You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages - Carina Chocano

August 2017 My Book Box Non-Fiction Selection


Recently, I watched part of Keeping Up with the Jones. It’s a movie about a suburban couple whose new neighbors turn out to be spies/special agents/CIA something or other. It has a good cast, and there were parts that were quite funny. I didn’t watch all of it, however, because it soured. The two men become buds, in fact the movie is really a bromance despite the couples, but the two women nope. In fact, the suburban wife dislikes the spy woman even before the truth comes out. Because, as you know, women can never be friends with prettier women.
It was like, really? The wife is right, there is something sneaky going on, but her belief comes from jealously more than anything else. Additionally, proving her right also indicates that the female spy is not as good her husband, but it was really the whole friendship thing – men are friends, and that is emotionally important – while women can never be friends with other women. Not really.


I’m tired of that shit. 


I think Chocano would agree with me. 


Chocano’s book details the messages that pop culture seems to be giving women and girls, whether it is intentionally or unintentionally. Honesty, I want to kiss her because I thought I was the only one who was disturbed by Elsa’s change of dress in the movie. Her writing about Cinderella will ensure that you will never look at a Cinderella movie the same way. Her comments about being trained in English Literature are tattooed on everyone who has a literature degree.
The book is actually quite good because she focuses on things that are seen or meant to be “women’s” stories – like Sex in the City. It isn’t just the primary focus of the book – it is on pop culture and women, so shows like Mad Men are also discussed. She also addresses the desire to like something while realizing that it is problematic.


Chocano’s tone is conversational, and the book is an easy and engrossing read.