You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages

By MacLeod-Johnson, Kristin | Hollins Critic, February 2018 | Go to article overview

You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages


MacLeod-Johnson, Kristin, Hollins Critic


You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages. By Carina Chocano. New York: Mariner Books, 2017. $16.95

What can I say about this book other than this: it absolutely slays. It brings to mind this popular meme: "Things are not getting worse, they are getting uncovered. We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back the veil." In this fraught time of a Trump presidency we desperately need voices like Carina Chocano's.

A tarot card reader once said Chocano looked like a geisha, but operated like a ninja. It has to be true! Her resume is refined and polished (Elle, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue), and she has been a film and television critic for years. But, it is her pen/sword power and incredibly perceptive critical eye and slicing ability to call so many things out in the name of truth that really hooked me. Her essays just might induce deep sighs of relief or, possibly, fist pumping. This book is like a nice glass of dragonfruit juice for this modern age, in that it promotes longevity and restoration. We can (and will) keep going.

Her brilliant essays break down so many aspects of American culture, specifically in terms of how it treats girls and women. Alas, we cannot all write with such skill, precision, humor and acumen, but we can give thanks that Chocano can and does. We need her because she can effectively dismantle pieces of the patriarchy (to use the words of the late diva, Whitney Houston) "stone by stone, brick by brick." If your own psyche is exhausted by pop culture's representations and downright lies about women and girls, turn to this book to feel energized. Someone out there is going to call a spade a spade.

Who is "the girl"? Chocano writes:

    The girl was the adult version of "the princess" [...] the
girl
   doesn't act though--she behaves. She has no cause, but a plight.
   She doesn't want anything, she is wanted. She isn't a
winner,
   she's won. She doesn't self actualize, but aids the hero in
self
   actualization. Sometimes, I'd sit in the theater and feel
mounting
   despair and think Why do you keep telling me this? Why are you
   talking to me this way? "

Chocano's question is one for the patriarchy that controls so much of what we, as a culture, are fed visually through films and tv. Do women want to be spoken to like this? Allow me to take some liberties here when answering this, and to again quote Whitney Houston: "Hell to the no."

An abridged list of some of the topics covered in Carina Chocano's essays: fairy tales, the "cult of true womanhood" in the Victorian era (and how this concept is still applied to women today), the movie Frozen, both Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, sex dolls, the grit of Katherine Hepburn, the tragedy of Camille Claudel, a strong dislike of the movie Pretty Woman (Amen, sister. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.