Monday, August 17, 2009

The Golden Girls - the ultimate in feminist programming

I know what you're thinking. What a cheesy, terrible show from the 80s - how could any young, intelligent woman possibly find this show remotely entertaining? But stay with me until the end of this post. I think I might be able to convince a few of you of the social value of this program, despite it's inherent cheesiness.

You see, I would claim that the show the "Golden Girls" is the ultimate feminist television show. Much more so than "Sex and the City" or "Lipstick Jungle," shows that are usually heralded as being feminist today. After all, this show depicts four strong, vibrant, and independent characters, who don't pack it all up and knit booties in the old folks' home after the age of 60.

First of all, the women of the "Golden Girls" showed a positive view of women in their 50s and 60s (and even older, for Sophia). All of the women were either widowed or divorced, and live together in Blanche's house to help save money. This, of course, is much more believable than Carrie being able to afford a beautiful New York City apartment, and Manolo Blahnik's on a columnists salary. And, while these women are neither young nor married, their lives have hardly ceased.

Sex is another reason this is a fantastically feminist show. Name another show where women this age are portrayed to have a vibrant, healthy sex life. The women of this show formed a very strong bond, and were able to talk to one another about their sex lives. They formed their own family, and enjoyed the company of men when it suited them.

Of course, the women often dealt with very modern issues (well, modern for the 80s, anyway). The show addressed AIDS, artificial insemination, racism, and fat-shaming, to name a few.

In the end, despite the cheesy "solve-all-life's-problems-in-a-half-hour" feel, and the awful Saint Olaf stories, this show provides a very strong role model for young women. One in which life does not end at 50, unless you know a good plastic surgeon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have not updated this blog in ages (at least, according to "internet time" - in fact, in internet time, I think it may be considered centuries). Is it because I have lost interest in putting words to screen, and exercising my writing muscles? Not in the slightest. It has just been a very busy few months in my life, and this hasn't really been top priority. Suddenly, while watching television the other night, I had several ideas for different blog posts. While I will likely start drafting several of them this evening, I thought that the most appropriate thing to do would be to give an update on where I am and what I've been doing the last few months. This is far more for my own reflection, rather than any assumption that anyone is sitting on the edge of their seat, hoping for a blog update.

First of all, I finally got a job. I am no longer tempting, but I am an Administrative Assistant in public policy at the National Association of Children's Hospitals. This has been a wonderful fit for me, and I very much love my job ( as much as you can love being an admin, anyway. I'm working on moving up a little bit, so we'll see where that goes). Of course, with health care reform moving through Congress at the rate it has been, it's been very busy. It is no coincidence that I am coming back to my blog during the August recess.

John and I moved in together. And I finally got out of Lorton. I loved living with my William and Mary cohorts, but man I hated that small, water treatment plant scented town so far away from everything. Now I live in Arlington, closer to work, and closer to the District. These are both very good things for me. And while I expected that John and I would have the typical relationship growing pains upon moving in together (wet towels on the floor, toothpaste on the vanity, etc), so far everything has been absolutely perfect. I couldn't be happier.

And, of course, there is the book club. I reviewed a book I read for this club the first month I was a member, but I never reported back on how the meetings went. I have always wanted to try out a book club, and I am very glad that I did. It is not a group of intellectual snobs reflecting on their own genius - nor do we read fluff pieces with no substance or intrigue of any kind. The leader of the club often selects books that I would likely have never picked up on my own, but often touch on very interesting issues of race, class, gender, etc. The group varies somewhat in age (although I believe I am the youngest person who shows up regularly - shocking, I know), race, and gender, and has a great dynamic. Everyone looks at the book from a different perspective, and we come together to illuminate these different readings to one another. My next meeting is tomorrw evening, and we will be discussing Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas. I highly recommend the book, but if you don't like stream of conciousness, you probably will not enjoy it. In fact, I have roughly 60 pages to read before I'm done, so I should probably do that now.

Please excuse the rough, rambling nature of this post - I'm not in a re-reading and editing sort of mood.