Nina Power on chocolate:
Chocolate represents that acceptable everyday extravagance that all-too-neatly encapsulates just the right kind of perky passivity that feminized capitalism just moves to reward with a bubble bath and some crumbly coca solids. It sticks in the mouth a bit. In a total abnegation of her own subjective capacity as well as the entire history of huamn achievement, Fay Weldon, for example, claims that:
“What makes women happy? Ask them and they’ll reply, in roughly this order: sex, food, friends, family, shopping, chocolate”
I think there’s a very real sense in which women are supposed to say ‘chocolate’ whenever somebody asks them what they want. It irresistibly symbolizes any or all of the following: ontological girlishness, a naughty viginity that gets its kicks only from a widely-available mucky cloying substitute, a kind of pecuniary decadence [One-Dimensional Woman, pp 36-7]
One of many, many things I love about Zero Books is their continual willingness, even eagerness, to call out the cultural and intellectual conservatism of the time. Take the blurb to Nina Power’s One Dimensional Woman:
That the height of supposed female emancipation coincides so perfectly with consumerism is a miserable index of a politically desolate time. Much contemporary feminism, particularly in its American formulation, doesn’t seem too concerned about this coincidence. This short book is partly an attack on the apparent abdication of any systematic political thought on the part of today’s positive, up-beat feminists. It suggests alternative ways of thinking about transformations in work, sexuality and culture that, while seemingly far-fetched in the current ideological climate, may provide more serious material for future feminism.
Have just ordered the book (and narrowly restrained myself from simultaneously ordering Militant Dysphoria); massively excited to see if it’s as good as Capitalist Realism.