Tag Archives: feminism

Ask A Grown Man.

So I started subscribing to Rookie a while back, mostly because I became infatuated with Tavi Gevinson, the sixteen-year-old founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie who is incredibly stylish and thoughtful and well-spoken and a feminist. Basically, everything I wanted to be as a sixteen-year-old. Tavi-infatuation aside, I’ve found that Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, is actually awesome, both for it’s willingness to engage in discussion about topics that are relevant to teenage girls without being prescriptive or pretending like its writers have all the answers, and also for features like “Ask A Grown Man,” where a grown man answers five questions submitted by readers. I particularly love this video with Jon Hamm, not simply because he’s dreamy, but because he has some wise advice for the teen girls of the world (like, “Everybody farts”) and because he’s very no-nonsense about it all. “Don’t define yourself by who wants to get with you,” he says with his eyebrows furrowed and a you-know-better-than-that tone of voice, which says to me that he actually means it. So awesome. All of which is to say: teen girls need to hear this kind of stuff more often, and I wish Rookie had been around when I was a teenager. And Tavi is my hero.

You can watch more “Ask A Grown Man” segments (the one with Paul Rudd is very funny, FYI) and other videos on Rookie’s Vimeo page here.

Feminist Ryan Gosling.

Have I mentioned that I’m in love with Ryan Gosling? Why, you ask? Well, for starters, he’s handsome and a really good actor. He’s also humble and self-deprecating. He also breaks up street fights in New York City and then gets embarrassed when he’s praised for it. He also adores his dog. And to top it all off, I’m pretty sure he’s a feminist. As far as I can tell, he’s perfect.

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So what do get when you combine the delightful Mr. Gosling with feminist theory? MY NEW FAVORITE THING EVER. Feminist Ryan Gosling is a great Tumblr that was created last week (!) and functions as “feminist theory flashcards from your favorite sensitive movie dude-turned-meme.” It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven! FRG is funny and educational and promotes a feminist worldview and has lots of pictures of Ryan Gosling, all of which are things I’m a fan of. Check it out!

Mid-Week Reads.

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According to Amanda Marcotte, the best television shows of our modern age feature men who are trying to navigate the murky waters of contemporary masculinity. “What does it mean to be a man? No one knows, but it makes for some damn good television.”

A litany of heinous adolescent fashion sins. I committed most of these as a high schooler as well. The only major one missing is the Old Navy Tech Vest… anyone? Anyone? (via Thought Catalog)

Moral individualism/relativism is the great affliction of my generation, says David Brooks. Let’s blame our parents. (via NYTimes)

The inimitable Kat George on the first time you say ‘I love you’: “You want it to be a moment you’re going to remember and recall fondly forever, because you’re going to get married a have a billion kids or at least a puppy, and everything needs to be exactly perfect.”

Errbody be hatin’ on Zooey Deschanel’s girlishness and trying to implicate her for the overarching cultural trend of women not being taken seriously. Zooey invokes feminism FTW. (via Jezebel)

 

Parallels Between Kendall Goodwin and Liz Lemon.

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I’ve been watching a lot of 30 Rock lately (A LOT) and I’m beginning to see some distinct parallels between myself and Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon. It’s a little uncanny.

1. I never miss an opportunity to take an overtly feminist stance, even when it isn’t necessarily germane to the conversation.

2. The stress of dealing closely with difficult and crazy people gives me chin acne.

3. I toe the line between incredibly neurotic and incredibly dorky like I was born to do it.

4. In a game of Kill Boff Marry, I’m the one that men pick to marry.

5. I have a love-hate relationship with relationships and a love-love relationship with food. “Lovers… oh, that word bums me out unless it’s between Meat and Pizza.”

Yes, Liz Lemon and I are definitely kindred spirits.

Read This: Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Photobucket I will admit that I was skeptical when a friend recommended this book to me, but Bossypants is truly a great read. I think my skepticism stemmed from the frequent ridiculousness of the “celebrity memoir” genre: I am always suspicious of celebrities who claim to have written their own books, because most that I’ve read have a very ghost writer-ly tone to them, like someone else is trying to convincingly write like the celebrity sounds in real life. I can say with confidence that I don’t doubt for a second that Tina Fey herself wrote this book, possibly because she’s perpetually self-deprecating in a way that really only Tina Fey can pull off. For example, in the introduction Fey writes: “Because I am nothing if not an amazing businesswoman, I researched what kind of content makes for bestselling books. It turns out the answer is ‘one-night stands,’ drug addictions, and recipes. Here, we are out of luck. But I can offer you lurid tales of anxiety and cowardice.”

I think this self-deprecation and willingness to poke fun at herself is part of what makes the book so fantastic. Whether discussing her questionable fashion choices in the ’80s, reminiscing about boys who didn’t want to sleep with her in college, or explaining that she rarely appeared in SNL skits because she fails at looking like anyone but herself, she does so with a level of humor that is both irreverent and sassy. She dedicates an entire chapter to responding to particularly heinous things that have been said about her on the internet, and in response to someone who called her an “ugly, pear-shaped, bitchy, overrated troll,” Fey writes:

“I hate for our correspondence to be confrontational, but you have offended me deeply. To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair. I’ll leave it for others to say if I’m the best, but I am certainly one of the most dedicated trolls guarding bridges today. I always ask three questions, at least two of which are riddles.
As for ‘ugly, pear-shaped, and bitchy’? I prefer the terms ‘off-beat, business class-assed, and exhausted,’ but I’ll take what I can get. There’s no such thing as bad press!”

In addition to hilarious stories from her childhood and adult working life, Fey actually addresses some feminist issues and has some serious things to say about them (but of course expresses them in the most hilarious way possible). In one chapter, she dissects the beauty standards imposed on women and after setting forth a laundry list of impossible attributes that women are expected to have, she states “The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes. Everyone else is struggling.” She talks about her experience with the Chicago improv group The Second City and how it was her first experience with the (false) notion that women can’t be as funny as men, and how much she admires Amy Poehler for once telling Jimmy Fallon off when he criticized her for not being cutesy and lady-like. She talks about what it’s like to be a female boss and a working mother and to always be asked how she juggles it all. It’s all really fascinating to read about because Fey is in such a high-profile powerful do-it-all Wonder Woman position, and she seems more baffled at how she doesn’t pull her hair out than anyone else.

If you’re interested in stories of awkward youth, being in danger of possibly being shipwrecked on your honeymoon, discovering that your male co-workers like to keep jars of their own urine in their offices, or Fey’s infamous Sarah Palin sketches, then to you I say: read this book.