Giovanna Ewbank, Bruno Gagliasso’s wife, declared that she is demisexual, that is, she needs emotional involvement to want to have sex. This would make her an asexual, and therefore a member of the letter soup (LGBTQIA+) through the letter A. In fact, this only reveals that Giovanna Ewbank is a perfectly normal woman who has lost her sense of normalcy. Normal women need emotional involvement to want to have sex. However, what the moral of May of 68 teaches is that everyone just doesn’t go out having sex like a dog in heat all the time because of repression and oppression. Released, the woman is a bitch in eternal heat. If you, woman, have deconstructed and freed yourself, but still don’t feel like giving to everyone, it can only mean that you have some deviant identity. She’s an asexual, after all.
Well then. The newest asexual on the block, as I discovered by reading What can’t be said, is Marcia Tiburi. She needed “a few years of analysis to understand that she would not have to live with anyone and that sexual desire need not be mandatory, although the symbolic and imaginary order invites us to do so. Adorno was talking about ‘unregulated love’, and I like that idea. But I don’t have time for that anymore. Between reading a book and having sex with someone, I prefer to read a book” (p. 249). Common sense would say that men are more or less like books, the urge to read a book varies from book to book, and the urge to have sex varies from man to man. Between having casual sex with a stranger and reading a good book, normal women prefer a thousand times to read a good book.
Can you be happy like this?
Marcia Tiburi will never admit that she is just a normal woman when it comes to her sexuality. Like Giovanna Ewbank (and, before her, Bruna Marquezine for a while), the philosopher discovered a new identity: “By the way, I found out that on the LBTQIA+ scale, I’m ‘A’ for asexual, and that means I’m probably going to start a transition out of gender. Out of sex as a practice, I’m already advanced (laughs). I slipped out of the sexual device without much effort. As for gender, I really hope to get rid of all the standard gender signs. In our generation, none of this was easy. It still isn’t. However, we live in a moment of discoveries and freedom of self-invention that will not stop” (p. 243).
Na her generation, in fact, was more difficult. Today any progressive girl who thinks it’s not okay to behave like a bitch in heat can conclude that she’s a demisexual, therefore an LGBTQIA+, and so until she waits for marriage to have sex. As Marcia Tiburi was born in 1970, she was a teenager who believed it was a woman’s obligation to lose her virginity. Thus, as she told in an interview with IstoÉ Gente, at 18 years old she “was already a feminist and I had a story with a boy, which lasted one night and I don’t even remember his name. One day, I decided to have sex with him with the sole objective of not being a virgin anymore, without any romanticism”. It is a complicated situation in which the woman, a slave to an idea, submits herself to a degrading situation and is not able to give real consent. The man has before him a self-declared empowered, free, and has no idea that the woman is having sex out of obligation. Then she feels abused. Whose fault is it?
It is not difficult to read the correspondence between Marcia Tiburi and Jean Wyllys and conclude that she is unhappy. Every now and then she says “if I get old”, about the lack of will to live, etc. You can also see that their environment is full of depressed and drugged people. She is surprised to be asked which marijuana she smokes, because, she says, “little people know that I don’t smoke, but I love alcohol, although I don’t have the physical resistance to much” (p.
). (On another occasion, we analyzed an article in Folha that showed quite clearly that beautiful people look to drugs for psychiatric treatment.) During the pandemic, she and Jean Wyllys are alarmed with the number of friends and acquaintances who committed suicide. I don’t know the reader, but in my circle nobody killed themselves. The alarm about the suicides only came to me through a friend trained in psychology who was talking to a friend who practices and was losing patients. If we did a survey of patients of psychologists, would we discover the predominance of a political orientation? Who goes more psychologist, conservative or progressive? Or is it the same?
In any case, Marcia Tiburi has spent years and years of analysis. Invariably the fault lies with capitalism. A while ago, she resonated a lot with an interview with Zero Hora in which she declared that she no longer listened to music after analyzing the capitalist system of class oppression that acted behind musical taste. In the book, we discover that Marcia loves aesthetics, that she has always been very fond of art (music included) and that she was devastated when her daughter lost her hearing. As a result, she stopped listening to music – but she maintains the illusion that her “deconstruction” of music is not just a rationalization to convince herself that her daughter was not losing anything of value by going deaf.
Towards the end of the book, in one of his letters with a half-suicidal air, he says: “I lost the poetry of life, which is what really moves me. I don’t like the capitalist cult of emotions” (p. 251). Throughout her life, Marcia has learned very well to do one thing: take all her anguish, find a way to turn it into impersonal problems and blame capitalism. Capitalism makes her daughter lose something valuable – her music – not her fortune. Before talking about money, I emphasize that I have in mind the fortune that has misfortune as an antonym, sung by the medievals like this: “O Fortune/ velut luna/ statu variabilis/ semper cresces/ aut decrescis”; “Oh, Fortune! Like the moon, of variable state, it always waxes or wanes.” And this song just got a dramatic melody with Carl Orff (1895 – 1982); the versions reconstructed based on the precarious medieval notation are much more serene.
