Biography

Gina Barreca is an English professor at the University of Connecticut and a feminist scholar who has written eight books. She can be reached through her website at http://www.ginabarreca.com.

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Gina Barreca

Gina Barreca

Not That I'm Bitter

Breaking Through The Fog Of Panic

Breaking Through The Fog Of Panic

July 29, 2014

Sometimes it's not enough to be focused — sometimes you need to accept help and sometimes you need to be flexible.

  • We're Teaching To The Test — Not Students' Futures

    July 22, 2014

    I'm worried that we're no longer teaching students how to think critically or to write well.

  • I Won't Take Growing Old Sitting Down

    July 16, 2014

    I've lived my life with enthusiasm, courage, raucousness and passion. Why on earth would I want to grow old gracefully?

  • Today Show's Matt Lauer Is So Last Century

    July 8, 2014

    How about we rename "The Today Show" the "Yesterday Show" since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953?

  • 15 Things You Should Know About Food

    July 2, 2014

    1. Strawberries should not be as big as yams. Strawberries should be the size of your thumbnail and not, for example, the size of a Spaldeen. If a strawberry is as big as a rubber ball, it will taste like a rubber ball.

  • Our Song: 'We're Gonna Make It After All'

    June 26, 2014

    Can you turn the world on with your smile? Can you take day a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

  • Hate Your Date? Use The Mercy Rule

    June 18, 2014

    Have you ever heard of being "mercied out" of a situation?

  • Hillary Clinton — World-Class Troublemaker

    June 10, 2014

    Will women vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016?

  • June Rites — Two Gowns, The Future To Go

    June 3, 2014

    Welcome to June, official month of cheerful announcements, elaborate ceremonies and the writing of hundreds of checks to distant relations, many of whom you would not recognize even if you were facing each other in an elevator. Welcome, in other words, to the season of graduations and weddings.

  • Women Grow Up Fearing, Fending Off Creeps

    May 27, 2014

    Yes, all women, all girls, grow up learning ways to avoid attracting the attention of unnerving guys; it's no doubt built into our DNA, along with an affection for miniatures and the early songs of Patsy Cline.

  • Don't Get Hung Up On Your Phone — Look Up

    May 21, 2014

    If your phone is smarter than you, it is not time to get a new phone: It's time to get a new life.

  • Spring Cleaning For The Soul

    May 15, 2014

    No. 1. I will stop purchasing objects from flea markets, antique fairs and on-line dealers in a thinly disguised quest for my long lost and occasionally misspent youth. I will remind myself that buying a small nearly empty bottle containing six whiffs of Evening in Paris cologne will not conjure up my robust aunts or miraculously manifest their soft padded shoulders against which I might fall into a dreamless sleep as I used to on Sunday afternoons. I will remind myself that possessing the midnight blue and silver-capped bottle will merely force me to regret spending more money on an empty vessel than they, in their frugality and wisdom, would have spent for a full one. In my life, not only do such items evoke my own mortality but they need dusting. Plus the more ridiculous of them make me recall vividly the phrase my beloved aunts uttered on a daily basis: "Gina, for a smart girl, you're not very bright."

  • When A Mother Doesn't Like Being a Mom

    May 8, 2014

    Dear Mom,

  • Nobody's Going To Tell Me To 'Ban Bossy'

    April 29, 2014

    I've been bullied into writing about the "Ban Bossy" movement.

  • Awaiting Fate Is The Hardest Part

    April 23, 2014

    Waiting to learn results of a decision you believe will decide your destiny is the emotional equivalent of having an itch in your shoulder blade right below where you can reach.

  • When A Wave And A Smile Are Magic

    April 17, 2014

    You know how you get into those moods where you convince yourself that the only thing to do when you're absolutely miserable is to make yourself even more miserable, as if misery were some kind of contest?

  • 'Mad Men,' 'Game Of Thrones' Not So Different After All

    April 8, 2014

    Which wildly popular Sunday night television show relies more heavily on fantasy: AMC's "Mad Men" or HBO's "Game of Thrones?"

