It’s Feel Good Friday, and as such, I’m going to throw out some links to a few things on the Internet I read this week with pleasure.
When we drive around town I never look at a trendy new restaurant and wish I could eat there. I peer into little storefront places, diners, ethnic places, and then I feel envy. After a movie we’ll drive past a formica restaurant with only two tables occupied, and I’ll wish I could be at one of them, having ordered something familiar and and reading a book. I never felt alone in a situation like that. I was a soloist.
I had been on the fence about our heroine’s role as a southern belle’s maid. Yes, it’s [canon] for fairy tale protagonists to begin their stories having low status, but a black heroine who is a domestic could be legitimately read not as a fairy tale trope but a reinforcement of real world racial denigration. Some may claim that it would be historically accurate for a 1920’s black woman to be a maid, but Disney doesn’t even care about historical accuracy when animating actual history (for example, Pocahontas.) Disney films often include generic European landscapes and eras and anachronistic details and social conventions. Let’s consider Beauty and the Beast. Did French peasants like Belle’s dad really have the time and resources to invent complicated gadgets? Should Belle have had access to so many books or even have been literate?… Deciding to suddenly be historically accurate while telling a fairy tale about a black princess seems a little suspect. Not to mention after decades of singing candlesticks and flying carpets, it’s a little late in the game to start claiming a commitment to realism.
(Another good essay about a recent movie is this one, which articulates some problems with Avatar.)
And finally, while we’re all smartypantsing around thinking about things like feminism and race and privilege and gazes, Linda Holmes at NPR has a great piece up about how transforming Penny from an object of the male gaze to a protagonist in her own right has made The Big Bang Theory a better show.
This is, in maybe the most literal form in which you’ll ever see it, the male gaze. She exists relative to Leonard and Sheldon’s arrival home (just standing there reading a magazine in profile with the door open!), relative to their door, relative to their apartment. It’s a comedy, but it’s still true. This is it; this is the thing. This is the thing people talk about where she’s not really herself, she’s just the lady standing in the doorway.
How about you; read anything good lately?
Posted by mo pie