Lady and the Nerd

Nerd Girl was not having a good day.

Nerd Girl rocks!
Nerd Girl rocks!

She had taken her young one, Cherry Bomb, to the library. Cherry Bomb did not want to leave the admittedly wicked children’s section. Like any other rational human being would do; CB threw a tantrum. That had been her solution to everything for the past week. Screaming, tears, kicking, playing dead – a piñata of tantrum.

NG felt exhausted, CB had worn her down, crushed her spirits. She remembered watching a Louis CK clip where he said a girl becomes a woman when people come out of her vagina and step on their dreams. NG was a fucking woman that day. A glorious, worn down, depressed woman.

Our Heroine took her spawn by the arm and said, we need to go home. When they started to cross the street Cherry Bomb halted to a stop. Despite Nerd Girl’s terrible back and Cherry Bomb’s double watermelon weight, NG picked CB up and brought her across, kicking and screaming. People stopped, people glared, cars slowed. Nerd Girl had grown accustomed to the glares; they were a part of her day-to-day life. Every step was a workout for our heroine. There was stalling, the constant soundtrack of screaming. Cherry Bomb’s shoe was untied. Nerd Girl bent down to tie it, and received a kick, followed by a tiny fisted punch. Fuck it, thought Nerd Girl, she will trip and smash her face and I won’t care.

The glares of passerby continued. Some strangers would stop the not so fantastic duo to say, looking shocked, “Her shoe is untied.” Nerd Girl would mumble something resembling a thank you and forced a smile. A kind of crazy smile that rested under the very eyes looking at the cars driving by. If I were to just throw myself in front of traffic … “Excuse me,” says another stranger, “Her shoe is untied.” As if this renegade mini rope was the cause of Cherry Bomb’s explosions.

By the final should-be-five-minute-but-will-be-twenty-minute-at-least walk, Nerd Girl was ready to cry. She saw a woman approaching from the other side of the street. Black suit, shiny, va va voom hair, in tact stockings and picture ready face. This woman looked at NG and CB. Prepared for another alarmed reaction to an untied Converse, prepared to let this woman know exactly how much she didn’t care Nerd Girl was not prepared for what this woman said. “It’ll get better,” she said, with a smile and a knowing chuckle.

The woman walked away, the angel in a suit. Though interrupted by tiny kicks, NG almost floated home, cape dancing in the wind. That woman was AWESOME.

I need drawings of Nerd Girl. Send them in!

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Media series conclusion

After taking a gender specific look at negative media influence on children here’s my two cents on how the two worlds collide (Keep in mind this has been some pretty basic information. We’re not taking the in depth look going into religion, sexual orientation, race, income level etc.)

Children are constantly growing and absorbing everything. If you’re around a child often enough you’ll notice that they’ve adopted your favourite expressions or roll their eyes the same way as your mother-in-law. That’s the child’s immediate influence, admittedly a major one.

How about the media influence coming from billboards, buses, bus stops, TV, movies … While kids are still figuring out if the monsters in their closet are real or not, they are expected to decipher media from reality? Marketing companies are betting on this confusion to get into children’s wallets before they even have pants with pockets to keep them in. This can be found in subtle billboard ads to the blatant made for kid’s reach placement of candy and toys in a store.

It is sad to think even our children can’t be exempt from this big all consuming moneymaking machine.

And then it can get dangerous.

When one sex is being taught that they cannot have strong, loving emotions and that they have to be macho while the other is being taught they need to be loving, docile, pushovers. That’s a dangerous combination for obvious reasons.

Contact me or comment with your thoughts. Remember to read Commenting Policy , please and thanks.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

Media affects on females

The message is rather terrifying for myself; being a female raising a female.

When I interviewed Yvette Nechvatal-Drew, executive director of Girls Incorporated of Durham, Girls Inc., she said fifty per cent of girls between the ages of eight and 18 have a television in their room. “That is 5 million channels sending messages 24/7 and they have a captive audience,” Nechvatal-Drew added.

Photo from ABC News
Famous, controversial photo of ten-year-old Thylane Lena

Media Smarts shared 2008 research findings by Dr. Maya Götz with International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television: While women represent 49 per cent of the world’s population, female characters made up 32 per cent of television’s main characters. And though magazines are the only form of media that represents mostly females, the majority of topics are regarding fashion and dating.

Girls Inc.’s report, The Supergirl Dilemma found that young girls believed that people expect them only to care about shopping, that they need to dress the “right” way and that they feel a lot of pressure to please everybody. A girl in Grade 4 was quoted in the report saying, “A lot of pressure to be athletic, pretty, and skinny plus smart.”

Research links eating disorders, depression and suicide rates in females to the media that is constantly thrown at them.

The only benefit of a constant unattainable image being dangled in front of females like a carrot is economics. Cosmetic and diet industries are booming. Media Smarts reported that the diet industry in the US brings in $60 million a year, “selling temporary weight loss.” Marketing campaigns focus on creating body issues in women so that they will buy beauty products, weight loss plans and pills, new clothes and even cosmetic surgery. Girls as young as six years old are reporting dissatisfaction with their bodies.

Britney Spears released these photos to show what goes on in airbrush land.

On top of looking perfect females are taught to be domesticated and docile. The strong women in action movies are not so much inspiring as they were made to be kinkier than your run of the mill media sex object.

When young girls see these images constantly throughout their lives, it gets harder and harder to teach them reality. There is only so much that can be done on a case by case basis, a larger action needs to be taken.

Any ideas?

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Next, Media series conclusion.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

First day of school …

So there was no teary goodbye, this girl was made for school.

And when the school bus arrived and its driver said P was left at school due to a paper work mix-up, P didn’t mind, she fell asleep in an office chair. I didn’t take it as well. All in all, I have a kid in Kindergarden. What the fuck.

What are your back to school stories?

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com