Elevate Difference

King Kong Theory: A Manifesto For Women Who Can’t Or Won’t Obey The Rules

King Kong Theory is most easily my favourite read so far this year; it packs a punch and voices everything I feel about our oppressive patriarchal society. This work is completely free of any hesitation to say what is really going on in the Western world today. Virginie Despentes blew me away with her fresh and honest analysis of what women (and men) struggle within their half-baked, destructive gender roles. She uses research combined with her own gritty experiences to prove her points (of which there are many): silence rots and speaking heals, men exist and women are the negative to the male positive, and what we (both men and women) really feel and need have been smothered by glossy mainstream duct tape.

Yes, this slim tome covers the King Kong story. Despentes points out that the beast has no sex/gender, and is in fact, asexual. He gets along with the beauty, but in the end, he is killed off (nothing but heterosexual relationships here, so bye-bye King Kong!). Poor beauty, like so many other women out there, she is forced to leave the security of King Kong and go back to the dissatisfying and unsafe patriarchal realm.

Currently stuck in a broken system that benefits nobody (do rich white men count?) is angering. I’d forgotten how angry I am that I’m a sole supporting parent (the result of forced sex) without family support (the male predator is always right, so they, like society, stand by him), but King Kong furiously reminded me of how I’ve buried it over the years as yet another maladaptive coping mechanism. Violence against women and children today remains mainly unspoken.

King Kong Theory is not for those in denial or the fainthearted or the apologists; it’s for real men and women who want to change the landscape of power or who simply want to be included, validated as self-actualising individuals with agency. There are many people out there who have been silenced and have similar stories. Unfortunately, as Despentes notes, feminism represents more than just women; it represents a whole system of injustice that rests on gender differences.

This is a book I believe every woman and man should read, even if it means buying, borrowing, or begging for it. If Despentes' provocative films are anything to go by, a prospective reader can expect a powerful polemic that intends to shake up the female and male consciousness, and forces one to recast a blade-sharp view on the continuum of gendered violence permeating in society.

Written by: Nicolette Westfall, May 8th 2010

Thanks! I've been wanting to read this.