Texts From Hillary

I’m loving this meme!

Sure, some people are using the famous picture of Hillary Clinton texting for more nefarious purposes, but for the most part Hill fans are really using this photo for some really fun, supportive memes. Websites like Texts From Hillary depict her as the cool, stylish leader that she is, while The World of Hillary Clinton Facebook page uses the pictures, as well as others, to help build support for her career.

Some people are really hoping that Hill runs in 2016, and I must admit that I’m one of them. I was a Clinton supporter back when she ran against Obama in 2008 and as much as I love him, he was definitely my second choice. I love that they were still able to work together, and I think she’s been a fierce, fantastic example of women in leadership roles for our daughters.

Check out these links for some laughs and fun ideas about Hillary, and be sure to add your own if you have some zingers. I think my favorites are when she tells the guys to “get back to work!” I also love the one where they incorporate the famous Ryan Gosling “Hey girl” meme, to which Clinton simply replies, “It’s Madame Secretary.” Nice!

See About a Girl

Hollywood claims to do this in so many films, but they rarely really do it

When I decided to write a blog about the top 10 best cartoons for children that feature strong female leads, I was excited to do a bit of research about the topic. I have a six-year-old daughter and I would love to have more films in our collection for her to enjoy. But I suppose I shouldn’t have set my expectation so high; I was not able to more than five films.

To qualify for my list, the film had to have a leading, strong female who saves herself, for the most part. She’s not a buddy or a sidekick (like Jesse in Toy Story 2), and she is the central character of the film itself. She is also not a princess; I didn’t want a single princess film in the list. Here is what I came up with so far:

  • Coraline, which is much too scary for her right now at this age
  • The Secret of Nimh, which is also a little scary, but a very good film
  • Ferngully, which she loves
  • Ponyo, which actually features the lead character’s name in its title
  • My Neighbor Totoro, my daughter’s all-time favorite movie

I was going to include Gnomeo and Juliet, but Juliet is quite secondary to Gnomeo in the movie, and the male gnome is the “saving” character, not the female. I could think of a few other films that aren’t animated that would qualify, like Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer and Ramona and Beezus, but shouldn’t this be easier? With the dozens of cartoons that are released, shouldn’t coming up with a mere ten that feature a strong female lead who isn’t a princess be easy?

Think of all of the films you know that feature a strong male lead. How many of those are princes?

I’d like to echo the demands of one of my favorite bloggers at ReelGirl, who says that all of the girls have basically disappeared from films and that Hollywood needs to stop making films without featuring half of the population.  

I am beyond ready for some leading females in cartoons and movies for ALL children, not just girls or boys. One of my new dreams is to write a film—or a dozen—for this purpose. I want them to be good, quality pieces of entertainment for all children that feature an equal representation of male and female characters. I challenge Hollywood and the media in general to meet this goal and start making movies that our daughters can relate to immediately.

The Unfair Portrayal of Boys in the Media

While girls aren't even in the movie to begin with, boys look like destructive little monsters

I have written often about my issues with the lack of women in the media—especially the lack of girls in children’s films. We often only see them as helpless princesses or smiling, pleasing best friends, and many of us are well aware of how most films fail a test as simple and easy to pass as the Bechdel Test.

But something that has slipped my notice until recently is that boys are not fairly portrayed, either. They definitely have it better, seeing as they are usually the hero—or at least the main focus of the film altogether—and are in the movie to begin with, but instead of giving young boys the depth and character that, say, Ramona Quimby has in Ramona and Beezus (almost the perfect film, in my opinion!), boys are made out to be these selfish, monstrous little creatures who need to get into trouble before they realize what jerks they are—and even then, they may not truly make a character change, but only a temporary one to get what they want.

Take Diary of a Wimpy Kid and its sequel, Roderick Rules, for example. These are highly enjoyable films that are primarily focused on boys, and they are a lot of fun to watch. The main character, Greg Hepley, gets into trouble throughout the entire first film (and much of the second), and is often a complete jerk to his best friend, a sweet boy whom Greg sees as a bit of a loser. The film has a great message, since the friend ends up being more popular just by being himself, but Greg doesn’t seem to learn as much as we’d like to think he does, since he pulls some of the same shenanigans in the second film.

My daughter unfortunately caught wind of the dismal and crude Mike Meyers film, Cat in the Hat, which might have been funny if it hadn’t had so much adult content in it. She saw it and laughed a lot-with me having to explain a few things afterward—and then she said to me, “Boys are mean and stupid, aren’t they?”


This is from a little girl who always tells me she wants to be a boy, mind you.

I explained to her that no, boys are not mean and stupid, but that all people can be mean and stupid sometimes. We all make poor decisions and we suffer the consequences from them. She seemed to get it, but it began to worry me—what else is she picking up that I didn’t notice without her help?

Perhaps we should petition Hollywood for more accurate, layered portrayals of boys while we demand that our girls get film time in the first place.

Hey, Families! Get a DVR So You’ll Never Have to Talk Again!

That’s what all of these ads for multiple DVRs should just come out and say. The examples they show, where you move from room to room watching the same damn show—while you eat! While you loaf on the couch! While you pick your nose in bed!—are downright detestable. Forget living your life. Why would you want to live in reality when you can watch M*A*S*H reruns or all of your taped reality shows all day, every day of your life?

Numb yourself with beer and DVR’d shows and you will BE HAPPY.

The latest radio ad I heard is even more disturbing. Get a new DVR package for every room in your house so the kids can watch their shows in the family room while you two snuggle in your bedroom watching something else. Because, you know, God forbid you spend a single MINUTE together as a family without the TV on, let alone one apart without it blaring!

We do have a DVR in our house; we do. But we use it to tape shows we will be too busy doing real live THINGS to watch it—such as cleaning or gardening or working or playing or going to the park or whatever else it is that we living, breathing humans are supposed to be doing—not because we’re too busy watching other shows, or because we want to fill our off-time with television. Sometimes we might record something scary or action-packed because we can’t watch it while our daughter is awake, of course; I’d never let my five-year-old watch Law and Order, for Pete’s sake. But to watch TV in every room—and to be afraid to miss a moment while you go to the kitchen to get more food or go to the john to take a leak when, you know, you could just pause it and start it again later—is just ridiculous.

Way to make us into even lazier, consumer-driven creatures, cable companies. Maybe next you can make us some kind of auto-feeder a la Wall-E so we can keep holding down the furniture as we watch hours upon hours of TV a night. How about something that can make it to where we can watch it while we sleep, too? I definitely would rather my daughter grow up on iCarly and Hannah Montana or whatever else it is girls are supposed to watch rather than, say, with memories of us playing Sorry.

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