A Writing Prompt

It's Friday!

Friday the 13th to be exact and if that's not enough to excite you, well, then look forward to Valentine's Day - an opportunity to reframe a pink and red heteronormative day.

Here's my Valentine's gift to viewers and readers: a writing prompt; a digital collage to reflect upon a very simple question that I always love revisiting: What influences and informs your feminism?

Happy writing!

 

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Friday the 13th and Feminism

I grew up with a wise woman, my grandmother. I saw the power she had in her home. The herbs she cooked up, the ghosts she saw, her strength. But I also saw other images of women in films and on television. These women were not strong. They were were ditzy. They catered to their man. They only cared about the fairy-tale wedding and the perfect dress. My mother said boys don't like girls who are too smart. But I didn't care. I've been trying to reconcile these disparate views of women my entire life.

I like writers like Angela Carter who rewrite fairty tales into exotic and erotic fables with strong female protagonists. I'm entranced with writers like her who attempt to revise the female narrative. Offer another plot. In the 1970's, in a small town in Wisconsin, I was only offered one, the wedding day. See above. I read Margaret Atwood, Mary Gaitskill and Anne Enright. And then I enjoy reading the feminist theory that unravels the difference between the two narratives; male and female. Women like Gayle Green, Thelma Shinn, Annis Pratt.

I watch The Girls Next Door. They're like the Barbie dolls I had as a little girl, but they talk and they walk. They're so playing Hugh Hefner. They're so playing him and he so knows it, but doesn't care. I think they're aware of the bimbo stereotype and work it. I also like Sex and the City. I shouldn't care that Carrie finally gets her man, but I do. So I embrace the paradoxical nature of my feminism. I've posed naked and loved it. My legs and my tits and my ass are in the permanent collection at MOMA.

I also like to rewrite fairy tales and myth--- with a strong dose of female eroticism. The latest is called The Hotel St. George, 1890, a revision of the Blue Beard story. It's out now in Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories, Cleis Press. I would like to find out why, for some women, feminism is the "f" word. I have two sisters who do not call themselves feminists. Yet they are strong and intelligent. Self-aware. I don't understand this paradox either, but I embrace it anyway.