The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a Step Towards Equality
In “The Passion of Feminine Difference Beyond Equality,” Luisa Muraro wrote, “…can we incorporate in our discussions and in political reality, relations of difference and asymmetry that characterize life, without also opening the door to domination and hierarchy?”. We have seen that this difference is the thing that creates domination and hierarchy, so in order to start working at a truly equal world, we must first break down the incorrect and superficial differences that have been constructed by our culture.
The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a character archetype that has started gaining popularity only recently in various romantic comedies. One such character is Ramona Flowers from the movie “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”. This character is a very solitary one that spends most of her time working or roaming around parties unimpressed by the world. The first time we see this character is when the main character of the movie is asleep; she appears in his dream. When he sees her in real life he appears to have found the girl of his dreams and he informs her of such, which she merely shrugs it off. While this woman is shown as the object of this characters desire and while a lot of this movie focuses on the main character’s conflicts to achieve her, despite his dorky incompetence, which is a discussion for another day, we see her show her true self through her back story and choices.
Throughout her life, we are shown that she has never been on the receiving end of a break up, showing us that she seems to have control over what she wants as well as her goals in life. This character starts to remind us of another character we have seen time and time again, the tall dark and handsome stranger that are the subject of female desire in movies. I find the creation of the manic pixie dream girl to be a reaction to the way woman have previously been portrayed compared to their male counterparts. While in the past, men had always been the saving grace, giving up life and limb to provide or protect their defenseless women, Ramona Flowers brings her own protection. In a fight scene, her boyfriend states he is unable to defend himself against a female assailant, so she steps into the ring to defend her own honor and her boyfriend. The woman is Ramona’s ex-girlfriend which furthers the idea that this character has had her own path through life that wasn’t created just for her to be Scott’s perfect woman.
Additionally, we see Ramona through Scott’s eyes and see that she is closed off and mysterious which is what we get from most male love interests in movies. We see that the main character is intrigued by the mysticism of the character and though men have had this going in cinema for some time, women haven’t been able to have as much depth in their portrayals.
While this character is not the ideal image, since her only conflict shown in the movie is with those she has broken up with or other girls, I believe that this character archetype has made some progress in equating the male and female love interests of main characters in the future. This progression is helping shape the ideas of men and women who are coming up with this media in their life and are looking for examples of how they want to act and how they want to treat others and how they want to be treated. This is helping to make a clearer image that men can love women who are self-driven and aren’t completely different from the men that they have been put opposite of for most of cinematic history.