First Book: BOSSY PANTS by Tina Fey

What’s that you say? It was a tie? But why was Bossy Pants chosen?

Yep. It was a tie at 23.53% for both Bossy Pants and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children… so I chose the OBVIOUS problem solving technique by which one should make every difficult life decision… I flipped a coin. BUT NOT JUST ANY COIN, mein freundens! I downloaded the Free Heads or Tails app and flipped a virtual, non-biased coin. Heads= Bossy Pants, Tails= Miss Peregrine’s. B. Pants for the win. Perhaps we will read the runner up after next round of book voting.

[WebClip: Tina Fey as Sarah Palin]

Your task now is to um well read it. (I’m seeing it pretty cheap, $8.79 + FREE SHIPPING at Buy.com) Originally I was thinking we would take it two chapters at a time per biweekly blog post, but I realized that once people get into a book, it’s hard to put it down. And ya know what? This is a BOOK club, so we gotta READ BOOKS, yo. So here’s my proposal: At minimum, try to read at least half of the book for the discussions we’ll be having exactly one fortnight from now. If you can’t help but read the whole book, go for it, and mention that you completed it in your posts next time. We should get a good gauge for how quickly everyone is reading by then.

After you’ve read half the book, jot down two questions, comments, or relative weblinks for discussion and don’t forget to bitch about something every so often.

I’ll start the initial bitching 😛 …so I just started my new job a week and a half ago and I work in a cube under florescent lights where no one else really talks much at all durring the entire day. It’s driving me crazy! Apparently the sound of chomping banana chips is too loud for some people. I’m thinking of ways to entertain myself by being passive aggressive with noise and anti-cubicle behavior. (Also, our signage of a blurry rock-climber reminds me of a tampon commercial). –FIN!

 

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16 thoughts on “First Book: BOSSY PANTS by Tina Fey

  1. Tiffany says:

    I just finished Bossypants and it is amazing! I couldn’t stop laughing the entire time I was reading it. I love Tina Fey’s sense of humor and her observations are spot on. Her chapters about working at the Second City, SNL, and 30 Rock are fascinating.

    I’ve never thought about it before but why is yellow hair called blond? Why is it more fancy than the other hair colors? That’s not fair (>_<)

    I'm interested in what everyone's answer is to the question from the Rosalind Wiseman workshop: When did you first know you were a woman?

    My answer would have to be the first time I wore a push-up bra and didn't feel weird about it haha (around the age of 22). Before then, I thought it looked silly because people didn't see me that way.

    Similar to how Tina Fey's first Sarah Palin sketch was about feminism but no one noticed because it was hilarious, Bossypants is full of jokes but it does address feminism in a number of ways. Fey brings up that people always ask her "Is it hard for you, being the boss?", that all the answers to the workshop question involved "men yelling shit from cars," that in 1995 at the Second City the cast was four men and two women because there weren't enough parts for girls, and that people were patronizing about her impression of Sarah Palin in a way they wouldn't be about a male comedian.

    What is the solution for gender inequality? Is there one? Do we just have to wait for older people to die because they're the ones with old-timey sexist opinions?

    To my knowledge, I have never experienced sexism. And considering the fact that I have only worked in male-dominated professions (architecture and technology), there is a greater probability of it happening. For the most part, I feel like as a society we are gradually phasing out sexism but there are still a few holdouts that Fey attracts because of her fame.

    What do you guys think? Is gender equality possible in our generation or do we need to wait a few more centuries?

    Some of my favorite lines from Bossypants:
    "Shove the old people out of the way. Shove the old and the infirm! If they are strong enough to resist you, they deserve to live."

    The more New Yorkers like something, the more disgusted they are. "The kitchen was all Sub-Zero: I want to kill myself. The building has a playroom that makes you want to break your own jaw with a golf club. I can't take it."

    "I once left a restaurant in the middle of dessert to get to Krispy Kreme before it closed."

    • Stephanie Jennings says:

      Tiff, I don’t think gender inequality is dead. I think like racism, it’s just taken on a more subtle form. Sure, you have KKK members floating around in northern Idaho and such just like you’ll have men who think women should be in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant, but the more average case is far more subtle..

      I’ve had a couple of minor instances, but nothing where I felt like I needed to sue someone. I don’t know if we need to talk about waiting for few centuries for equality, but I do think there are still battles to be fought. Rick Santorum (and his followers) alone are an example of that.

      I’ve also heard the refrain about women not being as funny. It does seem like women comedians do seem to get thrown into a lot less complex sketch comedy roles and/or get more criticism and scrutiny for their roles. I’m actually taking an improv class at the moment. Thinking about it, most of my class is male. I wonder too if that comedy is seen as a sort of “male” thing and being uproariously funny isn’t considered ladylike (I’m amazed at how many women I know who seemed obsessed with being ladylike).

