Liebling, P. A. A. (2022). Woman Yelling At A Cat. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2517
I’m writing a creative writing piece inhabiting the world of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as I’ve experienced them, as objects, subjects, and agents of gender violence, empire building, concealment, opulence, myth-making, and white male supremacy. I’m writing it in an episodic style going behind-the-scenes and in front of what is being portrayed on the screen. I’m excited because I think what many people see as trashy, fraudulent fluff is actually an important documentation of many truths about the construction and maintenance of white womanhood. The idea that there is literal acting on the screen speaks to gender theory. The racial dynamics at play uphold white male supremacy by concealing the true violence behind layers of clothes & dramatic storylines made to distract. Occasionally the curtain slips to the side and we see drug addiction, physical and sexual abuse, racism, male and female violence, classism, and homophobia. I’m interested in the failures of self-representation, when a woman thinks she is saying one thing but is actually accidentally or subconsciously saying something wildly darker. So many people watch, analyze, and discuss these shows on internet forums and domestic spaces, but there is something shameful about consuming and being shaped by this culture. By emphasizing the ties to “housewives” as everyday citizens and rich actresses, we watch the violent theater of the domestic & the self-articulation/becoming that goes on behind closed doors. I’m writing with an engagement with the genre of true crime, and with the central drive to see how this show works to uphold white male supremacy with white female handmaidens as the agents.