Poor Ken: only girls will play with him!

Twisty Faster has an absolutely spot-on analysis of the problem with boys making movies for boys–a.k.a. modern Hollywood and the crapola movies it makes (h/t to commenter MsMcD.)  It’s hard for me to excerpt without giving away her punchline, but it involves her listening to a recent interview with (in her words) “two Hollywood dudes who had something to do with making ‘Toy Story 3.’  The Hollywood dudes start[ed] talking about ‘getting to the emotional truth of the characters.’ I have, with my usual painstaking attention to detail, transcribed the portion of the interview in which they reveal how they went about getting to the “emotional truth” of a Ken doll character:”

Hollywood Dude #1: I don’t know if you had any Ken dolls when you were growing up; I certainly didn’t. But my friends’ little sisters did and we made endless fun of Ken. Ken’s just a-a-a whipping boy […] We thought, well what does it feel like to be a guy who’s a girl’s toy? You’re a guy, but you’re only played with by little girls. And then further, he’s just an accessory to Barbie. You know he doesn’t carry equal weight to, with Barbie, he’s really no more important than a pair of shoes or a belt or a purse to her, and we knew that he would have to have a complex.

A-HAHAhahaha!!!  Now that’s a “world upside down” moment:  men as accessories to women, or even as toys for them!  Little girls as the Untouchables of the playground!  Yet another movie that’s all about exploring men’s subjectivity and men’s emotions!!!  Well, you know what Twisty will do with that, but to quote the brilliant entirety of her post would be plagiarism, and this is a respectable ranch so we can’t do that here.  Please, for the love of Dog, click here and read. Continue reading

Valley of the Dolls, Stepford edition

This creepy doll by Hans Bellmer, 1935

I can’t let the coincidence of this pass me by, since we’re talking about dolls and the objectification of girls’ and women’s bodies againSquadratomagico has a great post up on the off-label hormonal engineering of baby girl fetuses who have tested positive for (gasp!) Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, which means that they frequently have ambiguous genitalia, may possess a strong interest in softball, and “as a group have a lower interest than controls in getting married and performing the traditional child-care/housewife role.” 

(Well, what thinking woman doesn’t agree with that last bit?  Seriously:  if you dig scrubbing crusty surfaces and wiping snotty noses and bums, that should be a symptom of clinical depression, not normative behavior in any adult, male or female.  Most of us do that junk because we don’t want the state condemning our houses and taking our kids away.)

Click immediately on this link to join the discussion.  I left a comment over there, so I’ll be following that thread.  Something else I didn’t mention in my comment is the odd equation of childhood behavior with adult predisposition for motherhood among these alleged sufferers of CAH:  “As children, they show an unusually low interest in engaging in maternal play with baby dolls, and their interest in caring for infants, the frequency of daydreams or fantasies of pregnancy and motherhood, or the expressed wish of experiencing pregnancy and having children of their own appear to be relatively low in all age groups.”  What a stupid way to think about children or the importance of play.  Continue reading

RequiesCat In Pace

Remember all of those dolls and doll parts I’ve found running on back roads and country byways in Colorado, Michigan, and Maine?  Well, here they are–you can’t see it very well, but there’s a blue-haired doll in the mint pot on the left that looks like it was designed to be a dog’s chew toy, too.  Naked Barbie-like doll, doll in the homemade dress, and creepy doll head are all standing guard over my mint, parsley, sage, catnip, and lavender.  (The garden looks pretty scrubby, I must admit:  the sage is a re-plant just introduced, the mint leaped around the pots that were to contain it, the chives are totally overgrown, and the parsley needs to be decapitated and revived somehow.)

Here’s a view of more of the beds.  In the top left bed is garlic and brussels sprouts, and in the right foreground is yarrow and a just-starting-to-bloom red hollyhock.  (What’s eating the hollyhock leaves?  It seems to happen to every hollyhock in my neighborhood lately.  They still seem to bloom and come back every year nevertheless.)

Continue reading

Violence against dolls and women

Date:  June 9, 2010

Time:  10:50 a.m.

Place:  In the Northbound lane of an unimproved road in Lenawee County, Michigan

Longtime readers might remember that during my visit to Michigan last June, I stumbled upon a lot of dolls–in antique shops, and in museums.  Well, I almost literally stumbled over this one yesterday as I was out for my run.  Here she is, complete with a homemade sarong.  I put her on the side of the road in a patch of grass, in case the child who so carefully sewed the homemade dress for her drove back down that road to find her.  But, six hours later I went back to check, and no one had claimed her.  She’ll join the one I found on the beach in Maine last week on a run–a Barbie-like doll who had received an unfortunate haircut and was naked but appears otherwise uninjured.  I’ll give them a sunny afterlife in my herb garden.

It’s never a stuffed animal or other child’s toy that I find along the roadside.  It’s always beat-up or mutilated female dolls–baby dolls, Barbie-type representations of grown women, it doesn’t seem to matter.  I find it disturbing–which is why I can never not pick up an abandoned doll.  Continue reading

Vacation snaps, part deux

Hi there!  This morning, I have some more photos for your delectation.  (Hey–at least I’m not subjecting you to a slide show in my basement, fergawdssakes!)  Now, this little beauty can be yours for just 230 Euros.  I thought about buying it for GayProf, but then I thought it would mean so much more if I just took a picture and showed it to all of you.  (Thanks for sharing, GayProf!)

It seems like Wonder Woman’s costume gets skimpier and skimpier as the years go by–which is just about the opposite of most Earth women’s wardrobes. Continue reading

Tuesday Round-up: Fallen American Idols edition

Can I choose "none of the above?"

Howdy!  Hellsapoppin’ here.  While some of you in the East may be shoveling yet more snow today, we in the West have got more than a few stalls to muck out today, and a lot of fences to mend.  Here are some items for your delectation and consideration: