Still Genderizing After All These Years

A brief outline of 2 little books, written by Emilie Barnes, published circa 2007:

A Little Princess in the Making

“Before a princess blossoms into a queen, she learns the way of royal manners – how to speak politely, set a pretty table, be helpful and more. Written especially for younger girls, this book is filled with royal imagery and colorful pictures that point the way to good manners. The regal theme will inspire little girls to behave like perfect little princesses.”

A Little Hero in the Making

“Heroes do incredible things, and they can do them because they work hard and have good, brave hearts. Listening and sharing and caring are all things heroes do. Manners aren”t boring or stuffy; manners are heroic. This book provides an excellent start in teaching manners to younger boys.”


This HURTS ME!

This is SOOO Terrible!

What century is this?

Girls can’t even AFFORD to be Princesses anymore – even if they wanted to be!

Now I’ll admit, I’ve got Princess in me: I’ve even got a pink Disney cup with Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella on it in my bathroom, and I do love dresses, and pretty shoes, but DANG:

“speak politely, set a pretty table, be helpful”

vs.

“do incredible things”…not to mention: “good, brave hearts”

what the hell? – oh, not very Princess-like of me…

This is the work of Emilie Barnes.

Now, I only came across this while buying some English Breakfast Tea from a website full of all kinds of tea and crumpet type goodies.

I do love my tea and crumpets.

I also love aprons, and baking, and assisting others, but oh my goodness!  I’ve been struggling my whole life to make it okay to speak my mind, and to achieve my own selfhood; trying to step into my own power so I can make things happen, and here comes this!

Now, “Emilie is listed in 100 Christian Women Who Changed the 20th Century. She is a frequent guest on numerous radio and television programs nationwide, including The 700 Club, Focus On The Family, Family Life and Moody Broadcasting Network, and is currently featured in one-minute national radio segments entitled, ‘Keep It Simple with Emilie.’” http://www.emiliebarnes.com/home/BioPages/BioEmilieBarnes/tabid/61/Default.aspx

And she probably speaks politely.

But if all she’d been doing all her life was “assisting” others – a woman’s job to be a helpmate – I wonder how far she’d have come?

Maybe I’m, as some have said, too sensitive, but why can’t boys learn to speak politely and assist others, and why can’t girls have good, brave hearts and work hard?  Why would someone put this kind of stuff out there in this day and age?

Because we all long for a time when our roles and the world were “simpler”?  Clear-cut, like the caste system in India: everyone knows their role, no agonizing over what to do with one’s life…

jeeez….

and another thing that always strikes me about this paradigm is the absolute weight of everything on the shoulders of boys, which often translates into power tripping, or simply stressed-out men.

I hope Emilie is having a wonderful life, but JEEEZ!

I thought we’d gotten beyond this!

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What’s A Woman To Do?

Violence Against Women, Female Teens, Surges on TV:

LOS ANGELES, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Incidents of violence against women on mainstream U.S. television has increased by 120 percent in the past five years, with the depiction of teen girls as victims rising by some 400 percent, the Parents Television Council said in a report on Wednesday.

reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUSN2832457620091028

One of my former housemates was a 40 something year-old bachelor.  He spent hours in his room watching HBO specials like Deadwood, and who knows what else.  One day early on in his residence here, he invited me in to chat with him while he was playing Grand Theft Auto.

Now, I have never been into video games, and had only watched one other person playing one, a war game, complete with instant restocking and rising from the dead.  I’d certainly heard of Grand Theft Auto, and I figured this was a good opportunity to see what it was for myself.  I got there just in time to see his avatar running around city streets shooting random people, with, of course, some repeating weapon.  After he blew a hole through someone, a computerized woman bystander screamed; the avatar said “Shut up Bitch!”, blasted a hole through her chest, and kept on running.

That was pretty well it for me, all I needed to know.

