dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

Elly and the politics of inadequacy.

As we know, most of the reason that Elly wanted to go to the farm was to feel as if she was contributing to the world and doing something visibly praiseworthy. Sadly, things didn't go quite as planned. First, Unfrozen Caveman Farmer Arnold smugly patted her on the head and told her to let a big, strong knuckle-dragging straw chauvinistic handle the big, scary machine and stay in the kitchen where she belonged; this would have been bad enough were it not for John going out of his way to not see that his asinine insinuation that she's lazy is not something she should laugh off. From knee-jerk sexism on the one hand to equating "giving a shit about other people and not being a self-absorbed oozing sore on the body politic on the other, the point of the whole thing was to have Elly work and work and work and still end up feeling like a useless failure who is never ever allowed to win because everyone else is mean and hates her.

The whole "Elly tries soooooo hard and still ends up feeling as if she's inadequate" is pretty much what the whole point of the strip used to be. A person reading it on the sort of superficial level that Lynn's more rabid defenders do see it as the life story of a normal housewife living a normal life. It takes a trained eye to look past the puns and gushing about miracles to see the self-loathing and fear of failure that really drive the stories forward.
Tags: elly versus herself

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