June
18th 2011
Saturday round-up: slutty college years edition

Posted under: American history, art, bad language, book reviews, childhood, European history, fluff, Gender, jobs, students, the body, unhappy endings, wankers, women's history

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
    Dumba$$ boyfriend

    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!

10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Saturday round-up: slutty college years edition”

  1. Indyanna on 18 Jun 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Ben Franklin U. is now spending a ton of money to install two 30 foot tall “high definition videoboards” in its legendarily spare 1920s-era basketball cathedral so they can have things like “movie nights” (athletic director’s words) for tuckered out rock-climber undergrads. A good thing too, as the BFU library is being stripped, remoted, digitized, high-densitied, and reshuffled like playing cards in an 8th Avenue bunko game–essentially shipped to New Jersey–in the service of creating a partnering, networking, “text mining,” information commonsing “scholarly ecosystem” that will replace the tired old “warehouse of books” trope with a “New Stacks Equation.” So I’d probably go see what’s playing on five screens at the venerable old basketball arena too if I was winding down from a long day at the Hoodumpler Family Fitness Fenter.

    Agree with Historiann’s basic take on the Norton book, or on its premise, anyway, not having more than basically skimmed it yet. Proclaimed searches for the “origins” of things usually provoke “what about the origins-of-origins” or prehistories-to-prehistory quibbles, rather than “that’s soooooo over” objections.

  2. GayProf on 18 Jun 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I agree that having a movie with so many women comedians has become itself a radical statement. Still, even then, the mainstream press judged their humor by measuring it against what 15 to 29 y.o. men allegedly find funny.

    Also, I like John Hamm’s dopey smile. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

  3. Janice on 18 Jun 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Football doesn’t have quite the foothold here in Canada that it does in the states. Even a scaled-down version would be financial suicide for us, though – the insurance charges are insane!

    Our basketball and swim programs have won much renown but, again, without huge investments in facilities (we do have an Olympic pool but it’s in constant use with lessons, free swim and HS teams; our bball players play in a gym and not an arena). Team sports are great and I wish we could afford more of those but considering they haven’t replaced any faculty in my faculty over the past several year, we’re really hurting.

    I need to drop back over to NK’s and post my support for her troubles. While no longer in the plus sizes as I was when expecting and for a few years after, I still have a hard time fitting in the clothing at many stores. Even my slim teen feels this pain: if you’re tall, if you’re big-boned or if, in my case, you have emphatic hips?, better be prepared to spend hours shopping for something decent.

    Not sure I’m going to see Bridesmaids. I’m not a fan of rollicking comedy. Give me a comic book movie, though, and I’m set. Where is my Wonder Woman movie, dangit?

    As for eye-poppingly good-looking guys, there’s a large contingent of my friends who’re talking up Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from Game of Thrones.

  4. rustonite on 18 Jun 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    “I’m a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.” – Homer Simpson

  5. Fratguy on 18 Jun 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    The perfect crime, because you can’t dust for urine.

    Every year the board of trustees candidates for my SLAC trot out the “…and support athletics, returning it to its former glory…” boilerplate. This leaves me befuddled every time. Former glory ? You could pour money into the football program (because let’s face it, we are talking about footb all here) until the cows come home and they would still be summarily dismantled by an average west Texas JV high school squad. Interestingly enough, it is the women’s teams that have distinguished themselves on the national stage in the interim.

    I have not seen “Bridesmaids”, but rollicking comedy would be a nice diversion as somebody in the house keeps sticking cheery little ditties like “Blue Valentine” in the Net Flix queue.

  6. shaz on 18 Jun 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    On the funny women point: my husband was reading Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants in public (thanks for sending your copy H’ann!), and no less than three women came up to him, expressed surprise at his reading choice, and wanted to know if he thought men would like it. ???

    Men=funny for everyone.
    Women=funny as subject of joke, not actual subjects.

  7. Western Dave on 18 Jun 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Ironically, you can’t buy sinny short guy clothes in public anymore either. My pants are 30 x 30 and I can’t find them anywhere that isn’t super expensive except Old Navy where the fit and cut is geared towards a demographic that seems not mind having its underwear out in public.

  8. Historiann on 18 Jun 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Fratguy loved Bossypants. He kept stealing it away from me and laughing out loud while he read it. (Very annoying.)

    GayProf, I’m beginning to think the reason that you didn’t like Bridesmaids is that it hit a little too close to home for you. GayProf = Kristen Wiig’s character + WW spandex. Haven’t you had enough of the dumba$$ boyfriends?

  9. wini on 19 Jun 2011 at 6:24 am #

    I have a question about Fey. I stopped watching 30 Rock after one too many rape jokes. It got the point where I had to think about it (oh, that’s supposed to be shocking and therefore funny) every time. Has anyone here had that reaction?

    I like schlumpy guys (maybe to make up for my husband’s lack of schlump). Mark Ruffalo, etc. BUT (@WesternDave) this is very different from my husband whose pants size is 28 inch 29 waist.

    I loved the fact that the husband in Bridesmaid was an extra (as in, didn’t speak and therefore didn’t get paid scale).

  10. cgeye on 20 Jun 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Is it time for my plaintive ballad, “God Damn You to Hell, Eileen Fisher”? Perhaps not — though the icy disdain its spokesmodel/salesladies showed as they told me that I could find their larger sizes on their functionally-useless scrap of paper called a “catalog” was priceless….

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