Friday, July 12, 2013

Snips & Specs: Manic Pixie Dream Girl Edition

Hi friends!

This week I wanted to share with you all an AWESOME (seriously, take the time to read it) article by one of my current feminist idols, writer Laurie Penny.

In her piece I Was a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, she breaks down the modern indie female archetype as exemplified by familiar characters LIKE:

Sam from Garden State, Ramona from Scott Pilgrim, Summer from 500 Days of Summer, and Clementine from Eternal Sunshine
This article was hard for me, because the MPDG is a bewitching notion. And for those of us women who are smart and maybe a little, or a lot, quirky, it may feel like the only shoe that fits. But Penny points out that the MPDG exists only as "a submissive, exploitable, transcendent ideal of the other," created by sad lonely nerd boys who need rescuing.

She says, "Men grow up expecting to be the hero of their own story. Women grow up expecting to be the supporting actress in somebody else's." And she's right.

Why do away with the Manic Pixie Dream Girl? So that, in Penny's words, we can allow for "the creation of new narratives, the opening of space in the collective imagination for women who have not been permitted such space before, for women who don’t exist to please, to delight, to attract men, for women who have more on our minds."

In conclusion, everything will be fucking awesome forever:

Image courtesy of Moonfruit Comics.



  1. I love this comic! And I know what you mean...I tend to like MPDGs. I'm adding a Bechdel Test list as soon as I get a book that actually passes it haha. The test has it's flaws, but it will be interesting to see what genres get through and how many books in general I can find!

    1. Although Summer from 500 Days of Summer does leave the geeky nerdy boy, so I'm not sure she fits (but Jess from New Girl does)

  2. Sam @ Mad But Magic: We loved the comic too!!!! Very true! And we are PUMPED for your Bechdel Test list. If you need a book that passes, TV made a comment about Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series that may help you there - every book passes, nearly every chapter. :) :)

  3. HA love the comic!! I didn't really know exactly what manic pixie dream girl was, but now I totally get it. You should totally read Manicpixiedreamgirl by Tom Leveen!


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