Hot in the feministsphere this week is the Slaughter article on whether women can have it all (spoiler alert: no) and reactions to the Pixar female-lead movie Brave. I went to see Brave with Saskia, Addy, Addy’s mom, Megan, and Ezekiel. It was take your daughter, plus one to make your daughter’s focus group, plus an adult and a teenager to work day. I think I could have written all of our tickets off as a business expense.
I have some reading ahead and some thinking but here are my very short takes: 1) I was gladdened by mom’s hair getting greyer after the whole spell ordeal, 2) why must all males be oafs in the story? You have two critical women in the story—mother and daughter—two far lesser female characters—the maid and the witch—and then all these oafish males. The takeaway could be: women are capable and men are essentially oafs.
For the record that’s a feminist vision from the separatist movement circa 1975. I don’t think that’s Pixar’s hoped-for constituency.
3) Had I known quite how violent the movie was, I’d have thought twice about whether it was a top choice for preschoolers. Sharing that with the parents wondering. My teen asked why we worry more about censoring violence from kids than sex. That’s a good question.
Did I like that Merida did not require a Prince Charming? Of course I liked that part. By the way, I live in a place where many women do not require Prince Charming; I did not for a minute equate Merida’s aversion to arranged marriage as her signaling her lesbianism, though. That’s the kneejerk tomboy equals lesbian equation (pink boy turns gay man, too) I abhor; some tomboys will be lesbians and some won’t.
Pokemon cards, a sleepover essential
This week is one of those summer nightmare moments when a great deal of shuttling meets a shortened week at preschool meets a looming deadline. Here are three good things, though, on a Tuesday: first, over the weekend, I got stuck in the co-op vestibule during a giant hailing rainstorm with an old friend and we had one of those conversations that cut to the honest quick about parenthood; it’s stayed with me. I’m grateful for honesty about something so often wished for as the glossy, Pixar version. Second, although I barely saw my nine year-old this past week he had no school or camp, I loved how busy he was with friends and how happy he was from his hours and hours and hours and hours with friends. Summer at its finest. Third, my dear husband was away for most of the week and when he came home, I handed him my most dreaded task of pulling together forms for this week’s camp. He did. That was almost worth four days of solo parenting right there.
And here are three things to share: the first being my friend and amazing artist Molly Hatch’s new website (once there, you can read the story I wrote about her for Ceramics Monthly or at least admire the cover).
Last week I read a wonderful essay about the notion of good and bad abortions. It articulated something so critical, that even to terminate a wanted pregnancy that is medically ill advised is still a choice.
My lovely housemate has found one of the answers to this question: how do you deal with the summer you get invited to seven weddings? You find something glorious to give that won’t break the bank. She found this artist Nikki McClure, who cuts paper with x-acto knife to make her images. Our mudroom is getting the piece she calls Congregate, classic case of art imitating life.