Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Sei Shonagon (10th cent. Japan): notes for a 20th century pillow book

mixed media
50 x 35cm

In reality a feminist would never consent to the burning
of her bra. How unladylike. How gross. In fact a feminist
would rather commit hara-kiri. It's like asking her to
do the unthinkable, the distasteful act of walking
about with her obi undone. There is after all, tradition.
But there is also the fact that only a well-bred & well-
groomed woman can be regarded as a lady because
she possesses personal style.
No doubt a time will come when those involved in women's
rights issues will debate the difference, if any, between the
feminist & women's liberation movements. Probably, among
others, the opinion will be expressed that a feminist is a
woman who looks as if she not only draws a rickshaw
transporting, passengers, but is also prepared to repair
its wheels if & when this becomes necessary.
Someone might even say that quite simply certain women
are delightfully aware of their femininity & that
others, again, give the impression they would not hesitate
to dispose of men's favourite possessions, the source of
so much ecstasy, notably, their marbles.
The difference between the sexes is obvious, the one does
not have what the other tells itself it does not need. Admittedly at
times life is strange. But the women's movements
prove that life does not necessarily have to be dull.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.