Maybe I have a bug up my ass, but ...

This article about the new American Girls movie is on my side, I think. Or I think A. O. (Anthony) Scott thinks he's on my side. His point about Hollywood neglecting girls (and women?) is right on and well taken, but his suggestion that Enchanted was a well-meant nod to girls doesn't quite rhyme with his bemoaning of the role models (fairy-tale princesses, Bratz and Barbie dolls, Lindsay Lohan) available to young women today (what about Hillary, Mr. Scott? Or even - God forbid - Condoleeza Rice -- let the record reflect that I do NOT like Condi, but I do respect that she is a woman who was risen to great power. Or how about Madeleine Albright? She's not too bad. Or maybe to be a role model you have to be young and sexy. That's right.). I may be mistaken, because I didn't have any interest in seeing that particular film, but isn't it a pretty standard Broadway musical cum fairy tale in which the goal of the female protagonist is to meet, enchant, and marry her man? That's really helpful.

Okay. Seriously this article isn't that bad, but I got all worked up after reading about Hillary and was mad at the media/world in general for its portrayal of women on all stages.

"Of mice and women..."

This is a very good column by Judith Warner.

It still makes me extremely sad, though, that we're talking about Hillary's run for President in the past tense. Damn it.

Maybe part of the problem is that she started out as a "trailing spouse" but then couldn't successfully negotiate the change to leading? (I don't think this is the case. She negotiated that shift beautifully. The public and her ex-President-husband left a little to desire in this area. He certainly didn't take kindly to it - note the wild campaign trail antics - and the public talked more about her as First Lady than as a potential President.

Also, this article in todays Times does portray the candidates as having come to a peaceful conclusion (read: Hillary is happy about no longer running, which I can't quite swallow), which is nice. However, the article really plays up Hillary's deference (she smiled deferentially while he spoke), wonders at the lack of physical affection between them (they're not suddenly in a relationship, even if the rally was a pseudo Love-in), and shows a photo with him in a very patriarchial/protective posture, one hand on the little girl's shoulder. Ugh.

I understand it's not her place to run the show anymore, but the press is going to have to find a better vocabulary to deal with that fact. I'm stunned by the continued sexism even after she's stopped being a threat to the country's collective machismo.

And no, Obama's little crack about her being able to "anything the boys can do, and do it better, and do it in heels" doesn't help. Anyone else ever noticed that the word boys has an entirely different effect than the word girls? It implies a kind of bosom-buddyness, an inside-joke tone, a faux humility which tries to come off as self-deprecation but instead actually brags of its down-to-earthness. It says "look at this powerful man who is confident enough to still feel like just one of the boys." There's the Old Boys network from the north and the Good Ol' Boys of the south. Always centers of power-brokerage. Girls, on the other hand are weak, deferential, and the use of the word generally doesn't cross into dialogues of politics or power. It's confined instead to girls' nights out, girly movies, girlish figures, etc. And what kills me is that Obama is signalling his consciousness of this voacabulary issue by very carefully saying that "Women can do whatever the boys do." He knows he isn't allowed to call Hillary a girl, but it suits his cause better to refer to himself as one of the boys. Anyway, what the FUCK do heels have to do with anything? Quick boys, undermine her authority and seriousness as quickly as you can! She could still go off at any moment!

Polemic over.



Also, tonight I had a brief period of wardrobe mania. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of things I've been needing to get rid of for years, found a few pieces that could be altered to fit, and realized that some old things I had been saving in hopes of losing a few pounds fit again. Now I want to go shopping.

This is one of the many double-edged side-effects of watching three episodes of What Not to Wear in a row.

Trailing spouses

This post on Jezebel and the article on CNN that it refers to are really interesting. The idea of trailing spouses is one I've been thinking about a lot lately. I'm on a career path at the moment that is likely going to force me to move around for a while at least (at least until I get tenure or give up). I worry about my young man finding a job that is equally satisfying and demanding and that might not be very flexible, location-wise. I worry about us having difficulty deciding who will "trail" (though I think that term is really irritating) and who will lead (or whatever).

The other problem with this analysis of the problem is the vaguely sexist idea that it's the woman's own fault for choosing a more flexible career. Like it's her own damned fault? That's a little difficult for me to swallow.

Anyway, this is one of the many things I worry about heading into marriage. It's funny to be thinking about all these issues concretely (since the Hitching is just around the corner) instead of just theoretically. Very very very strange.



So much is in transition right now... I've moved to the new apartment and am waiting for Dan to arrive. But I am still living out of a suitcase and sleeping on an air mattress because I haven't finished moving and don't have a chest of drawers. I'm cooking for myself, but don't have enough dishes or surface space to do much. I'm trying to start reading for my generals, but I don't really have a good place to do that yet.

Oh, and I'm going to be legally married in a little over a month, crazy as that sounds. I'm having all the attending nerves and jitters, but am entirely excited. Planning is going very well. While I was trying on the dress I ended up buying, I also found out that my very best friend is engaged, which is exciting, but also unsettling. It's so strange that we're all growing up. I'm reminded of a passage in one of the Anne books when Diana is getting married, I think. Or maybe it's in Little Women, when Amy marries Laurie (which is STILL upsetting). I should look up those passages. Might make a good toast for the wedding...

It's just unbelievable to me that we're going through these major life changing events, and at the same time. It's nice to have company and to be making these decisions at the same time, but it's also kind of sad. Clearly, life is changing and with it our friendship will probably also change by millimeters. I'm not worried about it ending or anything like that, but am trying to understand how life is going to look once I'm not living by myself and once I'm committed to someone for Ever. And trying to get used to the idea of making big decisions based on more than just myself.

It's a lot of transition all at once, but I'm sure it'll all shake out in a pleasing way. It might be unsettling for a while, but once we're settled it'll be clear that it's the right thing. It's already clearly the right thing, but it's a bit nervous-making. But then I've always thought one would be certifiable if one weren't a little bit nervous before saying the big I Do.