Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Movie Blockbuster-Man-sploitation Alert?

Okay readers,

You talked, I listened. Some of you said I should take another look at the summer movies and see if I was being unfair when I called them out for sexualizing women to a ridiculous degree. (Check THIS POST if you missed it.) Sure, there are armored boobs and crotch shots, you said, but what about the menfolk? Aren't they being treated like meat, as well?

Good question! I'm all about trying to keep things fair and balanced--I'm like Fox News, people, except I really try to be fair and balanced instead of blatantly unfair and biased and annoying :)--so I did some Googling, and here's what I found. (I'll be sticking to the same movies I discussed the first time, just to attempt to draw fair comparisons.)

First up, G.I. Joe, The Rise of Cobra:

Fairly tame. No big man boobs and nothing else that seems designed to provoke a sexual response. This armor is there to protect, not provoke.

Nope, not even when Channing shows us his good side. Still tame stuff.

Hmm...and, well, we've got the big cheesy motorcycle here, but no crotch. Not even a smidgen of crotch. His crotch is well hidden by modest jeans, unlike the Megan Fox action we saw in the last blog, the one where her nether bits were practically coming out to sunbathe.

So, I must stand by my original verdict on G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra. Sexist to the Ridiculous.

Moving on to Transformers 2:

Oh ho! Shia without a shirt on! But still, he isn't being sexualized here. He looks...gross...and burned...and scabby. I mean, great body under the scabs, but please--scabs. He is covered in SCABS! Clearly not a look meant to tantalize the female audience. (Ugh. Isn't the word "scab" gross? One of my least favorite words. Along with "puss" and "moist" and "maggot".)

Here's another one of his costumes for the movie. Very tame, boring even.

A little more exciting here...the shirt is tighter, but still not at all scandalous. I can appreciate the nice forearms, but it would be a big stretch to call this sexualizing Mr. LaBeouf.


Oh! More cleavage! Yet again, the girl is in skin tight jeans and a cleave shirt. What is Shia wearing? A hoodie! A loose, brown hoodie! Wouldn't it be refreshing if our girl here was wearing something equally sensible and good for running from EVIL robots? I mean, she knows they're going to come back! It isn't safe to go out in her skimpy clothing. She needs to cover up, least she also become covered in scabs!

So, with Transformers 2, I'll also be standing by my verdict. S to the E to the rest of it.

Now on to Star Trek, the only movie I saw this year that made me cry in the first ten minutes. I won't give spoilers, but gah!, this one hits young mothers where it hurts. So perhaps those tears lingering in the corners of my eyes obscured my perception of Star Trek, because...

Not much to see here. Just a t-shirt and modest coat, and the seemingly required bloodied face. But wait!

Okay, still not much to see. More bloodied face and conservative shirts. Yawn. These get ups are so unsexy, they don't even bother to show full length shots of these guys.

But wait! Wait! What's this I see?!

Gasp!! A gratuitous nearly nekkid shot of Chris Pine in his tighty whities!!! Gasp Again!!! How could I have missed this?! The producers are totally cashing in on his babe factor and making him take it off for no other reason than to show that manly, young Captain Kirk bod. (Imagining him growing up to look like William Shatner ruins it a bit, but still. It's blatant and completely equal to the naked green chick's level of exposure.)

Still, the barely there miniskirts and gogo boots on the girls in this movie tip the scale in the non-equal direction. So I'm going to have to go with a modified verdict: Sexualizing to women, but also to men, although tighty whities really aren't the sexiest choice of male undergarment.

And so I close this discussion on summer movies and who was treated more like meat. The women "won", hands down. (I mean, you can still comment if you want to. I encourage commentary and discussing. And this is the last chance to enter the summer contest for August--you leave a comment, you get entered in the pot to WIN the last summer reads and tees prize package, a signed copy of Melissa Francis's "Bite Me" and a vampire t-shirt that is SO cute.)

Happy Monday People! And thanks for creating Discussion because Discussions are good.