      • Tiffany says:

        I don’t think gender inequality is dead either but I believe we’re heading in the right direction (aside from Rick Santorum and similar-minded people).

        I think the fact that there are different standards for female comedians and that there are not a lot of women in your improv class speak to that sneaky form of sexism. Traditionally speaking, while they’re growing up, boys are encouraged to speak their mind and are made to think that anything they say is precious and attention warranting. On the other hand, girls are praised for being cute and ladylike. I’m not saying all kids are brought up this way but it seems to happen more often that not. Also, since there are less women in comedy (maybe because it appeals less to women than to men), the few women that exist have to play less complex roles out of necessity. Men play less complex roles too but since there are more men, they have a wider range of roles to choose from.

        So this raises a very complicated question: when we act in a way that is considered traditionally female (being domestic, demure, nurturing, etc.) is it because of society, ourselves, or that women are just different from men? I don’t think we can begin to sort this out until 1) there is a female U.S. president and 2) we make just as much as men.

      • Laura says:

        I think you’re right about sexism and racism being more subtle. It’s definitely still around. Unfortunately those that are uneducated are still breeding. These are the people that need the MOST access to birth control and Planned Parenthood.

        I had an issue at work with a guy who was harassing me. And it was “subtle.” That jackass… It was REALLLLLY hard not to blow up at him. But I stayed calm and professional. Zen. Channeling da Buddha within. So, after I told my boss about it and put it in writing on record at our workplace, he never spoke to me again and I never had to deal with him ever. He was reprimanded and my boss was also really careful to be nice to me for the remainder of my employment so that I wouldn’t sue. If anyone ever has this same issue occurring regularly in their lives, I highly recommend putting it in writing on record somewhere and confronting that person’s superior or some sort of authority figure about it.

      • Laura says:

        Also, where is Cheri Oteri’s SNL DVD? She was hilarious! I thought she was great. I remember looking for her DVD among the Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Steve Martin and WIll Ferrell’s “Best of…” DVDs… but she was not to be found…. and neither was Molly Shanon or Mya Rudolf is I remember correctly. W.T.F.

        Ok so I just googled those and apparently they DO exist. But I’ve NEVER seen them in a store. things that make ya go hmmmmm…

        I think right now is a breakthrough time for female comics. I am impressed with the quality of comedy from Kristen Wiig, Zooey Deschanel, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Aisha Tyler, Whitney Cummings, Ali Wong, that emo-latina chick from Parks and Rec, allll sooooo hilarious! Awesome! GIRL POWAAAH! ::said in spice girls english accent::

    • Laura says:

      Wow, Tiffany. This is an amazing starter to this discussion. I want to try to answer your discussion questions.

      1. When did you first know you were a woman?

      This question took a long time for me to answer. I always knew I was a FEMALE. I was always pretty FEMANINE (except for a phase in my adolescent years when I boycotted pink… mainly throughout high school… but, I currently embrace pink wholeheartedly).

      So when did I realize I was a woman, instead of a young girl? I think I’d have to say it happened when I was 16 years old. I ran away from home for several weeks as a rebellion against my parents’ strick rules. I am the only girl in my family and I had specific rules set for me BECAUSE I was a girl.

      I don’t think they expected me to run away though.

      I had a blast temporarily living at my friend, Yvette’s house, AND AND AND… I still continued to go to all of my classes in school.

      I don’t think they expected that either. A runaway who wants a good education? hruh?

      So one morning, about two weeks into my “runaway,” a policeman came to my 8am biology class and escorted me to the guidance counselor’s office where my mom sat waiting… angrily. We all had a discussion about what should be done with me. My mom DEMANDED I return home and I was pretty nervous that I was about to get in HUGE trouble and be grounded probably forever, when the officer informed my mom that he could not legally force me to go back home because in the state of NY, being 16 I was no longer considered a minor, and as long as I continued to go to class, I would be able to continue living on my own. I could legally do whatever I wanted as long as I was obeying the laws. My parents had no control over me any more. I was sooooooo pleased with my rebel self. BWAHAHAAH! But then I saw how it was effecting my little bros so I eventually moved back home. My parents then loosened up about their rules and started treating me like an adult. I felt like I finally gained control of my situation.

      2. Is there a solution to gender inequality? Is it possible in our generation?

      Hmmmm… this is a good question to bring up right about now, what with all the controversy over the Planned Parenthood funding situation… Who are the people making these kinds of decisions like pulling funding? Women? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? WHAT THE EFF!!!

      SO I say, No. Gender equality is not quite there yet. WE’VE COME A LONG WAY THOUGH! Solution? Maybe we could try having one female and one male congressperson in each district? I don’t see that happening though because then we’d have to pay two salaries. People freak out about spending money like that, but oooooOOO lets bail out the BANKS for their FUCK UPS.