  • Gwyneth Needs To Recouple With Reality

    April 1, 2014

    How do you spell conscious uncoupling? Where I came from, we always spelled it the way Tammy Wynette sang it, which is D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

  • Not Playing The Shapewear Bondage Game

    March 27, 2014

    Could you be talked into purchasing a foundation undergarment so restrictive, so unyielding and so draconian it makes a wetsuit look like a nightgown?

  • Sex Tips On Special In Supermarket Line

    March 20, 2014

    On the cover of four magazines on the newsstand this month is a version of the headline: "What Does Your Partner Want In Bed?"

  • Let's All Take The New SATs! (Or Not!)

    March 12, 2014

    The new SAT exam has parents and students attempting to master the almost impossibly rigorous demands of, umm, the multiple choice question. Want to know how you would score?

  • Rules For Women Who Are The Boss

    February 27, 2014

    When Forbes reports that between 1997 and 2013 the number of businesses owned by women has increased by 59 percent, why do many female business leaders still prefer to think of themselves as miraculously gender-free? Have you ever heard a man say something along the lines of "Don't think of me as man; just think of me as your boss?" I haven't, but I'm still hearing a surprising number of women singing this refrain.

  • Women Unravel Dreams To Men's Dismay

    February 19, 2014

    I have this recurring dream where — have you stopped reading yet?

  • How To Get The Valentine's Day You Want

    February 13, 2014

    Can you get what you want for Valentine's Day, no matter how personal, eccentric or whimsical? If you want to wear a new pair of crystal earrings on Feb. 14, or eat handmade chocolates or have a dozen red roses suffuse their seductive scent throughout your softly lit bedroom, can you be certain that this will happen?

  • 'Afflicted By Computer Interruptus? Call Now!'

    February 6, 2014

    In the interest of discovering the effect of technology on creativity and concentration ("If You Pay For Auto Insurance You Better Read This"), I am doing today's column in an entirely new way ("Want To Publish Your Book?") by permitting my incoming computer messages to remain visible ("Laura Rossi tagged you on Facebook") as I write.

  • Judge Judy: Make Men Wear Condoms

    January 30, 2014

    So Judge Judy calls and says "You're the feminist, right?"

  • Clearing Out Clutter Is Terrifying

    January 23, 2014

    I've just tidied up my life and now I can't do a thing with it.

  • Funny Women Get Us Where We Live

    January 16, 2014

    Are men obsolete? Geneticists might argue and the folks on Fox News certainly believe it's a hot topic, but NBC, where Amy Poehler and Tina Fey just triumphed at the Golden Globes, and ABC, where Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the Oscars, seem to be confident that they are —at least when it comes to hosting awards shows.

  • Laugh Often And 19 More Rules To Live By

    January 9, 2014

    I've made a list of 20 rules to live by.

  • Confessions Of A Promiscuous Shopper

    December 26, 2013

    "Will this make me happy every day?" I have a friend who asks herself that question every time she considers buying something.

  • Ideal Gift? Cross Bathroom Scale Off List

    December 12, 2013

    Whoever said "It's the thought that counts" never got a bathroom scale for Christmas.

  • Can Women Ever Be Good Enough?

    November 29, 2013

    If you want to get into an argument with a woman, compliment her.

  • Humanities Are At The Heart Of Real Education

    November 14, 2013

    "What's the purpose of studying the humanities: literature, languages, philosophy, history and the arts?"

  • Why Are Women Left Holding The Bag?

    October 31, 2013

    Not only do women hold up half the sky. We do it while carrying a 500-pound purse.

  • Scary Men Different From Scary Women

    October 17, 2013

    With Halloween trying to sneak up on us, it's time to look without fear at the differences between what makes men scary and what makes women scary.

  • How A Customer Became A Sucker And Then Got Mad

    October 3, 2013

    "There's one born every minute." That's what they say about the pushovers and poor saps who fall for bait-and-switch deals. It's what they say about folks who believe they're being treated fairly by strangers who promise them amazing offers.

