Thoughts on the Manic Pixie Dreamgirl Trope: Part 2

by marieneils

            The forest opens up a lot of thoughts.  Thoughts are much more exciting with trees.  Because you’re in a forest, there are a lot of trees to think about, especially as you head up the trail, your feet sliding a bit along wet copper leaves.  But today, hiking in the forest, I thought about how:

                The MPDG  Trope is ALSO sexist toward men.  It says men are useless.  It says there is nothing redeeming about a man in one’s life except the qualities “awakened” by the MPDG.  In my first essay on this topic, I discussed MPDG’s inability to change, because the assumption is that she’s already perfect.  By the same token, a man is hopeless until she comes and changes him, and he has nothing whatsoever to offer her.  Fuck that too!  We’ve all raged against the irrepressible smile that defines the MPDG, but I’ll add some fire to the passivity that has to be in place in order for the MPDG to ‘take effect.’  Now we have a woman who’s not allowed to get angry, not allowed to be upset, not allowed to, essentially, be real about her happiness and fulfillment, and we have a man who has to remain so static and worthless that all he’s got to draw her in are his looks.  Ah, the MPDG trope:  It harms us all.

                Here’s to abandoning all that Light/Dark talk in favor of a shifting spectrum of emotions in so many dizzying shades we can’t stop to name them.  Here’s to taking lessons from the crazy whole roots on the sides of fallen trees and the bright green moss that announces their presence and leaves you to take it in in clear air, at modest but grand-feeling elevations.  We can all be scared into starting our lives, but it’s still only something we can do.