Breakin’ Hearts and Takin’ Names

Gentlemen, I am here to break hearts and chew gum. And I am all outta gum.

Seriously, though, there is something about a lady who does not return a dude’s feelings. That something is “bitchiness.” Or perhaps “cuntiness” if the dude is feeling particularly vulnerable-ized.

Over at the always super-rad Tiger Beatdown, Sady has done something brave that I am too scared to do–she has watched (500) Days of Summer. Lady deserves a medal or something, because as soon as I heard the smallest description of what that damn movie was about, I knew it would take gunpoint at minimum to make me watch it (although her descriptions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s handsomeness make a strong case to give it a go). It just screams, “Magic vaginas! Magic vaginas! The Manic Pixie Dream Girl (TM) has gone awry! Somebody hit ctrl+alt+del because we’re getting the relationship blue screen of death!”

Because when a dude finds a lady and determines that her vagina is going to be the vagina to Make Him Good or whatever it is that dudes are lookin’ for in a vagina, it is not okay for the vagina to have other plans. Dude needs to put his penis there, ya dig? That whole “being independent” thing is really gonna cramp his style. Her quirkiness and independent spirit are all well and good–as long as they apply to every part of her life except him. He needs his sexual healing. He needs his lady to prop up his self esteem and give him worth and be his property.

It’s just not okay for a lady to not have feelings or to not be after feelings. Cause us ladies, we are chock full of feelings. Like Old Faithful, we are geysers of feelings. In fact, we’re more like Mount Saint Helen’s, or maybe Vesuvius–we got so many feelings that we lay apocalyptic waste to the landscape with all our messy sloppy emotions. So when we do not provide feelings to the gentlemen who want ’em, then it is highly probable that the planet has stopped spinning on its axis.

People, this is like… Coping skills. For real.

I know so many guys who are so obsessively hung up on some ex, which is part of why I live in fear of ever accidentally seeing (500) Days of Summer. I think I might stab someone.

I had the Really Big Deal Relationship. It lasted about two years, and there was some Serious Motherfuckin’ Drama with the end of it. Guess what? I moved on. Hell, I even occasionally get dinner or drinks with the dude. You know why? Because life doesn’t always pan out. Almost all the time, the people we think are so really ultra mega super duper perfect are actually not all that perfect. We kick back and idealize them and throw them up on a pedestal.

I’ll bet that chick in (500) Days was not the flawless angel that our poor emotive hero thinks she is, kind of like none of my buddy’s exes are the paragons of humanity that they think they are. And what this is, you guys, is creepy. It’s a different kind of objectification–instead of turning a woman into a sex object, it’s turning her into an emotional sponge. A place to put all your problems and neuroses and neediness. It’s denying her any agency or self, because instead of being who she is, she is being what you want her to be.

You guys, it’s creepy. It’s not cute or sweet or flattering when a guy can’t move the fuck on. It’s scary and it’s upsetting.

And then we pile onto this the rage that this idealized heavenly being isn’t responding in the way that you have decided she is supposed to and is instead exhibiting her own personality and independent will. Suddenly she is a bitch and a whore and deserving of being raged against (mind you, all this anger will vanish the second she agrees to once again be his very special Manic Pixie Dream Girl magic vagina of cuteness). This makes me especially uncomfortable because I think there’s a slippery slope toward actual violence against the woman in question. This is where stalking comes from.

As Sady points out near the end, in one of my favorite points, if a female were to behave the way Gordon-Levitt does, the censure against her would be like a tornado armed with knives and brass knuckles. She’d be psychotic and clingy and unable to move on. Because he’s a man, though, he’s simply sensitive and sweet and romantic.

I call bullshit.

Fuck you, double standard. If a lady wants to go ahead and have a sexual relationship without offering herself up emotionally, that’s her prerogative. And any dude who is gonna make himself out like he’s this vulnerable fucking martyr while he puts her on a pedestal and walks around lamenting how positively awful it is that she didn’t give him what he wanted even though she said no from the very beginning–well, he’s a sleazy jackass.

Emotional boundaries: they exist, just like physical boundaries. If you can’t admit that, then Houston, we have a problem.

I’m not saying that getting your heartbroken isn’t okay. We all get clotheslined by our hearts now and again–it’s not the exclusive domain of dudes or ladies or straights or gays or any possible bit of the gender or sexuality or whatever spectrum. However, we’re all responsible for learning how to cope and move on and keep on living. This celebration of the heartbroken man crying over this woman who would be so perfect if only she were the imaginary thing in his head has got to stop because frankly, it’s goddamn ridiculous. Please stop trying to date your imaginary friend. The rest of us left those behind in elementary school, ya know?

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl isn’t actually real, so please stop looking for her and please stop getting angry at every woman who turns out to not be her. Just because we don’t love you back doesn’t mean that we’re whores or bitches or lesbians. (I mean, we might be, but it’s not necessarily for that reason.) There is a chance that, you know, we’re just not that into you.

I hear there’s a book about that. Sure, it’s targeted at women, but don’t worry, you sweet sensitive dude of emotional in touchness, you can read it too. Cause you’ve got those feelings, so you can relate, right?

03/17/2010. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Lucy Jane replied:

    I stumbled across your blog the other day and have been poking around reading old entries. I have to say THANK YOU for writing this post! When I was in college, a male friend decided I was his Dream Girl (despite the fact that I was involved with someone else) and I had a really hard time getting people to understand how creeped out and objectified it made me feel.

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