Presentation on theme: "MISS EMILY AND OTHER EVIL GIRLS. “I was not a nice little girl. My favorite summertime hobby was stunning ants and feeding them to spiders. My preferred."— Presentation transcript:
MISS EMILY AND OTHER EVIL GIRLS
“I was not a nice little girl. My favorite summertime hobby was stunning ants and feeding them to spiders. My preferred indoor diversion was a game called Mean Aunt Rosie, in which I pretended to be a witchy caregiver and my cousins tried to escape me. Our most basic prop was one of those pink, plastic toy phones most little girls owned in the ’80s. ( Pretty girls love to talk on the phone! ) Alas, it was always snatched from their fingers before they could call for help. ( Mwahaha ). And if one of my dolls started getting an attitude, I’d cut off her hair.” Thinking about Miss Emily, let’s consider some things that popular fiction writer Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places) has to say about evil girls...
“My point is not that I was an odd kid (although looking at this on paper now, I worry). Or that I was a bad kid (here’s where I tell you — for the sake of my loving parents — that I had enjoyed happy wonder years back in good old Kansas City). But these childhood rites of passage — the rough-housing, the precocious sexuality, the first bloom of power plays — really don’t make it into the oral history of most women. Men speak fondly of those strange bursts of childhood aggression, their disastrous immature sexuality. They have a vocabulary for sex and violence that women just don’t. And we still don’t discuss our own violence. We devour the news about Susan Smith or Andrea Yates — women who drowned their children — but we demand these stories be rendered palatable. We want somber asides on postpartum depression or a story about the Man Who Made Her Do It. But there’s an ignored resonance. I think women like to read about murderous mothers and lost little girls because it’s our only mainstream outlet to even begin discussing female violence on a personal level.” Miss Emily and Other Evil Girls
“Female violence is a specific brand of ferocity. It’s invasive. A girl fight is all teeth and hair, spit and nails — a much more fearsome thing to watch than two dudes clobbering each other. And the mental violence is positively gory. Women entwine. Some of the most disturbing, sick relationships I’ve witnessed are between long-time friends, and especially mothers and daughters. Innuendo, backspin, false encouragement, punishing withdrawal, sexual jealousy, garden- variety jealousy — watching women go to work on each other is a horrific bit of pageantry that can stretch on for years. Libraries are filled with stories on generations of brutal men, trapped in a cycle of aggression. I wanted to write about the violence of women.” Miss Emily and Other Evil Girls
“Isn’t it time to acknowledge the ugly side? I’ve grown quite weary of the spunky heroines, soul-searching fashionistas that stock so many books. I particularly mourn the lack of female villains — good, potent female villains. Not ill-tempered women who scheme about landing good men and better shoes (as if we had nothing more interesting to war over), not chilly WASP mothers (emotionally distant isn’t necessarily evil), not soapy vixens (merely bitchy doesn’t qualify either). I’m talking violent, wicked women. Scary women. Don’t tell me you don’t know some. The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves — to the point of almost parodic encouragement — we’ve left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.” Miss Emily and Other Evil Girls
WHAT DO YOU THINK? 1.Do you think exploring fictional dark sides are important? 2.What could Miss Emily teach us – good or bad? 3.Do you agree with Ms. Flynn’s belief that men have a different approach/vocabulary for violence than women? 4.Do you think females can be more ferocious than males? How? Why? Why not? 5.Why do you think there are fewer stories about evil women in the fictional world than men?