Links and Reminders!

Crazy Thing Called Love Reminder! There's one more day to add your comment to the Molly O'Keefe Really Likes Bruce Springsteen giveaway, which ends tomorrow. You should, if you missed it, take a moment to read her essay about why she loves romance and Springsteen music and what they have in common, because it's awesome.

And then you can comment on that entry with something you love as much as romance – or as much as Molly loves romance and Springsteen music – to win a copy of her book. One lucky winner will get both Molly's new book, Crazy Thing Called Love, and a copy of the new Springsteen biography by Peter Ames Carlin.

Comment over there, not over here! Good luck! 

I read this yesterday, and I'm still thinking about this epic ranting defense of the positive elements of Disney princesses, specifically Ariel, Belle and Jasmine:

so here is the thing about ariel, is that she always dreams of being on land with feet, is explicitly canonically unhappy with her body & choices way before meeting prince eric. ariel wants to read and learn and dance and stand for herself. she has this extensive meticulous collection of all the shit she wants to learn, and king triton destroys it. so she is essentially, i think, moving from a male-dominated space in which her safe personal spaces are negated and her opinions and desires are dismissed to one in which she shares power and is (LITERALLY!!!!) given free reign. like, prince eric is essentially a narrative device allowing ariel to choose her own future & self. if she can make him fall in love with her, she can stay NOT ONLY with him BUT ALSO on land, where she has always wanted to belong, notably away from her father— who ok, is frightened for her safety, but who also terrorizes and belittles her.


and yeah, she exchanges her voice to make that transition, but those are the choices marginalized people are forced to make. this is how identity works in structural oppression— ok, you can have the body you want and live with the lover you choose, but you give up some of your rights. you give up some of your social respect. you give up your voice. (whoops i queered it.)(and ariel still is never without personal expression; on her day out with eric, they do straight up everything she wants and eric is totally cool with her being in charge. JSYK.)

I've encountered some virulent hatred of Disney princess culture on Facebook, and kind of want to forward this to everyone I know because not only is it a fascinating perspective, but it's just so fun to read. Passionate, intelligent and curious opinions offered with panache and a few curse words? I'm so in. It gives me this peculiar proud joy to read things like this.

In case you missed it, Vicki Essex's Back to the Good Fortune Diner was chosen as this month's Sizzling Book Club pick – and the 50% rebate at AllRomance is still on. I am pretty much sure this chat is going to be crazy fun, because Essex was recently featured in the Torontoist as part of their “I Want Your Job” series

Not only is she wearing a furry hat, but she says the funny and the smart things: 

Were you a reader of romance before working at Harlequin?


No. Not at all! But when I had my job interview lined up, I picked up a handful from the library and thought, “Oh wow. These are really easy to read.” Easy to read does not mean they’re dumb; it means they’re well written. Working there helped me realize the importance of simplicity and economy of words.

What’s your favourite part about writing romance?


I love thinking about the interactions between different kinds of characters. Heroes and heroines, they come in all shapes and sizes. There are certain archetypes people like to follow, but I like to try and go off-archetype and think about what will make two characters fall in love. What will a couple come together on, and what will drive them apart? That’s the foundation of romantic conflict, as well.

She also says in the article that being picked for the book club is “like being an Oprah pick in the romance world,” which made me hootlaugh so hard I scared the dogs. I'm not sure I'm prepared for that role wardrobe-wise, but I'll do my best. (Thank you, Vicki!) 

You can see why I think this month's chat will be kinda fun, right? I think it's the hat. 

And finally, thanks to Janice G, a link I tweeted and posted to Facebook last night: Cats that look like pinup girls.

It will make you laugh — and quite audibly, too, so please be ye warned, folks at work. 

As I said last night, I think this might be the reason the internet was invented, and we can all go home now. 


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Jennifer Estep says:

    Oh, that cat link is funny! Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2
    laj says:

    The cat link is a hoot!

  3. 3
    Lauren says:

    A professor I knew in college used to give a talk called “Phallic Symbols in The Little Mermaid.  He showed the animation from the song Kiss the Girl.  It starts with a little stroking and blowing (foreplay), then there is a phallic cattail that sproings to attention (erection), later the boat enters a rather feminine shaped opening (penetration) and finally there is a whirlpool of little swimmers and lots of fountains shooting off (ejaculation).  I remember being a little dubious at the beginning but by the end of the song it’s pretty funny.

  4. 4
    laj says:…
    Here’s to link. Too funny!

  5. 5
    Rebecca says:

    Interesting argument about Disney princesses (though I’m not sure I’m completely convinced).  I really liked those movies when they came out (when I was in middle school/early high school).  But seeing them again I find myself more and more uncomfortable with (or angered by) the racial coding, especially in The Little Mermaid.  No way around that one.  Like “The Grand Sophy” you either love it and wince through the icky parts, or you leave it.

  6. 6
    cleo says:

    I’m old enough that I didn’t grow up with the Disney Princesses (except for the old pre-marketing machine princesses like Cinderella and Snow White etc), so I don’t have the same emotional pro or con princess reaction that a lot of people seem to have – I mean, I see problems, but I saw them (the problems that is) when the movies came out.  I wonder if some of the negative rants come out of that sense of betrayal that comes after you develop critical thinking skills and re-evaluate the messages in your childhood favorites – it’s so upsetting to discover that something you grew up with and *loved* is sexist or racist etc (I’m looking at you Anne McCaffrey).

    I thought the last paragraph interesting was interesting:

    “which is all to say, there is a lot of feminist criticism to be made of the disney princesses, but that’s not where feminist analysis has to end. these are still children’s movies about women’s choices, y’all. there are not a lot of those these days.”

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