Amy Stern (bigbrotherreads) wrote,
Amy Stern

You can take the girl out of grad school...

Today, the New York Public Library had a screening of Library of the Early Mind, a documentary about children's literature that was pretty damn fantastic. It has a lot of information, but was fascinating to me partly because this is the first time I've seen a documentary where I knew most of the information already. What was new was hearing it in the voices of these authors and illustrators, and seeing how the film put it together. Because I knew the facts being referenced and the books that were being referred to, it evoked this really nice feeling- like rather than just sitting and absorbing information from a teacher, I was engaged in a conversation. I even wrote down quotes I wanted to respond to!

Yet somehow, now that I'm home and in front of a keyboard, rather than discussing any of the points brought up in the documentary, I find myself wanting to discuss a very important question that has been bugging me all day and has nothing to do with children's lit at all: how do reality TV hosts conform to stereotypes about race, gender, etc? I've seen a lot about stereotypes and casting contestants, but what about the people who are chosen as leads? There are women hosts on reality programs, but mostly in the context of traditionally feminine roles, like childcare (Supernanny), cooking (Top Chef), or beauty (America's Next Top Model and Project Runway). The only exception I can think of is Big Brother, which features an Asian woman as its host in contrast to the white men hosting the other two CBS reality programs.

This has led to me wondering if, because the narrative is framed as people living in a "house" and dealing with cutthroat interpersonal problems without the intrigue of international travel or the living-off-the-land aspect, Big Brother would count as inhabiting the domestic sphere.

One of these days, I'm invading one of the nearby college libraries, and not leaving until I find the billions of articles on these subjects that I refuse to believe haven't been written. And then I will die happy.

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