Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hark! A Skirmish!

I have a short and rather appalling history of entering into certain blog skirmishes. I've been wondering why this is, and all I can come up with is that I must be making up for those times when an actual face-to-face confrontation left me speechless and I wound up waking up in the middle of the night thinking Dammit! I shoulda said.... The blogosphere allows me to "write-fight," which comes much more naturally to me. Some might argue that the anonymity of the Internet makes me more comfortable saying what I feel, but I would argue that Nesting Ground is not an anonymous space: real name, real picture, real kids and spousal unit, etc. etc.

All of which is to say that I almost got caught up in it again, but I think I succeeded in reigning myself in. I don't know; check it out for yourselves in the comments here and here. What do you think, A.D.?—Have I learned anything?

Today I started reading a book called Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb, Ed.D., and Lyn Mikel Brown, Ed.D. From the statement on their website:

We write about how “girl power” has been co-opted by marketers of music, fashion, books, cartoons, TV shows, movies, toys, and more to mean the power to shop and attract boys, and how girls are encouraged to use their “voice” to choose accessorizing over academics, sex appeal over sports, and boyfriends over friends. We expose these stereotypes and the very limited choices presented of who girls are and what they can be.

This is why I can't nod and say oh, I see now; you're totally right to those who support the imagery in the Generation 2 "Bebot" video with arguments like, "Well, it's like that in all the videos," and "There was no wardrobe for the shoot. The girls wore what they wanted to wear," etc. etc. Those are comments that simply reveal how easy it is for all of us to be manipulated. They are not comments that get to the root of the issue.

You know what gets to the root of the issue? This 7-minute documentary that the lovely Joanne found on Kiwi's blog. If you have 7 minutes, you should watch. If you don't have 7 minutes, you should watch anyway.


Joanne said...

Hey Ver!

Thanks for the book reference. I'm definitely going to look into that for my research. Also, a big kudos to you for putting up with/responding to the various comments in bloglandia. I've momentarily given up because my patience has been running thin.

While I was expecting the letter to spark some heated debate, I didn't realize that people would miss the mark on a lot of the critique. Oh well... When all is said and done, I do think the discussion is needed.

Yes, I'm still crying over the documentary.

ver said...

Hi Joanne! I can seriously sympathize with wanting to step back from the fray; it can be so disheartening. Unfortunately, I can't seem to keep my fingers from typing, and with that comes my sarcasm and anger, neither of which is helping the cause much. Bah.

I almost feel like the ones who are outright hatin' haven't actually read the letter. Any statement is open to misreadings, but it's getting almost bizarre.

Thanks again for posting the documentary; I never would have seen it otherwise.

Fritzie said...

Hi Ver!

Just want to say: You go girl!

Hope all is well with you and not as crazy over there anymore. Happy Friday!

take care!

ver said...

Hiya Fritzie!

Oh, you know me: making friends wherever I go...

A. D. said...

ok . . . spending my seven minutes.

be right back.

A. D. said...

i think you are becoming a pro at this controlled skirmishing—though i know it can be exasperating. . . . it's sad how verbal/intellectual badassedness is often twisted into belligerence.

i won't say much, but i am reminded of my short teaching experience—how cultural passivity and the excused proliferation of "innocent" stereotypes do have real human, individual effects. [ie. the doll study.]

[holding back from saying more and belaboring.]

ver said...

Hi AD! Thanks for taking the 7 minutes. During any blog skirmish, I now have a miniature AD on my shoulder, warning me not to take it too far...