A trans-identified male who once described “femaleness” as “an open mouth [and] an expectant a**hole” has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the category of Criticism.
Andrea Long Chu, critic for New York Magazine, has been recognized for five essays, including a review of Ottessa Moshfegh’s works, which at first glance bring to mind the writing of the Marquis de Sade. “The author has been hailed as a high priestess of filth. Really, she wants to purify her readers,” writes Long Chu, of Moshfegh’s writing.
“Andrea Long Chu’s literary criticism is remarkable for its scope as much as its pyrotechnics,” said New York Magazine editor-in-chief David Haskell in response to Long Chu’s award. “She’s [sic] most interested in the ways some writers are always revealing themselves: via their politics, especially, and their fixations. When preparing to review a new book, she [sic] reads the author’s entire body of work, along with every interview that author has ever given, in an attempt to burrow herself into that writer’s worldview.”
Long Chu’s own past writing is certainly revealing. In response to the Pulitzer announcement, outraged feminists on Twitter have been sharing quotes demonstrating Long Chu’s opinions on what it means to be a woman.
“At the center of sissy porn lies the a**hole, a kind of universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed,” said Long Chu in the book Females: A Concern.
“Distilling the femaleness to its barest essentials - an open mouth, an expectant a**hole, blank, blank eyes.”
“Sissy porn did make me trans,” confessed Long Chu.
“Sissy hypo porn” is a subset of trans porn that has been gaining in popularity over the last decade. It typically involves men engaged in “forced feminisation,” which is the erotic fantasy of being forced to wear makeup, lingerie, or women’s clothes and be sexually submissive. According to writer Genevieve Gluck, it fetishises the humiliation of becoming a woman.
Sissy hypno porn and autogynephilia go hand in hand. Autogynephilia is a paraphilia, or a fetish, involving a man’s erotic desire to become a woman. The term autogynephilia was coined by sexologist Ray Blanchard in the 1980s and literally means love of oneself as a woman. According to Blanchard, the majority of men identifying as women and seeking medical transition are autogynephilic.
According to Long Chu, autogynephilia describes the basic structure of all human sexuality.
“Autogynephilia describes not an obscure paraphilic affliction but rather the basic structure of all human sexuality. The assimilation of any erotic image is, by nature, female,” wrote Long Chu. “To be female is, in every case, to become what someone else wants. At bottom, everyone is a sissy.”
Despite acknowledging that pornography was the cause of Long Chu’s transgender identity, the writer underwent vaginoplasty in 2018.
Prior to the surgery, Long Chu wrote an unusual article for its genre in the New York Times, discussing the upcoming pain and lifelong need for care of the wound.
“Next Thursday, I will get a vagina. The procedure will last around six hours, and I will be in recovery for at least three months. Until the day I die, my body will regard the vagina as a wound; as a result, it will require regular, painful attention to maintain. This is what I want, but there is no guarantee it will make me happier. In fact, I don’t expect it to. That shouldn’t disqualify me from getting it,” wrote Long Chu.
The Pulitzer Committee will likely add Long Chu to their list of "female" prize winners.
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