Sunday, 20 May 2018

I'M A FEMINIST & I ENJOY LOLITA, SO WHAT?


I often receive questions regarding my love for texts such as Lolita, or perhaps another popular inquisition topic about something more recent: why I'm so invested in the relationship between Sansa Stark and Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. I talk more in depth about the latter here but today I want to clarify my stance as a feminist and why I think there's nothing wrong with enjoying literature and art that focuses on particular tropes found in these fictional relationships. Understandably the appearance of the #MeToo movement after the Weinstein scandal has brought these issues in the real world to the forefront and I couldn't be more grateful that we have been given the voice and safe place we truly should've had all along and will endeavour to keep progressing this movement as there's still so much we can do. However in saying this, I also believe there is a very clear line between fact and fiction, and that I shouldn't have my personal interests dictated to me.


Since we're here, let's take Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita for example. I adore this text, I find the story intriguing and the language beautiful. It deals with a lot of tropes that I gravitate towards in fictional relationships: innocence versus experience, enemies to lovers etc. The most important thing that people tend to forget is that Lolita is not a love story though many might perceive it to be on surface level of a quick read. It contains dark themes that I in no way condone, I've always been drawn to art that is disturbing in some ways which means it is possible to enjoy and doesn't make me any less of a feminist. The key is not to romanticise Lolita. Which admittedly might be difficult with the way the protagonist Humbert weaves his words into amorous and passionate prose but bear in mind that he's not a reliable narrator. From all points of view except his own, he's a pedophile and what he subjects Dolores Haze to is mental, physical, and sexual abuse. 


As I said, appreciating Nabokov's writing does not mean I excuse Humbert's behaviour. In fact, Lolita is an all too relevant reminder that monsters do lurk amongst us. However if you look past all of Humbert's misogyny and at young Dolores' journey, you'll see her story as a survivor. She escapes her captor in the end and it is his world that crumbles down around him. Furthermore, the fact that the novel at the time it was written, recognises female sexual development alone provides a tiny flame of feminism. I premise that ultimately it's this empowering notion that the female comes out on top through it all, that draws me hook, line and sinker into any work of fiction. And that's all there is to it, it is essentially a work of fiction and I reckon some people just need to take a step back to fully realise this. Art is always going to be subjective and thus inevitably divide people. I think that this is what's truly beautiful about it though, and with that it would only be fair to let everyone walk the path of their own choosing. And as you have the right to disagree with someone's opinion, they also have the right to explain themselves. Which I hope I have done sufficiently here. 

Meanwhile I'm going to continue incorporating one of my favourite stories into my outfits because it's a further form of self expression through fashion that I adore. I recently added this white t-shirt into my pretty much non-existent basics collection, complete with a dainty embroidered detail that adds the perfect amount of interest and signature without going full blown slogan tee on you. I also own a super cool Lolita crossbody in the shape of a book that my friend gifted me and it's one of my most worn bags. Coincidentally these Le Specs sunglasses style are called the Last Lolita, even though I got them from an urge to channel Bella Hadid more than anything else. Anyway I'd always associate heart shaped shades to Lo thanks to the Stanley Kubrick film but evidently Lolita has had a huge impact on the fashion industry and continues to do so.


I'd like to end this post with a film recommendation if you happen to find Lolita as thought provoking  and memorable as I do. It's called Una (it's based on the play Blackbird), and it folds out almost as a modern day version of Nabokov's story. It deals with similar themes in the corruption of a minor but instead examines the aftermath of the incident 15 years later, complete with the  return of  the manipulative older man to fuel their toxic chemistry and who also has the ability to sweet-talk his way into blurring the lines of the audience's morals. I find both texts disgustingly brilliant for lack of a better adjective.

Double Trouble Gang t-shirt / ASOS skirt / Mango basket / Stan Smiths / Le Specs sunglasses

If you made it here to the end, I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic. On the other hand if you don't feel like leaving a comment, I totally understand as well because let's face it, we've all got more important things to do.
Thanks for reading!
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