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Annamaria Prandi on King Kong Theorie
30 December, 2022
King Kong the fictional giant monster resembling a gorilla? King Kong the anti-hero? Not here. Despentes invites us to consider King Kong without sexual attributes, a metaphor of power (he is still King), but of a sexuality that predates the distinction of genders. King Kong beyond the female and beyond the male, indeed, if anything, a link: man/animal, adult/child, good/bad, primitive/civilised, white/black.
But King Kong girl will choose another type of protection, that of the hypernormed heterosexuality, of the fit, of the civilised man who wants to touch the bestial and feel terrified as long as it is safe, as long as he does not lose control, as long as he remains within society and its dictates. King Kong yes, but only in chains. So much so that when he breaks free, and unleashes his power in the city, he is punished with death. And King Kong girl remains a prisoner.
And it is against that form of civilisation that has relegated women to a subordinate position that Virginie Despentes lashes out in this book that seems to burn in your hands as you read it. It explodes with the violent charge of words, a violence claimed by Despentes right from her ‘Baise-moi’. Because Despentes is angry, against society, against conformism, against the idea of femininity that wants women attentive, composed, pretty, cultured but not too much, domesticated and tamed, against the phantom that disturbed Virginia Woolf intent on writing, the Angel in the House.
Despentes claims power for women, the virile category par excellence. The book is read in one breath, we race to know where we can go. And Despentes pushes us to the end, to that ‘I want it all’.
Feminism is revolution. This is about blowing it all up! she says.