Say Anything

You guys know  Say Anything? Man, that is one of my favorite movies of all time. Lloyd Dobler. Crush of my life, John Cusack. I love One Crazy Summer, Better Off Dead, Stand By Me, Grosse Pointe Blank. But Lloyd Dobler, he is the king of them all. As Cory says, “You’re not a guy” Lloyd: “I am” Cory: “No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.”

Cory (Lili Taylor) is Lloyd’s best friend. She’s also obsessed with a dude named Joe.

Lloyd: “Joe. Joe. She’s written sixty-five songs. They’re all about you. They’re all about pain.” Joe: “So what’s up?” Lloyd: “Stop freaking with her head man. Just stop playing with her mind, you know? She’s a human being. She’s a person. She’s very talented, you know.”

Cory is Lloyd’s best friend. She’s also a bit of a punchline. The not-conventionally-beautiful girl who is obsessed with the-very-conventionally-attractive guy. Obsessed. Sixty-five songs written obsessed.

Listen, I love this movie. Hell, in the late 90s I fell deeply in love with the band The Bouncing Souls who put out an amazing song called Joe Lies.

But here’s the thing about Cory. Here’s the thing about how Hollywood represents female obsessive love. She turns any violence inward. She tried to kill herself over him.

Mystic Pizza is another one of my all time favorites. Lili Taylor’s in that one as well. She plays a feisty Portuguese gal who doesn’t want to marry her long time boyfriend. Her gorgeous boyfriend (a young Vincent D’Onofrio) who worships the ground she walks on. The take away is what the fuck is wrong with her? And of course she acquiesces and marries him in the end.

I’m not trying to rag on Lili Taylor here. I actually love watching her act. And those two movies are honestly in my top 10 best list. I want to talk about how our society pigeonholes women. It’s been almost two weeks since the shooting in Isla Vista, CA. So many have written much more eloquently and intelligently than I ever could on the subject. But here I am thinking about Say Anything and Mystic Pizza and what our society expects from women. I’ve been thinking about it since the shooting. And if I don’t write it down I feel like I’ll explode.

If we are rejected we turn our anger and violence inward. If we reject a “good man” there is something wrong with us and we will be worn down in the end.

(Um, what about Better Off Dead, Karen? He tried to kill himself over and over in that one. Yes, he did. But in the end Beth came grovelling to him to take her back. And he got the cathartic opportunity to reject her so he could move on to another women)

According to a Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University study that examined the 100 top grossing films in America 30% of speaking parts were filled by women. Major speaking roles were 29% female, and the percentage of female leads was 15. In 2013. IN 2013. A year in which 51% (ok, according to the US Census website 50.8% of Americans were women in 2012) of the population was female.

When you live life seeing only one woman in a group of superheros or office environments or high schools that are represented in film or television you start to believe only one woman should be in those spaces. I now know that was part of the reason I used to proclaim I’m not friends with a lot of women. Or I don’t like hanging out with women because they annoy me. Or that my best friends are all guys. Yeah, those statements are utter horse shit. What I was trying to say to men is “I”m not like those other girls! I won’t annoy you or put you out! I should be your token woman! Pick me! Pick me!”

Thankfully I grew the hell up.

There is room for women. We need to do the hard work of demanding it. I will not apologize for being a woman. I will not put up with being treated like a token female. I will not excuse men who treat women like objects. I will not believe that women are there to fulfill the sexual urges of men. We have our own sexual urges, damn it. And they do not make us “easy” or “sluts” and most of all they do not mean “we were asking for it”.

I do believe that everyone should be treated equally. I am a feminist. And that is not a dirty word.

snack mom

A feminist (and snack mom) who is raising two future feminists.

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11 thoughts on “Say Anything

    • That is to say that you are very very Karen. Not fucking yourself, because what kind of asshole would I be if I go sexualizing and objectifying you in your comment section, sheesh. Love this post. And you.

  1. I LOVE this!!! I am also a feminist raising a future feminist. You have made a HUGE point to me: stop taking the rejection inward! 29% of women had speaking roles!? What?! I see now why whenever I say what I think I am considered a “bitch.” Geez. Feminist is NOT a dirty word. THANK you.

  2. I totally agree! Star Wars bothers me for this reason. I mean, there’s Princess Leia and *crickets*. There’s another princess in the prequels, but does she ever interact with another woman? Not that I remember.

    I grew up watching Star Trek with my grandmother (who had a massive crush on Jean Luc Picard, aka Patrick Stewart). There was Captain Janeway to look up to, and Major Kira Nerys (fun trivia fact about Kira: her family name means “strong woman” in Slavonic), and more women than I can even think to name in The Next Generation.

    Annnnnd if you are looking for a good comic series, the new Ms. Marvel (Kamala Kahn) is awesome, although they’re probably still a bit young for non-youth focused comics. My dad tried to get me hooked on She-Hulk when I was in first grade, because he also thought a lot about representation of women in popular culture in the 80s, when there were even fewer good choices, but I much preferred the X-Men. (Comics, not movies– they minimized or erased all the strongest female characters in the films)

    Sorry to have written so much! But I think about it a lot as a lady nerd. Check out the Mary Sue if you want to read more about women in geek culture (it’s not all depressing!) http://www.themarysue.com/ Paperdroids http://www.paperdroids.com/ does great reviews of gender issues.

    • Thanks for the recommendations! They are slowly getting into little kid comic books, but I’ll remember Ms. Marvel for the future.

      Next Generation rocks. Your points are well taken about Star Wars. Although I love the original series. And Leia is totally bad ass. Way more bad ass than Luke in New Hope. I have high hopes for the next trilogy. Especially because of JJ Abrams. We were super into Alias for the first couple of seasons.

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