Free as a queer and still be straight?

June 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

I read Virginie Despentes’ King Kong Theory a few months back and have been meaning to blog about it, but was too awed by its raw power at the time to feel that I’d do a reasonably objective job. So I’ve been meaning to reread it again in a calmer, less-fawning state of mind, but that’s proving to… take quite a bit longer than I thought it would.

She has a short interview in the June/July issue of BUST magazine, and I found her answers to two questions particularly resonant:

Q: Women feel very restricted in the role of femininity, yet I don’t read about this sort of rejection very often. Why is that?

A: I don’t know. It’s hard, but once you say, “I am out of the market of beautiful women,” it’s easy. It comes out of dyke culture, because once you’re with women, lots of things don’t concern you anymore. I fell in love with a girl for the first time six months before writing the book, and that gave me lots of strength.

Q: Is there any way to be as free as a queer and be straight?

A: Not until men start real reflection upon themselves. If men want to stick to masculine values, it will be difficult to live with them and to have good relationships with them. For example, I’m always fascinated by the fact that men don’t feel bad that they always have to kill people in movies. I mean, every actor you like, you will see him killing someone on screen. And once you realise that, you really wonder, Why don’t they feel bad about it? How do they keep their dignity? For 40 years, we’ve tried to deconstruct femininity, and we’ve had some revolutions. If you don’t do the same thing about masculinity, then no, it’s going to be difficult for a straight woman to be as free as a queer.

When I mentioned this to a friend, she asked me if I was going to hit on her. I said no, but perhaps… the time has come to go queer in practice and not just in spirit/theory, or go asexual.

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