This is the kind of crap that makes me really ashamed to go to Duke.
Not that she's graduating summa cum laude and going to Harvard Law (although, puke). Nor is it that the writing is particularly bad - the Our View column is where my brain cells go to die, so I've got particularly low standards in this case. I mean, it's not good, but I've seen worse. Actually, it's kind of like reading the essay my curator wrote for the front of the book in that my first impression is "holy god, you went to college and they let you out with this?!" But I digress.
I am ashamed because it is blatantly, horrifyingly obvious that this girl COPIED AND PASTED HER LAW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS ESSAY VERBATIM AND SENT IT TO THE NEWS. I AM CAPSING HERE BECAUSE HOW SHAMELESS IS THAT?! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, DUMB GIRL, HOW THE COLLEGE PROCESS WORKS? NO ONE WANTS TO READ ADMISSIONS ESSAYS IN THE FIRST PLACE, NOT EVEN ADMISSIONS EMPLOYEES, SO WHY DO YOU THINK THE REST OF US GIVE A CRAP?
I think I'm going to write an Our View column about how much all the other Our View columns suck. Whatever space is left will be filled with *gasp! ohno* political commentary or something *gasp! ohno* interesting or useful. Maybe I'll be like the other hypocritical columnists and complain about the sensationalism of American masa media! (I can't think of the phrase "mass media" in English anymore. Similarly, all leftovers of anything have been converted to "restos" and I will call them restos for the resto of my life. ahahaha.)
Has anyone formed a comprehensive feminist theory based on the Smurfs? Because they should. And if they have, stop reading here.
Actually, this isn't really comprehensive. Never mind.
I've been considering the significance of Smurfette's status within the world of the Smurfs. Obviously, her femaleness (and femininity, I suppose) set her apart from the rest of the Smurfs. While everyone else is classified by the content of their respective characters (there's a nerdy Smurf and a cranky Smurf and a protective, nurturing Smurf), Smurfette is different just because she is an -ette.
Right. This is all pretty obvious. My question is, does Smurfette's exclusion on the basis of her gender reinforce or destroy preexisting gender stereotypes? On the one hand, you could argue that the female status of Smurfette precludes all other distinguishing characteristics - although there are nerdy and mean and sporty and happy boy Smurfs, none of these characteristics could ever be identified with a girl Smurf, because she is already sufficiently othered by being female. She is excluded from the preexisting social conventions that define Smurfness (I would imagine that, as a young male Smurf comes of age, there is a whole Smurf-naming process undertaken from which Smurfette is necessarily excluded. Like a Smurf bar-mitzvah without the accompanying bat-.) The idea of Smurfette as limited and identified by gender is further strengthened by Smurfette's really annoying giggliness, which cements her in the stereotypical role of dumb chick. She can never be identified by anything other than "girl Smurf" and she can never rise above the inherently denigrating state of "girl Smurf" - though, as previously stated, she never really tries.
However, there's another reading of Smurfette, and it is - what if being a female IS her defining personality characteristic? If you look at it that way, the Smurfs frame gender in a nonessentialist, almost subjective light, casting it as a socially determined factor. Nerdy Smurf chooses to be nerdy, Pigheaded Smurf chooses to be pigheaded, Papa Smurf chooses to save the rest of the clan from Gargamel, and Smurfette chooses to fill a gaping niche in a society of 50 "men" by casting herself in the role of "female". Clearly, her status as lone woman in Smurfland cannot be solely biologically determined, unless she has litters of 100+ Smurfs per pop, is immortal, and never experiences menopause. So Smurfette, realizing that there are a number of personality paths afforded her, chooses to follow the one that says "girl". In this case, she is as full a member of society as any other Smurf. Having chosen her place in the Smurf Village, she is now merely fulfilling her duties.
So, does Smurfette reinforce the status of woman as inherently limited or does she throw the entire concept of gender into flux? Leave me a smurfing comment and smurfing tell me already, you smurfing son of a smurf.