Le Pais, 2023-04-08

Houellebecq quiere ser una “mujer violada”

Nuria Labari, Le Pais, 2023 April 8

Original in Spanish

Translation in English

Houellebecq wants to be a “raped woman”

The writer’s literary licence hides a dangerous prejudice: that of insisting, once again, that it is characteristic of women to say yes in order to later think that they do not. Or to say no in order, in reality, to wish that they did.

Michel Houellebecq’s latest provocation is that very soon we will all be able to see him having sex in the Dutch experimental film Kirac 27 by director Stefan Ruitenbeek. Because
he wants to make his debut in the world of artistic porn.
Although he signed a document to participate in the film, he now regrets having done so. So much so that he has tried to stop the premiere in the courts (Amsterdam and Paris), but with a contract and consenting adults, no one will give him a chance. It is striking that the writer is unable to feel that he has been simply violated as the man he is and that he feels he must change gender in order to experience humiliation or shame.
Could it be that Houellebecq is now a victim of the patriarchy?
Or would he like to be? Personally, I can’t resist the text commentary of waste. 
“I feel, albeit with much less force, more or less what women who have been raped feel. I have the impression that my body does not belong to me. I have the impression that I feel ashamed too. And the third thing is a mistrust and a lack of interest in sexual relations,” he explains. It is impressive that the French literary star does not conceive in his rich imaginary that raped men exist and that he describes how women who are victims of rape feel, as if they were all the same, as if they were all the same, as if they were concepts instead of people. On the other hand, I find it suspicious that he resorts to the image of a raped woman to describe a situation (his own) where someone signs a contract for sexual relations that he later regrets. In other words, Houellebecq is a raped woman who has previously consented, even enjoyed the sex, but who, later on, determines herself to be a raped woman. A literary licence that hides a dangerous prejudice: that of insisting, once again, that it is characteristic of women to say yes in order to later think no. Or to say no in order, in reality, to say no in order to say no. Or to say no in order, in reality, to say yes in order to say no. Or to say no in order, in reality, to wish that they did. Sex and consent, as we know, are very confusing, full of nuances and obscurity. And as it is, anyone can be a raped woman, including Michel Houellebecq. Dangerous statement. Because even monstrous, rape victims are neither a monstrous product nor a misunderstanding,literary product or a philosophical misunderstanding. Being a raped woman has nothing to do with changing one’s mind, but with an abuse committed consciously by the aggressor.
However, it is incredible how, throughout the interview, the writer pursues the legitimacy of the victim (which he is not) by trying to identify with the image of a raped woman. And it is shameful how, in order to do so, he deploys his macho imaginary, where women are political subjects called upon to suffer the sexual abuse of men. He, who has used and abused male privilege, now also wants to enjoy the recognition that victims of macho sexual abuse receive. Thus, his appetite for privilege (including not honouring the contracts he signs) turns him into the worst version of himself. It is clear that he is going to write about it, and it is clear that he is building up the status of victim so that he can later denounce, as a raped woman, the inconsistency of sexual consent.
When a topic gives a lot to talk about, read everything there is to say.

The question is especially petty if we look at one of the promotional images in the trailer, showing Michel Houellebecq in bed, 67 years old, in sober silk pyjamas in the style of Hugh Heffner (owner of the Playboy mansion) and the young Jini Van Rooijen, 30 or 40 years younger, with a flowered bed-hopper and a smile from ear to ear, happily seduced by the sexual and intellectual vigour of the writer. This image of a very young woman (ideally underage) irremediably attracted by the intelligence of a man of letters has been consented to, celebrated and encouraged by a supposed French sexual freedom that she has already denounced, in which she recounts the relationship she had at the age of 14 with the writer Gabriel Matzneff, 36 years older, with her consent and that of her entire family and cultural environment. Springora denounces how the French cultural imaginary has spent decades insisting ad nauseam on the ideal representation (cinematographic and literary) of unequal relationships crossed by the power of one of the parties (the educated man) and the innocence and lack of protection of the other (the naïve girl, whose body is at the service of the pleasure of the former). No wonder then that the porn actor Houellebecq remains faithful to the most rancid French macho-eroticism. In fact, although the French National Prize for Literature says he feels like a woman who has been raped, he never wonders how the young Jini Van Rooijen, who appears in the film lying to him, will feel. Or how his wife, Qianyum Lysis Li, with whom he has also had sex for the film, will feel. Why doesn’t the writer mention the right to privacy of his female partners? Even as a raped woman, he is not able to put himself in a woman’s shoes.
Nevertheless, in the interview he appears to be depressed and distressed. But not as a raped woman, but as a misplaced literary star. Houellebecq senses that, the way he is going, he will not win the Nobel Prize. Literary recognition is at a low ebb for sexist speeches, and the Hugh Hefner-like scene is notoriously damaging to his social prestige. 
He is very much a woman, Annie Ernaux, at the ideological antipodes, will he believe that she is a woman, Annie Ernaux, at the ideological antipodes.
Houellebecq that he has been awarded the Nobel prize because women
fashionable or will she be able to imagine (let alone accept) that she is a great writer?
We will never know, for his arrogance is such that Houellebecq boasts that he has never read Ernaux. “To be honest, I haven’t really
really read her. I won’t say anything bad about her because I don’t know her well. In other words, he doesn’t even think about saying anything good about her. Ernaux? Ernaux who? What Houellebecq wants now is to be the new woman of French letters, to be the victim and the privileged male at the same time. And that is why he announces, in the same interview, that he is going to write his story as a raped woman. “I will change the names of the people, except for me, I will write it in the first person. I think that, more or less, it’s the only thing I know how to do and it can do me good by helping me to destroy the memory,” he explains.

Houellebecq in concert.