The wounded woman gets called a stereotype, and sometimes she is. But sometimes she’s just true. I think the possibility of fetishizing pain is no reason to stop representing it.
But what if some of us want to take our scars seriously? Maybe some of us haven’t gotten the highbrow-girl memo—haven’t gotten the text message from our boyfriends—about what counts as bathos. One man’s joke is another girl’s diary entry. One woman’s heartbreak is another woman’s essay. Maybe this bleeding ad nauseum is mass-produced and sounds ridiculous—Plug it up! Plug it up!—but maybe its business isn’t done. Woman is a pain that never goes away.
I envision a world where I can walk past fraternities without someone screaming sexual obscenities repeatedly in a high pitch as one would a pig. Where women aren’t berated for ignoring the advances of drunken strangers. Where does your entitlement come from, that you cannot see that our silence is a kindness?
That suddenly made me realize that it’s not about me, it’s about men who don’t like women getting out there, doing something new or innovative and accomplishing something. Why are we not just in the kitchen cooking?
You sold me to an old man, father.
May God destroy your home, I was your daughter.
Hamid Karzai came to Kabul
to teach our girls to dress in Dollars.
I am consistently drawn in, and consistently disappointed, by bio-novels about women made unhappy by famous men. I read The Paris Wife, about Hadley Hemingway. I read Loving Frank, about Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress. I read the diaries of Sofya Tolstoy. And now I’ve read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I put each of them aside a heavy sigh when I’ve finished. I’m not disappointed in the books, but in the lives of the women. The point of these books is to tell their side of the story, but in reality, and definitely in Zelda’s case, they didn’t get their own side of the story.
"Russia’s most celebrated writers - including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn and Mandelstam - are often depicted as solitary geniuses. But many of their works were the fruits of creative partnerships with their wives. Far from being passive typists, they served as editors, researchers, translators, publishers and more.”
In most love stories, a man pursuing a woman is depicted as gallant, noble, and deeply romantic. When a woman pursues a man, we call her ‘crazy,’ ‘obsessed,’ and ‘unstable.’ Why one gender is gallant and the other nutso, I’m not sure, but one thing is clear: the female gone mad with love makes for one hell of an unconventional narrative