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Woman in 3D

In this article, "I was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl," a Dr. Who fan talks about one of the alternatives film and novels give young women as an alternative to the rather one-dimensional objectified Blonde Bombshell. Typified by the Doctor's companions, at one time she modeled herself on the rather two-dimensional  Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It's a supporting role. Eventually she wanted to star in her own life.

"I stopped being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl around about the time I got rid of the last vestiges of my eating disorder and knuckled down to a career. It’s so much easier, if you have the option, to be a girl, not a person."

That was my experience, too, minus the eating disorder. And, she goes on to say:
"It’s definitely easier to be a girl than it is to do the work of being a grown woman, especially when you know that grown women are far more fearful to the men whose approval seems so vital to your happiness."

I stopped applying for supporting roles when my ex-husband, the "man whose approval who was so vital to my happiness," had run off with another woman--several other women, in fact...all right. anything in a skirt--after he'd already made sure he'd done all he could to crush my soul with indifference and neglect for ten years prior to that. I'd come to the very logical conclusion that leaning on anyone else for my happiness was a losing proposition. Favorite songs became "You Gotta Be" and especially, Billy Joel's "My Life" where he says:

They will tell you, you can't sleep alone in a strange place
Then they'll tell you, you can't sleep with somebody else
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it's okay to wake up with yourself


So. Waking up with myself, I spent 20 years alone after my ex left. You might say I've had time for some introspection. And one thing I got right was spending time on finding out who I was before committing to a second marriage. I married someone who supports my writing, editing and genre roles. If he comes home and I feed him toasted cheese sandwiches and canned soup for dinner because I was plowing through slush or writing several chapters of a non-fic book or polishing a short for submission or working on a rewrite for an A&A author...he's not only cool with that, he's proud.

The author of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl article seems not so lucky. She says, "You cannot be a writer and have writing be anything other than the central romance of your life, which is one thing they don’t tell you about being a woman writer: it’s its own flavor of lonely. Men can get away with loving writing a little bit more than anything else." And women can't? Not necessarily. But you need a real man who is no longer a boy and appreciates a woman rather than a girl, or a fantasy.

Luckily, just as I suspected when a started seriously looking for a new husband at the age of 50, you;'re more likely to find such a man when he is older and more experienced.

Consider this a belated (very) Happy Fourth Wedding Anniversary post. If you're older and single, don't assume you can't find someone. And don't settle for someone who belittles you, ever.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
autopope
Jul. 1st, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
The author of the article in question is Laurie Penny, aka Penny Red -- age 26-27 and already a high profile magazine columnist, cultural commentator, and high-vis feminist in the UK. She's got plenty of time.

(I wish I'd been able to write anything half so introspective and mature at her age. Seriously.)
safewrite
Jul. 1st, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was quite wonderful. I was impressed by her writing.
marycatelli
Jul. 1st, 2013 11:51 pm (UTC)
One notices that all the companions she cites are New Dr. Who. You know, I remember somewhat more variety in the Old Dr. Who. . . .
bogwitch64
Jul. 2nd, 2013 12:54 am (UTC)
::::applause::::
mindseas
Jul. 2nd, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Happy (belated) anniversary!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )