Here, Eimear McBride unpicks the contradictory forces of disgust and objectification that control and shame women. From playground taunts of “only sluts do it” but “virgins are frigid”, to ladette culture and the arrival of ‘ironic’ porn, via Debbie Harry, the Kardashians, and the Catholic Church, McBride looks at how this prejudicial messaging has played out in the past and still surrounds us today.
In this subversive essay, McBride asks – Are women still damned if we do, damned if we don’t? How can we give our daughters (and sons) the unbounded futures we want for them? And, in this moment of global crisis, might our gift for juggling contradiction help us to find a way forward?