      I don’t think it was always a male dominated world. If you take a look at some art history, you’ll see that the woman was frequently depicted as the one with more power. I mean, geesh, we only gave birth to
      every.
      human.
      being.
      who.
      has.
      ever.
      existed!
      I think deep down, everyone knows that WE DO have SOOOOOO much power. But our power has been suppressed for a loooong time. I think the reason for the suppression is because men are intimidated by how much power we actually possess. Their probably freaked the FUCK out that we have the ability to create life inside of us. And like any other dumbass defense-mechanism when confronting an irrational fear– they just forced themselves to hate the thing they are afraid of. And out of that came manipulation, suppression, abuse etc.

      Yes I think it is completely possible at anytime to have gender equality. I think we could change the world by borrow the ideas of Lysistrata. (A story where a woman persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace.) Women just gotta “MAN UP” hahaha! omg. Fuck that saying. WOMAN UP!

    • valerie says:

      As far as the first time I felt like a woman, it would probably be that cliched moment when I opened my own bank account to pay my own bill (not plural since I was in college and I only had a phone bill to pay). I took the trolly down to the bank from the dorms and felt so grown up.
      As far as gender inequality, I feel it’s still very much alive and well. I’m with Laura as far as the growing up with different rules then boys. My dad is Mexican American and has a very different view of women, it is something that we often argue about. I’m married and I often go out on my own, my dad seems to be baffled by this, how on earth can my husband let his educated adult wife leave the house all alone? My father never lets my mother go anywhere alone. I feel a lot of times that gender inequalities are cultural things. Different cultures have different roles that they expect women to fulfill. My younger brother had completely different rules then I did growing up. Has anyone else noticed these gender biases in different cultures?
      I’m still just about half way through the book, I haven’t had time to finish it yet but I’m loving it so far.

      • Stephanie Jennings says:

        That’s interesting about Mexican-American women, Valerie. Funny thing is, I feel like black women (I’m black, btw; I suppose Tiffany is the only one who’s seen me here) are the exact opposite. There is this stereotype of the strong, black woman (there’s a separate rant about that particular stereotype along with the single, lonely black woman stereotype). And black women kind of always run around alone, have to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders, etc.

  2. Laura says:

    Tiffy! I lovededed your comment. It deserves a reply that is more than I can give at the current o’clock on the work time. I shall reply to you this eve. MWAK!

  3. Stephanie Jennings says:

    Tiff, to answer you question about “When did you feel like you were a woman?” I would say that it was maybe late college/right after I graduated. I feel like at that point, I felt “adult.” Having to wear slacks to work and look not scrubby probably also helped with that transition.

    • Tiffany says:

      The first time I felt like an adult was when I moved into an apartment that I was paying for myself. Filing my first tax return was also pretty “adult-y.” I guess I made the distinction between feeling like a “woman” and an “adult” because the former is gender-specific. I’m interested in hearing people’s responses to both 🙂

      • Stephanie Jennings says:

        See, that’s interesting because I kind of associated the two with each other. I would view myself as a “girl” because my mother was a “woman” because she did adult things like pay bills, file taxes, etc.

        There was some confusion when puberty rolled around (I developed early and have, uh, giant breasts and hips as a result) and had to deal with the attention from older men that that warranted. In my head, I definitely didn’t feel like a woman, but I sure got hit on by random men like I was.

  4. Stephanie Jennings says:

    Sorry, I keep thinking of things to add after I hit “post.” Laura, I sympathize on the eerily silent office. The quietness gets to me too. I’m paranoid that if I even take a quick phone call at my desk, I’ll get the evil eye.

    My bitch: I hate people not responding to emails with plans either in the affirmative or the negative. I know you have an iPhone and check your email constantly and got my email. Don’t give me the “I’m busy” spiel–it’s sort of insulting and assumes that you’re the only person in the world with anything to do. Of course, on the other hand, I’m very grateful for non-flaky people. End rant.

    • Tiffany says:

      I’m grateful for non-flaky people too! They seem to be the minority these days.

    • Laura says:

      I must agree with you on the “very grateful for non-flaky people” rant. I am finding as I get older, non-flakes are much harder to find. I usually expect to be given the same amount of time and effort that I give others. “Do unto others…” right? And if I’m writing something or inviting someone somewhere, I would rather hear a “No” response then none at all. Just be honest PEOPLE! I’ll understand! Geesh! Maybe it’s an east coast thing– being blunt like that. I find a lot of east coasters with this personality trait. No offense west coasters! I just haven’t experienced a lot of you yet! Well, except Hawaiians?

      As far as my passive-aggressive update at my job, I’ve resorted to things like… bringing in my ukulele and playing it at work. Singing random lyrics throughout the day, but not entire songs. So far, it’s helping me from banging my head on the mousepad. Also I started taking random 2pm strolls/jogs and 4 pm… and 5pm sometimes too, to break up the visual monotony that is the patterned carpet-like fabric of my inner cubicle walls >_<

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