Elevate Difference

The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage

The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage, written by Iran native Roxana Shirazi, was a complete and utter waste of my time. The book was championed by writers Neil Strauss and Anthony Bozza, who met up with Shirazi one faithful day and immediately became enthralled by her tails of debauchery with bad up and coming rock ‘n’ roll bands, as well as some oldies, but not so goodies like Guns N’ Roses. Appetite for Destruction never did anything for me musically or otherwise, but apparently the mere appearance of Axl Rose was enough to give Shirazi “gushing orgasms” as a teenage girl and her sexual fantasies about him set her on her path to groupiedom.

I’m not surprised that two men would be impressed by a book in which an otherwise intelligent woman makes a fool of herself by revealing that she’s let musicians piss on her and has had sex while so wasted that she threw up on one of her many partners for the night. According to these boys, “This was a woman who was not a victim, but who made rock bands her victim—and she got off on pushing them to extremes that made them uncomfortable.” Did these guys read the book? From what I could tell, it didn’t take much coercing to convince the men to degrade her, and a person who’s completely at ease with their lifestyle isn’t prone to nervous breakdowns, depressive episodes, or the need to constantly be wasted, as was detailed by Shirazi.

It’s apparent that this book is meant to shock, but I found nothing shocking about it. Shirazi, who calls herself a feminist, defends her use of the word slut before her story begins. I don’t care about her use of slut; it’s not offensive to me in any way. What is offensive, however, is attempting to pass this book off as a heroic piece of writing by a fun and carefree young woman who happens to have a penchant for wild nights and rock stars. If anything, this book just verifies that being a groupie is a lifestyle often chosen by women with low self-esteem.

The first portion of the book details the author’s childhood in Iran where she was a “child basked in gunfire, Islamic law, and sexuality.” Raised mostly by her mother and grandmother, Shirazi was abandoned by her opium addict father, molested and raped by neighbors, and beaten by her step father. It seems to me that these are the kinds of things that shape a young woman.

Having suffered through similar circumstances, I can attest to the fact that burying the feelings that result from these occurrences only sets you up for disaster once your sexuality is blooming and your childhood has left you with the impression that men are supposed to hurt, yell, hit, and take anything they want from you—even when you say no. It seems absurd to me that Shirazi doesn’t make the connection in the book that her feelings as a child, a belief that the abuse she suffered at the hands of men was her own fault, was the most likely reason she grew up and allowed herself to be further taken advantage of, almost as if she felt like she deserved it and that it was her duty to be the thing that men used to get off.

What’s wrapped up to look like a fun package, a carefree romp in the hay, is actually a very depressing book that often reads like a bad romance novel. (“I don’t understand how Stuart found the energy and ability to fuck me so masterfully all night, nor how his testicles were able to produce such a huge amount of sperm.”) Shirazi is disparaging of other women, often only describing them in terms of their weight, makeup, clothing choices, and ability to be fucked by second rate rock stars. You get the impression that she’s the type of person who thinks calling another woman fat or ugly is the biggest insult that can be hurled.

If anything was shocking about The Last Living Slut, it was the author’s implication that the rockers she is sleeping with are fulfilling her “hunger for a free-spirited life, for breaking the rules, for laughing, for knowing the meaning of it.” If fucking teenage boys in bad bands and has-been rock stars in worse bands is the meaning of life—and the new face of feminism—I better bow out now.

Written by: Tina Vasquez, July 27th 2010

Great review, Tina! Well-written, to the point, and brutally honest. And thank you so very much for critiquing this trend in memoirs where women claim to be sexually liberated only to submit to the most disrespectful objectifying behavior from men.

Sincerely,

Ebony Edwards-Ellis

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