Girl Crazy in EYE Weekly's Pop Fiction Book Club

It's finally up this afternoon - Pop Fiction's take on Russell Smith's recent novel, Girl Crazy.

It's hard to describe the way I felt reading this novel. There was definitely anger there, but it started tipping into something crazy, perhaps how a rural male Midwesterner feels when they accidentally click on an Adam Lambert music video. That feeling almost scared me more than the book itself. Let's just say it was the absolute wrong time for me to be reading a novel where objectification of women is the persistent and constant theme.

Anyway, I think I managed to write something coherent and critical. Now that I've used up all my self-control for the next month, I think I'm going to stop coordinating my outfits, combing my hair or even trying to assume the guise of a a polite person for at least a week.

One more thing: I know the haters will be out in full force in the comments section so if you have something constructive to add, I encourage you to hop over and say your piece.


Panic said...

I do agree with you, to some extent. Instead of feeling like Justin appreciated women, I just felt really uneasy about his objectification. After all, if he's just this nerdy "nice guy" you have to assume that's how the regular nerdy "nice guy" appraises women. And you start to feel distressed at being looked at, or that you might be being looked at.

Though I also started to feel powerful against these types, the more I read. Not in that "I use my sexuality to be 'powerful'" way, but in that Justin and his type are just so weak. I know we're supposed to take the message that he feels strong at the end of the book, but I felt he just became more and more pathetic.

Thanks for getting me to think about it again!

*Note, of course a "nice guy" and an actual nice guy are different things!

B.Kienapple said...

It's like choosing between a lesser of two evils though - do we want nice-ish Justin at the beginning who secretly has a grudge against women or druggie, gun-toting, unhinged, I'm-just-going-to-comment-about-your-tits-and-you-better-like-it Justin? The latter Justin is obviously terrifying. And the former Justin...

I once had an ex-boyfriend who was raised by women and very mild mannered. Except we went out to a bar once and he threw a huge hissy fit about how the female bartenders were ignoring him because they thought they were too attractive for him. He was hysterical. And I thought to myself, this man secretly hates women. And that was JUST as scary as the type of guy who'll just grab your ass randomly on the street.

Panic said...

Exactly. These are the guys who complain that they never get a woman because they're too "nice." But these are not nice people. I always use the example of the guy who shot up that gym full of women in Virginia (I think?!). He had a blog all about how "nice" he was and how women shat on him because of that. Well, nice guys don't have guns. The fictional Justin is a good example. A guy who congratulates himself on not jumping his PR girl is also not a real nice guy, though he tells you he is.

To me, the Latter Justin is a natural evolution of the Former Justin. Girl Crazy is possibly an unintentional field guide to avoiding "nice guys"!


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