  • Using Reality TV To Reveal Your Personality

    September 19, 2013

    I've been fascinated by personality tests ever since I abandoned those quizzes where you try to find out the shape of your face. At this point in my life I don't care what shape my face is. Or what shape my whole head is for that matter. What am I, a professor of geometry?

  • If You're Wearing Houndstooth, You've Been Had

    September 5, 2013

    It's time to look at this fall's hot new fashions. I heard you've been feeling good about yourself and it's time to take you down a notch.

  • Unlearning The Kindergarten Lessons Of Life

    August 8, 2013

  • Lusting Boss Casts Object Of His Desire Onto The Street

    July 25, 2013

    Last week I saw a girl wearing a yellow dress so tight it should have been made out of "caution" tape. I might well have been one of the few middle-aged heterosexual women looking at her and thinking "God bless America." The glazed-eyed lingering glances of admiring men indicated that they were also giving thanks but probably for different reasons.

  • Good Girls Say 'No' — And Good Women Should, Too

    July 11, 2013

    A good girl is defined as one who almost always says "no." A good woman is defined as one who almost always says "yes."

  • Movies Centering On Women Rare But Welcome

    July 3, 2013

    What do Hannah Arendt, Sandra Bullock, Mary McCarthy and Melissa McCarthy have in common?

  • Check Your Bumper Sticker At The Door

    June 27, 2013

    There are inspirational posters in my doctor's waiting room. One announces to those with aching bunions, open lesions or incipient Ménière's disease, "Seeing what others don't is another kind of vision."

  • Women Over 40 — Not Seen, But Heard

    June 13, 2013

    Ever notice how women get noisy as we age? Ever notice how the quiet, deferential, focused good girl hits a certain point and morphs into a combination of Betty White, Bette Midler and Mae West?

  • Anthony Weiner — We've Seen Enough Of You

    May 22, 2013

    Anthony Weiner, I'm looking at you, so stop tweeting for a minute and put the cameras away. Mark Sanford, I don't care if you won, you should listen, too. And so should anybody else running for office, because I'm about to explain The Five Rules Candidates Should Follow.

  • Nature Is Best Viewed From The Deck

    May 2, 2013

    Unless they're asking for spare change, people are willing to engage in conversations with folks they haven't met before for one reason: Perfect strangers are far more likely to be charmed by our adorable eccentricities than are our loved ones. Their willingness to listen without sighing or twitching is what makes strangers perfect.

  • Women Shouldn't Use Men For Measure

    April 18, 2013

    Imagine hearing the phrase: "Wow, you're just like one of the boys!" Then imagine hearing the phrase: "Wow, you're just like every other woman!"

  • Growing Up With Annette And Margaret

    April 9, 2013

    Although they represented the opposite poles of femininity — the intimidating, well-respected and unyielding Iron Lady vs. the adorable, well-beloved and sassy Cutie Pie — both Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funicello shaped my universe growing up.

  • A Feminist Looks Down From The Penthouse

    March 21, 2013

    A new book suggests that ambitious women should "lean in" to achieve success.

  • Social Networks Like Going Back To High School

    March 7, 2013

    Social networking makes teenagers of us all. Lots of my ridiculously successful friends — some of whom appear regularly on television, give TED talks and are the kind of people who get harassed in restaurants by their fans (while my fans remain remarkably good-mannered and never, ever come over to introduce themselves or say a word) — will still not permit themselves to have a Facebook account because the thought of people unfriending them is terrifying.

  • Here's The Answer — Don't Give Men Guns

    January 24, 2013

    When we look at the acts of almost unspeakable gun violence making news and breaking hearts, it doesn't take Rachel Maddow or Wayne LaPierre to target the fact that men are responsible. We don't need to hit the archives for historical documentation. What we need to do is this: We need to stop selling guns to men.

  • Women Are Funny, That's No Joke

    October 4, 2012

    Get your pen, keyboard or tattoo gun, everybody, and please write this down: Women are funny and always have been.

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