Close reading: Andrea Long Chu
Females, a blend of manifesto, autobiography and satire, is a controversial new work of feminist writing. Because of its bold key argument – “everyone is female and everyone hates it” – the text has proved to be a controversial topic of discussion. Together with the author Persis Bekkering we will read this text in detail to find out if there might be a truth in this statement.
Reading, a lonely occupation?
Curling up with a good book is something you generally do on your own, right? But reading doesn’t have to be an individual, let alone lonely activity. Like our new ‘Leesclubdelecture’, this series of ‘Close Readings’ proves the opposite.
A ‘Close Reading’ is a reading club without any preparatory reading work. During a close reading a central guest reads excerpts from a work close to their heart. Together with this passionate moderator, a small group of participants dives into the text, discussing literary forms and political issues that matter today.
A satire of femininity
Drawing inspiration from a forgotten play by Valerie Solanas—the woman who wrote the SCUM Manifesto and shot Andy Warhol—Chu writes a satirical essay about a femininity in relation to a range of topics such as performance art, incels and porn.
Each step of the way, she defends the indefensible claim that femaleness is less a biological state and more a fatal existential condition that afflicts the entire human race— men, women, and everyone else.
A controversial text worth reading
Andrea Long Chu (1992) is an important young voice on topics like feminism and queerness. She has a large following on Twitter and is not shy to spread her controversial opinions. Females is Chu’s first book and has caused angry and shocked reactions.
Nevertheless, our moderator for this close reading, Persis Bekkering, will explain why we should read Females despite Chu’s unbelievable claim. Persis Bekkering is a Dutch author living Brussels and reviewed Chu’s book for the Dutch Review of Books.