You Go Girl, Title-Wise

Anyone who read Gone Girl, or Girl on the Train, or Girl in the Dark or Girls on Fire, or the Stieg Larsson’s trilogy that began with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo that started the girly title trend must know the irony. These are no girls, at least in the sense that, in responsible circles, we have come to define the species. In my years as magazine editor, if I had used the word girl in a title to describe a women, I would have been strung up by NOW. Nowadays, Donald Trump can call females whatever he wants and never get strung up. And so, irony upon irony, perhaps the literary industry presaged the age of Trump because the word girl has a snap to it. The Woman Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest just doesn’t do it. If you want to get ahead of the curve as a writer, coin a new title word for men. Guy is old fashioned. Fellow is too academic. This possibility, admittedly, is a little too wordy: Person led around by his private parts. So your suggestions will be welcome.

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5 responses to “You Go Girl, Title-Wise”

  1. larybloom says:

    Just got an email from my friend Ethan who suggests Dude, Bloke, or Stud.

  2. LB Gschwandtner says:

    Lary, I changed the title of my book (to be released 9/26/17) to The Other New Girl. So still “girl” but just not Ugly anymore.

    As for men … SOB transfers nicely into many titles. But seriously …

  3. Debra (Nickie) Thurston says:

    Hi Lary. I just read your essay and I concur. I have had problems with those pronouns “girl and women” because they inflict on us rather strict masculine and feminine subtexts (women are from Venus and men are from Mars) Personally, I prefer female and male, alas, neither is sexy in a title. My first thought is the same as Ethan, Dude. Stud requires too much testosterone for the man, and Bloke seems more of a likable pronoun for a hero. Therefore, I like Dude.

  4. linda reid says:

    Hi Lary
    How about Teacake?
    Nickname for Janie’s lover in Their eyes were watching God
    Like, that teacake Trump, he’s so cute and silly.
    Oh even better. Putin calling Trump “My little Teacake”
    Oh please, yes, tell me its possible.
    Miss you,

  5. Samantha Grabelle says:

    I’m finding this post at an interesting moment. I am just now finishing my book of memoir stories/poetry which I have titled “The Woman Who Unfolded Herself”. I guess it might have been trendier to use girl, and in many ways I still am one, but that is definitely not the person who wrote the book. She is a woman. A label packed with beautiful meaning for me. Thanks for making me even more sure that I picked the right title.

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