Lizzie Bennet and Why You Should Love Her

One last group hug before ya go.

Get out your tissues FabNerds, because tomorrow is the last episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Let me repeat that: Tomorrow. Is. The. Last. Episode.

Ever.

Take a second.

Now, I have talked about my love for the LBD a little before and if you are ever on the internet at all, it is likely someone else you know has posted videos or gifs or articles or fan fiction about it it. There is no denying it’s popular and there’s not denying the fans are passionate. Just look at these tea flavors someone made.

If you are my mother or many of my friends…you might find that annoying. Honestly, if I was just coming into the show now I would find it annoying too. Luckily, I saw that first episode within the week it went up and soon fell in love with Lizzie’s story regardless of the fact that I’ve been trying to finish Pride and Prejudice for the past ten years.

There’s not much that can be said about LBD that hasn’t been said already – everyone from Ms. Magazine to Wired has done a write up on it, in some form or another. Yet, I feel like I would regret not sharing why I love it before episode 100 goes up on Thursday.

I went to a play a couple weeks ago that was an adaptation of a fairly well-known piece of literature and I was shocked to see that most of the female characters from the original work (who were all quite prominent) were either eliminated entirely or whittled down to stock characters. For the first time it really struck me how rare it is to find female-driven stories, even in this century; there aren’t as many Joss Whedons and Sarah Ruhls as we’d like there to be.

That’s what makes The Lizzie Bennet Diaries so special. It’s not just Lizzie’s life that we are following – it is the lives of three other well-rounded women. I don’t mean “well-rounded” as in they can check off multiple boxes on Mr. Darcy’s list of what makes an accomplished woman. I mean they are not just a bunch of cute archetypes or sketches of interesting women. Lizzie, Charlotte, Jane, and Lydia* are representations of real, complete women – flaws and all.

And they aren’t playing second fiddle to Lizzie or the romantic plot of the P&P. We care just as much (or maybe more) about the state of Charlotte and Lizzie’s friendship as we do about Lizzie and Darcy’s face-sucking. Hell, we don’t even see Darce’s face until more than halfway through the series**, but we do see Charlotte’s and despite their secondary status in the novel all of Lizzie’s friends and sisters are prominent on our small screens. To quote The Lydia Bennet, herself:

True facts.

Also, in this modern day and age when we are all just too busy, it’s nice to have an excuse to read some literature. And thanks to fan-created website Darceny – I finally have a reason to finish reading Pride and Prejudice. Even if you don’t want to join the online book/video group (though you should because it looks awesome and I think I will be pretty active on it) I know plenty of other people who are just picking up Austen’s second novel again because of the show.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: If it gets people to read more, then it must be a good thing.

So I’ve said all I have to say on the LBD. At 12AM EST tomorrow I will be awaiting the final episode with everyone else. I’m said to see it end, but I have a feeling that it is just the beginning and I am so grateful with what the Lizzie Bennet Diaries gave me. If you haven’t at least watched the first episode by now, you should. Here it is.

No Regrets,

Jess

Too many gifs?

*And Gigi, and Caroline, and frankly every character Male or Female on the show.

** And it’s waaaaay longer until we see Darcy and Lizzie suck face.

V-Day and ONE BILLION RISING

Because V-Day can be about your Valentine or your Vagina or your Valentine’s Vagina or whatever you want it to be.

My Fabulous Nerds – this  2 PM posting time is not working out is it? At least not on Wednesdays as I am about to publish this about 40 minutes before midnight. Oh well, I’m gonna work on it for you. Promise.

ANYWAY, as you may or may not know, Valentine’s Day is one of my top three favorite holidays (along with Groundhog Day and Thanksgiving). Hey! Don’t think I don’t see the doubt in your face FabNerds. I know what you are thinking “But Jessica, you’re SINGLE – how can you love this overly-commercialized, patriarchal, first-world, cheese-fest that is designed to make independent women feel bad about the fact that they don’t have a husband?”

FabNerds, you are getting cynical on me! Here is my quick argument:

1- My favorite colors have and will ALWAYS be Pink and Red. By the end of January, walking into CVS is like walking into my brain.

2- What’s wrong with a little cheesy commercialism? I am known to enjoy the occasional silliness and I think that as long as you observe the world around you with a grain of salt and know that not everything is always going to be sunshine and rainbows for everyone then why can’t you buy the dancing Snoopy if he makes you smile?

Now is that so bad?

3- I’ve never believed that Valentine’s Day was just about being with your significant other. Growing up (with my crazy, awesome feminist parents) it was impressed upon me that Valentine’s Day was about taking stalk of ALL THE LOVE in your life: Love for your family, your friends, your job, your plant, yourself, whatever! It’s not really patriarchal when you thinking about it like that.

AND SPEAKING OF PATRIARCHY! 

This brings me to the other type of V-DAY in this post. Fifteen years ago, Eve Ensler, of Vagina Monologues fame (a play I am very proud to say I have been in twice) started V-Day, an organization to end violence in women in girls across the world. Today (for it is after midnight now and officially February 14th) V-Day asks all of us to stand up for ONE BILLION WOMEN on this planet that are raped and beaten in their lifetime. It is a day to raise awareness, stand together, and demand an end to violence against women. Here’s what the website says:

“What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being”

Now, there are lots of ways to participate in this movement today. Many are listed on onebillionrising.org, but the simplest things you can do is to are:

A- Tweet using the hastag #1billionrising. Get it trending people!

B- Sharing it with your friends on Facebook!

C- Change any or all of your profile pictures to the One Billion Rising Logo that is at the top of this post. (I just did on FB and Twitter)

D- Share this blog post or ANY blog post about One Billion Rising on any social media platform of your choice. Or just share the website. Share like the lives of women across the globe depend on it. Because they do.

So, let’s not make Valentine’s Day just about Hallmark cards and chocolate -though I still think those are great things. But this day is more than that. It is about a Global Love and the best way I can think to demonstrate that today is to support women and help bring an end to violence. I’ll let Eve have the final word for today.

Happy Valentines,

Jess