Sunday, January 5, 2014

I hate Buzzfeed but I love Roxane Gay

When we finally begin to see the truth of Amy, she says, of the night she met Nick, “That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hotdogs into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding… Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl.”

This is what is so rarely said about unlikable women in fiction — that they aren’t pretending, that they won’t or can’t pretend to be someone they are not. They have neither the energy for it, nor the desire. They don’t have the willingness of a May Welland to play the part demanded of her. In Gone Girl, Amy talks about the temptation of being the woman a man wants but ultimately she doesn’t give in to that temptation to be “the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain.” Unlikable women refuse to give in to that temptation. They are, instead, themselves. They accept the consequences of their choices and those consequences become stories worth reading.

- "Not Here To Make Friends"


(This conversation is always so entirely about gender, and so many people never see that, and that's just so fucking sad. And infuriating. That was the point! The original point. Gahh.)

(Bonus comment: "If a woman on a T.V. show had the same personality as BBC’s Sherlock Holmes, she would be hated by everyone and the show would be canceled. Only male characters can get away with asshole attributes, and are even revered for it: Severus Snape, Thomas from Downton Abbey, Damon Salvatore, Dexter, Ironman, etc. And a lot of this is the fault of fangirls. We make excuses for the men because we find them attractive, and we justify their behavior because they’re funny or “love someone”, which makes them redeemable. Female characters are scrutinized far more heavily, and are usually thrown into one of two categories: ‘Flat, one-dimensional character whose only role is to wear tight-fitting clothes and be the foil to the main character’; or ‘Bitch’. But if you’re a male character and you have all those same bitchy qualities, you are instead labeled ‘complex’.")