We may have turned the wounded woman into a kind of goddess, romanticized her illness and idealized her suffering, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t happen. Women still have wounds: broken hearts and broken bones and broken lungs. How do we talk about these wounds without glamorizing them? Without corroborating an old mythos that turns female trauma into celestial constellations worthy of worship?
The moment we start talking about wounded women, we risk transforming their suffering from an aspect of the female experience into an element of the female constitution—perhaps its finest, frailest consummation. The ancient Greek Menander once said: “Woman is a pain that never goes away.”He probably just meant women were trouble, but his words hold a more sinister suggestion: the possibility that being a woman requires being in pain, that pain is the unending glue and prerequisite of female consciousness.
"Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain" - Leslie Jamison
My friend doseoflovely sent me this article. Jamison combines literary history with cultural critique and an individual narrative of identity. This is an article that begs to be read.
"These girls aren’t wounded so much as post-wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They’re over it. I am not a melodramatic person. God help the woman who is. What I’ll call ‘post-wounded’ isn’t a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect: These women are aware that ‘woundedness’ is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama, so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: Don’t cry too loud; don’t play victim. Don’t ask for pain meds you don’t need; don’t give those doctors another reason to doubt. Post-wounded women fuck men who don’t love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blasé about it; they refuse to hurt about it or to admit they hurt about it—or else they are endlessly self-aware about it, if they do allow themselves this hurting.”
Ahhh Christ. Jamison is right all over the place in this essay.
From what many consider to be “then first picture book dedicated to the education of young children”
Illustration for the sounds, from the 1705 English edition of Orbis Sensualium Pictus
From In the Image of God: John Comenius and the First Children’s Picture Book | Public Domain Review
Sorting my music library by title is always an enlightening experience.