The second part of Rita Banerjee’s essay, “The Female Gaze,” an excerpt from her new memoir and manifesto on how young women of color keep their cool against social, sexual, and economic pressure debuts in PANK Magazine today.
In Part 2 of “The Female Gaze,” Banerjee writes:
“II. Be an Object of the Gaze
In Le deuxième sexe, Simone de Beauvoir throws down the gauntlet: On ne naît pas femme: on le devient. One is not born a woman: one becomes it.
Whatever it is or was or could be—female, feminine, feminist, second, subaltern, subordinate, submissive, other sex—Beauvoir asserts that an individual is actively trained, educated, and thus, indoctrinated on how to perform the role of the woman and eventually become it (neutered, masculine category). La femme est une autre. La femme est l’Autre. Je suis l’ Autre. The woman is an Other. The woman is the Other. I am the Other. What did Rimbaud know? Je est un Autre. Godard, too, when he exclaimed, Une femme est une femme? Is a woman just a woman? Who makes a woman? You? Me? Society? A man?”