post Whitney.

Sparse | mordant | honest,

prose. 

Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul fancies his acuity as such. 

And I suppose it is. Hemingway. 

Leaving the Whitney today, a friend of a friend of a friend happened to be reading a Naipaul novel outside of the museum and the conversation quickly diverted to the censuring comments the author made of women writers last May. 

Naipaul on how his writing transcends… the universe, and the “banality” of his female peers

The friend of the friend of the friend huffed “Ugh. Naipaul is a misogynist,” and without context I shunned the self-aggrandizing novelist to that deep dark bad in my spirit. 

But, doubling back for contexture.

The author, who was born in Trinidad [of Indian descent], said this was because of women’s “sentimentality, the narrow view of the world”. “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too,” he said. (The Guardian)

And like that, no longer offended, as it is apparent Naipaul’s perspective is as picayune as they come. The irony. Reminiscent of Pausanias’ speech in The Symposium:  Love honoring ‘Heavenly Aphrodite’ springs entirely of the male and is free of wantonness; is intellectual, soulful, and longstanding. ‘Common Aphrodite’ is of the female and is provincial, prurient, and coquettish. Right… Ryan Murphy’s bible.

Blame the patriarchy. Basically.

Naipaul’s view of women is almost exclusively jaded by his inability to eclipse culturalisms. The lens of a female NYC writer is dissimilar to that of female writer from Lancaster, PA than a female writer from a remote village in the Sikkim state of India, than an Egyptian female writer, than a female writer from Wales, than an oracle, than a Brian Griffin.  

Conditioning and access, not the dyadic composition of chromosomes, is most emblematic of a person’s ascribed writing style, of their depth perception. 

Alex Clark, a literary journalist, said, “It’s absurd. I suspect VS Naipaul thinks that there isn’t anyone who is his equal. Is he really saying that writers such as Hilary Mantel, A S Byatt, Iris Murdoch are sentimental or write feminine tosh?” (IBN Live)

His Eruditeness, Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipul, this, this eludes him. 

The Combahee River Collective statement, 1977. 

We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974. During that time we have been involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while at the same time doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements. The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face.
We will discuss four major topics in the paper that follows: (1) the genesis of contemporary Black feminism; (2) what we believe, i.e., the specific province of our politics; (3) the problems in organizing Black feminists, including a brief herstory of our collective; and (4) Black feminist issues and practice.
(Read in its entirety.)

The Combahee River Collective statement, 1977. 

We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974. During that time we have been involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while at the same time doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements. The most general statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial, sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face.

We will discuss four major topics in the paper that follows: (1) the genesis of contemporary Black feminism; (2) what we believe, i.e., the specific province of our politics; (3) the problems in organizing Black feminists, including a brief herstory of our collective; and (4) Black feminist issues and practice.

(Read in its entirety.)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife, Anne Sinclair, was named France’s woman of the year on Monday by a popular French women’s magazine.

Terrafemina polled more than 1,000 respondents over the phone earlier this month to decide who among the 10 finalists had “most made her mark” in 2011. The AFP, which speaks better French than we do, explains that the 63-year-old Sinclair, who stood by her husband in the face of allegations that he sexually assaulted a New York City maid, narrowly edged out Christine Lagarde, the woman who replaced DSK as chief of the International Monetary Fund, by 1 percent, 25 to 24.

Perhaps more noteworthy was the fact that women voters were the ones who ultimately handed the title to Sinclair, picking the wealthy art heiress over Lagarde by a 10-percent margin, 31 to 21. Male respondents, meanwhile, opted for the former French finance minister over Sinclair 28 percent to 19 percent, the New York Post points out.

Coming in third in the poll, one point behind Lagarde, was politician Martine Aubry. French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy tallied 16 percent, while Tristane Banon, who came forward with her own sexual assault allegations against DSK, finished last among the ten finalists, with 4 percent of the vote. -Slate

I’m torn. The Good Wife, as banal the term, has its merits. Depending on the relationship, if a couple wishes to persevere through betrayal, they have every right to do so without having to defend vitriol of misogyny or misandry. 

Though it’s telling, of what is to be determined, that women championed Sinclair over Lagarde. 

Is it familial values that women emphatically endorse?

Are women less knowledgeable of/interested in global and economic affairs and thus less inclined to be familiar with women like Lagarde?

Is the converse true of men? 

What are the sociological justifications and implications of “Woman of the Year”?

Katha Pollitt of The Nation hits the nail on the head. In libertarian erudite circles, Christopher Hitchens is God to many. 

And while I admired his incisive prose, I always viewed it loquaciously lofty, and unapologetically so. Astoundingly prolific, his fruitful acuity credited to his unabashed fervor.  For someone so akin to his pretension, he lacked pretense in his writing. The man could write on a satisfying trip to the bathroom following a large meal as if it were an existential experience worthy of polemic contention. Actually, I probably could too. He actually had to. Gifted people are compelled or something like that. 

