A few days ago, I was on the Tube — the London Underground subway. Somewhere between Piccadilly Circusand Leicester Squareon the Piccadilly line, I apologized to a fellow passenger for being in front of the doors when she wanted to get off at her stop: “sorry, I’m in the way.”
I wasn’t expecting her response. She put her hand on my arm and, in a North American accent, said emphatically: “Never, dear. Men don’t say that.”
It made me smile because it was one of those brief interactions with strangers that you don’t expect, and also because her words rang true. I tend to apologize a lot and I probably say “sorry” too much. But I’m not sure that it’s entirely a result of being a woman. Continue reading →
Most of my peers grew up with Disney animated movies. They watched the classics — The Lion King, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast… I didn’t. To this day, I’ve seen a grand total of two Disney animations: Dumbo and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Yes, yes, I know. I haven’t seen The Lion King, or Bambi, which is sometimes marked out as an oddity if it comes up in conversations with friends, as though I’m confessing an eccentric habit.
Disney’s movies are a fond presence in millions of childhoods throughout the world, and beyond (last year, a friend asked me if I wanted to go and see Cinderella with her. I suggested Far from the Madding Crowd instead). But these movies aren’t as child-friendly and full of innocent wonder as they seem. In fact, they have some symbolism in them that is pretty downright disturbing.