Archive for the ‘Gender’ category

Weekend recs

This is the End, dir. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (2013) There’s something delightful about actors playing themselves as complete assholes, and the guys (and a few girls, including Emma Watson) in this movie are truly over-the-top — cursing, flailing, selfish, obtuse, wildly egotistical maniacs. If you see one movie all year with Michael Cera […]

Make love not war

Some days I am haunted by the “for richer or poorer, sickness and health” dichotomies of the marriage vow. Some days the good to bad range extends to unreasonable expectations. This was one of those days. “So let me get this straight. You wear a red vinyl penis on the outside of your clothes, use a walker […]


Cleaning out my desk today for an office move I discovered a copy of an essay I received from a student a couple years ago. I asked the class to write about a person who had had a big influence on them. I reproduce the essay here as is, with only the real names redacted. […]

Ain’t I a woman?

A few weeks ago, I attended a series of meetings with people from my workplace in which we talked about gender performance. It was mostly folks I didn’t know, but I was enjoying getting to know them. Almost everything I said seemed to be shocking, though I certainly didn’t intend it to be, and I […]

Come back to the five and dime, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

The Husband and I have just delved into the first two episodes of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” the cult TV show from the mid-70’s starring Louise Lasser as the title character of a Norman Lear soap-opera send-up set in fictional Fernwood, Ohio. The cast also includes Dodi Goodman as Mary’s ditzy mother and Mary Kay […]

On female power

I just graded about twenty exams in a row from students who, when asked an essay question about masculine desires and feminine gender performance in American women authors of the 17th-19th centuries, responded with sentence after sentence about how this or that character shows “female power.” And I’m going to barf if I ever see […]

Read yr idols

Hard to believe this book is twenty years old. It still thrums with energy and danger. Half a lifetime ago, I discovered it at a friend’s house, devoured it, and started saving up to buy it myself. This was in the days before Amazon and Google Books. I had to take a bus to the […]

What feminine eardrums you have

I know you’ve all seen the ads for the pink tool sets–that are supposed to make a woman feel less dykey, I guess, if she needs to swing a hammer? Maintain her feminine delicacy and freshness like the flower petal she is, despite that screwdriver in her perfectly manicured hand making her feel like she […]

Good hair

How much money do you spend on your hair? If you’re a guy, do you cut it yourself? If you’re a woman, do you go to Supercuts? Or a fancy stylist? Is there a real difference between a $40 haircut and a $400 haircut? How about color? Do you spend money getting the gray out? […]


I fear that I’m getting a reputation for being not-fun in my old age. Sure, I’m only 30, but it’s clear that a whole landscape of human interactions has closed off to me. My interest in movies and television has waned. And I really don’t enjoy dating as much as I used to. It all […]