Against Gendered Culture

by Carrie Rickey
April 3, 2012 12:09 PM
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Why are books and movies tagged pink or blue, like babies in a 1950s nursery?

“Equality is to sexual politics what the classless society is to Marxist theory: The hypothesis that solves the problem,” observed Phyllis Rose in "Parallel Lives," her perceptive study of five Victorian marriages. In other words, gender parity was and is an elusive ideal.

How do we achieve that ideal when movies and books are tagged with blue or pink ribbons, like newborns in a 1950s nursery? How do we achieve it when the movies and books with the blue ribbons are greeted as “important” or “literary” and the ones with the pink posters and covers signal “fluff,” even when they are about the same issues?

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  • Brian | April 4, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    Just for the record, my grown daughter, an aspiring writer, agrees with the "devalued" premise and singled out the romance industry as one that gets no love. When I tried to explain why I thought that was the case, I got a "You are so f---ing wrong," the first time she's ever cursed at me like that. So don't ask why I thought that was the case. I'm zipping my lips.

  • Brian | April 4, 2012 10:46 AMReply

    Why is this short piece split up into three pages? It would have all easily fit on one page.

    Also, this is the first time I've heard "Gone with the Wind" described as a YA novel.

    And what does it mean that "literature and movies by women are devalued at a time when the most profitable franchises in bookstores and at the multiplex are by women?" Doesn't that statement contradict itself? Devalued by whom? Certainly not by the readers and moviegoers, the ones who count the most.

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