Marilyn Monroe? She didn’t deserve our sexist projections then, though she fulfilled them. She doesn’t deserve our feminist projections now. She deserves to be seen for the full, sad, remarkable human being that she was, now.
We all love to love Marilyn, including me.
But every time I see someone “pin” or share a quote of hers about how to live life…well, I’ve read about her life, and she was (as many of us are, and that’s okay) miserable. She was used. She was alone, and often lonely.
Yes, she was lovely, full-hearted, and full of life. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with suffering and depression and misery. We all go through our inner torments. But was she some icon of feminism? Hardly.
PS: one of your favorite quotes by Marilyn? Not by Marilyn:
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” –
The above inspired by the rude, but accurate, below:
On the other hand:
Theism—hero-worship of any kind—is bad for us. It lets us off the hook: if they’re perfect, we’re just lowly neurotics and can’t help serve or save this world. News alert: no one is perfect. It’s up to us to help. Stop tearing people down after building them up. They were never so great or so evil. Fan-culture and mob hate are the same thing: two extreme ends of our putting folks up on pedestals. Read about the Buddhist notion of theism on elephantjournal.com ??? PS: Hemingway was an asshole. He was also amazing. He killed himself after a decade-plus of being followed by the FBI, which created understandable paranoia. Plus: “…Over the course of his life he had weathered malaria, dysentery, skin cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and these maladies had taken their toll. Additionally, he had suffered six serious, essentially untreated concussions (two within back-to-back years), which left him with headaches, mental fogginess, ringing in his ears, and very likely a traumatic brain injury.
Several years before his suicide, he was almost killed in two separate plane crashes, in two days, which ruptured his liver, spleen, and kidneys, sprained several limbs, dislocated his shoulder, crushed vertebra, left first degrees burns over much of his body, and cracked his skull, giving him one of the aforementioned concussions (this one so severe that cerebral fluid seeped out of his ear). He was in constant pain afterwards, which he dealt with by drinking even more heavily than he usually did.
Hemingway had untreated hemochromatosis, which creates an overload of iron in the blood, causing painful damage to joints and organs, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. (Hemochromatosis runs in families, which may partly explain why suicide ran in Hemingway’s; his grandfather, father, brother, sister, and granddaughter all killed themselves.)
In addition to his physical deterioration, in the months before his death, Hemingway plunged into a state of depression, delusion, and paranoia (possibly precipitated by his TBI) the likes of which his friends and family had never before seen. He found he could no longer write, and the loss of the ability to engage in the great purpose of his life left him in tears. He was hospitalized twice for psychological treatment, but felt the electroshock treatments he was given further inhibited his writing and only made the depression worse.
While leaving for his second stay at the hospital, Hemingway said he needed to go into his house to get a few belongings. He was accompanied by a nurse, doctor, and friends, who had to monitor him constantly to keep him from harming himself. But as soon as he opened the door, he rushed over to his guns, chambered a round into a shotgun, and was only stopped from killing himself by a friend tackling and physically restraining him. Before getting on the plane to take off, he tried to walk into a spinning propeller. Once the plane was in flight, he twice attempted to jump from the aircraft.
Hemingway shot himself in the head a day and a half after returning home from the hospital…” from the #artofmanliness