Stacey Jay

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Debutante Blog Tour: Jackson Pearce

About As You Wish

Seven months ago, Viola's boyfriend told her he was gay—moments before she was going to lose her virginity to him. Heartbroken, Viola has resigned herself to near invisibility, until she inadvertently summons a young jinn out of his world, Caliban, and into her own. Here he will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to get back to Caliban, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid her wishes will be manipulated into curses. Jinn knows that should she wait too long, the Ifrit, guardians of earthbound jinn, will press her to wish by hurting those around her.As they spend time together, Jinn can't deny that he's slowly falling in love with Viola, blurring the lines between master and servant. It's only after Viola makes her first wish—for a popular boy to love her—that she realizes the feelings are mutual.

With every wish Jinn's time with her diminishes, but the longer she waits to wish the greater danger she's in from the Ifrit. Together, Viola, Jinn, and Viola's ex-boyfriend try to outwit the Ifrit while dealing with their own romantic complexities and the alcohol-laced high school social scene.

About Jackson Pearce

Jackson Pearce is twenty-four years old and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy and currently works for a software company even though she auditioned for the circus (she juggled and twirled fire batons, but they still didn't want her). Other jobs she's had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist.

In addition, Jackson coaches both colorguard and winterguard at a local high school; she's taught over four hundred students since starting six years ago. Coaching provides the greatest "research" for writing YA that she could ever ask for and has introduced her to some of the most unique characters she's ever met.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn't tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Movie Block-bust-her(s) strike again

It's a well known cliche at this point--the summer movie with the men kicking tail and the women showing it. Sure, now the chicks often get in on the action--fighting bad guys, flying spaceships, thwarting evil robots--but they're still doing it in high heels and skin tight clothing. And I get it. This is all part of the fantasy for the menfolk, but womenfolk can get into these movies too if you'll give us a chance. I want to see women conquering the final frontier and foiling Cobra! But I just can't seem to get past the wardrobe malfunction.

My evidence, let me show you it:

In the new Star Trek remake, we've got gratuitous nearly naked green chicks (I mean, really, does this forward the plot in any way?)

And the female officers in barely there skirts:

Yeah, I get that this was the classic Trekkie look, but that look was from the 1960's when women earned 57% of what men earned for doing the same job (and they had to get up and iron their dresses and bouffant their hair so they looked good doing it). Now we earn about 78% of what men earn for doing the same job. So shouldn't our summer movies reflect this 21% move toward equality in the workplace?

If these women were expected to fight--which they aren't in this movie, which I also found sexist, I mean, a lot of them are alien people with POWERS! why shouldn't they be kicking human ass?--they would be hard up to defend themselves in go-go boots and a micro mini.

The ridiculousness continues in G.I. Joe, the Rise of Cobra.

First of all, I must preface by saying that this movie was so bad I actually laughed out loud several times. I LOVED G.I. Joe when I was a kid and watched the cartoon after school every day when I was ten and eleven. So I was revved and ready for some cheese-tasticness, but it did delivered only cheese without much "tastic". Dennis Quaid was someone-burn-my-eyes-out-so-I-don't-have-to-watch-his-painful-acting horrible.

And while some of the other actors really pulled it off, I was so hacked off by the big reveal about the bad girl below that I have declared the movie dead to me. Without giving away spoilers, I can say that they completely took away her power as a person and bad guy. Which sucked! She was So Bad and I loved her for it. I wanted her to stay bad! I liked her angsty reasons for being bad! And the love story between her and the head hottie would have been so much more fabulous if she were just Bad and they had to Deal with it!

But no, they couldn't go there. They could, however, dress her in skin tight clothing and four inch heels. Really. How is she going to get away from the good guys in that get up?

And then we have Scarlett, the good girl with the super-armored boobies.

Just looking at this picture makes me snort coffee. Just...dumb. So over-the-top that I could not take this character seriously. At all. All I see are armor boobs. Huge. Armor. Boobs.

