orenstein really really dislikes the Disney princesses.  I don’t know if she has made that apparent enough yet </sarcasm>.  So naturally, when her daughter goes to a Disney on Ice show for a friend’s birthday, the daughter dresses like Pocahontas.  To Orenstein, that is acceptable.  To Ikkalee, that is a WTF?

During the three pages that Orenstein mentions Pocahontas, nowhere does she discuss the implicit racism and sexism scattered throughout the film.  And yet, she goes off on American Girl dolls and the Princesses (and later on, the brief racism in Dumbo).  Is anyone else a bit confused about this?  And let’s not even forget all the historical inaccuracies in the movie.  Yet, Orenstein conveniently forgets to mention any of this, making it seem like in the world of Disney Cannon, Pocahontas is one of the few acceptable characters.

Orenstein also touches on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign (and I totally got to see her speak during the Iowa campaigns before their big caucus.  One of the few things I enjoyed about my college experience).  Orenstein discusses the pressure Clinton was under—not only did she have to present her political stance, she also had to present herself as a woman: something that men who run for president never have to do (that is, present themselves as manly men).  Her clothes were discussed, the way she looked was discussed, how masculine/feminine she acted was discussed.  According to Orenstein, it made it hard to actually know what Clinton stood for.  In my mind, this is a lot like the woman-as-CEO trope, and how they have to be considered a bitch.  I do wonder, however, on how much the males get judged on non-politics (cheating comes to mind rather quickly, though that seems to be oft times forgiven).  Are there some things they have to present—people bitched about Obama’s accessories/lack thereof (flag pin anyone?)—that we as a society do not pay attention to because we are so used to it?  Like for CEOs, it seems they always have to be aggressive; same with presidents.  Why can’t we have a nice CEO or president for a change?

On page 148, to show her point on the above about Clinton’s campaign, Orenstein quips: “And then there was the real debate: over her pantsuits” (Orenstein  148).  In typical Ikkalee fashion, my first thought was “Hillary Clinton has pantsuits?  Did she really wear them a lot?”  I am notoriously good at ignoring appearances (and several other things—I still liked Howard Dean despite his supposed fatal yell) when it comes to politics.  True, I did not vote for Clinton, but that was not because she was a woman.  People actually thought I loved her and would vote for her and was 100% behind her.  I did not vote for her because, in terms of policy, I was more in line with Obama’s train of thought (Statistical college vote) than hers.  However, I love that Clinton is Secretary of State for Obama, and I think that that kicks ass.  So much better than VP or even President.

After discussing Clinton’s tragic tale of clothes, Orenstein moves on to the way other girls get treated by their peers.  As I well know, if you do not play by the rules—I’m being called out on being too nice lately—no one seems to like you.  You get made fun of.  As Orenstein states. “No wants her daughter… to be ostracized for having the wrong clothes, hair, or pop preferences” (Orenstein 151).  Or, to be fair, no one wants to be ostracized themselves for the same exact reasons.  I know this well.  Apparently I have horrible music taste.  But that’s another subject.  But in the end, you kind of get used to it.  Not saying it’s right to be ostracized, but you do find and appreciate the people like you, who listen to your music, read your books, watch your movies.  And in the long run, you’re better for it as you’ve become more exposed to things that are not just mainstream.

And at this point of reading, I had a flashback.  When I was five, one of my brother’s friends decided I needed a Wonder Woman comic and thus gave me one (my brother’s friend would have been 10 or 11 at this point.  And I may have even been six, which would put him at 12 and most squarely in pre-teen range).  He didn’t give me it because of the sexualization of the outfit, but because Wonder Woman kicked ass.  And he wanted me to see that.

On page 152, Orenstein worries about how she rubbed off on her daughter, saying that her daughter had begun to reject everything girly, including people.  Orenstein worries that her daughter is learning to reject everything female in the thought that male things are better.  I have to think at this part that Orenstein seems to dismiss/reject—whether consciously or not—any girl who embraces the princess culture.  Seriously.  Just let girls be who they are.  If they like Riot Grrls stuff, so be it.  If they like princesses—good for them!  Each can be seen as having intrinsic feminist value.  Let girls discover who they are and don’t tell them that X is sexist, or Y is only for girls.

(And once more props to Orenstein – page 165—great discussion on impact of social media.  It really is true how it affects our offline lives).

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies

I should get a Masters in Fairy Tale Evolution

Part Eight of my thoughts on Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate my Daughter.