I will just add that this particular housemate was not one to listen much.  I never had a two-way conversation with him.  He’d come in, talk about himself, and leave.  He was also the type who thought he knew everything – would occasionally get all lecturey; but because I’ve actually spent decades studying many different subjects, I would know how short he was on his facts.  But what can you do?

Recently a female friend of mine was driving me home, and as we rounded the corner to my house, we were blocked from further movement by a monster truck stopped at an angle in front of a house recently refitted to be a monster house, taking up every spare foot on all sides of it. The dude who owns the house also owned the car. He’s a big dude.  He was in the street with a few other people.  I opened up the side door to say hey, we need to get by,what’s the deal, and he swaggered over saying “Hey Girls –”

Now, my friend and I are both grown women, but no big deal, I say ‘girls’ sometimes; but why anything at all? He was basically telling us to calm down, they’d only be a minute, his friend just got married, etc.  He proceeded to tell me that he owned that house; I said “I know you own that house”; and then he said: “I know I’m the center of the universe.”

And what could I say? How could I argue?  He was about twice my size, both up and across; he owns his big house, his big truck, and why the hell should he listen to me, a small woman who merely rents and doesn’t even own a driver’s license, let alone a powerful weapon?

And then there’s Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and Iran, and all the other increasingly Fundamentalist cultures.

And now this article in today’s news.

What’s a woman to do?

In 2009, what’s a woman to do?

Shut up Bitch.

 

 

Gone with the Wind: Don’t ya just hate it?

Molly Haskell on npr, re: Frankly My Dear…. :

“We We We” just loved that story!

…. I don’t think so.

Gone with the Wind: Don’t ya just hate it?

My Mom was addicted to it;

I’m sure I saw it by the time I was 7 or 8, and it didn’t impress me;

She said I wasn’t old enough.

When I was around 13, it came around again; I still didn’t like it; She said I still wasn’t old enough.  At that point I was beginning to wonder if she was right, or if…

I’m not really sure if I saw it again in my 20s, but I vividly remember giving it one more shot when I was in my early 30s and

BAM! Not more than, what, 15? 20 minutes in? it was blaringly clear to me why I’d always hated that movie:

Talk about some whiny ass white southern bitch/es I could not possibly care less about! Talk about racist shit! Oh my God!

It made me sick.

And I was so glad to know that in all my youthful days something about that movie just didn’t work for me.

Listening to Molly Haskell go on and on about We We We, oh we loved it, and her new book Frankly My Dear…

Speak for yourself and your southern pals!

Maybe I’m too much of a yank; maybe I like black folks too much; maybe I’m too disgusted by lazy spoiled rich plantation aristocrats, prancing around drinking and scheming while everything they own and are crying over losing was built up by – ahem – “slaves”!

SLAVES, Hello? Did Molly miss that part?

Oh yeah, Butterfly McQueen; my Mom loved imitating Butterfly McQueen: “I don’ know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no babies, Miss Scarlett!”…oh really?  Somehow out of the two of them, I’ll bet it wasn’t Butterfly who didn’t know nothing.

And good ol’ Hattie McDaniel as Mammy, yeah…’just like on the syrup bottle, Mommy’…

shit.

And Miss Scarlet and her flouncy flirty airhead babble: “War War War, that’s all anybody talks about!”.

Scarlett O’Hara as Feminist Archetype (according to Haskell)???

Please…she employs her wits to use the only qualities a woman was (is?) allowed to use – her sexuality and attractiveness, not to mention status – to go after everything/everyone she wants; she’s the same manipulative materialistic type that can be encouraged/found everywhere;

And Rhett was just another sucker, ‘til he woke up the hard way.

Eventually she decides to get tough and fight for “her” land, to work as hard as a “slave”; but I’ll bet she had her black Mammy waiting on her as soon as she got hooked back up;

And oh, poor Atlanta; all those southern riches burning to the ground…

Man, as much as I love fashion, I’m just too much of a yank to stomach that story ever again…