Purple Magazine
— The Love Issue #34

the 25th hour

ART

text by CLAIRE FONTAINE

writing and text-based pieces play a central role in the work of claire fontaine, a collective feminist artist created in paris in 2004 by james thornhill and fulvia carnevale

Love is gravity’s enemy. It gives people wings. It also kills women, gays, queers, and trans. (The numbers are just incredible)…

…Love is useful. So much of our mental balance, productivity, self-esteem depends on love. And we don’t learn it anywhere: there is no love education. All around us are only patriarchy, racism, capitalism, and other forms of selective empathy and spiritual illiteracy. Above all, there is the wide political spectrum of toxic masculinity, with its infancy without perspective of adulthood, and toddler-like ignorance of relational wisdom and shared pleasure. Toxic masculinity can only terrorize or be terrorized; it cannot be transformed, converted, convinced.

The class and racial divides between heterosexual women only make their solitude deeper. Money wasn’t made for them; it doesn’t bring them happiness, but still they need it.

The rich man changes the laws to his own advantage, shapes the world according to his perverse image.

The rich woman buys herself expensive clothes and improves her looks through facelifts, Botox, eyelid surgery, neck lifts, lip augmentation, vaginal rejuvenation, liposuction, endoscopic surgery, locals, regional flaps, bone cartilage, soft tissue, musculocutaneous flaps, microvascular flaps, free flaps, split-thickness skin grafts, full-thickness skin grafts, composite skin grafts, tissue expansion, body contouring, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, buttock augmentation, spider-vein treatments, buttock lifts, thigh lifts, fat transfer, upper arm lifts, lower body lifts, upper body lifts, nonsurgical fat reduction, breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lifts, breast revision, breast reconstruction, facial rejuvenation, plastic surgery after dramatic weight loss, mommy makeovers, cellulite treatments, laser hair removal, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, eyelash enhancement, nonsurgical skin tightening, hair transplants, permanent make-up, hand rejuvenation, perspiration reduction, IPL photorejuvenation, Belkyra, and Teosyal RHA I, II, III, and IV, which, unlike other procedures, will allow the women who submit to it to express the full range of human emotions — if the advertisement is truthful.

Because when love is conditional, there is always room for improvement, especially if we can pay for it. And women’s well-being is something in-between: an unexplored wasteland and a militarized territory, hard to access, and dangerously revolutionary (the mechanisms of the female orgasm and the anatomy of women’s genitals were only fully uncovered in 1998 by Australian urologist Helen O’Connell, who was the first scientist to clearly identify the internal parts of the clitoris and show its complexity).

Self-objectification can be a never-ending and painful process, a residue of when women couldn’t own anything and were owned themselves. As Carla Lonzi explains in Let’s Spit on Hegel (1970): “Historical materialism misses the emotional element that lay behind the transition to private property. It is there that we shall look in order to identify the archetype of property, the very first object conceived by man: the sexual object. By discarding his first prey from man’s unconscious, woman can unblock the origins of pathological possessiveness.”

We know that love and private property make an unhappy marriage, but we still don’t know any love without jealousy and possession. We don’t know the horizontal, accepting, empowering, intelligent, collective love that we need.

Women have been entrusted with the unpaid labor of love. Availability has been and remains women’s condition for being loved. The love they get in return is gratitude for their slavery; it stems from the fear of being abandoned, from dependency — it’s not an emancipating love for the ones who give it, nor for the ones who receive it.

Women must not only refuse what they have been given, but they also have to refuse what has been refused to them: equality, rights, respect. Like racialized and discriminated-against people, they don’t need any of it — they need to be loved because if they were loved, they wouldn’t have to beg for these things.

Women have the problem, not only of having to reject what they have been told about love and themselves, of finding ways of communicating and preventing all the terrible things that men do to them, but also of having to forgive all of it, to be able to continue living and believing in a love that can be reinvented and taught to men.

There is no way in which they can get rid of their “enemy”: the “enemy” is the person whose love they have to win and secure. (The simple fact that they still want it is problematic…) In short, the work of heterosexual women is never done. Above all, it’s a headfuck under the current socioeconomic conditions: impossible in a capitalist society where they are busy working like men but paid less, doing housework when they get home, and taking care of the children. That leaves little time to explore one’s subconscious, reinvent human relationships, and forgive the unforgivable (especially if, in the meantime, they need to take care of themselves to stay young and desirable).

The day only has 24 hours, and if patriarchy doesn’t end, love between men and women will have to be reinvented in the 25th hour.

END

 

 

[Table of contents]

The Love Issue #34

Table of contents

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