Ripping a book apart is not complete without me nitpicking, so I have to nitpick now.  On page 100, Orenstein says “Which brings me back to fairy tales” (Orenstein 100).  Um, excuse me?  When were you on fairy tales?  Aside from discussing Disney Princesses—which are different than fairy tales, trust you me—you really have not discussed them.  That is all.

I apparently did not like page 100 of this book as my notes has two more comments concerning this page.  That doesn’t bode well… Let’s see what I have to say:

  1. Orenstein worries about her five year old being exposed to fairy tales and the damage it can cause because the Grimm tales are, well, grim.  My thoughts?  Your daughter probably won’t notice.  My favorite movie at 9 was Grease.  I watched it again at 20 and thought “Wow… There’s a lot of innuendo that I missed.”  Things with sex and violence often go over kids’ heads, especially if they live in a world where someone gets back up again after being hurt.  Not that that happens in kids programming or anything </sarcasm>.  Oh, and I totally grew up with the Grimm version of the tales, so it’s not like I was overtly sheltered.
  2. Orenstein also criticizes psychologist Bruno Bettelheim when he argues that fairy tales are crucial to Children’s developments.  Is it a surprise that I agree with him?  I mean, I have an entire blog devoted to what I get out of books and what they make me think about.

A few pages later and Orenstein seems amazed about the countless tales of Cinderella through several cultures.  Now this is no surprise to me as one: I already knew about several, and two: I have been in classes that love to discuss collective conscious.  So here’s the thing:  there’s a lot of Cinderella stories that evolved throughout the world, so why is it?  My best guess is the collective conscious that my classes liked to pound in my head [simply: we all think the same things; actually, this would go back to children’s play with scripted TV: Orenstein said that the play was “homogenized” (Oreinstein 99).  If we believe in Collective Conscious, could it also be chalked down a bit to that and not all to TV watching?  But I digress].  Orenstein seems disturbed that Cinderella movies still are guaranteed box office hits—and of the ones she mentions, I own all of them.  But maybe all of this is because, deep inside, we all want a rags to riches story.  We all want our lives to get some excitement, to rise above what may seem our place and get out into a bigger, better world.  The fact that these stories exists says so much about our cultures as they’ve evolved—and not in just the “I want to marry a prince-substitute!” pipe dream way.  I do want to point out at this part that correlation does not equal causation.  Because our culture is inundated with princesses does not necessarily mean that that is the reason why Cinderella movies are always box office smashes.  Sometimes, we have to dig deeper to find out the simplest of things.

Finally, Orenstein gets annoyed at the fact that many fairy tales are lacking mother figures (and have in turn evil stepmothers).  To be fair, many fairy tales lack parental influence in general.  Even in Cinderella, the dad dies as well as the mom.  It’s the whole “orphans have independence” idea that was discussed in the midst of the Harry Potter craze.

Ps: At the end of the Fairy Tales Chapter, Orenstein goes off on Twilight.  I will give credit where credit is due and give her points for that.  That is all.

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies

I apparently really love Power Rangers…

(Part Seven of my opinion of Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella ate my Daughter).

On page 96, when Orenstein discusses her reaction when her daughter asks about getting a fake, plastic (and pink!) gun, I almost saw enlightenment.  Really, I did.  But then, the last sentence of her thought, and she blew it.  She was really reaching.  I mean, she’s discussing if toy guns promote violence, and suddenly, she goes “No, they don’t, at least not for me.  But I also didn’t have to deal with the girly-girl culture being shoved down my throat” (I’m greatly paraphrasing here.  This is how I took it; my interpretation could be completely wrong).  Violence into girly-girl culture… I vaguely see the connection, but it’s a bit of a stretch.  And then, on page 97, she talks about an “adorable” cowgirl hat she bought for her daughter.  So she’s speaking out against the “cutesy” girly-girl culture, but is buying an “adorable” hat?  Right…

Then, in my mind, to make matters even funnier, all I can imagine for cowgirls is Daisy Duke and others in Hollywood similar to that.  All of them show a lot of skin and ooze in the sex appeal.  And being a cowgirl is better than a princess in terms of sexualization?  You may want to rethink that.  It’s America.  They can sexualize anything.  Have you seen adult women Halloween costumes lately?

And then we move on to TV, specifically the messages that 1980s-1990s TV aimed at the sexes.  According to Orenstein, “Programs themselves essentially became vehicles to sell toys.  My Little Pony.  Rainbow Brite.  Care Bears.  Girls were flooded with a resurgence of sweet and pretty.  Boys were deluged with action figures: Masters of the Universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers” (Orenstein 98-9).  I have two older brothers.  One loved Rainbow Brite growing up.  Another loved Care Bears.  Yes, I did like Care Bears and My Little Pony.  We all loved TMNT.  My older brother liked Masters of the Universe (and I would always try to play with his toys).  What I really really enjoyed out of all those shows, however, were the Power Rangers.  For having things aimed at sexes, my family sure did not go by those rules…

Looking at her evidence for her arguments and my childhood, I am beginning to think that this isn’t as big of a problem as she’s making it out to be.  It’s either that or I escaped unscathed, though option three is of course that Orenstein is pinpointing the wrong things in her argument.

