No, You Don’t Need a Huge Engagement Ring

As wedding season looms, it’s worth reconsidering some of our more materialistic marriage rituals, especially the expectation that a woman should receive an enormous engagement ring. In an age that prioritizes weddings over marriages and has no qualms about the idea of a “starter marriage,” it should come as no surprise that we’ve embraced the … Continued

Culture


Why Is Upspeak So Annoying?

A recent ­Fresh Air episode took up the thorny question of why so many people find vocal patterns like “upspeak” and “vocal fry” so irritating. It’s thorny because these patterns are particularly associated with women. And it’s thorny because so many feel pressured to either pick up or drop these patterns in order to appear … Continued

Culture


Sex and Power: What Lena Dunham is Selling

This may be the best lesson we can learn from the ongoing Lena Dunham brouhaha: Kids raised in houses with photographs of their mom’s vagina on the wall grow up to have a weird relationship with sex. This would be funny if Lena Dunham weren’t packaging and selling her sexual shtick as “the voice of … Continued

Culture

Lena Dunham Really IS the Voice of Her Generation

Reading Not That Kind of Girl reminded me of slumber parties growing up. After eating way too much ice cream and watching a sappy chick flick, us girls would often sit around, talking late into the night, baring all our secrets to an eager huddle of female listeners. Often the conversations would turn to boys, … Continued

Books

Why Conservatives Should Cheer On HBO’s Girls

With apologies to RJ Moeller, I’m going to have to side with Ashley E. McGuire on this one. Conservatives can do much better than Phil Robertson. Otherwise, as Ashley observes, he’ll join a long line of conservative cultural warriors like Carrie Prejean who fall short of the standards they try to uphold leaving their erstwhile … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why Good Girls Watch Bad TV Shows

R.J. Moeller’s post, “Tina Fey, Lena Dunham and the Vapid Ethos of ‘Girls,’” got me thinking about why we watch disapproving television shows – shows that celebrate crassness above virtue. As Mr. Moeller points out, Tina Fey plays the part of a “new cast member”– a poor Albanian immigrant who, in her words, is “happy … Continued

Entertainment, Television