Girls on film

Not so much anymore, but, when Clementine was small, I found myself, quite often, having to politely explain to people why we didn’t want any Barbie dolls or Disney princess movies as gifts. With the new baby, if it’s a girl, I think the process will be much easier. I’ll just have to send a link to the following trailer for the movie Miss Representation, which pretty much explains it all.

Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from Miss Representation on Vimeo.

[The documentary, which premiered this year at Sundance, will be broadcast for the first time this Thursday night, Oct. 20th, at 9:OO PM, on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Of course, I can’t watch it, as I don’t have a television, for the very reasons noted in the above trailer.]

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31 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing to me that we get anything accomplished as a species, with all of this fucked up sex bullshit coursing through our veins. I think it’s time for humanity to enter into a post-sex phase. Just think how much more productive we’d be if we didn’t worry about attracting mates, and waste time feeling bad about ourselves and how we looked.

  2. Wait a second
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Why would we bother to be alive if we had no sex?
    Don’t overstate your point, guys.
    Yes, let women be smart and in charge and powerful and all that. Then have sex with as many as you can. That way everybody is happy.
    But they still should be hot like Geena Davis in A League of Their Own.
    Come on, now.

  3. A
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I know they aren’t the only two possibilities out there, but, given the choice, I’d rather be in a society like ours than one in which women are covered from head to toe, and not allowed to leave the house without a male escort. And, yes, I realize that is a false dichotomy.

  4. Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I was the scorn of the family because I wouldn’t allow Barney or Disney anything in my house.

    I wasn’t worried that my son would want to become become portly and blue, however.

  5. K2
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Wait a second, you aren’t suggesting that the video for Duran Duran’s classic song “Girls on Film” in any way contributes toward this insidious belief that women should only be valued for their looks, are you? I hate to contradict you, but distinctly remember that one of the women in that video was wearing a lab coat and glasses. While she happened to be incredibly sexy, and wearing nothing at all beneath the coat, the fact remains that they hired a professional scientist. The facts don’t lie.

  6. someone
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Anyone know if Mark gets a cut if I already have stuff in my Amazon cart, come here and click his link, then complete my purchase?

  7. Mr. X
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’m curious as to what people make of this argument. “They’ve tried making Barbie a scientist, and an astronaut, but they don’t sell. That’s not what girls want. They want pretty clothes and shoes. They want to imagine themselves as beautiful.” I think, to a large extent, it’s bullshit, but I suspect that, deep inside of us, thanks to millions of years of evolution, there is some piece of our reptilian brain that calls out to little girls, “You need to be pretty and accommodating to attract a mate who has the strength and energy to bring home big slabs of meat.” But our society amplifies that message to the point at which it’s deafeningly loud. LIttle girls, even if they might be inclined to follow a different path, hear the Sirens’ call. It’s everywhere. It’s all around us. For every Elizabeth Warren, there are a thousand Britney Spears want-to-bes, urging our daughters to exert their sexuality years before they’re equipped to do so. It’s maddening.

  8. Meta
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    While we’re on the subject of women’s rights and the kind of world we want for our daughters, did anyone see that Republican frontrunner Herman Cain came out and said that he was against abortion, even in cases of “rape and incest”?

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/10/16/cain-on-abortion-no-exceptions-for-rape-and-incest/

  9. Eel
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Not to confuse the issue, but Ann Arbor is going to have its first Slut Walk this weekend.

    https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=177104105702249

  10. Esther
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    You know when you live in a perverse world when you’re looked on with derision for wanting your daughter to be something more than a model or a pop singer.

  11. Meta
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    From the campaign of the other Republican frontrunner, we get the message that women aren’t discriminated against anymore.

    From Think Progress:

    Last August, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork as the co-chair of his “Judicial Advisory Committee.” Bork’s selection was a clear sign that, if elected, Romney will appoint hard right justices with little regard for how the Constitution protects ordinary Americans. Bork once described the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters as “unsurpassed ugliness.” He believes that the government is free to ban contraception outright. And he even thinks the government can outright criminalize sex.

    In a recent Newsweek interview, Bork gives America a taste of the legal advice that Romney finds so compelling:

    How about the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment? Does [Bork] still think it shouldn’t apply to women?

    “Yeah,” he answers. “I think I feel justified by the fact ever since then, the Equal Protection Clause kept expanding in ways that cannot be justified historically, grammatically, or any other way. Women are a majority of the population now—a majority in university classrooms and a majority in all kinds of contexts. It seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/10/17/345467/romney-legal-advisor-robert-bork-women-aren’t-discriminated-against-anymore/

  12. Posted October 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I don’t think sex is the problem; the entertainment industry is. Don’t watch movies and TV; talk to other people instead. And the best amusement for a kid is other kids, not commercial fantasy.

  13. someone
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    http://youtu.be/XcWAPEW8Cf8

  14. Bob
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t argue about the overabundance of sexual imagery but some of this is just over the top. I can’t stand guns and have never entertained the thought of supporting war or joining the military. As a kid I loved toy guns, army men and playing war. I also watched the Three Stooges and never once hit my brother in the head with a hammer.
    People get way too hysterical about some of this stuff. I know kids whos parents never let them watch TV or engage in anything related to pop culture. Some of these kids are weirder and more messed up than those of us who watched way too much television.

  15. Posted October 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Weird by whose standards? Messed up by what measure? Yours?

    While micromanaging your child’s life will only make them a nervous wreck, I don’t think that going to other way and abandoning parenting altogether is any solution.

