What’s a novelty girl? A novelty girl is a girl who proclaims–loudly and often–that she enjoys doing cool stuff. Cool, DUDE stuff. It can be gaming, it can be hunting, it can be collecting comic books, it can be all manner of things, so long as those things are mostly thought of–rightly or wrongly (usually wrongly)– as “dudely” activities.
Why do novelty girls do this? Attention. It’s a way of saying, “Hey, I’m cool. I’m not like those other girls. Who are lame. And don’t do dudely stuff.” It’s a way of getting validation from men. It’s lame.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I watch MSNBC’s “The Cycle.” And my husband happened to notice that one of the hosts, spectacularly annoying ginger, Sippy Cupp, likes to mention that she hunts. But she only mentions this on days that end with “day,” so perhaps I’m being too hard on her.
I noticed that this was supposed to be a big part of Sarah Palin’s appeal, too. The message seemed to be “Hey, I hunt! I do macho guy stuff. And I’m HOT!!! Also. Too.”
My beef with novelty girling came to a head for me when I was lurking at blog recently and one of the authors mentioned that she was not big into weddings (dreaming of, planning for and such) and that she liked Mystery Science Theater 3000 (“MST3K” for you ultra-hip people who are that into a show that went off the air over a decade ago) a whole lot. This, she reckoned, made her kinda different from most women. This assumption rankled.
Fuck, you like MST3K? Golly gee, you must be the only woman in creation who likes it. Except for, you know, me, a woman who is completely obsessed with it. Who has an MST3K bumper sticker on her car. Who has Rifftrax movies on her desktop. And guess what: WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES! At least, that’s certainly my assumption.
As for weddings, I never gave a shit about them. If I dreamed of anything wedding-related as an adolescent, it was a relationship it celebrated–the companionship and romance I thought would come along with an adult “twue wuv” relationship– that captured my imagination. So that’s area number two where the author is not an island. And, frankly, I’m more concerned about this wedding business assumption than I am the MST3K fandom assumption. I imagine there are lots of girls out there who have pretty neat things on their minds, besides weddings.
I guess I am just troubled by a few of the things novelty girling accomplishes:
- It assumes that women do not do “dudely” things. Rest assured that if there is a hobby/pastime that is still dudely, there are women out there who are getting into it. Bank on that.
- It assumes that the things that prototypcially “girly” are not neat. Bullshit. Lot’s of girly stuff is neat and fun. Not to mention healthy and creative. Say what you will about crafting and scrapbooking, but at least those are egalitarian art forms that allow everyone to get creative. I, for one, think that’s cool as shit.
- It is a technique meant to get attention and validation from men. Unless you are a child, you probably should be looking for attention and validation in more healthy ways. Like using your blog to demand people compliment your art.