Saturday, 22 December 2012

'Anthropology of an American Girl' by Hilary Thayer Hamann

I recently read a terrible book called Anthropology of an American Girl. You can read why I felt that way about it here, but in the first fifth or so, I have to admit that there were some perfectly expressed passages. I wanted to note them here, because I have every intention of passing this book out of my sight and onto a charity shop for some other poor soul to find.
'Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are expected to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to express. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves. This way those who do succumb to the lure of sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance and aversion. We are to starve the flesh from our bones, penalising the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances from men that we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises, then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars.' (p. 29)

'It's strange to realise you have sustained yourself on a memory of a person that has become untrue.' (p. 40)

'I moved on because I had to, because pain gets heavy when you carry it far from its source, like a bucket of water hauled miles from a stream - it acquires a whole new value, which is the sum of its primary essence and your secondary investment.' (p. 115)