Two incredible essays, to start off 2018:
In the months before, traveling around the American South for work, between Louisiana and South Carolina, I’d had who knows how many mistranslations and confusions—but all of them were loaded, seemingly on the edge of violence. One day a cop pulled me over for pausing an extra five seconds at a stop sign. And one day a white woman held the door for me, only to slam it right back in my face. One day a group of white guys spat on an Arab friend of mine at the bar, and before we could do much about it they told us that this was their land, back to the old rules. It felt like I’d stepped into a new country. Or, not a new country, but a clearer one. One that made its intentions more obviously known.
Catapult: The Space Between Us and the Ground Below Us, or: Why I Traveled to Japan, January 3, 2018
What’s striking here is not Solanas’s revolutionary extremism per se, but the flippancy with which she justifies it. Life under male supremacy isn’t oppressive, exploitative, or unjust: it’s just fucking boring. For Solanas, an aspiring playwright, politics begins with an aesthetic judgment. This is because male and female are essentially styles for her, rival aesthetic schools distinguishable by their respective adjectival palettes. Men are timid, guilty, dependent, mindless, passive, animalistic, insecure, cowardly, envious, vain, frivolous, and weak. Women are strong, dynamic, decisive, assertive, cerebral, independent, self-confident, nasty, violent, selfish, freewheeling, thrill-seeking, and arrogant. Above all, women are cool and groovy.
n+1: On Liking Women, Winter 2018