And then we have this Transformers 2 action:

I mean...yeah. It's almost pornographic. Which is cool. If you're an adult and like that sort of thing. But for a movie that's being marketed to boys under the age of ten with robot action figures? As a mom of two little boys, I think this sucks big huge ass. I don't want my boys encouraged to think of girls this way. I mean, I know boys will be boys, but can't a girl be sexy and kick-ass without showing her crotch on a big cheesy motorcycle?

And here. She's totally more concerned with holding her boob in her shirt than running from the bad guys. This could have made her Dead! DEAD!!

As I said, it's an old stereotype and I think we're all so used to this crap that we don't notice it anymore. We think "well, that's the way it is" and turn off that logical part of our brain and try to enjoy a movie we probably paid way too much to see and eat popcorn that we absolutely paid too much to eat (insane popcorn prices, we should start a protest). But I wonder if we're doing chick-kind a disservice by not letting people know that this really isn't what most women want to see. We're cash carrying people with choices in where we drop our dough. We should have a voice.

And a comfortable pair of shoes and an aerobics bra. Because sometimes armor boobs get in the way when you're sharpshooting.

Happy Monday,

Stacey Jay

Friday, August 21, 2009

My So Called Death--Now Available for Pre-order!

March 2010 From Flux Books

All in all it was a good day to die. If there really is such a thing.

You hear characters in movies say that all the time, but does anyone really believe the words “good” and “die” belong in the same sentence?

Still, it could have been worse. It could have been dark and spooky night instead of a beautiful Georgia morning in late October, with a light wind whipping across the Peachtree High School football field, making zombies seem like the last thing anyone needed to worry about…

Fifteen-year-old freshman, Karen Vera, is well on her way to ruling her school when a freak cheer leading accident turns her into, well, a freak. Much to her Horror and Dismay, Karen learns she is a genetic mutation, one of the Death Challenged--a politically correct term for a zombie!

Now she has to go to a top secret zombie school, eat brains for lunch, and take courses with names like "Secrets of Successful Morticians and their Uses for the Undead: Foundation and Beyond". And to make matters worse, her roommate is the most reviled girl at DEAD High, a complete head case, and maybe...a murderer.

Can Karen find out who's offing the nearly un-off-able Undead before she becomes the next victim? Can she convince the super-cute captain of the swim team that a girl can have a pathological love for pink and still carry on an intelligent conversation? Will she ever pass remedial Algebra for the Death Challenged?

Now Available for Pre-order!!

Go forth and pre-order my pretties! Thanks for reading!

Stacey Jay

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Zombie Tears on my Keyboard--Fun Link!

It happened just this way last then four-year-old's first day of school. I packed his backpack and lunch, helped him button up his new uniform, and drove him down to the Baptist School for his first year of full day kindergarten. I took pictures. I cried. But I thought I was ready.

Turns out, I wasn't.

Come the end of the first semester, I pulled him out of the 5 day a week program and put him back into the 3 day a week Mom's Day Out here in town. I cited the long 40 minute drive in the rush hour traffic every morning, the expense of private school, and the wailing of my newborn baby as very valid reasons that it was best for the family for him to go back to preschool. Pre-k. Whatever they call it.

The hours were shorter. It was only three days a week. And I got to have my baby back for a few more months. I treasured those months, I loved waking up two days a week and not having to rush around (because we live close enough that my older girls could walk to their school). I liked seeing my biggest baby all sleepy in his pajamas on the couch. I loved letting him linger over breakfast. I loved playing games with him during the baby's first nap.

But as summer wore on, I started to get frustrated with the fact that he was more and more demanding of my time. He constantly wanted to be played with or taken somewhere new. He wouldn't give me time to work and pestered me endlessly when I did my 20 minute workout video. To him, 20 minutes of mama time was WAY too much.

So I thought I'd be thrilled that he was going to school tomorrow. Real school. Real kindergarten. It's a legal matter now and there will be no deciding to keep him home. Besides, he's ready. He's excited to learn new things, make new friends, and go to big kid school with his oldest stepsister every morning. He practically lost his mind buying school supplies. So much fun to anticipate! So much Adventure!