    Every household has some set of norms and morals that they want to instill in their children. Personally, I never had a TV when my kid lived with me. People called me an abusive parent for it, no joke.

    I wasn’t a perfect parent (actually I was pretty awful), but I can say that my kid turned out better because he didn’t grow up with 24 hours of commercialized nonsense every day.

  16. Bob
    Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I read that Adolf Hitler never watched any TV. Actually, I think I saw it on the History channel.

  17. Posted October 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Hitler loved Disney: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1579629/Did-Adolf-Hitler-draw-Disney-characters.html

    Of course, that doesn’t mean anything, except that Hitler had bad taste, but I’ll link to it anyway.

    Me, I’m all for kids making up their own fantasies, instead of ingesting commercial spectacles; and playing outdoors with other kids, rather than sitting and staring at the furniture. Weird but true…

  18. Bob
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    My god, sometimes I really hate to even associate myself with liberals. I’m more afraid of my kids playing with the children of uptight, humorless parents than I am of them encountering a Barbie doll. Seriously.

  19. Brainless
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Bit of a reach here, Peter:
    “…but I can say that my kid turned out better because he didn’t grow up with 24 hours of commercialized nonsense every day.”

    Talk about nonsense. You don’t have a freakin’ clue how this affected your child’s upbringing. You’re just projecting your bias onto a happy, but unrelated, datum. Yes, a world in which television is kept a a minimum for kids appears, in aggregate studies, to make for a healthier population. But to make such a firm statement about what a noble stand you took on TV for your seed is a bit hubristic, if you ask me. Maybe your kid just has extraordinary natural ability to turn out well IN SPITE OF limited TV viewing, not BECAUSE OF. Just throwing that out there. The fact remains: You don’t know.

    And Bob, you started to make a good point and then your backside rears up with your “… sometimes I really hate to even associate myself with liberals…” line. Why even go there? Do you always divide the world thusly? You sound like a total asshole in real life. I’m dead serious. You’re a bigot about “liberals” which pretty clearly from your posts means “anybody who doesn’t agree with me”.

  20. K2
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Bob, I don’t know that I’d call someone uptight for not wanting his Asian-American daughter to grow up thinking that the ultimate pinnacle of beauty to which one should aspire is impossibly big titted and blonde. And if you don’t think mass culture, as it exploits images of women to sell products, actually does damage, you should read a book on anorexia. Or, better yet, google “thinspiration”.

  21. Posted October 18, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    No, youre right I don’t know what would have happened. Should I just have said fuck it and forced him to watch nickelodeon all day long while I read him the bible from a corner?

    Seriously, man, what’s all the hostility? Do you have kids? I guess not.

    I grew up in a family that had tv 24/7. I know what happened to me. My kid turned out better. I’ll never know why, you’re right.

  22. Bob
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Brainless, I’m nearly as liberal as it gets. You kind of illustrate my original point that I get embarrassed to be one of you sometimes when I participate here. And I really was trying to be funny. Maybe I’m just a bad writer. My point is liberals have a real tendency to be way too fucking serious and humorless. I do have kids, I neither park them in front of the Disney channel or force them to live a television-less lifestyle.
    I certainly don’t want my daughter to be a dumb bimbo…or whatever the point of this was.

    How the fuck did it get to needing to read a book on anorexia?
    And I’m not sure where the hostility is in my posts Peter. Your words are vastly more hostile in tone than mine were.

  23. Posted October 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t accusing you of being hostile, I was speaking to Mr. Brainless.

  24. kjc
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Brainless, Bob and Peter.

  25. Eel
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Peter, Bob and Brainless were great. I know people talk a lot about King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but my favorite part of the 1963 march on Washington was their rendition of “If I Had a Hummer”.

  26. Brainless
    Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m not hostile, Peter. Just felt the need to call you on your bullshit. You were making a rational point and then just went off the rails with a ridiculous assumption. The fact that you don’t like it makes it seem hostile toward you, not what I said. (Reread it as if I was talking to EOS about his stance on paying for fire protection. Substitute “fireman” for “TV” where appropriate and “you small-minded twit” for “Peter” where found.)

    More bullshit: I do have kids. So, you’re really striking out here. I struggle with the same issue of access to and quantity of media as everyone else, but I would hesitate to say that any single issue about or rule to enforce our household “norms and morals”, as you so well put it, has any overarching effect on my kids. Kids are too complex to boil it down so easily.

    Bob, if you believed you were being humorous, believe differently. Again, I’m just throwing this out there, but maybe all those “uptight, humorless” liberals are actually being funny as shit, but you just don’t get it.

  27. Posted October 19, 2011 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Kids are complex, yes. A household without television is a household with more opportunities to think and communicate, in my opinion. I don’t think that’s bullshit at all.

    Granted, there are plenty of other ways to fuck kids up.

  28. Mr. X
    Posted October 19, 2011 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Parents have less and less influence over their children every year. Removing the TV is one way to address that. There are others. Can we at least agree on that much?

  29. Rev
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    The one joy I have left in life is looking at images of hot young women. Please do not take that away from me.

  30. Mr. X
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Someone needs to make a Naomi Wolf doll.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/19/naomi-wolf-arrest-occupy-wall-street?newsfeed=true

  31. Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Yeah let’s just change all the media! Ridiculous. If you don’t like what’s on TV then do like Mark does and turn it off. Then you can be out of touch with reality just like the makers of that documentary.

    Also please stop breeding people.

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