Yesterday, Will Ferrell’s company, Gary Sanchez Productions, announced that it is launching a female-focused film and television department called Gloria Sanchez Productions. The idea came from Jessica Elbaum, an exec at Gary Sanchez, who will head the division.
This is exciting news, but I think they missed a major point. I believe people are at their funniest, smartest, most moral and most complete when they exist together. Gary Sanchez Productions is like an apartment with no living room. Yes, it’s vital and sanity-saving to have your own room, but all the best stuff happens in the living room, where people congregate and everyone feels like they belong. While I love the new Girls Room of Gary Sanchez Productions, it doesn’t improve what has been going on in the Boys Room at all. Keep reading »
Why does the mainstream media have to ask if politicians who are also mothers can “have it all”? We never ask if dads can “have it all”; instead, we presume someone back at home (wife, nanny, second wife) is taking care of the kids and the kids are fine and we do not need to worry about them. But when a mom runs for office — or is up for any other kind of huge role, like CEO — there’s the implication that she’s going to fail in one area of her life because she has too many competing responsibilities. By asking whether she can have it all, we suggest she can’t have “it all.” There are literally hundreds of other headlines The New York Times Magazine could have used for this article and cover story about Wendy Davis, who is running for governor of Texas as a Democrat. I don’t doubt the Times Magazine article about Davis will be really interesting. I simply wish the mainstream media reported on male and female politicians more equally. [New York Times Magazine]
Maybe you saw this 1981 gender-neutral LEGO ad (left) the first time around. Or maybe you saw it more recently, going viral on the Internet to underscore how advertising for kids could be: the little girl in the picture isn’t wearing any pink, and the ad copy is about the pride a child takes in building something on their own.
The ad’s young model, Rachel Giordano, recently posed for an updated version of the ad that shows just how much toys have changed in the past few decades. Rachel, who is now a 37-year-old naturopathic doctor, posed holding a toy from the LEGO “Friends” line, which is marketed to girls. The “Heartlake City News Van” in her hands is advertised like this:
“Break the big story of the world’s best cake with the Heartlake News Van! Find the cake and film it with the camera and then climb into the editing suite and get it ready for broadcast. Get Emma ready at the makeup table so she looks her best for the camera. Sit her at the news desk as Andrew films her talking about the cake story and then present the weather to the viewers.” Keep reading »
A study by Rice University and the University of North Texas has found that for lots of us, height does matter when it comes to choosing a partner.
Researchers set out to learn more about height preferences in the heterosexual dating world by conducting a study split into two parts. The first part compiled data from Yahoo! personal dating ads and consulted the opinions of 455 heterosexual men (with an average height of 5’8″ and average age of 36) and 470 heterosexual women (with an average height of 5’4″ and an average age of 35). Only 13.5 percent of guys said they prefer to date women who are shorter than they are. The women in the study, on the other hand, were a bit pickier: 48.9 percent of women would only date men who are taller than they are.
The study’s second part enlisted volunteers from a U.S. university to take an online survey with open-ended questions. The survey included 54 men (who averaged 5’9″ tall) and 131 women (with an average height of 5’4″). Researchers found that 37 percent of men would only date women who are shorter than them, and 55 percent of women would only date men who are taller than them – very similar to the study’s previous findings. Keep reading »
“If you are 35 and don’t have a husband, there is something wrong. … We will start demanding that you are married before you are elected. … You young ladies: look for husbands and get married. You are the ones causing problems. … Someone who is able to manage a home is equally able to run the affairs of the people. But if you cannot manage a home … can you manage public affairs?”
This is William Kabogo, the governor of Kiambu County in Kenya, who has since apologized for criticizing unmarried women who dare to run for office. He was throwing shade at an MP named Alice Ng’ang’a, who is unmarried and also happens to oppose Kabogo’s ideas on taxes. Obviously she has silly ideas about taxes because she is a woman who is single, duh. I hope this guy shuts up so he doesn’t give American politicians any worse ideas. [BBC]
Mary Barra, GM’s first female CEO, is set to be paid half of what Dan Akerson, her male predecessor, made. Yes, half.
