CategoryArticles

Hey, Four Eyes!

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I’VE BEEN AS NEARSIGHTED as Mr. Magoo from birth. In grade school, I never had to be ordered to sit in the front of the class. I couldn’t imagine why any kid would head for the back, where they would never be able to see. In senior high, a boy on a date took off my glasses, but instead of saying, “Really, Miss Jones, you look beautiful,” he said, “Wow! You have eyes!” I guess those lenses were...

Gales of November

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THERE IS THE meditative beauty of what is undisturbed, what seems to be content with itself, what allows itself to be entered and explored. And then there is the beauty of turmoil. Of tempests. Of warring forces that forged the earth. Some like the water placid, still, serene as the color blue. But some like the look of a lady when she’s angry. There are things revealed only when the spirit...

Brave Sperm and Demure Eggs: Fallopian Gender Politics on YouTube

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ABSTRACT A narrative analysis of videos of human conception from medical and non-medical sources aired in the democratic space of YouTube finds that stereotypical gender roles are consistently assigned to cellular behavior. Sperm are represented as little men and embodiments of hegemonic masculinity, with heroic sperm winning the egg prize after a competitive athletic contest fraught with peril...

Domestic Violence in Men’s and Women’s Magazines: Women Are Guilty of Choosing the Wrong Men, Men Are Not Guilty of Hitting Women

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ABSTRACT Men’s and women’s magazine discourse on domestic violence characterizes women as guilty of choosing the wrong men but does not hold men responsible for hitting women. Using qualitative narrative analysis on 10 leading titles over 10 years, I find an ongoing tolerance for and celebration of domestic violence in men’s magazines and an enduring expectation in women’s that women bear...

Her Pride On Ice

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I’M BETTER AT IT NOW than I used to be. At first, I didn’t know how to be a hockey mom. The problem was, I grew up with five sisters, and male paraphernalia (both recreational and biological) were totally foreign to me. This was compounded by my divorce, which left my son with just a single mom and not a man in sight. I registered him for hockey when he was seven. He needed equipment, they told...

Checking Out the Fish Bait

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TRUE FISHERPERSONS have certain responsibilities during the first few weeks of the season. Fishing vest pockets must be scraped clean of the once-squirming and now-shriveled night crawlers from last year. In tackle boxes, forgotten peanut-butter sandwiches must be retrieved; all hooks, sinkers, and Band-Aids, reorganized. Then, happiest task of all, the bait shop must be visited to ascertain...

Flying Cowboys

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A Day At the Rodeo. THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT a cowboy. The hat pulled down over the eyes, the nothing-but-blue-jeans wardrobe, that leather-chaps strut. He’s a time traveler, a piece of living history, as romantic as the cover of a gothic novel or a silver-screen hero with a white hat and a palomino for a best friend. The myth of the American cowboy is so dashing, so rugged, so “Aw shucks...

Muskies Among Us

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URBAN LEGENDS are, I suppose, merely citified versions of charming, folksy tall tales. The thing folksy folk seem to possess that urbanites apparently do not, however, is common sense. No one ever really believed that Paul Bunyan konked 14-pound mosquitoes with an oversized frying pan, whereas city fools like you and I readily accept urban legends as truth and argue that it is indeed conceivable...