"In literature as in life, the rules are all too often different for girls. There are many instances where an unlikable man is billed as an anti-hero, earning a special term to explain those ways in which he deviates from the norm, the traditionally likable. Beginning with Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, the list is long. An unlikable man is inscrutably interesting, dark, or tormented but ultimately compelling even when he might behave in distasteful ways.
When women are unlikable, it becomes a point of obsession in critical conversations by professional and amateur critics alike. Why are these women daring to flaunt convention? Why aren’t they making themselves likable (and therefore acceptable) to polite society? In a Publisher’s Weekly interview with Claire Messud about her recent novel, which features a rather “unlikable” protagonist named Nora who is bitter, bereft, and downright angry about what her life has become, the interviewer said, “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” And there we have it. A reader was here to make friends with the characters in a book and she didn’t like what she found.
Messud, for her part, had a sharp response for her interviewer. “For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscar Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’”"
- Roxane Gay, “Not Here to Make Friends” (via
maisiewilliams) Sep 1
Anonymous said: Why are you so angry about JLaw's nudes being leaked? I thought you didn't like her.
i am angry because this is just another example of women being shamed for taking nudes instead of the douchebag who spreads them being shamed for violating someone’s privacy like that
i am angry because nobody deserves this, regardless of how i feel about their personality
i am angry because this is pure misogyny and shows how women aren’t respected in our culture
i am angry because she did not consent to having those pics posted everywhere but they still were
i am angry because on the VERY RARE occasion this happens to a male celeb he is not shamed but rather the perpetrator is and it’s forgotten quickly whereas this will haunt jennifer for years and years to come
i am angry because this was a sex crime and people are treating it like a joke
i am angry because she is being exploited/objectified and some gross dudebros are probably jacking off to those pics
i am angry because people are CONGRATULATING the fucker who did such an atrocious thing to her instead of being appalled
listen i may not like her personally but the fact remains that as a human being she is entitled to body autonomy and to choose who sees her naked body and who doesn’t