I read FEMALES, by Andrea Long Chu over the the last week. Highly recommended reading for anyone with a solid sense of self.
Certainly the most thought-provoking thesis I’ve heard in a while, and well supported throughout.1 I’m hard pressed to argue with any of it — and find that much of it tracks with my own experience (intellectually, that is — practically my road has diverged in certain let’s call them “key elements”).
The overall thesis is fascinating, the first half of which Chu breaks down thusly:
(if you want the rest, buy the book)
This definition of terms aligns eerily well with a section from another book I’ve been reading this week, My Lunches with Orson. Exactly what it sounds like, it’s a barely-edited collection of transcripts from Orson Welles’ late-life lunches with a close friend — and a very nice companion piece to Conversations with Wilder (and carried along by a much less gratingly-self-ingratiating interviewer).
The point of which to say: Orson indulged somewhat similar rumination on the gender of humanity — at least with regard to those who felt compelled to comment on the human condition:
Artists try to show others that what they desire (to see, to know, to experience, to change, etc), in a manner which the audience can grok. The initial artistic spark must inevitably be absorbed by the audience and — in that process — be irrevocably changed.
Females — it would seem — do that shit all day, every day.
There’s a world’s-worth of interesting to be harvested from those two thoughts put together.
Lastly: chalk this up to Yet Another Instance of “smart people in wildly different times, places, and environs all having the same smart ideas, basically, over and over again”. See also “Machiavelli/Virtue + Sartre/Faith”, “Foucault/Panopticon + Orwell/1984”, etc, etc, ad infinitum.
edited post-posting to be less me.
Recognizing, of course, that my take is of no particular value in this case, aside from my own edification (Addendum: except — given the thesis of the text itself — perhaps my take is of as much value as anybody else’s?) (Addendum 2: in certain circles, this book is basically a hand grenade, I’m realizing. Well done indeed.).↩︎