Without preamble, these are the things I’ve been reading on the internet and thinking about this week.
I Am Not Your Manic Pixie Bookworm (Medium)
This is a really interesting, incendiary take-down of the manic pixie dream girl and the sexualization of the act of reading. It sounds weird when you first think about it, but not really–not when you think about the similar ideas that are just adjacent to this one. The sexy librarian, anyone? This is particularly searing:
It’s the act of reading that gets fetishized, not the reading material itself. It’s enough to date A Girl Who Reads without engaging in exactly what she’s reading. It turns reading into a passive pose — we sit there and look pretty with a book in our hands rather discussing it. Women buy and write more books than men, but the number of female reviewers in publications like the London Review of Books is still shamefully low. Not for nothing does the Manic Pixie Dream Girl normally wear outsized glasses – they don’t fit because these signifiers of intellectualism aren’t really made for her.
At any rate, read it. It’s not very long, and there’s some interesting stuff to chew on.
An Alternative to Stronger Female Characters: Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (The Dissolve)
This piece is about female characters in fiction, and it tackles not only the concept of fiction as it relates to books, but also movies and TV. And it makes some great points about female-driven movies, the Bechdel Test as a way to determine what kind of money a film will make, etc. It uses Rainbow Rowell’s excellent (okay, also maybe a little polarizing?) Fangirl as a case study of what would be a great move for film adaptations. Because the novel portrays a female character as complex and multi-faceted, it would be a step in the right direction w/r/t women in film:
The problem with so many women in film is their lack of nuance, the way they get pushed into familiar support roles: the nag or the nurturer, the trophy or the obstacle. Cath stands out because, like a real person, she has different facets, depending on who’s looking.
Okay, now I would like a Fangirl movie, please.
An Annotated List of My Open Tabs (The Toast)
This is pretty brilliant. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s fascinating to read. I’m so guilty of having too many tabs open at any given time, and J. is even worse about this than I am. Creating an annotated list of it is not only great insight into how clicking on the Internet works, but also a new way of gaining perspective on what someone finds interesting.
What got you reading and thinking this week?