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In Defense of Villainesses | Tor.com

Next up in untangling the complex web of unfavorable cultural views of women…

In Defense of Villainesses | Tor.com

“She runs a business. She makes a thousand decisions every day and she never feels the need to justify any of them with a shrug or an ‘I don’t know, I just thought maybe we could…?’ Woe betide the man who speaks over her in a meeting.”

If the pronoun were a “He”? Mr. Big. Tony Stark. Bruce Wayne. Desirable. Hero of the story. Maybe a chuckle at his antics, but we all still want to be him.

But when she’s a She? Pure Evil unleashed from the heavens. She must be defeated.

I secretly loved Ursula, the vilainness in The Little Mermaid, and kinda want to be her. But society teaches me to want to be Ariel…

“We’re sold on the female protagonists, and I do mean sold. We admire their spunk and their tenacity, because it’s accessible—it’s rebellion in the form of wanting. It’s gazing at the stars at night after spending all day scrubbing the floors, and believing that wishing will be enough. But once they graduate to getting what they want? Once they’ve made real sacrifices in pursuit of their dreams? Once they’ve made it, or even once they’re almost there?

“That’s when they become dangerous. That’s when they become the villainess. Somewhere in there, they stop caring about what other people think, and they get what they want, and they turn into cautionary tales: something bad is waiting for the woman who goes that way. We believe it. We repeat it. We look at women who are running things and we’re suspicious, because we’ve spent our whole lives looking at women with ambition and knowing that they can’t possibly be allowed to grasp whatever it is they’re reaching for.”

Time to look again at who our role models are, ladies. This article is life-changing for me. Huge. HUUUUUGE! *CACKLE*

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