Orenstein continues to discuss TV, saying that it impacted the way that both sexes played.  Instead of creating new worlds, children played according to the scripts they saw on TV.  And, as Orenstein claims, “Nor was there evidence that their stories were evolving, that they were making the kind of inner meaning out of their dramas that would provide psychological resolution, as they once had” (Orenstein 99).  Yet again, I apparently am atypical.  When I was little—okay, this happened until I was in high school—I would make my own complicated tales about something using TV characters, for instance, as a stepping point.  I fought Rita (Power Rangers) a lot but I had other new rangers beside myself.  And when she teamed up with Fat Cat (From Chip N Dale)… Well, I was STILL able to stop her.  And yes, I did create play with other stories besides me fighting and beating the bad guys.  I created my own island with some of my own language out of boredom starting in fifth grade, all of which were based off of characters that evolved with me as I grew.

Actually, now that I think of it, I had characters from Barney fighting with the Power Rangers.  I really make no sense…

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies

Dolls, Power Rangers, and Pleasing my Inner Child

(Part six of my monologue on Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate my Daughter.  And yes, I did briefly channel my inner Fight Club).

Around page 87, I realized I really was not a fan of Orenstein’s parenting style.  I know I’m in no place to have an opinion as I do not have kids, but reflecting on my life and childhood, my inner child is not a fan.  She has to go color Winnie-The-Pooh pictures now.  It’ll keep her from throwing that temper tantrum that still crops up on occasion in my outer adult.  Anyway.  Let’s list the next two dolls Orenstein does not like:

  • Ty Girlz: I’ve seen those dolls and I think she’s being picky.  Compared to Bratz especially, they’re not that bad.
  • Polly Pocket.  And here I say: You do NOT insult my Polly.  I grew up with Polly.  Have the mini ones and the bigger ones.  And while I am not a fan of the bigger Pollys, I still do not like her being insulted.

I’m having Power Ranger flashbacks, now.  I looked up to them, aspired to be them.  It helped me develop, even with some of the misogynist ideas that the show could be argued to present.  C’mon, Kimberly did not always need help…  My female insert, however, kicked ass.  She still does.  And I still aspire to be her.

Orenstein has problems with many of the dolls.  And I do understand the issues there, really, I do.  My teenage self went through that stage where she wanted to stop everything that presented sexism, racism, any kind of –ism.  And then my cynical 20-something self came to be and realized that it can’t always be stopped, so it’s best to be aware.  But at the same time, I think holding some of those beliefs and refusing to let your kids learn on their own can be damaging.  It’s how prejudices continue.  Even with the child’s best interests in heart, it is so easy to go overboard.  I know; my self is very good at going overboard and jumping ship without meaning to.  And then I have to swim back to shore yet again…

At least Orenstein does seem to see her own prejudices.  On page 90, she realizes that not all pageant mothers/families are the same, are the overbearing ones in Toddlers & Tiaras.  I’m glad for this realization:  I wish more people would have it.

Part of the issue with everything is, as Orenstein hits on, the sexualization of young girls.  While this makes me think of a time in world history when pedophilia was (and still, sadly, is in some places) socially acceptable if not legal (13 year old girls marrying 30 year old men.  Enough said.  And you know what I’m talking about if any of you have even looked at world history), I still have an issue with it.  Orenstein quips that “we get used to seeing twelve-year-olds in lip gloss, low-slung jeans, and crop tops that say BAD GIRL, and soon the same outfit seems unremarkable on an eight-year-old” (Orenstein 91).  I must say, I’m not a fan of that outfit on teens, either.  I know as a pre-teen to teen, I had a hard time finding clothes.  I’m really not typical; I wanted to hide my body instead of showing it off.  I didn’t wear make up until I was eighteen and a half.  I don’t remember the last time I combed my hair (or washed it for that matter).  I really am not typical.  I am reading this book on my own, after all…

Or maybe I am more typical, but no one really speaks up for the ones who are like me.  If it sells, they make it.  We need to support what we believe in—which is how I ended up with a Cosmo.  I mean, Adele is on the cover!  Enough said.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Books Just Because, Gender Ideologies