I thought I was ready too...but I was wrong. Again. Sigh. So there are a few tears on my keyboard today as I wash uniforms and organize backpacks. My baby, the one who I was certain would never sleep through the night (and didn't for almost two years) is now a big kid who will spend over half his day away from me. And I'll miss him.

Those five years sure went fast, Roo. I hope the next five take a memo and slow the hell down.

And if you're in the mood for something a little less Sad Mommy Clown, head over to ZOMBIES IN TIARAS for commentary on the latest trend in back to school fashion!

Happy (no sad!!! SAD!!!) Sunday,

Stacey Jay

Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Stars from Teens Read Too!


"This hilarious story has something for every girl who likes monsters, magic, mystery, and a little kick-ass action...I look forward to seeing more of Megan in the promised second book."

-Allison from Teens Read Too

Read the entire review here:

I'm running out the door, but had to share this review.

Happy Monday all!

Stacey Jay

Friday, August 7, 2009

About Lipstick Apology

Four little words written in lipstick mean Emily must say goodbye to everything she knows. Emily Carson has always been a good girl. So when she throws a party the night her parents leave for vacation, she's sure she'll get busted. What Emily doesn't know is that her parents will never return. That their plane will go down. And the only thing left amidst the wreckage will be a tray table with the words: Emily please forgive me scrawled in lipstick - her mother's last words.

Now it's fall in New York City and Emily's trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Her public tragedy captures the attention of more than just the media - and soon two very different boys at her new school are pursuing her: the cute, popular Owen, and the quirky chemistry partner slash pastry-baker-by-night, Anthony. But even with such delicious distractions, Emily can't let go of her mother's mysterious apology. Does she have the courage to face the truth?

With help of a whole new kind of family - one that includes a make-up artist to the stars, a teen hand model, and a wacky hairdresser - Emily must choose between the boy who makes her forget it all, and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately, heal.

About Jennifer Jabaley

Jennifer Jabaley was born in New York and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey. She graduated from James Madison University with a degree in chemistry and received a doctorate from Southern College of Optometry. A part-time optometrist and mother of two, Jennifer began writing her first novel after a phone call from her sister sparked an idea for a story that lingered in her mind and stirred her creative juices. LIPSTICK APOLOGY will be released in August of 2009 by Razorbill. Jen lives in Blue Ridge, Georgia and is currently at work on her second book.

Four Questions With:

1. If you had to kill off one of your characters which one would it be? Why him/her?

Hmm, I think it would be Ethan because he was so mean to sweet Carly.

2. Would you consider having this character come back from the dead? Why or why not?

Only if it was so he could apologize.

3. What's the strangest thing eaten in the course of your book? (If it's brains you get ten bonus points!)

Squab - or baby pigeon. Emily orders it without knowing what it is because she's too upset watching her date flirt with the waitress.

4. Random sharing time, what do you want my zombie-blog-author readers to know about your book?

LIPSTICK APOLOGY has both heart and humor. The message and topic are serious, but the tone and writing are fun!

Thanks, Stacey!

Thanks you Jennifer! And Congrats on the release!!

Ya'll can check out Jennifer and her book here:
Have a great Friday!

Stacey Jay

Monday, August 3, 2009

And the winner for July is...

Ariana!! Congratulations!!

She'll be receiving a signed copy of my debut, "You are So Undead to Me":

And a "get me their lunch money" zombie-inspired t-shirt from threadless tees:

And remember ya'll, school may be starting to soon, but the summer reads and tees contest isn't over until August 31st. You still have the chance to win a copy of "Bite Me" by Melissa Francis and a vampire orthodontics t-shirt (I have one and it is my very favorite sleep shirt--so pink and fangy and the braces on the vampire teeth are sparkly. Could you ask for more?)

Find out how to make the most of your last chance to win over at my website, in the "news" section:

Have a wonderful week!

Stacey Jay