February 8, 2011
For sheer pith, of course, nothing can match Breakup Girl Haiku. But Morning Glory of Jezebel has given us a veritable Valentine of (swollen) purple prose, by pointing us — through this post — to the Tumblr Romance Club. There, as MoGlo puts it, “sometimes embarrassed but always funny consumers of erotic literature…write book reviews summarizing their paper conquests.” The sheer hilarity of these descriptions is BG-post-worthy enough (”Larkspur is a fair maiden on the Chrystal Isle in the Avalon Sea whose father is a dolphin shifter [he can take both forms]. This is pretty irrelevant to the plot, but they mention it, so I thought I would too.”); go now and read through the whole site. I’ll wait.
OK. See, what I adore about those Tumblr posts — and frankly, what makes for the best humor in general — is the (heaving, pounding) heart behind them. These writers are fans, fans who get what’s funny about these books and who get sincere unironic pleasure from them. They don’t kid because they snark. They kid because they love.
But anyway, so the original Jez post took to task a recent USA Today article that advised gentlemen (PAY ATTENTION!): “If you want to show the woman you love how much you care, take a page from a romance novel: look into her eyes, focus on what she says and really talk to her.” This gave MoGlo pause. “Wait a second. What? Act more like dudes in romance novels? Aren’t dudes in romance novels kind of… rapey?”
She’s referring, in part, to this Romance Club review:
BUT! When it comes time for the sexxing, Kit decides that he’s had enough of the wooing, and straight-up says that he will have her, even if it means raping her.
Now, to be fair, Rue gets into the whole thing, but STILL. YOU CAN’T JUST DO THAT. It’s gross, and not only that, it’s totally unnecessary. Kresley Cole has a sh*tload of paranormal alpha heroes, and not ONCE is there even a hint of coercion. Our girl Zoe Archer has paranormal historical alpha heroes, and they do not rape. Because unlike Kit, they manage to be both hot AND not a total f*cking *sshole.
I was enjoying the book up until this point, since there’s a lot of really awesome historical dress and house pr0n, lots of fun Independent Woman action from the heroine, and lots of dragons. But at this point, I don’t care how much Rue likes this dude. He dropped an r-bomb. That is not sexy. Ever. No.”
First of all, I am totally borrowing “*RECORDSCRATCH*.” Second, amen. Third, an update. I’m pleased to note that Romance Club responded to the Jez post with this caveat: “…[T]he rapey review I posted this morning was a complete coincidence, and really, the genre has for the most part moved FAR beyond those kinds of plot devices. Free sh*tty books, while always hilarious, are not the best examples of the genre. I’ve reviewed several books I’ve absolutely loved, and none of them have any kind of forced sex whatsoever.” Good to know. No. really!
And just to circle back to the top, it turns out — if this study is any indication — that women are more attracted to pirates who really listen men whose feelings are unclear. NOT BECAUSE WE “LIKE” TO BE JERKED AROUND. But simply because when you’re not 100% sure if someone’s into you, you spend more time thinking about them, which in turn only heightens your interest. (Clearly this gargoyle did not get that memo.)
January 13, 2011
You know how when you break up with someone and then you tell your friends and they make the shocked Macaulay Culkin Home Alone face? Apparently, that’s pretty much what’s happening to Mila Kunis right now. As a “close chum” of hers told E!, “We all found out [she and Mac broke up] and were like, what?” Over at Jezebel, Anna North reacts to that reaction. “It’s nice that Mila’s doing well, and that her pal acknowledges that fact, but when a breakup leaves all your friends So Surprised, it’s even worse than the usual variety,” she argues. Why? To summarize:
1. It was, in fact, probably sudden. And if that gives your friends “emotional whiplash,” what about the actual exes?
2. “When you just broke up with someone, you don’t want to hear how great you were together.”
3. “You feel a sense of unease with the universe.” “…[W]hen your friends are “like, what?!,” as it were, you’re brought face to face with the terrifying unpredictability of life.”
So yes, as North suggests, if a friend’s breakup blows your mind, process with a different friend, mmmkay? To the breakup friend, show compassion, not surprise. Let her or him tell you how they feel, not the other way around. Let’s remember the immortal words of Bridget Jones’s friend Magda, who said, “People’s relationships are quite mysterious. No one from the outside ever really understands what makes them work.” Or not work. But we do know what makes friendships work.
For more on our reactions to friends’ breakups, click here.
December 16, 2010
Remember when breaking up with someone over the phone was scandalous? (What, you couldn’t be bothered to jump in your horseless carriage and look your ex-to-be in the eye?) Now, Jezebel flags the inevitable: not just breakups, but full-on divorces, celebrity* and civilian**, announced — for the first time, to the divorce-ee — via Twitter. Mercifully concise, I guess, but #tacky! “Please,” writes Sadie Stein, “don’t let this become a thing.”
