Guest Column by Dr. By Jayendrina Singha Ray
In her famous essay “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Hélène Cixous resurrects the myth of Medusa — a gorgon whose terrifying glance turned onlookers into stone. Medusa was created as a result of rape and chastisement, and through her monstrosity represented such a threat to the world of men that its heroic representative Perseus was commissioned to cut and conquer her terrifying head.
Cixous calls this a display of masculine power that rests on a sense of “obligatory virility” designed to “invade,” “colonize” and tame its surroundings.
If we are to go by the gunman Robert Long’s claim, the recent shooting spree in Atlanta’s massage parlors was not about race — it was about justice and the virile obligation to invade a restorative space and “eliminate” the “temptation” represented by businesses that employed female masseuses of Asian origin. …
About the Author
Jayendrina Singha Ray has a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English composition and research writing at Highline College and Bellevue College.
About Highline Voices
Highline Voices brings a range of diverse perspectives to our community, featuring the expertise of Highline College staff and faculty. Read other articles in the Highline Voices series that began in 2016. All Highline employees are welcome to contribute to the series. Email Dr. Tanya Powers or Kari Coglon Cantey for guidelines.