TGIFridays and Tide: Badvertising Reloaded

Much has been made about how shitty the super bowl ads were this year. My response can be summed up thusly: ummm, duh?

Look at how shitty they are during the rest of the year (remember Guitar Hero? or Nabisco?), of course they’re going to ratchet up the sexism for their most-watched event of the year!!

For those of you who missed the following gems, I’m sorry to be the bearer of badvertising.

Exhibit A: Viewed a number of times in prime time for a new TGIFriday’s deal. A couple is on a first date and the man is getting more and more agitated about the amount of food his date is ordering, culminating in “What am I a bank?!”

TGIFridays: Cuz in here, it’s still 1950! Where men pay for everything and think they have a right to dictate, judge, or otherwise control what women eat.

T.G.I. Fridays 3 for $12.99 – Watch more Funny Videos

(^Click to watch!)
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BTW Reads: Belle de Jour


“That rare and wonderful thing: a fearless and witty revelation of one woman’s sexuality.” –Kate Hickman, author of Courtesans, from the back cover

I read Belle de Jour: the Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl during DC’s Snowverkill and was fully prepared to write a somewhat scathing review of said book.   Having spent the better part of my President’s Day roaming the internet reading more about sex work, the real Belle de Jour, and call girls galore, I’m unable to play the arrogant reviewer card [sorry!].

The book was an enjoyable and intriguing read– even if I hadn’t been snowed in, I have a feeling I would have read it just as quickly.  Belle writes in a familiar and accessible way so that you can understand and empathize with her decisions, in both her personal and professional lives.  The problems I had with the book seem to be common: first and foremost, I thought that she seemed a little too savvy, a little too hardened, a little too something.  She wrote with an almost too cool detachment; while Kate Hickman (above) lauds her work as groundbreaking, I found it to be more pedantic.  While she described and owned her sex work in her writing (although how much you can own your behavior while you remain anonymous is a valid question), she also seemed to make it clear that this was just a job, and she knew that she was fortunate to be educated and that she would eventually have options when she decided, on her own terms, that it was time to leave the business.

A few months back Belle de Jour outed herself to the Sunday Times.  I remember the splash of publicity surrounding the revelation of her identity, but, as I hadn’t yet read the book or watched the series, I didn’t pay close attention.  Today I went back and read India Knight’s article “I’m Belle de Jour“, and follow-up “Belle lays bare the myth that every hooker is a victim“, and am extremely glad I did (and I highly recommend that you take a moment to read one or both, especially if you’ve read the book or seen the show).  Having seen a few episodes of Showtime’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl by now, it’s nice to know what Belle de Jour’s real face looks like (she’s the one on the left) and to learn more about Belle/Brooke. It was increasingly frustrating how few details were provided about her life (education? major? school? field? anything?) in the book.

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Flashback to Feisty Females in Film: Anne of Green Gables

Feisty Female: Plain, old, unromantic Anne — with an e– Shirley. (But couldn’t you just call her Cordelia?)

Year we got to know her:  1986 (1985 if you’re Canadian)

Best known for: Her quick temper, red hair, dramatic elocution, fierce intelligence, and loyalty to her friends and family

Why she deserves a second look:
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Super Bowl Sunday is Here At Last

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Super Bowl 44 is today and I am so ready to veg out with giant bowls of food and barrels of beer and cheer on the Saints (even if they did defeat my beloved Vikings).

Please do yourself a favor and watch this ad from Planned Parenthood whenever the Tim Tebow ad from Focus on the Family is played. Compare the two and ask yourself which one is really about trusting women and the reproductive choices they make. (I sincerely hope the FoF ad is as respectful as it claims it will be.)

I personally LOVE this ad. And I wish Planned Parenthood had enough cash lying around to actually buy the airtime to play it during the Super Bowl. It warms my heart to see two male athletes talking openly about their desire for reproductive freedom and respect for all women. (Another reason I’m rooting for the Saints today? Scott Fujita.)

There has been a lot of back-and-forth about the Tebow ad controversy. I think everything that needed to be said, has been said, so I’ll share with you what I think is the best argument I’ve read. It comes from Jill over at Feministe who writes:
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Woman of the Week: Rachel McAdams

rachel mcadams sherlock holmes

WOW: Rachel McAdams
Why Now?: Because I went to a showing of Sherlock Holmes on New Year’s Day and was scandalized to hear one of my companions describe Rachel McAdams as “the poor man’s Katie Holmes.” WHAT!?
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“Woman”: I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.

I tried.
I really tried to read our next book Woman: An Intimate Geography— but just TRY and read this sentence with a straight face:

“Even during pregnancy, the event that perhaps epitomizes the notion of woman as a subterranean sorceress, the mother is often not in tune with her great endarkened magic.” (xv)

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Sacred Hearts

It’s that time again! Time to discuss our book of the month: Sarah Dunant’s Sacred Hearts. In case you missed it, check out the book trailer to get an idea of what you’re missing.

Let’s hop to it!

I loved the way the book opened. The first chapter of Book 1 was an excellent introduction to the story and its setting: picturesque and detailed, but not overwrought. It reminded me of the opening sequence in a film, zooming in and out of all the various characters and story lines that would be introduced and fleshed out.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but found it to be slightly dull.  I’m not sure if it’s my modern mentality that strikes a sharp contrast to the slower pace of convent life?  Or is it my aversion to religious “order”/s of all kinds?  I have this strange obsession with Catholic nuns (my sister and I used to play Nuns, should I blame The Sound of Music?)– I’m fascinated by the details of their daily lives and routines, but shudder to think that I’d ever have a life quite so prescribed.  (Devil’s advocate: my life is almost as rigid as the Convent schedule.  Now: get up, go to work, work, come home, eat, sleep; Then: Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, Compline, Matins.  They just get cooler names for their schedules.)
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