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Minnie’s Country Home, and Feminism 101

10 Sep

Meeting Minnie, en route to her Left Coast Country Home

Just yesterday, I stumbled across a fabulous new blog: Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog, which features a feminism FAQ. Why is this so fabulous? Well, before this site, I wasn’t aware of any resource where I could send people for those Frequently Asked Questions about feminism, and any tech support folks out there (or computer geeks who end up doing tech support for their loved ones and random cocktail party strangers) know how useful it is to be able to point people to some basic information and assumptions, so that conversations and debate don’t have to be derailed by going back to review first principles. And also, how tiring it is to re-tread the same basic ground over and over again.

Or, to quote from their “Why was I sent to this blog?” page:

AKA: I asked some feminists a question, and instead of answering they sent me here. Why?

Your question probably covered ground they have gone over many times before, and they didn’t want to derail the interesting discussion they were already having. [1]

  • People find questions that do not further the current discussion frustrating. Questioners find being ignored at least as frustrating, and such mutual dissatisfaction can totally disrupt a discussion. By sending you here the feminists hope to avoid such disruption, yet are also not completely ignoring your question(s). [2]
  • Maybe you didn’t ask a question at all, but asserted/argued a point that denied the factuality/importance of the topic being discussed. Nobody cheers at the thought of trying to run another through reams of introductory material before that person gains the grounding to argue a topic knowledgeably.

Either way, educating you on the basics would derail the discussion about the actual topic the feminists are interested in, just for you. That’s an awful lot to ask of people on the net who don’t even know you, isn’t it?

This blog exists to give you a few pointers to places you can find more information to answer your question (although we’re only in early days yet, FAQs will continue to be added until the basics are covered). Once you are better informed you will be able to contribute to lively feminist discussions productively, armed with facts and theory, even if/when you don’t end up agreeing with feminist opinions.

A casual breakfast with my girlfriend Minnie, at the Watercress Café Character Breakfast

A casual breakfast with my girlfriend Minnie, at the Watercress Café Character Breakfast

So, why am I peppering this post with pictures of our dearly loved rodent girl? Well y’know, I just happened across the Feminism 101 blog at just the right time! Because this week’s Those Darn Cats podcast (MP3, show notes) once again delves into political analysis of a well-loved Disney Parks tradition, Minnie’s Country House. And while I know that many of our listeners are already quite well-versed in answers to questions like “I’ve got nothing against equal rights for women, but we’ve got that, so isn’t feminism nowadays just going too far” and “But men and women are born different! Isn’t that obvious?” and “Does feminism matter?“, I figure an additional resource for these answers is never a bad thing, and might even be useful for those folks who are new to the conversation, including those who are not feminists but would like to better understand the basic philosophy and ideology.

And hey, if any of y’all reading this have podcasts of your own, or interweb radio shows or any other such project (perhaps Disneyphile, perhaps not)? My BFF and partner-in-crime Lisa cooked up a short MP3 promo for us, grooving on a Laverne and Shirley vibe. You can hear it at the end of TDC#17 (MP3, show notes), and I’m happy to email you the promo as a separate MP3 file.

Why Does Minnie Have Less Storage Than Mickey?

21 Aug

No, I don’t have a coy little punchline about closet space. It’s just that an interesting marketing/design choice has been brought to my attention by the FairerScience blog:

Do you know about the A-DATA Disney mini COB (chip on board) flash memory Disk? No well, let me tell you about them. There are two– first there is the Minnie Mouse who is pink, holds 1 gig and sells for $9.99. Then of course there is Mickey Mouse who is, yup blue, stores 2 gigs and sells for $14.99.

What’s up with these design choices? Do the marketers think that girls (or their parents) wouldn’t pay the extra $5 for the extra gig of storage? Does Minnie’s excessive cuteness and wardrobe requirements leave less room for additional bytes?

I’m a feminist, a Disney freak, and a person who chews up disk space with a vengence. So, I don’t know whether I want to write a cranky letter, buy one of each, or do both.

Early Minnie and Mickey at Disneyland

1 Feb
Just one of many of amazing pictures from Stuff from the Park, which I discovered courtesy of John Frost of The Disney Blog.

Extreme Japanese Custom Vans

6 Jun

 

Just one of many outrageously fabulous custom vans, courtesy of Pink Tentacle
(and sent to me by Mr. Broke Hoedown.

Disney vs. Nickelodeon: Battle of the Brands

28 Nov

The Orlando Sentinel has a story today about the brand competition between Disney and Nickelodeon, embodied in the Nick Hotel right outside WDW campus.

Though the Disney empire dwarfs Nickelodeon’s, Orlando marketing analyst Britt Beemer said even a giant like Disney needs to be on guard.

“If Dora the Explorer is the hot item for your children and Minnie Mouse isn’t, Disney has something to worry about,” Beemer said. “In this area, you are either right or dead. You are either the hunter or the hunted. The hotel in Disney’s backyard speaks to this. Nickelodeon knows its audience, and that audience is at Disney.”

The Nick Hotel also differs from Disney’s offerings in that it’s operated by a partner organization, Holiday Inn, and participates in the associated hotel points program (Disney’s Swan and Dolphin fit the former, but not the latter as far as I can tell). This may not sound like much, but it scores big with frequent business travelers like myself who rack up points during business travel and want to cash them in with the family. And Cosmo didn’t seem even the slightest bit threatened by my Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Visiting with Cosmo

Desperate Mousewives: Creepy Mashup!

24 Oct

BoingBoing posted a link today to a decidedly creepy mashup: Racy dialog from Desperate Housewives dubbed onto a Mickey Mouse cartoon, including Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. Yikes. Makes me a little extra-glad that I still haven’t gone looking for that Disneyland Paris video with the fur characters getting it on.

More Hi-Res Images from Walt Disney World, Plus a Special Thanks

10 Oct

I’ve noticed that my blog posts with images for desktop wallpaper get a decent amount of traffic, so on my trip to WDW last weekend (yay!) I took a few more pictures that might just make good desktop wallpapers. The first one in the list below currently graces my own Thinkpad.

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster:

Magic Kingdom WDW Railroad:

And the Railroad again, for those who prefer the image off to the right:

Bear in the Big Blue House, in the Disney/MGM Studios Stars and Motor Cars parade:

Mickey, Minnie, and Donald, in that same parade:

I also wanted to say a special thanks to a few Cast Members who made our trip last weekend extra-special, as my son and I were visiting with my super-duper old-time best friend Lisa, celebrating her fortieth birthday. CM Chris, riding a Segway near Mission Space on Friday evening, spent some extra time with us and gave us a little VIP treatment. CM Jack laughed with us as we took silly pictures at the Crystal Palace on Saturday. A monorail driver, whose name I have sadly forgotten, gave us inside tips about the Electrical Water Pageant, and made my son very happy with a Monorail Co-Pilot’s license and a trading card. All of these were special, magical moments . . . and each one of them even more special to us than the official Year of a Million Dreams moments we were fortunate enough to have that weekend as well! (More on that later . . . I’m still collecting my thoughts after such a great weekend, and will blog more on it anon!)

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