Good morning, y’all! It’s another changeable day here in southern Maine, so just in case I end up spending the day at the beach and you don’t, here are a few items that will keep you entertained indoors:
- First of all, have you been reading Tenured Radical lately? It’s difficult to keep up with that woman, but I particularly loved Thursday’s cranky screed, “Question: Why Do Development Offices Raise Money for Sports When Academics Are Being Cut?” Excellent question! As many of you know, I’m opposed philosophically and budgetarily to the free men’s sports farm clubsthat even Podunk Colleges and Directional State U.’s feel the need to provide to the for-profit teams of the NBA and the NFL, but when even sports-loving dyke proffies start wondering about the size and heft of the Athletic Department’s budget, compared to (for example) the Classics Department, somehow I feel less like the vox clamantis in deserto. (And I don’t actually read a word of Latin!) Repeat after me: club sports good, free farm clubs bad.
- TR also shares what not to do when pi$$ed off by your colleagues. (What is it with the peeing, boys? Seriously?)
- In “Fat Girl Woes,” New Kid on the Hallway writes, “You know what really annoys me? The way some stores that carry my size online won’t carry that size in the stores. I mean, clearly those stores would like to sell me stuff and take my money, but they don’t want me actually to shop in the store? You know, in public?” (She’s not just a student-blogger any more–she has finished her law degree and really needs to wear suits pretty much all day long in her new career.) I’ve noticed over the last several years that the combined forces of vanity sizing (what was once an 7-8 or a 5-6 is now a 4 or XS, for example) plus the fat discrimination New Kid reports means that the range of sizes represented on most store racks is narrower than ever.
- Joyce Chaplin reviews Mary Beth Norton’s new book, Separated by their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World, in tomorrow’s New York Times Book Review (h/t Blake at Down and Out in Denver.) Chaplin writes, “The materials are rich, but most historians will be surprised that Norton goes after them with the equivalent of a power tool that has lost its edge. [Ed. note: OUCH!] The idea of separate spheres for men and women has been a point of analysis, if not contention, for at least a generation of women’s historians. Many scholars have concluded that any notion of a complete separation is misleading, because exceptions and crossovers were so frequent. For that reason, it is hard to tell whether Norton is right. Her cases may match her analysis, but are they the only ones that existed?” This is why the New York Times should have invited a women’s historian to review the book, instead of a historian who happens to be a woman. I understood Norton’s goal in this book to be to pin down the origins of an idea (“Separate Spheres”) in the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries that has indeed enjoyed currency in a great deal of feminist scholarship after 1760. I think it’s certainly fair game to wonder whether separate spheres is still analytically useful, but there’s no question that it’s been historiographically influential, and that looking for its origins is a fine and rather ambitious idea for a book.
- I finally saw Bridesmaids the other day with one of my college BFFs. (We especially enjoyed the line, “that’s why the slutty college years are so important!” WORD!) Although I agree with GayProf’s review in that there’s nothing especially feminist about a movie that puts
marriage at the center of the story of women’s lives, given the d00d-o-centric universe that is Hollywood, I think there is something essentially feminist about a movie that stars so many women comedians and lets them just do teh funny. In other words, when the motion picture industry is run by and for 15- to 29-year old men, it is (tragically) radical to have a movie star five or six funny women who make the two minor male lead actors pretty unimportant. (Also–I for one appreciate the movie’s utter lack of piety about children and motherhood.)
Can I also just share my theory that people think John Hamm is good-looking only because he never smiles or laughs as Don Draper on Mad Men? He’s got an extremely dopey smile, and when he’s cast as a contemporary man, he always looks–and acts–like Liz Lemmon’s dumba$$ ex-boyfriend on 30 Rock. I think he’s a pretty good actor–but there are much better looking men in the himboverse, IMHO. Leave your nominations in the comments below!