You're Next (2011), "I'm not a normal girl", and Gutting a Pterodactyl

Let me tell you about the kind of guy I am. Last week I was reading a chapter in a book about pick-up artistry about body language. I caught myself watching the people in the lobby, I was sitting in on my campus reading. I compared and contrasted those who walked with their head up verse down. I was wondering about how they gazed reflected their temperament. The door opened and I caught the winter draft. A thought came to me. I was wondering if the women wearing black leggings were warm enough. Over the span of an hour 60% of the woman that walked by were wearing the same style of pants. Black Leggings. I was telling this story to friends yesterday, and self-reflected in them that I wasn't all that concerned about what this fashion does not leave to the imagination, I was purely concerned about the health of the ladies who wore what appeared to me as a very thin fabric with terrible insulation. Would they get sick?

Then, I commented. Now, you may think this is a purely about my concern for health, but this could be my DNA giving me hints. It could be that my genes are telling me that I am seeking a healthy mate to pass along my DNA. It could be that the woman dressed in a parka and snow pants makes for a better incubator for my genetic data, then the woman whose body temperature isn't properly protected against the elements and has higher health risk. Deep down there's an inner caveman in me gutting a pterodactyl, and drying out its hid in order to make some warm pants for my significant other. Erin the survivalist and ninja protagonist in You're Next isn't “like other girls”, or people for that matter. She the kind of woman that wears the right clothes for the weather. Hell, she might even be the person who killed the pterodactyl in the first place.
Erin is a good example of what a girl who is really not like other people. Erin doesn't scream like a crazy person when the craziness happens, she acts in an intelligent and thoughtful way. She calmly assesses situations and works on solutions. She is creative, fun, skilled in knife fights and good with a mallet outside the kitchen. Most importantly, she isn't motivated my market values. She is pursing relational depth and connection with her boyfriend and her family. I don't know what your experience has been but dating is difficult for men seeking a woman significant and real. I had a multi-year stint using Okcupid, and the two phrases I ran into that woman used to describe myself that bugged me the most were “laid-back” and “I'm not like other girls.” I'm still not entirely clear what laid back even means. I know what the common sense meaning of the phrase. Laid back is referring to a quality of a person who is easy going or casual. Laid-back tends to translate more to superficial and surface-y. Unwilling to be real or go beyond the normalcy barrier. So, when a woman uses both phrases that's a giant red flag (and not the good kind of red flag.)
“I'm not like other girls,” is a phrase that is self contradictory. If every girl isn't like other girls then what the phrase even mean? So, what is being described by the phrase “I'm not like other girls?” (For the sake of simplifying language I am going to use two words to describe the two categories of girl represented in the phrase "I'm not like other girls;" "Not-Girls" to describe girl's who really are not like other-girls, and "Other Girl's" as girls who are like other girls.)


The core presupposition of the phrase "I'm not like other-girl's" is that there are two types of girls: Other-Girls and Not-Girls, and that Not-Girls are more different from Other-Girls. Other-Girls are girls who are theorized as the normative type of girl that has a hegemonic position on girlhood. Other-Girl's are the standard in which Not-Girl deviates from. What is not clear is the positive content of either category. It may be the case that the phrase "I'm not like other girl's" serves the purpose of self-dispossession. When a girl others herself from the common to the uncommon she dispossesses herself from Other-Girl signifier to a negation (Not-Girl). Athanasiou argues that
dispossession is also akin to the Marxist concept of alienation, which works on two levels: laboring subjects are deprived of the ability to have control over their life, but they are also denied the consciousness of their subjugation as they are interpellated as subjects of inalienable freedom.
Butler, Judith; Athanasiou, Athena (2013-04-12). Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (PCVS-Polity Conversations Series) (Kindle Locations 194-196). Wiley. Kindle Edition.
So where does Erin fit into this? She doesn't fit in, and that's why I like her. She's not like not-girls or other-girls. She is not like most people. Most people are driven by market values. Seek a job where they can make enough money so they can avoid thinking seriously about their life. Most people are laid back or trying to be laid back. Most people avoid confrontation because they are scared of what they might become, and what they may have to leave behind. Most people have a death grip on their perspective of the world and do not want to pursue a deeper and meaningful shared reality. Most people simply don't like to share. Most people are scared of a world without capitalism to tell them what to buy. Not Erin. She is her own self. She is silly, and is seeking to be liked by her boyfriends family. She is seeking depth, significance and that means more to her then the money and privilege. Erin's the kinda of girl that might actually own a red flag. She's a co-conspirator.
Awesome post I found when researching this post:
Internalized Misogyny: "I'm Not Like Most Girls!" By Bleeding Feminist

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