From ALL THE RAGE
(cover reveal happening this Tuesday, Sept. 16th at MTV!)
Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version - maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)
I waited patiently - years - for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.
But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed - she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you.
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn. (via whoistorule)
#nick worrying abt his lack of personhood vs. amy’s internally furious seething performative personhood#’we’re just an assembly of traits we get from tv what even is a person’ vs. amy’s specific calcuated collection of these traits#specifically TO BE ATTRACTIVE specifically TO BE AMAZING bc her parents have been writing her story since she survived#but she knows deep down that she is in fact a person#it’s just that no one wants her to be THAT person
Wherever I wanted to be touched, he touched; I don’t know how he knew. Whenever I touched him, there was a delay. I would cup emptiness before it became a smooth muscled arm. I would wrap my legs around nothing and only then find hips settled there, taut with ready energy. In this way I shaped him, making him suit my fantasies; in this way he chose to be shaped.
Drawing-break: Sophie Hatter, from Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. I love the film, but I love how she talks to the hats in the book!
halfway through and the hundred thousand kingdoms has such graceful economical nontraditional fantasy prose and such good god stuff such awe-some awe-ful god stuff such sexy sexy god stuff
i truly cannot overstate the barely-restrained fearsome outsize sexiness of this god stuff
(it is a good time for me and new super sexy collisions of divine power and makeouts, between this and eona, and with maddi reading kushiel all the while next to me. i will take recs for where i should go from here.)
- grainne: what did you do
- imriel: i jacked off in the wrong place and pissed off the magic bears
- imriel: is that bad
I find it hard to name the one book that was so damn delightful it changed my life. The truth is, they have all changed my life, every single one of them—even the ones I hated. Books are my version of “experiences.” I’m made of them.
They looked like the sort of girls who started trouble just so they got the chance to stick up for each other.
As if he could see my thoughts, he said softly, “You have good reason to kill me, too.”
"I have many good reasons," I said crisply. "But I also have a good reason to keep you alive."
"I know. You want your world of power. That is why I knew you’d stop him."
I drew back, but he shook his head. “You don’t need to pretend with me, Eona. If there is one thing I understand, it is the need for power.”
"I do not need power,” I said quickly.
He studied the rope around his wrists. “Need. Want. Desire.” He shrugged. “You and I both know what it is like to have immense power. And we also know what it is like to be truly powerless.” He lifted his hands. “Not this kind of feeble restraint. You know what I mean: true and utter powerlessness. Whether it be the kind we have inflicted upon each other, or the kind that Sethon”—his hands clenched involuntarily—“deals in so masterfully. I will do whatever I must to never feel that powerless again. And you are the same.”
"We are not the same,” I said vehemently. “And you are powerless now. I can compel you any time I want. Crush you, like that.” I closed my fist.
He shook his head. “You’ve missed your kill moment, too, Eona.”
please please please brace yourself to read Sharp Objects next (self harm subject warning, dark and super intense general warning)
Like, Dark Places is fine and interesting and gripping and visceral and a good read (maybe the best paced of hers?) but Sharp Objects is one of my favorite discussions of femininity out there and I could talk about it till the end of time. Gone Girl is about society’s definitions of “ideal husband and wife” pressurised into monstrosity; Sharp Objects is monsters made from “ideal daughter, ideal mother, ideal girl/woman”.
And as a Meg Abbott fan, brace yourself for fearsome teen-girlhood.