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Marilyn: Norma Jeane

by Gloria Steinem



Pagina 1
our new understanding of who women are has increased our fascination with who Marilyn might have been.


Pagina 3
this whispering, simpering, big-breasted child-woman who was simply hoping her way into total vulnerability. How dare she be just as vulnerable and unconfident as I felt?


Pagina 9
her vulnerable, please-love-me smile


Pagina 9
Instead of using seduction to offer men whatever they want, Madonna uses it to get what she wants


Pagina 15
a society that regresses men


Pagina 17
You recognize sickness, and you find strength.


Pagina 18
As women began to be honest in public, and to discover that many of our experiences were more societal than individual, we also realized that we could benefit more by acting together than by deserting each other. We were less likely to blame or to be the victim, whether Marilyn or ourselves, and more likely to rescue ourselves and each other.


Pagina 19
Physicians had been more likely to prescribe sleeping pills and tranquilizers than to look for the cause of Monroe's sleeplessness and anxiety. They had continued to do so even after she had attempted suicide several times.


Pagina 22
women who had suppressed their internal selves to become interchangeable "pretty girls"


Pagina 23
Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.


Pagina 41
"Listen, Hollywood can be a cruel place. Some of those men that take advantage of a starving and lonely girl trying to m ale the grade as an actress should be shot."


Pagina 42
this semi-furnished house that she now called "a fortress where I can feel safe from the world".


Pagina 42
while in Mexico buying furnishings for her home, Marilyn had visited an orphanage and written a check for a one-thousand-dollar contribution, then had torn it up and written another for ten thousand dollars. That night, she had slept without sleeping pills for one of the few times in her adult life.


Pagina 42
"I hate living alone," she added, sounding herself like that child again, "but I'm doing it."


Pagina 44
A world-famous actress was dead. So was an unknown young girl.


Pagina 51
childhood memories are prisms, not panes of glass.


Pagina 51
emotional honesty.


Pagina 53
Emotional security, continuity, a sense of being loved unconditionally for oneself – all those turn out to be as important to a child's development as all but the most basic food and shelter.


Pagina 53
the resulting damage to a sense of self


Pagina 54
she would close herself into her bedroom alone, and act out all the parts in any movie she had just seen.


Pagina 57
movie studios did not want to hire a starlet who was married and might waste their investment by getting pregnant.


Pagina 57
Marilyn recalled being told to say "Mama" to "a pretty woman who never smiled"


Pagina 58
The relationship of persons who suffered from neglect in childhood resemble those of an actor to his audience. In childhood such a person may have discovered that he could win... momentary attention and love, through his achievements... In such circumstances a child learns to expect nothing but applause. More than momentary warmth and love do not exist... Closeness threatens the security of neglect on which his "child of the past" has been nourished.


Pagina 61
The inability of the person who has suffered from neglect in childhood to contribute much emotionally to a relationship often causes its disintegration.


Pagina 61
Many such people, particularly women, are drawn into theatrical and movie work because, in this work and atmosphere, they can create a fantasy identity. Their inner feelings about themselves are so despairing that they do not feel they can pay attention to these feelings. as one such woman once put it: "When you're nobody, the only way to be somebody is to be somebody else."
As you read and think about Marilyn, remember Norma Jeane.


Pagina 61
"I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful." Marilyn


Pagina 63
I remembered all the sounds and smells of poverty.


Pagina 63
She was also remembered by photographers as the rare model who asked for criticism and wanted to learn every aspect of composing a good photograph.
From them, she also learned the importance of dreams in lives whose realities were hard.


Pagina 66
"In Hollywood a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo," she wrote bitterly.


Pagina 67
"What have you got to lose?" asked a friend who was urging the marriage to Hyde. "Myself," Marilyn said.


Pagina 69
Ah, but it wasn't just sex. She could be so happy and gay. How I remember that laughter!"


Pagina 70
And an odd thing happened to me. I fell in love with myself – not how I was but how I was going to be.


Pagina 70
"Don't love me," Marilyn pleaded with Natasha, "just teach me."


Pagina 70
her habit of hungry but random eating


Pagina 76
Big breasts, big ass, big deal.


Pagina 79
Marilyn said skeptically, "I don't know... I don't trust us."


Pagina 79
"I've been dumb, but not that dumb."


Pagina 79
"I convince them by throwing a fit, not by explaining anything. So I have a fit. A screaming crazy fit..."


Pagina 90
This difficulty in exerting authority over her own life, much less over others, is one that many women have experienced. A lack of self-confidence, a feeling of being unsuited to power, is the emotional training that helps to keep any less-than-equal group in its place.


Pagina 92
As Ella Fitzgerald concluded, "She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn't know it."


Pagina 92
Her empathy with strong women, and her willingness to develop strength in herself, was blocked by her assumptions of what a woman should be.


Pagina 95
If Marilyn Monroe had been easy to imitate, there would have been many more of her by now – and there are none.


Pagina 100
describes her as "a lover book who did not read"


Pagina 100
Jean-Paul Sartre [...] considered Marilyn "one of the greatest actresses alive."


Pagina 103
Without those long trips marriage might have lasted for the reason that many once did: the wife had neither the financial nor the emotional ability to leave.


Pagina 107
Kindness is the strangest thing to find in a lover


Pagina 107
When he put his arms around me and said he loved me, I knew it was true.


Pagina 107
You might as well try to make yourself fly as to make yourself love.


Pagina 118
She could have some impact, some power, some proof she was alive.


Pagina 118
Marilyn kept hoping that a relationship with a man would give her the identity she lacked, and that her appearance would give her the man.


Pagina 118
the alarming situation of being married but emotionally unattached


Pagina 119
Perhaps Norma Jeane's neglect started too early and was too complete.


Pagina 119
she had learned mannerisms so extreme they were almost those of a female impersonator.


Pagina 137
Children who are not the focus of loving attention may come to feel they are invisible. They fight to be noticed to prove they exist.


Pagina 141
It is a dilemma this culture imposes on many women whose beauty is their only power.


Pagina 141
Sex was less a reward to herself than a price she paid gladly.


Pagina 174
As her third husband, Arthur Miller, has testified, she had an odd ability to absorb the essence of a writer's message.


Pagina 174
Her searches after knowledge were arbitrary and without context. [...] But she was interested. She exercised judgement and wasn't overreverential. And she never gave up.


Pagina 178
she could retreat to her own imagination and remain absorbed for hours at a time. It was the habit of a lonely child who makes her own company, but it was also the habit of an artist who imagines abstract scenes of beautiful colors and forms.