mama has been doing the thinkings about the art & the body & shame & identity & sex & pseudonyms & ethics & ...
in the indie liternets small world there has been a huge controversy about Marie Calloway & how she outed a guy with a girlfriend as a cheater & how wrong she was cos she used his real name (at first) & what about his girlfriend, did she even think about her humiliation (& if I were his girlfriend I would a) want to know, b) resist the shaming/humiliation - it's not her fault the dude's a creepy creeper, and c) revel in the public opinion that my now ex-boyfriend is a dick), etc, etc. & yeah, she shouldn't have used his real name & yeah I know I've said, why are people even talking about this but the attitudes that mama perceives surrounding the subject have been eating away at mama... these attitudes reveal, to mama, that a lot of writers in the American "indie" lit scene value very gendered and very safe art. Safe especially when it comes to women.
& you all are like, Oh no mama, why'd you have to go there?
& you all are like, well, except for a couple of you who have the vaginas (but not all of you with the vaginas & mama just actually wanted to say "the vaginas") and/or have overcome society's gendering to think about gender, are all like, that's it, mama, we out.
that's cool, yo. mama'll get back to the deep penetratings & away from the deep thoughts soonsoon... come back tomorrow or the next day.
it seems to me that women can write about sex in the indie lit world if they are self-depreciating, if they feel shame about their bodies and their wants, if, when they desire they also feel bad about themselves, if when they break social norms, they are aware of this and self-flagellate with words & hairshirts. yeah, calloway does this in her story, but she accompanied her "story" with a picture of her face covered in dude's cum... which could be read as self-depreciating but mama sees it as celebratory: look, i just fucked dude and look, i've got proof... plus, it definitely breaks a social norm. sperm's not usually put on display, yo (but maybe it should be, maybe that'd help demystify the whole sex/phallus thing for a lot of peeps).
mama's not here to be a champion of calloway's story or her blog or her "indiscretion" or whatever, tho. mama's here to investigate the reaction to her and her story and women's sexuality in general in the indie lit world. there have been the blog posts and the circling of the wagons. mama feels a new puritanism & is waiting for a burn witch burn.
part of the reason the reaction to calloway has been so visceral from women writers may be cos she embodies & even reveals their deepest fears: that many of the American indie men writers do not take them seriously & only like their writing cos they are hot, or that they will never win the hearts of the indie lit scene because they are not hot and/or not young. it reveals to them how much the indie lit scene is just a microcosm of America itself (and this realization, to many intelligent talented women, can feel like a betrayal). as a woman, if you are not young & beautiful, you have no value, still, in this enlightened age (unless you are old & still somehow hot but mama doesn't want to tread in milf/cougar waters right now). you could be the wisest, kindest, most talented person ever but if a man does not wanna stick his dick in you, you still have no worth in a patriarchal society. word. (& mama does not mean to be a downer or heteronormative, yo.) this can result in unconscious jealousy or anger in some women, and mama's been there, so who can blame them? mama has felt this jealousy & mama has also experienced this unconscious jealousy that manifests itself as professional condescension; it's the same as other grad students spreading the rumor you're getting good grades cos you're hot & not cos you worked your ass off (& not on a pole or on the prof's desk or anything like that, my little pervs).
other things i have been thinking in conjunction with this controversy is the use of pseudonyms... yes, mama uses a pseudonym and, believe it or not, mama herself is a persona (really, mama, really?). mama uses a pseudonym not to hide or cos she's afraid she'll hurt anyone she knows with her art or cos she's ashamed of writing about the body/sex/the raunch/the blue/the cunt/the cock, but cos when she first started writing, there was another writer with her name already writing & mama didn't want to compete. plus, mama wanted a gender neutral name to get her over those transoms initially. those transoms are high & narrow & hard to get through, yo. mama's family knows her writing & mama's not ashamed that they know. if they cannot deal with the body & the sex of mama's writing, then how have they had the childrens? why do they have the childrens? there are all sorts of love and all sorts of sexuality & all sorts of identity & to narrow love & sex & identity down into one or two categories inhibits people to really know themselves & to really find love & happiness. mama thinks the taboo body needs to be celebrated; that the sacred and the profane are actually the same. mama thinks about the writers with pseudonyms who have the fake names cos they don't want to offend their family or friends: why are you writing then if you are worried that you are going to offend someone with your ideas? why are you writing about sex if you are afraid you are going to offend someone with your writings about sex? what is art if it's safe and doesn't make anyone uncomfortable, or at least think and question?
so, what mama's trying to say is mama hates the censorship, especially when it comes to identity & sexuality (and by sexuality, mama means whatever gets you off as long as it's with your own consent - masturbation, or another adult's or other adults' consents, yo), & especially when it's girl on girl censorship. get over your initial reaction to "Adrien Brody," and think about why you are feeling so pissed off at calloway & not at dude whatever his name is... but, if you're over that already (that was so, like, 2 weeks ago), think about how censoring yourself in the name of propriety is another way of creating safe art. think about how women's sexuality is being represented in the indie lit community. think about how women police each other's behavior/writing and why. think about what art means to you. think about it all & if you have any questions, mama's gonna make an afterschool special & maybe include a money shot, yo.