Wednesday, November 30, 2005

generic containers for pure female electricity

I missed Mary Gaitskill at Skylight a few weeks back and this interview at Nerve makes me regret it even more.

Today, it seems that many young women writers — who are the age you were when you wrote Bad Behavior — are calling for a return to a certain prudishness. For example, in Female Chauvinist Pigs, Ariel Levy argues that women are copying men's ideas of how women should be sexually brazen and inflicting that on other women.

Yeah. I don't know what I think of that. Actually I do know what I think of that. It's kind of complicated. When people make those kinds of sweeping statements, it's some impulse to adjudicate what Women — with a capital W — should be doing. And it really so much varies. The problem for me with some of the seeming brazenness that was fashionable for a while is that it can be forced also. Because if a person doesn't feel like being brazen or doesn't want to do that, they shouldn't. I think a lot of times women who really display sexually are covering up a lot of fear. A confidently sexual person doesn't have to announce it all that much. But if it's who you are — if you love to get dressed up in the big heels and the tiny skirt and the wig and the whatever, why not? But I don't feel like that should be idealized any more than the modest, demure person. The same woman can feel both ways on different occasions.

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