"Despite her pedigree, success came slowly," the story bravely ventured. This slowness was maybe not so apparent to several thousand other 24-year-olds who want to be actresses, but who haven't even figured out how to get to a reading for Law & Order to fail at it. Tom Scocca on Nathaniel Rich, Lena Dunham, Zosia Mamet, and cultural nepotism. (Related: How David Carr Became the Daddy of Girls)
An intriguing essay on how young women in Georgian England were able to do science by hiding in the pursuits of the domestic arts.
"Women didn’t find it easy to participate in late eighteenth century science. Experimentation and discovery were not easily compatible with the ideals of domestic femininity – but there were women who rejected these social expectations and became active and renowned."
"Girls" is a bit of a hit. Although it lost out to "Modern Family" at the Emmy Awards, it continues to receive significant attention as the 2nd season gets underway. [more inside]
'I'm a White Girl': Why 'Girls' Won't Ever Overcome Its Racial Problem-an article from The Atlantic with several interesting links on the larger issue of including (or not) black characters into American television.
Lena Dunham shows her art-world roots in her 2009 web-series: Season 1 at Index Magazine, Season 2 at delusionaldowntowndivas.com. Meanwhile Season 2 of Dunham's HBO series "Girls" arrives Sunday night, expect online fireworks.
This past August, producer Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) launched a new digital series: H+. The premise: in the near future, 33% of humanity has retired their smartphones, tablets and computers in favor of an implanted computer system, H+, which connects them directly to the internet 24/7. The story begins as a computer virus attacks the implants, killing billions. In intersecting storylines across four continents (told in part through flashbacks,) the series then unravels what happened, who caused it and why. [more inside]
Girls: Fact + Fiction Gallery (some images MNSFW)
Move over Barbie, Goldie Blox is coming to town. A kickstarter-funded construction toy + book series targeting at 5 to 9 year-old girls.
Teenage girls try to navigate the minefields of desirability, attractiveness, and self-objectification in the age of Facebook. [more inside]
The Economist on the decline of British boy's comics as The Dandy ceases print publication. As it circles oblivion it risks joining the ranks of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, The Beezer and subversive late entry to the genre Oink. The days of the Great British girl's comic are sadly long passed.
"The world of entertainment still, all too often, values women only as objects of beauty to be placed on screen and ogled. [...] [T]he world is full of other women who have profound, intelligent, often hilarious things to say, and Dunham is very quietly making a space for those voices on TV, in a way that’s revolutionary both in terms of the show’s gender politics and in terms of its presentation. - AVClub critic TodVanDerWerff on "how [the HBO show] Girls challenges the masculine expectations of 'good TV.'" [more inside]
One thing I am going to do differently as a parent is go easy on the ‘save sex for someone special’ rhetoric with my kids – both with my daughter and my son. Feminist and mother Blue Milk on the downside of encouraging young girls to "save themselves."
What Should We Call Me? (a very silly tumblr for your Friday)
"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."
'The Atlantic Wire' kicks off its new YA For Grownups series with The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature.
Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy.
"Princeless" is a new comic book in the self-rescuing princesses genre (more page previews here and here) - perhaps a younger-audience example of women kicking back against comic-book sexism? (previously on MeFi - wik, alsø wik, alsø alsø wik)
What Reality TV Does To Girls - referencing Jennifer Pozner's book and a new Girl Scout Research Institute national survey, this piece discusses "how did we get here?" and "how does this affect the viewer?" Jennifer Pozner talks about her work in Maclean's in much more depth.
"Are you a lady? Then finally there’s a game for you! While too many games are pretending that ladies enjoy the same things as men, like shooting, building cities or exploring alien worlds, Lady Popular properly recognizes what it is that makes a true, strong, independent lady: shopping, hairstyles, and having a boyfriend."
John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun gives a no-holds-barred review (NSFW) of the game Lady Popular.
John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun gives a no-holds-barred review (NSFW) of the game Lady Popular.
