JCO, stiletto heels,  REALITY+ e REALITY-

I read "Babysitter" with the feeling of needing to buy an inhaler for asthmatics due to the claustrophobia it caused me. JCO writes with a Babysitter - Joyce Carol Oatesterrifying clarity bordering on sadism. Very crudely, she vivisects, lifting one raw layer of flesh after another, delicately without causing loss of consciousness, to inflict maximum pain - it certainly works only if one is empathetic and knows how to read. Under her ruthless literary forceps lies, as always, American society (but I would say Western society too), the role of women - Hannah, a beautiful butterfly pinned down with painful needles in a collector's showcase, exhibited to visitors with pride and satisfaction.

From the pages of "Babysitter," the inexorable prison of the female condition stands out, and the rape depicted by JCO repeats cyclically on every page. If rape is violation, Hannah, as a woman, is continuously violated: in education, in society, by her father, by her children, by the world. And we all (all, not just women) are Hannah.

Symbolic of the impossibility of salvation are the shoes she wears - always from a Brand, from a man who has crystallized the objectification of women: Ferragamo, Dior, Saint Laurent. By the way, Ferragamo was Marilyn Monroe's favorite - stiletto heels, that make escape impossible.

Given that I'm lazy, I asked CHAT GPT to write the post for me. Connect the dots between stiletto heels, JCO, and the protagonist of Babysitter. Result? A lengthy discussion with the following subheadings:

  1. An icon of bold femininity:
  2. Beauty under control:
  3. A symbol of power and dominance:

In other words, the tirade of the sexy woman of power, perhaps a relative of Wanda Von Sacher-Masoch, feminine, sensual, beautiful, in control, independent - all characteristics that I would define as "Reality+," that is, virtual, but in the sense that they do not really exist at Woman with VR that drives a car on the mountainsall, and hide the fact that they are all characteristics in favor of men (power, control - men have it, and the woman is still an object that exists only in the gaze of the man. "Which one are you?" Y.K. asks).

Who has programmed Chat GPT? Typically, in IT departments, the workers are 80% men, males, white. It's terrifying to think that if they inserted a bias in its learning, what AI will systematically spam us with will be completely distorted in favor of the usual white Western male. But we live in REALITY-, very real and tangible, the reality of women.

I tried then to correct CHAT GPT and after instructing it with a more realistic perspective, Chat GPT rewrote the blog like this:

"In our blog, we enjoy exploring the intersection of fashion and literature while also addressing important themes related to the representation of the female figure. Today, we focus on stiletto heels and their symbolic role in Joyce Carol Oates' novel 'Babysitter.' We will analyze how these shoes can reflect a deeper and more complex reality, in contrast to the traditional imagery associated with femininity and the objectification of women. Specifically, we will explore how the protagonist of the book, Hannah, disappears behind society's branded labels, and how stiletto heels can symbolize some of the obstacles she faces.

  1. The symbolism of stiletto heels:
    While stiletto heels may be considered symbols of elegance and femininity, it is important to delve into their deeper meaning. These shoes, with their high and slender heels, can represent a fashion tradition that often emphasizes outer beauty at the expense of comfort and functionality. In the context of the novel 'Babysitter,' Hannah's stiletto heels can become a symbol of a society that imposes stereotyped roles and expectations on women, limiting their freedom and ability to act independently.
  2. The limitations of social labels:
    The character of Hannah in the novel 'Babysitter' is trapped in a closed armor of social labels. As a wife, mother, lover, and daughter, Hannah seems to disappear behind these identities imposed by society. Similarly, stiletto heels can symbolize society's expectations regarding appearance and female submission, preventing women from walking freely and escaping predetermined roles.
  3. A call to liberation:
    The novel 'Babysitter' can also be read as a call to liberate oneself from the weight of social expectations and the objectifying view of femininity. Behind all the labels and branded fashion, Hannah seems to lose her true identity. Similarly, stiletto heels can represent a critical analysis of the conventions imposed on women. Liberation from these limitations could be seen as a reaffirmation of one's individuality and autonomy."
    Note: I couldn't find any glimmer of hope for a better future in JCO's book, only a bleak realization of "as is, sic et semper."

The stiletto heels and the character of Hannah in Joyce Carol Oates' novel 'Babysitter' offer an insightful perspective on femininity, social expectations, and the search for identity. While these shoes may be associated with objectification stereotypes, Hannah's story invites us to look beyond labels and embrace our authentic individuality.

As Valentina Calzature, we hope to promote an open dialogue about fashion and the role of women in society, reflecting on the importance of freedom and female empowerment.

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