Sarah Seltzer at RH Reality Check:
The movie, seen so close in proximity to the more acclaimed Batman flick, did have me thinking about the part gender plays in what we determine to be serious. While The Dark Knight dealt with themes of power and violence, Mamma Mia! was about the more domestic, but no less universal, themes of family and forgiveness -- but both films were primarily interested in showy visual sequences. Critics slobbered all over themselves heaping praise on the former, while many admitted being embarrassed by Mamma Mia! The contrast between the way the two have been received makes one wonder why, to start with, we consider singing and dancing showpieces to be "silly" while Batpods, metal suits, and improbably-rigged explosives are allowed be taken quite seriously. We're quick to forgive the tokenization of female characters as villain-bait in superhero movies, but critics whine when men in movies like Mama Mia! and Sex in the City are relegated to love interest status.
The actual material content constituting girl culture is cheap and depreciates with time. With possibly clothing and being the greatest expense, its value does not exceed point-of-purchase, girl-centered magazines like 16 are printed on perishable black and white newsprint, disposable accessories like stickers and lip gloss litter her purse, dime-novels are tossed in with the other Wal-Mart appropriate merchandising that has only a prayer to turn a profit on the fringes of ebay. Although girls are considered to be the hyper-consumers, it is boy culture in which we must invest.
Though video games and gaming consuls must be upgraded constantly, the "cred" of having an Atari or arcade game is considerable, comic books carry the potential of "collectors editions" leering behind counter glass, same goes for baseball cards, same goes for action figures. Re-editions and special editions of Star Wars and Star Trek mark the originals as hot commodities. Though there are notable exceptions, like a fine wine, boy culture value increases with age, whereas girl culture is largely marked by its dispensability.
Jennifer Kesler at The Hathor Legacy:
In every walk of life, men are perceived as having a right to stand up for what they believe and/or “misbehave” - no matter how we disagree with what they’ve said or done. Women who step out of line are perceived as needing punishment - a good spanking to teach us our places. Additionally, our motives are more likely to be treated as suspect - it can’t be that we really believe what we’re saying. We must have an agenda.