I was reading Gatsby the other day in school for like the hundredth time – no I don’t do English Lit, I just like rereading my favourite books especially when I’m avoiding doing something important, like A levels!
Back on topic, so I was reading and I came across this line which made me stop and really think:
‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.’
Now my first instinct – technically second because I was two paragraphs down when I came back to it – was to pause, in a ‘hold up’ type manner because whilst its set in a different era and Daisy in a totally different class to me, all the women I love and admire are beautiful but I’d never describe them as fools.
So I decided to do the sensible thing – Google it. And I must say SparkNotes you’re a gem! Their explanation made the most sense:
Daisy is not a fool herself but is the product of a social environment that, to a great extent, does not value intelligence in women. The older generation values subservience and docility in females, and the younger generation values thoughtless giddiness and pleasure-seeking. (…) and seems to imply that a girl can have more fun if she is beautiful and simplistic.
What I also realised though is whilst our society is more accepting of intelligent women than hers was, women still believe that being beautiful and simplistic is the key to a happy life. I have met too many girls who downplay their intelligence to avoid intimidating men, who play dumb (in a scheming way quite ironically) to get the man. I’ve read countless books and watched even more films where women suspect their sig. other is cheating but overlook it in the hope that it’ll go away and everything will go back to normal. And in the end whats the point?
You either end up with a guy who doesn’t love you for you but loves you for a more ‘simplistic’ facade or no relationship at all.
So where am I going with this… Sexism isn’t dead, it lives in each of us – me included – because we’ve been fed it since birth. (I know I sound like a lunatic but just hold on, it’ll make sense soon) We need to look at the women who inspire us, the traits they have in common and think before we act because I don’t think we notice that we do these things. They’ve become natural and that is more dangerous.
In my opinion, which isn’t the right/most important opinion in the world – Daisy is not a very nice person (really she’s a bit of a bitch), she just fucks things up and then runs away with her idiotic, racist, cheating husband.
But sadly we all have a little Daisy inside us, who wants to take the easy route in life. Downplay x, y, z so that Tom, Dick and Harry come to play. And I also think that there really isn’t much difference between the generations Daisy is stuck between and the ones we are. Women still have a list of a million things they should be, half of which many of us don’t want to be.
I don’t know maybe I’m a lunatic feminist who’s looking for any opportunity to spread the craziness. Maybe I’m onto something. What I do know however is i need to go to bed because its 01:45 right now and I don’t want to fall asleep in my frees tomorrow!