He told me once that a writer should be able to write with no difficulty, anytime, anywhere—but actually, not many writers can do that. I think part of the reason why he was so prolific—and the reason he had such an outsize career and such an outsize effect on his readers—is that he was possibly the least troubled with self-doubt of all the writers on earth.

On my desk rests a stack of gender, sexuality, and race texts. Fausto-Sterling, Butler, Fuller… feminism as transcendentalism. Hitchens struck me as a latent misogynist. A self professed free-thinker enslaved to the patriarchy. There. I said it. 

So far, most of the eulogies of Christopher have come from men, and there’s a reason for that. He moved in a masculine world, and for someone who prided himself on his wide-ranging interests, he had virtually no interest in women’s writing or women’s lives or perspectives. I never got the impression from anything he wrote about women that he had bothered to do the most basic kinds of reading and thinking, let alone interviewing or reporting—the sort of workup he would do before writing about, say, G.K. Chesterton, or Scientology or Kurdistan. It all came off the top of his head, or the depths of his id. Women aren’t funny. Women shouldn’t need to/want to/get to have a job. The Dixie Chicks were “fucking fat slags” (not “sluts,” as he misremembered later). And then of course there was his 1989 column in which he attacked legal abortionand his cartoon version of feminism as “possessive individualism.” I don’t suppose I ever really forgave Christopher for that.

Me neither. Girls can hold a grudge…

I’m no misandrist, but I’ve come to realize that in order to appreciate Hitchens as the superb writer and sociological critic he certainly was, I have to forgive his bombastic id. I have to forgive his inability to approach a topic holistically, rather than averring his contrarian truth as the only truth. I have to forgive the man to appreciate the brilliance. 

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published findings that Science Daily reported. 

Researchers followed about 8,000 Brits from ages 5 to 30. They tested their IQ twice during childhood — and at 16 and 30, they asked them if they’d used a variety of drugs in the last year. Men who had high IQs at 5 were 50% more likely than other men to use ecstasy or speed at 30. The effect was even bigger among women — high-IQ ladies were twice as likely to smoke weed and do coke as other women (Jezebel).”

A friend who studied Human Development told me her professor stated that research showed women with advanced degrees were less confined by social constructs, likely due to a wintery mix of intellectual stimulation and exposure, and thus more sexually fluid than other women. Apparently entitlement and a heightened notion of indestructibility is the accompaniment.

And also, they get in to some shih

YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS.

Applaud her p—-y  power.

Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom. The author, London School of Economics researcher Catherine Hakim, lays out six elements of what she calls erotic capital: beauty, sexual attractiveness (more body as opposed to face), social charm, liveliness/energy, presentation, and actual sexual skill. These qualities, she holds, can be as crucial to personal or professional accomplishment as the other forms of capital studied by social scientists, such as education and work experience. (Elle)

A feminist deconstructivist, this union is wonderfully economic. Not a personal “come-up” ideal, but they’ve both optimized utility. His wealth. Her companionship. Chacun gagne. 

feministryangosling
Last year when Gosling was promoting Blue Valentine he said this is response to the film being slapped with an NC-17 rating.

You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.

I wish Ryan Gosling were in the all of the alternative gender, sexuality, feminism, women studies courses I took in undergrad. More and more I’m convinced he’s the perfect man. His mind is just beautiful man. Which is why Feminist Ryan Gosling is genius. 

Last year when Gosling was promoting Blue Valentine he said this is response to the film being slapped with an NC-17 rating.

You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.

I wish Ryan Gosling were in the all of the alternative gender, sexuality, feminism, women studies courses I took in undergrad. More and more I’m convinced he’s the perfect man. His mind is just beautiful man. Which is why Feminist Ryan Gosling is genius. 

"I’m proposing the two of you be mine."

@prettyheartless: Sookie Stackhouse has been reduced to nothing more than a walking vagina with a bad accent this season.

Dear gosh, why can’t we just enjoy it for what it is.

Moff’s Law can kiss my… 

For those so inclined to lambaste Sookie, my favorite Creole outside of Beyonce a harlot because of her lady parts awry, you’re not only over-analyzing. You’re assaying like a Puritan. 

That is unless you’re a secret representative from the Florida Family Association or the real life Thomas Putnam. Go you. 

"I'm proposing the two of you be mine." -Sookie

Sookie remains the same ingenue evolved stalwart protagonist propelling the plot onward.

As a young woman she’s exploring desire, feminine wiles, love. 

Who said poly-amorous relationships can’t sustain? 

Not an option with which many would flirt, but guys, let Sookie be Great

Were you extortionately busied decrying Alan Ball a sexist and misogynistic to miss the incredible shade thrown at Twilight and Taylor Swift? Chuckle. Chuckle. 

Into Hoyt’s “Monster Box" ya go. 

Besides, if you think Sookie’s vagina has gotten too liberal remind yourself that her brother is Jason Stackhouse and then please kindly shuffle to Showtime and meet the Patron Saint of Free Love: Nancy Boho Princess Botwin