Superheroes are for girls too! (sltumblr) "Superheroes aren't just for little boys. Here you'll find lots of images of little girls from past and present who also love them." We've been talking a lot about gender and comics on MeFi lately, especially with respect to superheros. Here is a tumblr full of righteous babes. [more inside]
[Mark Twain] did not squat down to be heard and understood by children, but asked them to stand on their tiptoes—to absorb the kind of language and humor suitable for adults.
How to Talk to Little Girls. "Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn."
Chicks Rock! 10 basement youtube unknowns.
eMusic has a collection of more than 50 artists reflecting on love songs, from Andreya Triana (Coldplay's "Yellow" reminds of her first love and heartbreak), to Yuki Chikudate (from Asobi Seksu) (Debbie Gibson's "Lost in Your Eyes" brings back the innocent early-elementary school crushes), and Dan Deacon (who heard Yo La Tengo's "Shadows" after a sucky breakup). All songs mentioned are linked below the break. [more inside]
In the summer of 2004 I [Jason Oliver Goodman] set out alone on my bike to make a photography project called A Girl's Bike. In roughly 4 months I documented close to 200 women and their bicycles around NYC, mostly on the street as I found them. In 2008 it was made into a book published by Partners & Spade. It also toured with the Bicycle Film Festival as a slide show before films and in the art show Joy Ride.
Frustrated by the limited costume ideas out there for women? Join in the increasingly loud backlash and ridicule for the "sexy" Halloween costume, now a major stock in trade at party stores. In a time when "Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed" and "sexually active plaid children" are celebrated cultural icons, projects like Take Back Halloween are promoting costume ideas like Frida Kahlo and Hatshepsut as alternatives to the "skank suit." Bitch magazine chimes in with suggestions like Angela Davis and Peggy Hill. Voices in the feminist blogosphere are arguing for other approaches to the holiday that's all about alternate identity. Meanwhile, the Ms. blog wonders what sexy Halloween costumes for men might look like, and Jezebel solicits photo submissions featuring your least sexy costumes. Find and share more ideas via the Twitter hashtag #feministhalloween.
About-Face aims to provide women and girls with skills to critically examine media messages that affect their positive self-image. Their website is a one-stop shop for simple, direct, teen-friendly educational materials about female self-esteem and body image. [more inside]
Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
After decades of selling tampons and "sanitary products" with ads containing nebulous, euphemistic images and language, Kotex launched a new product line, 'U by Kotex' and a 'Declaration of Real Talk Campaign' to encourage girls and women to speak about menstruation without embarrassment. Ironically, their ad was rejected by the major US television networks for mentioning the word 'vagina'. Here's the 'safe for the viewing public' version. / YT channel. [more inside]
The national record (PDF) for the most career points scored in high school basketball is held by a woman: Lynne Lorenzen from Ventura High School. Lorenzen and her sisters played six on six basketball, a fast paced and high scoring game. Six on six was a great tradition in Iowa, surviving until 1993, when Oklahoma became the last state to have games. There is both a documentary and a book detailing the nuanced history of the game in Iowa.
Why autism is different for girls: "We may think it only affects boys. But the female variant is often much harder to spot – and that means thousands of girls may be going undiagnosed."
As parents scramble to get one of the 25,000 items in the Disney Princess range, this article, What's Wrong with Cinderella?, gives perspective from a mother and feminist. [more inside]
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot finds that claims of sex differences fall apart. In one study, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted lens. [more inside]
Pixar has released ten feature films thus far, and none of them have had a female main character. This has not gone unnoticed. In fact, it has been the subject of commentary for years. But when Linda Holmes at NPR weighs in on the subject (with thoughtful comments), some of the counter-blogs get downright nasty.
Dora Grows Up. Nickelodeon and Mattel have introduced a whole new look for beloved cartoon Dora the Explorer. But the new look has people asking, Is Dora too sexy? Nick and Mattel try to smooth things over.
Enjoy a couple of old (youtube) Vespa commercials and some BONUS CHEESECAKE; Girls On Vespas (flickr).
"Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil." Alex Graven, 9, has had How to Talk to Girls, the runaway hit of the Soaring Hawk Elementary School book fair, picked up by HarperCollins. How do you spot these oil-guzzling cars? ""It is easy to spot pretty girls," Alex writes, "because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry." [more inside]