In the latest Gendercidal, Semtex explores the unexpected reality of fulfilling the prophecy of being the deplorable stripper/whore archetype, just as it was always imagined to be the case by a particular cad.
Tragic. Needs to be saved. Whorish. Stripper. Alcoholic. These are just some of the descriptions that describe any “interesting” and therefore “great” feminine character in a man’s mind. This is particularly true of a man who has made the unfortunate decision for us all to attempt becoming a writer. It really is a “profession” that said gender should be banned from at this juncture, yet here we are, still saddled with unwavering new releases that prove white males can’t be quelled. Like Upstate (2018) by James Wood or I Still Dream (2018) by James Smythe (apparently, you have to be named James to get anything published), both of which strive to paint the portrait of a complex female character (or characters) and have already been praised in so doing. In fact, this has been the undying quest of all male writers: to create that elusive Juliet Capulet/Molly Bloom/Dolores Haze/Daisy Buchanan/Mlle. de la Mole trope that simply can’t be done in the present. Why? Because no one is buying the bullshit anymore. Least of all a female audience aware of how transparent the formula of “tragic heroine” is. Of how much of a fallacy and a fantasy it is. This idea that true love can’t exist unless the woman in the dynamic is being saved in some way by the man.
I have become the character he wanted and I feel as though no amount of therapy or discussion can change the fact that the only thing that could repair my mind at this point is going back in time
And yet, somehow I find myself having fallen prey to the trap of becoming more than slightly a lamentable figure in the narrative that used to be my life but was somehow grafted for the sake of a story. Someone else’s. A man’s. The one I should be embarrassed to keep talking about and yet, at the same time, I know no one’s listening so this is all really more like an unearthed series of confessions to no one. The abyss of the internet. The void of human existence and its non-empathy for problems pertaining to twentieth century concepts like love, least of all when a frivolous girl is talking about them (a “little girl”–soon to be “old bag”–if we want to add further mockery to the notion of one being in a constant state of pain over a broken heart, who “should really move on already,” but that would mean getting a lobotomy and I’m just not ready).
I have become the character he wanted and I feel as though no amount of therapy or discussion can change the fact that the only thing that could repair my mind at this point is going back in time and undoing all the mental damage through the preventive measure of simply never having engaged. I believe it’s the only way to get this poison out of my head. The flashbacks, the rehashings, the desperately trying to figure out why it couldn’t have lasted. What was so terrible about me. Was it that I ultimately either 1) lived up too closely to the preconceived notion of being a damnable whore or 2) that I didn’t live up to it. That I wasn’t saveable enough–changeable enough?
Men have this innate tendency to project all of their neurotic, mother issues-based views and assumptions (a.k.a. delusions) onto a woman when they first see her and then learn a small kernel of information about her. Most recently, (because I wrote something about a certain film pertaining to alcohol abuse), a male took it to mean that I myself have been in rehab because of the way in which I spoke about it. I have not (though sometimes, when a binge gets out of control, I wonder if I should). In fact, it often feels that my fake bravado is so frequently misinterpreted by the opposite gender to mean that I’m a barely functioning cunt with a vag so diseased it might just fall off any day now. If only they knew the truth. Of my piety in comparison to so many others. It just happens that all my bad decision-making tends to occur when I’m drunk so that it ends up serving as the core of what I explore in my own depressing and fatalistic narratives. It was my way of coping, to do this. I didn’t need another person to come along and steal my life and sole means of catharsis to be repurposed for the part of the fallen woman bequeathed with an unattractive name, to boot.
Maybe I should blame myself first though. For, like most, I’ve been prone to romanticizing all of those tragic women we used to encourage men to create–from authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald to directors like Federico Fellini. Each and every one us, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, has enjoyed watching a woman spiral out of control for the sake of cautionary tale or “epic story.” It’s been such a persistent archetype that we’re scarcely coming out of its trance only now. And barely.
Even so, I think, at this point, I would dance for money (despite my extreme self-consciousness about my body and the need to carefully curate how it is seen). I’m not suited for anything with a regular schedule and no one is buying what I’m selling in the art world so maybe, after all this time, I can fulfill your image of me. This nothing piece of shit who was plucked from the gutter by you only to be tossed back into it more of a pauper and an untouchable than before you thought it would be a fun (or at least useful to your writing) project to take on. Turning me all the more into the character you originally wanted me to be.