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.

Vatsyayana
Kama Sutra

reveal and conceal

October 1, 2017

vulv

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

a threatening warning

September 4, 2017

The woman who eschews femininity, who is content with her natural shape and size and smell, who is impatient with the lengthy rituals of femininity, is condemned by both sexes. To women, she is an uncomfortable reminder of the extent to which they have abandoned themselves to the demands of men. To men, she is a threatening warning that their domination is not total and that women still have the power to regain themselves.

Anne Summers
Damned Whores and God’s Police

Upside down, inside out

June 10, 2017

9th June

I love her grinding against me. I love her doing that until she moans in my mouth.

I’m a creature of many addictions: women, words, whiskey…and chocolate! Chocolate brings out the primordial in me: it’s like original sin, or the sudden shock of first sexual contact; it’s a secret, eternal flame in my head, flooding my body with endorphins! And God, I always need it – not in the way you need something in order to survive, but in a way that makes life worthwhile. It is so real, so raw – like a teenage hard-on! Eating chocolate you feel yourself inside out, and you realise ‘there are no walls here anymore!’

On the other hand it’s a bit of a bugger if it melts in your hand –

And whiskey…well…it allows you to see through the flaws in your own ego. It deadens and distorts. Mists your window on the world – so that your vanity, your fears and desires become totally out of proportion to any other observable reality – which is not necessarily a good thing! However, it does also help you forget that you’ve eaten all that lovely chocolate, and there is no more!

And women – even at their worse, they are feckin’ incredible! They have always been the sunshine in my life…And, at times, the darkness, too!

So, what of words? Words have always been my life, for as long as I can remember. But not through choice, of course. Who would voluntarily chose words as their life?

Words dominate because of something darker , deeper inside of me. My demons, perhaps? Who can say – ?

I’ve been trying to think of a more realistic ending to fairy tales. Instead of ‘And they lived happily ever after’, go for ‘And she never saw him again, ever…’

Amongst some races the constrictor vaginæ muscles are abnormally developed. In Abyssinia, for instance, a woman can so exert them as to cause pain to a man, and, when sitting upon his thighs, she can induce the orgasm without moving any other part of her person. Such an artist is called by the Arabs, “Kabbazah,” literally meaning “a holder,” and it is not surprising that the slave dealers pay large sums for her. All women have more or less the power, but they wholly neglect it; indeed, there are many races in Europe which have never even heard of it. To these the words of wisdom spoken by Kalyana Malla, the poet, should be peculiarly acceptable.

Sir Richard F Buton (translation)
Footnote from The Anaga Ranga

bleeding-hand

A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another…One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object – and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.

John Berger
Ways of Seeing