Sinistre* and I have been thinking hard about The Bell-Jar of late. One aspect I shall now consider in this piece; namely the issue of Buddy Willard’s hypocrisy. This piece takes the form of a conversation with Antisophie.
Sinistre: I have a question, Antisophie
Antisophie: I presume it’s about that soppy Plath novel, again; that Michael got you guys to read, right?
Sinistre: Yes, it is estalished by Plath’s character, that her old flame, Buddy Willard is a hypocrite due to the falsenes of his percieved virginal character against his actual heterosexual practice, right?
Antisophie: It’s not quite this particular thing which forms the hypocrisy, rather, it is the double standards that it is acceptable for men to transgress the sexual ideal of purity, while for women, it is inflexible. To live in a world of men who are less able than you, less intelligent, philistine, and crude to the highest degree, is the ultimate oppression of woman.
Sinistre: Okay, I can accept this point, and even, although I am not a woman, sympathise with the Greenwood character, that she is forced or obliged by society and her family to have a typical ‘female’ job of the 1950s such as typing, being a secretar, or perhaps to be a housewife. But what positive thing or prospect is there for masculinity?
Antisophie: Interesting question…I suppose the most obvious point is the percieved virginal ideal of ‘clean cut males’
Sinistre: It is a crucial component of our lives that we have this sexuality; but how can one be positive about male sexuality in such a way to both avoid hypocrisy and the subjection of women?
Antisophie: Affirming truths about our sexuality, expressing it in a way that is not necessarily overt, but certainly not oppressive or repressive. Accept your sexuality, accept your sex, and liberation comes not as to the subject in question, ut in the cessation of oppression.
Sinistre: What option is open for positive sexuality? Is one to express overt bravura? Womanise and admit?
Antisophie: This is a question not of the individual, but of an age. An age of egalitarian relations, where sex relations do not oppress one or the other, or themselves.