Barra will earn $4.4 million as opposed to Akerson’s 2012 earnings of $9.1 million (which comprised $1.7 million in salary and $7.3 million in stock awards). As a senior advisor, Akerson is now entitled to $4.68 million, which is still more than Barra is earning as CEO. With numbers this big being thrown around, the glaring question is whether anyone needs to be making millions of dollars each year. Of course not. I don’t think CEOs ever need to be making seven figures, but when the only reason one millionaire is making less than another millionaire is their gender, we have a different issue on our hands than the rich getting richer. [Jezebel, The Atlantic] [Image of money in wallet via Shutterstock]
“We had lots of battles with the ratings board on the movie. There was the line, ‘Amber D’Alessio gave a blow job to a hot dog,’ which eventually became ‘Amber D’Alessio made out with a hot dog.’ Which is somehow weirder! That’s the thing we found: When you’re trying to make a joke obey the rules and not use any bad words, it can actually become seamier, even. … The line in the sand that I drew was the joke about the wide-set vagina. The ratings board said, ‘We can’t give you a PG-13 unless you cut that line.’ We ended up playing the card that the ratings board was sexist, because ‘Anchorma’n had just come out, and Ron Burgundy had an erection in one scene, and that was PG-13. We told them, ‘You’re only saying this because it’s a girl, and she’s talking about a part of her anatomy. There’s no sexual context whatsoever, and to say this is restrictive to an audience of girls is demeaning to all women.’ And they eventually had to back down.”
In honor of the 10th anniversary of “Mean Girls” (gah, I’m old), director Mark Waters shared 10 juicy behind-the-scenes tales from Tina Fey’s best movie ever. In addition to sharing that Rachel McAdams was almost cast as Cady Heron, Amanda Seyfried was almost cast as Regina George, and Amy Poehler was almost not cast at all, Waters shared a particularly sexist struggle that the filmmakers had with the MPAA board. The movie ratings organization is notoriously more condemnatory when it’s female sexual pleasure onscreen (rather than male) as well as slang words about female anatomy. (Watch the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” for so much appalling shit about the MPAA.) Not surprisingly, the latter was absolutely true in the case of “Mean Girls,” where the filmmakers had to fight valiantly to keep in the phrase “wide-set vagina.” Oh, Tina Fey. Keep on fighting the good fight. [NYMag.com]
We don’t live in a world where men experience the same day-to-day sexist micro-aggressions that women do. But “Oppressed Majority,” a short French film by Elénore Pourriat, does a pretty good job illustrating it. Pierre is a father and husband who lives in France. Going about his day, he’s catcalled on the street by women and on the receiving end of casually sexist remarks — as well as doling sexist remarks out to his child’s caretaker, a Muslim man wearing a veil. It goes from bad to worse when he’s sexually assaulted by a group of women while alone in an alleyway. No one should have to be treated the way Pierre is by the police or his partner. But millions of women are treated exactly like this every day. Pourriat’s short film is a simple, yet impactful, conduit for showing what women and girls experience in our supposedly “equal” society. It’s only 11 minutes long but well-worth watching. [YouTube via BuzzFeed]
You know Avital Norman Nathman as the columnist behind Mommie Dearest, our feminist parenting column. But Avital is also the “mom” of her first book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood To Fit Reality.
The anthology explores the same ground she writes about here on The Frisky, like teen parents, postpartum depression, the changing face of the American family. Contributors included maternal health advocate/model Christy Turlington Burns, New York Times Motherlode blogger K.J. Dell’Antonia, Feministing co-founder Jessica Valenti, Manifesta co-author Jennifer Baumgardner, The Radical Housewife blogger Shannon Drury, and many others.
I’m not saying this just because Avital is one of our columnists — I genuinely loved The Good Mother Myth. It provoked me to think about feminism and motherhood in ways I hadn’t before and opened my eyes more to how gender identity, race and class alter the experience. I gave Avital a call over Skype to chat about her book, myths surrounding motherhood, and how to know when you’re ready to have kids. Our interview, after the jump: Keep reading »