As I was driving home listening to the lyrics of Sara Bareilles’s, “1000 times”:
Cause I would die to make you mine
Bleed me dry each and every time
I don’t mind, no I don’t mind it
I would come back 1000 times
I considered how “unromantic” they really are. I understand feeling so much love for a person that you would die for them circa Romeo and Juliet, but this song advocates for something different… To me, it says, “I would die so that you could be with me, and I would keep coming back for you no matter how many times you said no (approximately 1000 times).” This ideology worries me because it is not healthy for men and women to consistently pursue someone who does not and will never love them back the way they want or need. Note: No matter how much you love someone, it is not worth pursuing them 1000 times).
I recently read an insightful article about characters in various television series who continue to pursue women who rebuff their advances constantly. It comes across as funny that this socially awkward guy keeps pursuing the girl of his dreams who either has a boyfriend or is not interested. Brooklyn Nine-Nine calls this the Full Boyle where Detective Boyle endlessly seeks out Rosa and plans dates for them to attend after she always says that she is not interested. NO means NO, yet these television shows inspire men and women to keep pursuing people who do not want them and who may never return the affection. Let’s also consider Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character in 500 Days of Summer. Gordon-Levitt spoke about how unhealthy his character is for obsessing over a woman who has clearly moved on and told him she was not interested. Yet, in the film this comes across as romantic that Tom loves her so much and why wouldn’t Summer be interested in a man that is so devoted to her?
We’ve all had crushes on people (many fictional in my case: Think Jim from The Office and Jack from Lost). However at some point, we make a move or we move on. It is not healthy, sexy, or funny to pursue someone for years who does not love you back or treat you the way you deserve. Robin Thicke should take note of this!
Note: I love Sara Bareilles, and the song is beautiful. I’m just not feeling the meaning behind it.
I watched this Ted talk last night from psychologist, Meg Jay, discussing how to make the most of your 20s. Enjoy and ponder!
#Letgirlslearn initiative raises awareness of girls’ education in developing countries.
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as siblings in The Skeleton Twins.
Thoughtful reflection on being a virgin in The Guardian.
Very interesting article about Game of Thrones and the Female Gaze.
Sex myths we need to stop teaching boys.
Men as feminist activists.
Fascinating article on dyslexia.
I recently visited Fred Meyer to buy my dad a Father’s Day card and observed the plethora of stereotypes card companies rely on to sell cards. The two cards above are prime examples of the roles we assume fathers must fill. They grill, eat meat, fix things around the house, and teach their kids how to drive. Let’s move beyond these stereotypes that limit the roles men have in their children’s lives.
After getting back from a long camping trip with my students, I decided to catch up on lots of television, including CBS’s Friends with Better Lives. I had so much hope for this show because a) I’m looking for a sitcom to replace How I Met Your Mother in my life and b) I am a sci-fi nerd who loved the show Roswell growing up and was so excited to see that Majandra Delfino is on the show!
However, after binging on five episodes, it appears that FWBL relies on traditional views of femininity and masculinity to complete the show’s punchlines. For example, Jules, the super hot Brooklyn Decker, is engaged to Lowell, a vegan hippie who owns a sustainable cafe. In one episode, the men don’t want to invite Lowell to boys’ night because they think he won’t be “into” that kind of thing. When Andi asks for a reason, Lowell coincidentally walks over with a dessert and sprinkles flowers around it. Lowell’s feminine behavior gets a laugh because clearly if he acts like this he won’t be into boy’s night. When Lowell goes to boys night, he is shocked to see that the boys are eating cupcakes and watching The Good Wife. He mocks the boys and insists they do manly things like get drunk and steal police bicycles. (Okay, this sight was pretty funny!) However, I have a hard time getting behind a show that relies on the same old crap to get laughs.
The show also gets at another one of my pet peeves: the archetype of a single woman who is always longing for a mate to complete her. Kate is spunky and funny yet it is revealed in a recent episode that what she really longs for is a soul mate who she can have her dream wedding with. I think this is something we can all relate to but it bothers me that the promo for this show clearly labels her as single. Does this really matter so much?
Let me also address that the show uses Brooklyn Decker’s supermodel status in the most stereotypical ways possible. Her character decides to become vegan for her fiancee yet Jules harbors a love for meat. Jules sneaks a bite of Kate’s hamburger and the camera goes in slow motion as Kate cannot stop eating this giant hamburger (Think every Carls Jr. commercial on the planet). This recipe (sexism + sexy stars) isn’t new for television. I would argue that How I Met Your Mother‘s success rests somewhat on its use of sexist jokes. We need to rethink “what is funny” in order to get better sitcoms on television.
A new feminist is in town. I love this Twitter site, FeministTaylorSwift, that molds Taylor Swift lyrics into feminist messages.
I’m 13 now / And don’t know how / A person can be both intelligent and feminine at the same time / Because the media says I can’t