If “Did Not Read” or “Did Not Finish” shelves on Goodreads tell us anything, it’s that (as with TV recaps) consumers are happy to be informed about art via free recapitulations rather than via direct engagement. Reiterative opinions have become as gratifying as original ones.
Commentary: This is a very long article about women writing erotica from a feminist perspective. There is lots of NSFW language in the beginning so it is not for the faint at heart. It is a very revealing exploration of why men get to write complex characters and the double standard we hold women who write those same kind . While she never says what was first in my mind, besides the obvious sexism & misogyny, is that we expect women to be more emotional & embody subjectivity. While men are supposed to inhabit detachment & objectivity. Perhaps that was just too close at hand and simple. Thinking about that obvious dichotomy and what utter bullshit it is, an old wive’s tale or psuedo-science crap that passes as our collective wisdom really resonated more with me.
Having just watched Gone Girl, ignoring it previously after being put off by all the buzz it received initially, it was another example of how the movie & screenplay (and probably the book too) challenges us to watch a woman play a villain or anti-hero of the story. In fact, I loved it. Despite its rather huge heft of suspended logic which we would accept or even expect from any major blockbuster featuring a male lead (yes Unfaithful I’m talking about you). It happens all the time when Bond, or any other male lead saunters up to a similarly “complex” role but again that is just the way the world works.
What bothered me about Gone Girl and this article is the way in which women anti-heroes somehow experience a doubling down of misogyny & rhetoric. Something we don’t see in the male counterparts. We don’t accuse Stephen King of being a serial killer, do we? Well the article was good fodder to ponder and will probably stay with me for a good long while.