On Six Decades of Harriet the Spy Covers

@fondue with cheddar The 2010 "Harriet" is smirking, posing, and appearance-conscious. The Harriet in the book is psychologically younger, more androgynous, socially clueless. She's deadly earnest and kind of grumpy, and just nothing like the 2010 version.

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm 6

On Daisy, You're a Drip, Dear: Detestable Literary Characters Who Are Not Technically Villains

@Daisy Razor Levin is definitely the hero, his spiritual journey is the point of AK, and he's a standin for the author.

But I don't think Anna is just an inherently awful, insipid character. I think AK is actually a kind of proto feminist work. She makes the mistake of marrying the wrong man, then she makes the mistake of having an affair with another wrong man -- and then she has to give up everything that could mean anything to her except Vronsky. She has no friends, no kid, no career. She has nothing to do BUT obsess over whether giving up everything for Vronsky was worth it. Of course it isn't, and of course she becomes neurotic and depressed.

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm 2

On 15 Cats That Are Leaning In

@Legal The most frustrating thing about all this Lean In stuff is how wildly Sandberg's message is being distorted. Most of the criticism it's gotten has been totally straw-man -- attacking things Sandberg doesn't even say.

If you want to know her real positions without committing to reading the book, her Daily Show appearance is a good place to start. Jon Stewart says "aren't women equal yet?" and she says no. Jon Stewart says a couple of times "isn't that just because women are ambivalent about working, since they'd really rather be mothers?" and she says "let's work on actual institutional sexism, and let's work on the stereotypes that people have about women that work against us."

She acknowledges in the book that her advice isn't for everyone, and isn't meant to be some kind of feminist panacea. She's very specifically highlighting the fact that there are still very few women in the top corridors of power -- the house, the senate, the presidency, the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies.

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm 2

On Flannery O'Connor and a New Diet Book

@meetapossum I just read a book that takes on this whole ridiculous way of thinking. It's called Paleofantasy -- debunks the pseudoscience behind "Paleo" eating: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-393-08137-4

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm 3

On Still Hoping to Attain Literal Invisibility

@Lisa Frank "Women don't like me because I'm hot" is the female version of "Women don't like me because I'm too nice."

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm 5

On Like a (Book) Virgin

@themegnapkin Have you read Dorothy Sayers? If not, try The Unpleasantness at the Bellonna Club, or Lord Peter Views the Body.

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm 2

On A Rap Genius Interview

@Lucienne He even sort of *looks* like Jean-Ralphio.

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm 1

On Aspiring Krautrock Superdad

@vunder The criticism is not that the dude has a hobby. THe criticism is that the dude is being super-selfish about his hobby. The dude's hobby has a whole bedroom to itself. The dude's wife and child each have 1/3 of a bedroom.

Posted on November 28, 2012 at 11:50 am 2

On Gender, Generations, and Faculty Conflict

@harebell I wonder if the feminism "generation gap" isn't just the simple human tendency to not want to identify with the oppressed until it's absolutely inescapably self-evident.

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm 7

On Gender, Generations, and Faculty Conflict

@harebell Totally agree. I'm not in academia, and growing up always thought of myself as a feminist, but for some reason it's only now, in my thirties, that it has really hit home for me that the top people at every company I've ever worked at have always been men. Even when I was in an industry that is female-dominated -- the CEOs, the CFOs the COOs are always men.

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm 2