Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm No Heroine

Piggy backing off of my last blog, this week I focus on the female protagonists of the books aforementioned.  
     So last week I was gushing and talking about the men in romance novels/rom-com books.  This week, I'm talking about the women and how like the men, they are fictitious and for the most not do not, and will not always behave like real women.  They are however closer to real women than the men... My guess is that is because the books were written by women who know what they want in men.

     Anyway, one reasons I'm writing about the women is to point out that their stories lack basic human  functions- sweating, farting, peeing, pooping (YES!  All people do it, so get over it!) and in the Bennet sisters case, vomiting. That's one of my complaints about romance novels or most novels in general - most things unpleasant or controversial go avoided, including women having excess body fat, having to wear glasses or braces, having a period, having a health condition or impurity on their body - even something as simple as acne.  All of it gets tossed, and why?  Because it won't sell like a hot sexy model type girl that's played down because she has some body image issues?  WE ALL DO!  And just because the female leads do not think they are anything special, does not cover up the fact that they are basically described as the "perfect American standard of beauty". 

     All those reasons and more are probably why I'm so drawn to the P.C and Kristen Cast novels.  While they still play it safe and the main characters are all beautifully and perfectly made to societies standard of beauty, they at least touch on subjects that make their characters seem more real and relatable in comparison to Stephanie Meyer, or E.L James and even Jane Austen.  Their lack of perfections are what make them intriguing.  But we have been trained by society to think that perfection is never going to the bathroom or sweating, having less then 20/20 vision, having excess body fat or any bodily function or fluid... Ever.

     So this is me calling BS on those romance novels.  And my conclusion is that since they are not real women, obviously, then it stands that the men are just as fictitious   I have only met one guy in my life whom I think lives up to the standards set forth by these books, and I love him to death for that.  And I love his girlfriend just as much.  they are my movie couple and a couple I strive to be like someday when I find whoever gets to deal with my crazy. :)   
This couple I speak of I mentioned in my blogs about Cali - House, and Lizzie.  Love you two! 

     Stay cool, and guys, actual guys, (not the patriarchal society term of guys including girls), if you're reading these please take something away from them about how you treat women or communicate with them.  If you need any help, I'd like to advertise that my friend House will be teaching a gentleman seminar, but I should probably run that by him first.... :P


Monday, December 10, 2012

50 Shades of Pride and a Twilight Outlander

SPOILER ALERT for 50 Shades of Grey! You have been warned. 
And now... 

    Are my expectations too high? Is it wrong of me to want what I want in a guy and think anything less will not bring fulfillment?

     I originally started this blog without reading all the way through 50 Shades of Grey, and was very taken with billionaire hottie Christian Grey. But as dove further and further into the book I realized that I hate it and love it all at the same time. While it has been one of the most invigorating and somewhat uncomfortable romance novels I have read, it pushed past uncomfortable and into a feeling of disgusted violation. I felt like all women kind were being dehumanized when Ana succumbs to her libido and lets Christian dominate her. Luckily there is retribution when at the end of the first book she up and leaves him after he's beaten her with a belt and gone too far. 
      Contrary to what you just read, there are redeeming qualities to this book, like the fact that Ana does leave, making Christian realize he loves her... whether or not he can bring himself to admit it. The book also delves into some pretty deep psychological issues. It made me re-realize that more people then we think have to deal with their own personal demons everyday. We all have baggage and even some of our closest friends might not know what all that baggage entails or how it has strained you over the years.

(This is why I love CS. I feel empathetic to those who try and deal 

with these issues without having a rock like CS to turn to.)

     50 Shades also made me realize that I don't have to settle. I should be able to talk to whoever I'm dating at the time to let them know how I'm feeling. Obvious, right? well in the past I've been too busy focusing on being the perfect girlfriend and what he wanted me to be, rather then expressing my needs as well. I have major body image issues. I have constantly struggled with self consciousness, and because of this, I'm a people pleaser. I have a need to make everyone happy, but in past relationships, it has been at the cost of my own happiness. And happiness since happiness is born of truth and love, then I obviously was not in a loving or truthful relationship. I've learned that you shouldn't have to sacrifice yourself for the needs or wants of another. Something that I've known but want to start applying in future relationships.

     And after that very long and possibly too personal segue... my original blog before I read deeper into 50 Shades....

    Do men like Jamie Fraser, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingly, Edward Cullen, Christian Grey, exist in real life, in this time? Well the obvious answer I know you're going for is "Hello!!! Jodi one of those characters is an effing VAMPIRE, of course he's are not even in the vicinity of being real!" Others might be thinking I'm crazy because several of those characters were/are bat crap crazy and why the hell would I want them to be real?!

     I know this to be true but some visceral part of me is very intrigued by them because of their actions and manners. A lot of what those men represent is what I dream about in the romance department. I'm not talking the un-dead or raunchy BDSM from Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey, although some of that stuff is intriguing... but definitely should not be talked about on my blog.

     I also know that the way Jamie, Darcy and Bingly would treat women is very dated, but the general idea of chivalry and romance still exists there. Impressively, Jamie was able to compromise when it came to social etiquette, manners and behavior, and love a woman who was over a century younger then he.

     I also have to keep reminding myself that I'm no Jane or Elizabeth Bennet, Clair Beauchamp, Bella Swan or Anastasia Steele. Those women, although fictitious as well, and very different from each other, are synonymous in comparison to me. I know what you're thinking if you're one of my girlfriends 'Shut up Jo, you're real to say the least, beautiful in your own unique way etc...' and while I love and appreciate your constant thoughts of encouragement even as I'm bashing myself, I just can't help it when I get frustrated with life. 
      It's illogical, obviously, of me to compare myself to fictional characters for a plethora of reasons. The main one being it's FICTION, i.e. NOT REAL!!! Yes, I get that, but what I want to point out is; if it's fiction people have written about it because some secret part of them imagines these scenario's. Whether or not they are real, someone wishes they were... a lot of someone's actually based on how many people have read these books.

     What I'm concluding from this is that obviously what is written in them is what a lot of women fantasize about. Shouldn't a logical route be that people *cough, guys, cough cough* learn from these books? Why haven't men taken that into account? Everywhere I look today I see douchbaggery being rewarded in reality tv, soap opera's, sit-com's, even in real life- local bars, pubs, work places, stores. It seems like we reward being a total ass-hat for guys, and reward women, unfortunately, for being a slut. Sluts get laid, they look hot, have sex, get satisfied and rewarded with millions of dollars in Kim Kardashian's case. She was the most paid "actress" of 2011... it just makes me sick.

     Since I've probably started to lose you with my mercurial rants, the continuation of this blog will come later... It'll give you some time to process this blog and get ready for the next rant about the similar yet somewhat different blog for next week.

Wishing you love,