Classical feminist theory rarely gets picked up as fodder for pop culture. After all, who wants to riff on old dead white dudes waxing political about gender systems and identity structures? Fertile ground for gender studies journals, less so for meme blogs. And yet, take those theorists’ words and slap a hot actor’s face behind them, and suddenly, their message begins to mean something. Make that actor sensitive-movie-dude Ryan Gosling, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide feminist recruiting machine — as well as a viral sensation.
This is more or less the story behind Feminist Ryan Gosling, the blog created by a 34-year-old graduate student that took the internet by storm. No, Danielle Henderson was not a Ryan Gosling fan when she made the site (she’d never even seen “The Notebook”). Nor did she ever imagine that Gosling would swiftly come to represent all that was good and perfect in the world. Mostly, she was frustrated trying to memorize her gender studies homework — and decided to Photoshop Gosling’s face onto flashcards as a joke.
“I used to think as I looked at the Hollywood at night, ‘There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I’m not going to worry about them. I’m dreaming the hardest.’”
— MARILYN MONROE
Dear Real Girl,
Breaking up sucks. That is the bluntest way anyone can put it — and how they should, because that is the truth. People may present many ways of handling this emotional catastrophe — the most popular options consist of high-sugar content products, lots of chick flicks starring Hugh Grant, crying to Azure Ray and then screaming your heart out to Avril Lavigne (Taylor Swift also works) the next second — but those aren’t solutions. And we know that. We know that eating 7 consecutive fudge brownies with mouthfuls of whipped cream in between won’t heal the metaphorical crack in our hearts, nor will it magically refund you the money you spent trying to help get him that Xbox for his birthday. But brownies taste so good and sweet, such a good counter to how salty our tears taste.
Somewhere out there, there is someone who is dreaming of exactly what and everything you are. For them, choosing you will not be settling. It will be like taking that great leap, every bit as terrifying as it will be gratifying. For them, hurting for you will be a small downside to loving you. You will be their first real dance, their first real anything, and their last real everything. You. Just you, just like you’d always dreamed of, when you were young. The best part is that you won’t see it coming, so you can’t plan or worry, and all that will be left to do is to just enjoy the ride.
I know I’m only twenty years young, but from what I’ve learned about friendships is that it’s possible to have a different best friend for each phase in your life. And maybe you get real close to some people and then drift apart, —which is sad, but it happens to the best of us.
Then you have the lucky ones, the besties that stick around for your entire life. If you’re really, really lucky — you will have the same best friend you had when you were 8 until you’re 65. That means something really special — a one of a kind of friendship and love. Now there is a person that genuinely loves you. We’re not talking about blood-related family, here — because the truth is, your family is stuck with you. We’re talking about people who stick with you, good and bad, even when they have a choice to leave, and find somebody else. I am amazed by the besties that stick around for decades, because it is so easy to give up on people. It is incredibly easy to get sick of their shit and just leave. Evolutionarily speaking, that’s what we do. We leave when things aren’t working out. It’s what our ancestors did, otherwise we’d all be as dead as the dinosaurs.
But I totally digress.
you are not alone.