Quote: Helena Fitzgerald on living alone as a challenge to patriarchy

In popular culture we have “the bachelor pad,” and “the bachelor lifestyle,” but no such phrases for women. Women who live alone are objects of fear or pity, witches in the forest or Cathy comics. Even the current cultural popularity of female friendship still speaks to how unwilling we all are to accept women without a social framework; a woman who’s “alone” is a woman who’s having brunch with a bunch of other women. When a woman is truly alone, it is the result of a crisis—she is grieving, has lost something, is a problem to be fixed. The family, that fundamental social unit, dwells within the female body and emanates from it. Women are the anchors of social labor, the glue pulling the family, and then the community, together with small talk and good manners and social niceties. Living alone as a woman is not just a luxury but a refusal to bend into the shape of patriarchal assumption and expectation.Helena Fitzgerald, The Fierce Triumph of Loneliness


Quote: What happened to the women Beat writers?

A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.”Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg  (via thisisendless)