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General

Does “Playing Gay” Have to Stick?

I'm currently living at my mother's house, waiting for my work permit to come through so that I can start my first real job, teaching in England. Suffice it to say, I suddenly have a lot of free time.  I've been watching my way through Six Feet Under, a show which aired before I had either the emotional capacity to enjoy a program about a funeral home or HBO, which means frequent trips to...
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Gender Issues

Is Twilight's Eclipse in on the Joke?

Every time a new Twilight film comes out, my brother and I brave the madding crowds and ridiculously overpriced tickets to see it in theaters.  The overblown romance and cheesy dialogue of the saga is singularly entertaining and best captured on the big screen, where each one of Taylor Lautner's constantly displayed abdominal muscles can be larger than the human head.  From the melodramatic opening sequence, we're laughing.  But we're far from the only ones. ...
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Gender Issues

How to Think About Women in Movies

Most people probably think that men and women are equally represented in film roles.  After all, most movies have a male lead and a female lead, and there are Best Actor and Best Actress categories in every awards show.  Plus, you know, women make up roughly half (actually slightly over half) of the world's population, so it seems natural that they would have roughly half of the film roles. ...
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General

'Lost': Does Every Story Have to Be a Love Story?

As you may have heard, Lost recently came to its overly complicated end.  The final episode faced the impossible tasks of tying up six years of bizarrely frayed storylines and ending the journeys of over a dozen major characters in one two and a half hour chunk.

Obviously, only the most central plot points and themes could be covered. So why, then, would a show which always focused more on building complicated mythologies and dealing with...
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Gender Issues

Storybook Endings: What Movies Teach Us About People in Love

Last night, my mother and I rented Up in the Air.

I reviewed the movie for my school's newspaper back in January, but my mom is constantly a little behind the times, and I had liked it enough to agree to watch it again.

What struck my mom the most about the film, and what I think left such an impression on me the first time, is the unconventional way in which the major romance, between...
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Gender and 'American Idol'




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Lee DeWyze is officially the winner of the ninth season of American Idol.  The triumph of Lee, the third scruffy, low-key, guitar strumming, regular Joe white guy in a row, over the dreadlocked and husky voiced Crystal Bowersox will no doubt...
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Gender Issues

Iron Man 2: Can Women Only Relate to Female Characters?

Over the weekend, I saw Iron Man 2.  Apparently I was far from the only woman to do so.  With a 60%/40% male/female audience breakdown for the film's opening weekend, Iron Man 2 has surprised Paramount studios by attracting a huge number of female viewers.

One distribution exec even commented that these were the kinds of female numbers one might expect for a movie aimed specifically at that demographic, such as Sex and the City...
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Gender Issues

Why Does Bisexuality Make Female Pop Stars "Edgy"?

Christina Aguilera is staging a comeback.  Though a tremendously successful pop artist from the late 90s through the middle of the last decade, Aguilera has not released an album since 2006, and the music scene has acquired new stars in her absence. With her new disc, Bionic, coming out next month, she needs to do something big to recapture the public's attention in a crowded market.

In her recently released video for the album's first single,...
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Gender Issues

Lazy Husbands and Shrewish Wives: Media Portrayals of Marriage

I just saw Date Night, Tina Fey and Steve Carell's new romantic comedy/thrilling caper. It was cute, the kind of film that is perfectly enjoyable but perhaps not especially memorable. But what it does contain, in place of unforgettable laugh riots, is one of the more refreshing depictions of a married couple to show up in mainstream culture for quite some time.

In a media dominated by images of oafish, layabout husbands and angry, overcritical wives,...
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