Hear, hear. Though actually, for legal purposes, tweeting’s too concise. Quoth a lawyer at Divorce Saloon: “To say that you ‘twittered’ your intentions to divorce your spouse to your followers on Twitter and that that is somehow enough ‘notice’ of a pending divorce action? That that would be tantamount to ‘personal service’ as required by statute? I don’t think the day will ever come.”
All of that said, while I’m all for every discussion about maintaining civility in the bluish glow of technology, I want to say this for the record: our little beeping and blooping machines have brought far more friends, lovers, and allies together than they have torn asunder. Tweet on!
* “In the past few months, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy and Eva Longoria all replaced the time-tested PR statement with a tweet. Maybe they feel like their fans deserve to hear it from them.”
** “Apparently one guy did this…without consulting the wife he was divorcing, writing ‘My wife has left me, I wasn’t good enough, isn’t that a shame’ before she’d had a chance to tell her friends or family.”
, Eva Longoria
, Jenny McCarthy
, Jim Carrey
, Kelsey Grammer
, public relations
October 6, 2010
Cheerleaders don’t necessarily deserve that bad a rap. Contrary to popular belief (and recent judicial opinion), they are athletes doing a team sport. (You try doing a back loop spiral with a pike alone in your living room.) Some of them are willing to discover their inner gleeks. One squad has actually petitioned their school board for less revealing uniforms — and not just because it’s chilly in Connecticut. Here’s how the Connecticut Post (via Jezebel) describes the Bridgeport Central High School squad’s appeal:
“We ask with the utmost respect you do anything in your power to help us,” said Heidi Medina, a former team captain, removing oversized sweats to reveal a quarter-length top and exposed middle. “I don’t feel comfortable wearing this.”
“It really hurts our self esteem,” said Ariana Mesaros, another senior on the team, in a voice hoarse from cheering the night before. “I am embarrassed to stand up here dressed like this. Is this really how you want Bridgeport to be represented?”
It is now! You go, girlies. B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!, and etc. Especially because recent research does confirm that cheerleaders — yes, especially those who wear midriff-baring uniforms — are at high risk for eating disorders. And, related: there’s an argument to be made that not considering cheerleading a sport might actually make it more physically dangerous. So let’s continue moving past the stereotypes — in schools and on screens — and, while we’re at it, cheer those Bridgeport girls on.
P.S. Anyone watching Hellcats?
September 15, 2010
We use a lot of offhand shorthand about being “crazy” for someone or, on a not so good day, about a “psycho” ex. But figures of speech aside, what — as Jezebel (and, earlier, BG) have asked — is it like to date while you yourself are struggling with actual mental health issues? (Related: or with autism?) Sheesh. Obvious but necessary thing to say: Dating is hard enough when you don’t have (say) an eating disorder. You know? What do you do on dates when just the thought of just “grabbing a bite” is a source of unbearable stress? When (as with disability issues) do you disclose: soon enough to be honest, but not so early that you scare them off? How do you even get out there in the first place when — as one woman interviewed told Jezebel — you walk around with “this core self-belief that, basically, [you] suck”? Read the whole piece for some insight and perspective, but perhaps the key message therein is this (from Dr. Sarah Ravin):
Choose a partner who brings you joy and pleasure and fun. Try to view dating as an opportunity to grow emotionally, meet new people, practice new skills, and take healthy risks. If dating seems very stressful or boring or anxiety-provoking, you’re either not ready to date yet or you’re dating the wrong person.
“Sounds,” as Jezebel notes, “like good advice for anyone.”
July 29, 2010
Via Wired: Maybe you and your nerdnificant other really are on the same wavelength!
October 28, 2008
Jackie over at our Hair Desk recently reported the breaking news that gentlemen, in fact, prefer brunettes. Perhaps we spoke too soon.
March 19, 2008
One of BG’s favorite metaphors for partnership, offered by “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” in this letter, is: having someone in your life who can “share the driving.” One shortcoming: the metaphor doesn’t really work for women in Saudi Arabia who, since the establishment of the state in 1932, have not been permitted to get behind the wheel.That, finally — noreallythistimewemeanit — may be changing. The Saudi legislature has formally recommended lifting the ban on female drivers. But, as my alter ego at Broadsheet reports:”There’s just one caveat. No, wait. There’s like 17. According to a source in the legislature, the Shura Council’s recommendation also includes the following stipulations:
The woman driver must be under 30.
The woman’s driving is conditional upon the permission of a relative [father, husband, brother or son]. [Son! "Can I have the car keys, son? C'mon, pleeeeeeeeease?!"]
The woman driver must be modestly dressed.
The woman driver will be permitted to drive alone in the cities, but outside the cities she must be accompanied by a relative.
The woman driver will be permitted to drive Saturday through Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The woman driver must be able to prove that P=NP and have the power of telekinesis.”
Well, it’s a start. Perhaps someday soon (during a lunar eclipse?) they’ll be able to carpool over for a girls’ weekend at the new women-run, women-only Luthan Hotel & Spa, prompting vexing lesbian rumors! More on that at Jezebel.