ME: (Tries to work)
MY BRAIN: Do you think Dagny Taggart ever had PMS?
MY BRAIN: Some of that book looked kind of hormonal is all I’m saying.
ME: No. We are not going there.
MY BRAIN: It’s important.
ME: Whether Dagny Taggart got PMS is not important.
MY BRAIN: Oh yes it is. She’s absolutely perfect! She never has problems, she –
ME: Rand talked about this. It’s a heroic presentation.
MY BRAIN: It’s stupid to espouse a philosophy and then make your examples cardboard cutouts whom no one could possibly emulate.
MY BRAIN: And a female hero? Ha. Her only overt feminine characteristics involved playing “hide the manifesto” with John Galt and Hank Rearden and Francisco.
ME: (“Hide the manifesto”?)
MY BRAIN: Awake three days in a train going cross country, and does she show up with leg stubble and two chin hairs? Nope, because she’s perfect Dagny Taggart.
ME: I think it’s kind of demeaning that you’re simplifying the meaning of being female down to hormones and leg stubble.
MY BRAIN: Not any more than simplifying it down to submissive sexuality. Rand never acknowledges Dagny Taggart as a female in any other way except with a crying jag.
ME: Oh, come on, she –
MY BRAIN: A whole month in Galt’s Gulch. Smoldering hots for John Galt? Check. A trip into town for some hand-rolled objectivist tampons? No way.
ME: No no no. I’m done. We’re not going there. Go away. I have to work.
MY BRAIN: Fine.
ME: (Tries to work)
MY BRAIN: Look, if — at certain times of the month — someone had given her a dollar sign made out of chocolate —
ME: SHUT UP.
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HA! Made me smile. 🙂
You forget that Dagny had strong feelings for Fransisco that are basically the reason that she talked with him at all during book 1 and 2. She had sex with Rearden and liked wearing her dress on those special occasions…
That said, she preferred steel jewelry as a symbol of values over those silly diamonds that simply look pretty, conducted her business with a ruthless and dispassionate monomania, and was more of a man than the sum of any of the moochers board meetings…
Not trying to be sexist and stereotypical here, just saying that, yeah, the whole Randian hero concept vs. normal human being concept is pretty lopsided against real, normal women and men alike. But Rand ALWAYS used her characters to make a point, and not to present beauty or artistic design. She cared for aesthetics only as they supported and subjugated themselves to her philosophy. Heavy stuff.
Rand, while having some philosophical views I agree with, regularly infuriates me. I occasionally reread Atlas Shrugged, and whenever I get to the quote, “the diamond band on the wrist of her naked arm gave her the most feminine of all aspects: the look of being chained,” the book goes flying across the room…
HA! Nice. Glad to know that there are still readers out there who FULLY engage their favorite books. Feel that there are two extremes out there: those who don’t read at all and those who take their books sooooo seriously. Good to know that here’s one sister who stays in the middle.
“Sure, I’ll pick you up and see what you have to say, book. But ONE WRONG MOVE and it’s the wall for you, partner.”
“…the most feminine aspect… chained…”
*hurls world-renowned 1200 page novel by dead Russian genius across the flat with disdain*