Monday, June 18, 2007

the mystery of the critics muting

I went to see the new Nancy Drew movie with my nieces and sisters yesterday. Having been a fan of the books as a young girl, I was pretty excited to see how they put it all together. Frankly, I was quite impressed. I really enjoyed the movie and my nieces loved it.

My oldest niece has yet to read the books and my sister is just itching at the chance to get her started. She and I were furious readers of the series and since the library didn't carry them, we would read whatever we could put our hands on. My niece, having struggled with reading last year, is turning into quite the little reader and this we are pleased about.

Which brings me to my real rant: the critical outpouring of negative comments about Nancy Drew. Whether it's the movie or the books themselves, I have yet to read a good review of anything. This weekend the Globe and Mail had a scathing commentary on the negative feminism surrounding Nancy Drew, how she was always so proper and how it would be hard to get girls on board with this.

Frankly, I'm not impressed. When I read Nancy Drew back in the dark ages of the early 80's, the only feminist links I found were that I wanted to be like Nancy. I wanted to hunt mysteries. I wanted a sleuth kit. I wanted to be able to go out at night and drive a cute little car and do better than the boys. After all, where was Ned when she was on all her adventures? And the added bonus to this book? I liked to read. I neglected the television, the radio, the --well-- we didn't have video games when I was a kid but if we did, I wouldn't have been on them. I would have been reading. And considering that at that age I knew nothing about boys, clothes, music, or anything else little girls seem to be wrapped up in, it was safe to say that my impressions of the book were that I believed every word written because I had nothing else to compare it to.

I'm tired of this crap about how boring the books are, how plausible it is to believe Nancy could be so wholesome, how she dresses is wrong....and so on. I'd rather read critics cheering that girls are getting back into books again. That finally there is something out there to draw attention to reading a book to follow Nancy and her mysteries. Instead of having them sitting listless on a couch stuffing their faces.

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