Mad About Marilyn
To the Editors of The Crimson:
The book review "Searching for Norma Jeane" [January 26] left a sour taste in my mouth. The fact that Gloria Steinem is a woman (and the first) who has endeavored to write a major biography of Marilyn Monroe does, not give her some sort of credit of redressing a "sexist imbalance"--at least, not in substantive terms. Elizabeth L. Wurtzel correctly describes this biography--half photographs--as a "coffee table decoration". As such, the book continues a tradition of exploiting Monroe as an erotic object and as an object of greedy curiosity. On the other hand, one may consider this book, 1980s-style, as an advance for the lot of women. We must reason that since Marylyn Monroe's body long ago entered the public domain, an enlightened feminist, such as Steinem, should hardly be prudish about reaping profit (monetary or literary) therein. It stands to reason that if men can gang-rape a woman, women can also gang-rape a woman--it's a free country.
If I am still disappointed when a woman who reviews such a book fails to be as perplexed by it as I am, maybe I'm just getting sentimental.