Another much-discussed subject with her psychoanalyst is her Italian origin, which would make her a kind of wandering Jew for not having enough roots in Brazil and now. She is from the northeast of Rio Grande do Sul and Vacaria (her hometown) is on the border with Santa Catarina. It is an area full of those rural populations of European origin known in the South as “settlers”. As far as I could map, the designation “colonist” is quite common in the South, leaving out only the south of Rio Grande do Sul, which did not go through this colonization process, and the term “colonist” designates the MST invader. In general, however, it can be said that “settler” is a well-known term among southerners of the three states, and that for a long time had a pejorative connotation in urban centers. In the big city, the settler was the target of discrimination; he was considered a poor man from the countryside. In the PT’s first politically correct booklet, “colonist” appeared as a term to be abolished as a form of racism against whites – which they did not deny at the time. However, today there are many successful settlers who are proud of their rural origins, and prejudice against settlers has dropped.
Marcia Tiburi never uses the word settler; however, she uses the rather peculiar lexicon of the colonists and says that her mother is “Brazilian”, meaning that she is not a colonist. The father is “Italian”, that is, not a man born in Italy, but an Italian settler, as opposed to a German, Polish or Russian settler.
In an exceptional moment of self-criticism, she mentions that she hates Christmas perhaps because her family is very poor and her parents never had the money to buy her presents. But she still thinks Christmas is bad anyway, because Christmas is capitalist. As a good struggling settler, however, Marcia values her studies and goes to the big city to study young. Whoever was born in 70 in Vacaria must still have caught a lot of prejudice against settlers.
Thus, if there is only one One thing she has not been able to use capitalism to stifle, is her dissatisfaction with her condition as a colonist. Being Jewish is much more chic, so she invents that her ancestors came in a kind of exile to Brazil – when in fact they were miserable people who came here to make a living on their own piece of land, and they succeeded. The descendant of the immigrant who arrived poor usually values his own achievements, instead of victimizing himself.
Affliction with the right
Marcia Tiburi wants to be chic and elite. She is a “wandering Jew” in Paris, not a settler who has risen in the world thanks to work and studies. She had sex only because noblesse oblige (at least since 68), not because reasons that could be labeled bourgeois. In all of this, there is a very wrong sense of self-importance. There is nothing wrong with being a self made woman, and there is no sensible norm that forces a free woman to have sex regardless of her own will. She could easily be a happy person if she weren’t guided by such wrong ideas.
Her self-obsession now leads to the “persecution” she suffers in Brazil. She believes she would be the next Marielle if she stayed in Brazil, and talks about MBL in a way that raises doubts about her sanity. At the end of the day, she thinks she might die from the MBL; and I believe that she just didn’t write in all the letters that she fears that Kim Kataguiri will murder her for fear of prosecution. And if Kim himself doesn’t murder her, the fake news generated by the MBL could lead to her murder. That’s why she asked Jean Wyllys for a lawyer to sue everyone who uses her image, but unfortunately the lawyer was an agent of heteropatriarcapitalism (or something like that) and said that she would lose the case because she was a public person. Even her ex-partner, the judge, participated in this collusion and advised against prosecuting. Lawyers also advised against her when she wanted to join a far-right party. She would do it just to blue screen the right.
Jean Wyllys does the voice of common sense in the book. At one point she says that she wanted to be able to say that she feels banzo, but it is wrong, because banzo is an African word for the enslaved. Jean says she can and tells her to stop policing the language. Another time she says she has to start using “amigues” more often, Jean repeats that she doesn’t want to be policed. In a comical moment, she is perplexed that the Kindle suggested she read a book by Stefan Zweig, after they had talked a lot about Stefan Zweig via email. She attributed this to Eshu’s supernatural action; Jean explained that it’s the algorithms. Both speak ill of those who use the expression “identitarianism” and guarantee that everything is nothing more than the victimization of straight cis white men. Apart from the pandemic, the only controversy in the Brazilian news that occupied the two was the article by Risério in Folha about the racism of blacks against whites. Jean suggests that Marcia use the space to explain what she meant by “the robbery logic”, a line they would have misrepresented and used against her. Marcia doesn’t talk about it anymore.
In the end, I hope that Marcia Tiburi returns to Vacaria and takes care of her mother, who is sick and missing a leg. Vacaria has a thousand inhabitants, no one will hope to harm her and remain anonymous. In addition, there she will have the respect of the daughter of Dona So-and-so, sister of Seu Sicrano, etc. She will be a flesh-and-blood person with a family first, rather than an internet meme, eternally exposed to virtual tomatoes. I bet there will be more peace in Brazil inside and outside the internet than in Paris, amidst the junkies of beautiful people and under the spotlight of social networks.