I’m sitting here at my desk reading Adrienne Rich‘s provocative and damn lengthy essay entitled “Compulsory Sexuality and Lesbian Existence.”
As I’m about to wrap up the final paragraphs, I get a Facebook notification.
Two female peers are complaining about their workload, and one decides (hopefully, jokes) that she will save her bad presentation in the following manner:
im just gonna look sexy in front of those men,hope they give me marks 4 that..fuck school!
Her friend replies with
Use what you got, sister!
I look at Adrienne on the cover of her anthology. 434 pages of frustration, reiteration and evocation. To be countered and spat at by the embarrassing (sarcastic, I can only hope) words of these young women. Elite scholars, who would scoff at being called traditional or blinded.
But there you go. Another example of women internalising the male gaze.
- Compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence, 30 years later (thefword.org.uk)