Librarians: … Going through about a dozen magazines in a couple of bookstores this weekend, it was nice to come across Abigail Leah Plumb’s “Smarty Girl” in Bitch Magazine (Issue No. 14). Plumb appears to have a collegiate site here, and a weblog here and here. Consider her take on “Desk Set,” “The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag” and “Party Girl”:

“When we’re interested in what pop culture thinks of smart women, we would do well to study what they give us of librarians. And when culture providers frequently present women’s intelligence, or individual intelligent women (as I would assert is the case now), as unimportant or unattractive, these three films stand as exceptions. The library in each of these movies provides a structure and a symbol — it’s the physical and psychic location of a sea change for each heroine. In a world, cinematic or otherwise, in which tradition holds that we undervalue women’s intelligence, these movies serve as a potent refutation. Instead of portraying the intellectual woman as neurotic, lonely, or trapped between her desire for love and her need for intellectual fulfillment, each film shows its protagonist changing and flourishing in the space the library provides, and reshaping that space to better accommodate her own intellect.”

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