A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.
Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via thisisendless)
I’m just frozen. Absences of women in history don’t “just happen,” they are made.
Relevant: “Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…” - Sylvia Plath
Even more relevant: the fact that Alene Lee was never able to get her (amazing) autobiographical works published because her experiences as a black and Cherokee woman were not considered marketable. And yet motherfucking Kerouac whipped out The Subterraneans in three days and had an instant bestseller, basing his one-dimensional fetishized love interest on Alene without her consent.
Meanwhile, Alene still isn’t included in most books on the Beats — even those that focus on women.