Secret Women, Part V


I posted all of those passages [and there are more, so many more] below because they have accumulated in my mind and spurred the coalescence of some vague, unfocused sense of rebellion. There is something in me that wants to not even dignify such passages with commentary, but then I read another book, The Master and Margarita, by Bulgakov, and yet again there is this sort of man's woman -- the perfect woman who will sacrifice everything for her beloved, utter and complete submissiveness. And they are always rewarded for such submissiveness, rewarded not only in the texts themselves, with superficial accolades, but also in being written of at all. These are the women who are written of -- the best of the many sorts of women who are written of. They are lionized, poetized, raised high on pedestals. Even Musil's Claudine sacrifices, though in a funny self-abnegating way, she sacrifices herself, her newly constructed self (the self created around the scaffolding of her marriage and her love). How horrible it all is -- to be so beautiful and yet so terrible.