Kit Kittredge, a film I have never seen, nor a dolly I’ve ever played with, recently arrived in theatres and it blew away the competition. According to the the New York Times, this little juggernaut of a chick flick was screened in only five theatres across the country. Last weekend, the film earned more than $220,000, or nearly $45,000 per screen. (No other movie in the Top 50 last weekend made their studio daddies more than $10,000 per screen.)
That’s pretty hardcore for a girl movie. Far hardercore than Angelina all scribbled in tats whipping around her assassin’s phallus. Kit’s box office bank is man’s money. So, ok, I guess we’ve established that pimpin out girls and women can bring in the dills. Like the Sex and the City movie, this is proof that women can win at the box office without a strap-on glock.
In Sunday’s Times, film critic AO Scott wrote a squinky little piece about how confuthed he is, how ambivalent he feels about these gosh-darned mickthed messages girls are receiving these days.
More like getting fucked by. Well, perhaps not so dire… but for me a larger, more ominous sign that something is rotten in the state of girlhood is evident right from Scott’s lede: ”TO paraphrase Henry James: It’s a complex fate, being an American girl.”
My word, you don’t say! Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention, you being a man and all, so clever and incisive with your logic. And with such a breadth of learning, book-learning too! Those James texts are SO heavy, filled with achingly lengthy sentences, my head begins to hurt.
Okay. I can cut him some slack, and maybe James too. But still, I think we need to address the fact that dudes are telling women — specifically little girls — about their own psychic life. By talking about women and not owning a vadge themselves, they reveal their own inner desires and fears far more than shed light on the difficulties facing those avec le double X.
Quite a lot of hand-wringing is done over girls’ fantasy life. Scott’s American Girl conundrum for example — it’s not genuine, it’s too commercialized, too sentimental, not sentimental or sanitized enough. But male fantasies do not receive nearly the same amount of scrutiny. Our twenty-first century Apatovian man-boy’s inner life is filled with FUN! Video games, weed, comics (oh! cough! ‘scuse me), graphic novels. All Fun, with a capital F, entertainment.
Fun male literature receives vaunted treatment, evolves from a dimestore buy into the plummy intellectual’s “novel.” Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art can attest to this phenomenon, since the Costume Institute has curated a show of sartorial Superheros that shows us, the American public, through our cartoon ideals. Comics have gone from a fully marketable franchise (action figures, costumes, plastic weaponry, the thin sheaves of paper themselves) into an exalted vision of humanity – a singular glimpse into our (male mostly) fantasy life. It is regarded as important. Whereas the American Girl world is demeaned into being a venal, nasty “franchise,” a place that yearns for a place that never existed and gives wittle girls wrong-headed ideas.