expect her to rustle

September 22, 2018

Some people are magic, and others are just the illusion of it

There are plenty of legends about women turning into trees but are there any about trees turning into women? Is it odd to say that your lover reminds you of a tree? Well she does, it’s the way her hair fills with wind and sweeps out around her head. Very often I expect her to rustle. She doesn’t rustle but her flesh has the moonlit shade of a silver birch. Would I had a hedge of such saplings naked and unadorned.

Jeanette Winterson
Written on the Body

Girls are better

August 26, 2018

This is why girls are so much more employable than young men in all the shitty, less-than-subsistence-level service jobs they’re trying to cram young people into across Europe and America. Girls are better at pleasing other people and plastering on the pretty grin even when we’re screaming inside. That’s what being a girl is.

Girls are better at this sort of labour, often called ‘emotional labour’, not because there’s anything in the meat and matter of our living cells that makes us naturally better but because we’re trained to it from birth. Trained to make other people feel good. Trained to serve the coffee, fill in the forms, organise the parties and wipe the table afterwards. Trained to be feisty, if we must, but not strong. To be bubbly, not funny. You must at no stage appear to have a body that functions in a normal human way, that pisses and shits and sweats and farts and falters. Decorate the prison of your body. Make yourself useful. Shut up and smile.

Laurie Penny
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution

Morning Glory by Vicente Romero

The female incarnates sexuality, which is probably why there is no English word meaning woman that has not at some time had sexual connotations. Female figures who are remembered in history or literature are defined by their sexual natures. Those who are associated with the masculine principle are praised for their denial of sex, their virginity. The Queen of Sheba, Cleopatra, and Dido are not remembered for their political power or administrative ability. Boadicea, who was a great warrior but has no sexual legend, is remembered by London tour guides for shrewishness. Penthesilea, Zenobia, and Deborah, who were great figures but have no sexual legend, are forgotten. Esther, Delilah, and Susanna, all of whom have a sexual dimension, are remembered for that alone. Women = sex = nature. Control over nature means control of sex and control of women.

Marilyn French
Shakespeare’s Division of Experience

The Burning Ones

June 7, 2018

If history says anything,
If it says anything at all,
It is this:
All women know how to do is burn.

If her story says anything —
And it says everything —
We girls have been raised to walk through the fire.

Salma Deera


June 2, 2018

barefoot on the sand

An endless variety of women in this world, all different, but all women. Life always finds a way to play them, doesn’t it, like a favourite CD, but one where the tracks are all new and have never been heard before. Yet they are made of blood and emotion and light. You will never play them; you will only ever touch them and then only for a moment or two. You can knock them down, drag them in the dirt, but they will always rise again. An extra scar, an illusion demolished, perhaps, but their heart still full of dreams; and to those of you who do not understand this, know that their life is a simple game of mirrors reflecting only the truth of what they are – beautiful, creative infinity!

Gray Wolf

Cracked Egg - Irving Penn

If you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to establish a relationship. You’re too much for everybody. It’s too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you’re not, they are fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave. So, lots of lonely hotel rooms, my dear.

Marina Abramovic
Interview with Emma Brockes
Guardian newspaper 12th May 2014

They are scarcely adult

November 28, 2017

He feared me as many men fear women: because their mistresses (or their wives) understand them. They are scarcely adult, some men: they wish women to understand them, and to that end they tell them all their secrets; and then, when they are properly understood, they hate their women for understanding them.

Julian Barnes
Flaubert’s Parrot

men were the answer

November 24, 2017

Women were brought up to believe that men were the answer. They weren’t. They weren’t even one of the questions.

Julian Barnes
A History of the World in 10½ Chapters

to seduce men

October 13, 2017

In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, and when her lord is dead, to her sons; a woman must never be independent … It is the nature of women to seduce men in this world, for that reason the wise never remain unguarded in the company of females … Women, shudra (the lowest of four castes), dog and crow embody untruth, sin and darkness.

Kama Sutra

reveal and conceal

October 1, 2017


Painting vulvae, focusing on details of women’s bodies, even the parts that are ‘supposed’ to be hidden, does sometimes feel like a small act of resistance ― a way of saying that women don’t need to hide, that we deserve a place, not just in the art world, but in every sector.

It’s part of this strange dichotomy that culture has created for women: reveal and conceal. On one hand, we’re always supposed to reveal enough of ourselves to be sexually attractive, but simultaneously we’re expected to conceal our bodies, our opinions, and, ultimately, I believe, our power.

Jacqueline Secor
Huffington Post 21 February 2017