pantryslut: (reading is fun)
Today, I was looking at the holdings in Michigan State University Library Special Collections, because that's the kind of gal I am. And I noticed something.

The subject areas of the Special Collections include:

* Gay, Lesbian Bi-sexual & Transgender
* Comic Art
* The Russel B. Nye Popular Culture Collection (special emphasis on "Science Fiction, Juvenile Literature, Mysteries, Popular Information, Romances, Textbooks, Westerns, Sunday School books and Performing Arts"...and zines; emphasis mine)
* Radicalism
* Cookery & Food

and, just to top off this sundae,

* Changing Men

I swear, I didn't spend that many hours in the basement! Mostly I was reading comic books! Really! Swear on my mother's faculty library card!
pantryslut: (Default)
Middle School Girls Gone Wild, in the NY Times.

Having just (finally!) watched Little Miss Sunshine this stuff is on my mind. I have only a few comments to make.

1) Why is it that these articles always blame everything and anything for the sexual corruption of our little girls...except, um, patriarchy? Misogyny? If you prefer less loaded language: the lack of other available and visible opportunities for women in our culture? I mean, there's a wave at this in the very last paragraph, but it's almost a token gesture after all the previous handwringing about overpermissive parenting and such.

2) I hate to sound like a broken record, but you should have seen some of the sexual capers I was pulling in middle school, publicly and otherwise. Pre-teen girls (and boys) are very much in the thick of exploring their sexuality. If sexuality is represented as glittery eyeshadow and booty pants, that's what you'll see middle school girls wearing. And dancing in. At talent shows.

3) Significant pop culture signifiers of sexuality when I was a pre-teen girl include, not in order of importance: Duran Duran ("Girls on Film," "Hungry Like The Wolf"), Eurythmics ("Sweet Dreams," "Who's That Girl"), Prince (where to start?). Just sayin'.

4) OK, at my talent show I chose to paint myself with green and purple oatmeal and re-enact Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video instead. But you should have been at some of our practice sessions...

ETA: 5) And let's not even talk about how old I was when I first heard "Superfreak," or my positive reaction to it. I had half a clue as to what it was about. Honest.

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