Monday, January 20, 2020

Mae West: Subtle Masochism

“In real life, I’m very boring, so I made up the walk and the talk,” said MAE WEST.
• • British freelancer Dr. Sabina Stent, whose area of study included “Women artists, Surrealism, and unconventional females,” penned a fascinating essay on Mae’s customized double-decker footwear. This is Part 23 of 27 parts.
• • “Get the Idea, Boys? Mae West’s Shoes” • •
• • excruciating heels would telegraph a woman’s masochism • •
• • Sabina Stent wrote: Mary Karr writes: For I was a slave to the desire that rules our libidinal culture. And an elongated foot and leg just announces, Hey, y’all, there’s pussy at the other end of this. Yet every pair of excruciating heels also telegraphs a subtle masochism: i.e., I am a woman who can not only take an ass-whipping; to draw your gaze, I’ll inflict one on myself.
Mae West's stage shoes during her 1950s night club act
• • Sabina Stent wrote: Mary Karr’s description is a perfect summation of heels association with sex, and the conflict between pleasure and pain. The surrealists were fascinated by hands for a similar reason: they have the potential to produce both pleasure and pain in intense forms.
• • Sabina Stent wrote: Mae West was undoubtedly capable of issuing an ass-whipping, but it’s doubtful she ever admitted it was to herself.
• • long legs as “the pathway to the genitals” • • . . .  
• • This long essay by Sabina Stent will be continued on the next post.
• • Source: Majuscule, Issue 2; posted in December 2019.
• • On Sunday, 20 January 1929 • •
• • On Sunday, 20 January 1929 Mae brought "Diamond Lil" to Chicago, where it made its Midwest debut to a packed house. For most of the 16-week engagement, the play attracted a large audience in the Windy City.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West, the very popular star of Paramount Pictures, rarely appeared on radio. When she did, the sole purpose was to promote one of her films.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Personality is the most important thing to an actress's success — — the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights . . . into that big black space where the audience is."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A North Carolina columnist mentioned Mae West.
• • Francis C. Thompson wrote: If you’ll pardon me:  The ladies will readily admit a genuine dislike for Mae West, who incidentally, is holding her own with the public. But here it is –
• • Francis C. Thompson wrote: I learn authoritatively that ladies’ shops are increasing their sales on items that might be termed, “builder-uppers.” …
• • Source: The Daily Courier, thanks to Cliffside Historical Society, N.C.; published on Thursday, 9 May 1935
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • •
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — —
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 15th anniversary • • 
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,300 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4,391st blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
• • Be sure to bookmark or follow The Mae West Blog
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • black double-decker heels worn by Mae West • •
• • Feed — —

1 comment:

  1. Just catching up to your delightful posts regarding Mae West's iconic footwear, I can only surmise that at the end of the day she must have had to soak her "dogs," as they must have been "barkin'!"