The American Girl company leaves many feeling torn between its promotion of pricey consumerism and the dolls' celebration of history and education. One thing is certain though, the story of Felicity and her horse Penny is one that offers hope to the suburban girl—the horseless girl with a wild heart.
Some big news broke recently involving the so-called "honor killing" of four women close to where I live, and the media coverage has just been troubling to say the least. A father, his eldest son, and his second wife have been convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of three of their daughters and his first wife.
The fact of Geeti Shafia, Sahar Shafia, Zainab Shafia, and Rona Amir Mohammad's deaths is an unmitigated tragedy. But its political meaning for the Western states whose resources are being funneled increasingly into surveillance and policing (domestically, through immigration and border services, and through imperial wars) is not self-evident.
Nor, perhaps, is its connection to the topic of youth, sexuality, and education, but let me tell you what I think about that.
Every now and again I'm struck immobile by the state of our nation. I had wanted to prepare an article on the risks of sex work, real versus imagined, but I'm thinking what the fuck. Why bother. This country sucks. No one's listening. I turned on the news this morning and they're rioting at Penn State over the firing of a football coach, a man who played a pivotal role in covering up the actions of a child molester. In the next segment, a Republican audience is booing Maria Bartiromo for questioning their candidate about claims of sexual harassment, two of which extend beyond allegations into the realm of fact, as those cases were settled. Whatever he says, they cheer. This is the same candidate who said that the unemployed and working poor should "blame themselves" and insinuated that a woman who is raped and gets pregnant has exercised a choice. This is the same audience who booed a gay soldier, cheered another candidate's unparalleled record of execution and supported another candidate's conclusion that an uninsured man be allowed to die. This is not my country, I sometimes think. I don't belong here.