First came Rex Reed’s semi-ridiculous screed against Melissa McCarthy in his reviewof box-office topper Identity Thief, wherein he off-handedly referred to her as a “hippo” and then dismissed her as a “gimmick comedian” who has got by on “being obese and obnoxious with equal success.” After the totally predictable backlash hit, Reed more or less doubled-down on his comments, with a healthy dose of self-righteousness added in, telling New York’s WOR 710 AM that McCarthy “is basing her career on being obnoxious, and being overweight, and I don’t think that’s funny. I have too many friends who’ve died [from obesity-related issues].”
Then, on the off chance there were any less-than-obese women feeling good about themselves, HBO’s Girls went and had an episode that involved more than the average amount of star Lena Dunham being naked and having sex with a hot guy (Patrick Wilson, who you might remember as Nite Owl). Because Lena Dunham’s boobs have the mystical power to create 100 blog posts every time they are captured by a digital recording device — I think it’s because she was born around that whole Chernobylthing — the Internet more or less immediately started wondering how an earth Lena Dunham — LENA DUNHAM, FOR GOD’S SAKE — could ever have sex with anyone ever, let alone someone as basically attractive and fictionally doctor-y as Patrick Wilson playing a rich doctor.
This is, of course, nothing new. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Young girls make vicious bullies I don’t remember being bullied by other girls when I was young. But I do remember with shame having failed to do the right thing as a teenager at summer camp, when a cabinmate — we weren’t close, and she wasn’t socially attractive, but still — was cruelly humiliated.
“Shira” kept a diary, as many of us did at the time. A mischief-maker found it, and some intimate details of Shira’s sexual fantasies about a male counsellor were read aloud to shrieks of pitiless laughter. To this day I can vividly recall the moment’s exact setting, and Shira’s horrified face. I also recall my own visceral empathy with her pain, in spite of which I didn’t step up to the plate and denounce my cabinmates’ barbarism.
The rumours spread around the camp, and Shira’s summer was ruined. Looking back, I have to wonder how that vignette affected her life and her relationships with women as an adult. Such a betrayal isn’t something any girl would forget.
The good retrospective news for Shira is that she grew up before the era of social media; her mortification was socially contained and unarchived. Shira’s fate today might have been that of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, Mass., an Irish newcomer who, relentlessly hounded on Facebook and in text messages by girl peers (“slut” was the leitmotif), hanged herself in her closet in 2010. In the aftermath, the question remains: “Are girls really meaner?” (Illustration: Kelsey Heinrichs/National Post)
Photos of the day Afghan girls walk past a female Canadian soldier from 6th Platoon, Bulldog Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Royal Regiment as she rests during a patrol in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 13, 2011. Canada will end its combat role in Afghanistan by the end of July, after nearly ten years fighting in Afghanistan. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)
“It is a matter of fact that the Canadians sacrificed a lot here,” said Brig.-Gen. Ahmed Habibi. “I remember there were 400 or 500 Taliban in the area when the Canadians came to Kandahar in 2006. They are the ones who stood with us and fought not only in Panjwaii but across the province. The enemy is on its knees here now. The truth of it is that it is because of the hard work of the Canadians.”
Hiding the four-month-old’s sex from the outside world is a “tribute to freedom and choice” that they hope will let Storm grow up unfettered by the values of others, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have been quoted as saying.
Experts, however, question whether the odd experiment will work or be good for the baby, and note that gender identity is a complex, mysterious force that has at least as much to do with biological factors present at birth as the person’s social interactions. (Photo illustration: James McMurtrie/Getty Images/Thinkstock)