top of page

King Kong Theorie by Virginie Despentes

2006, Editions Grasset & Fasquelle

Available in English, King Kong Theory

Diane received this book as a birthday present and left it sitting on the stairs, tempting me to give it a read.

Called a feminist manifesto by some, I remember most the author’s refusal to play by the conventional rules of society, and her unique take on what it means (or doesn’t mean) to be a woman. She talks about being raped and its aftermath which may or may not have been to blame for her working in prostitution, which she defends. She espouses the sexual liberation theory of prostitution, contrary to Rachel Moran, author of Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution (see blog post here). She also implies that people who decry prostitution and its dehumanizing nature are more likely talking about street prostitution, whereas Moran’s opinion was that she felt safest on the street because she could pick her clients. At any rate, the experiences of the two writers are not the same, Moran having been forced into prostitution by economic necessity whereas Despentes seems to have been experimenting, and even mentions it was easier than working 9 to 5 at some job and much better paid.

I was interested in her depiction of a dream where an asexual and kind King Kong brings the heroine to a fantasy land resembling a paradise where she is free and empowered, but ultimately chooses to go back to the real world with the handsome male figure who destroys King Kong (and thereby the dream of Female liberation).

If you’ve read this book, leave a comment saying what you thought about it, my coverage here is pretty thin!


Virginie Despentes wrote this text after Polanski won an award for best director this year at the César Awards (French equivalent of the Oscars):

Original text in French here:

Personally I like Karl Zero's reasons for not supporting Polanski's film: "First, I didn't vote for him because I don't disassociate the man from the artist. Secondly, his film J'accuse is very bad!"

27 views1 comment

1 comentario

15 abr 2020

Hmm. It does seem to me from your post that Despentes view on prostitution (and Roman Polanski) has totally been influenced by her rape. But I have not read the book.

Speaking of Polanski, I remember the support of many famous actors and directors when he was arrested in Switzerland about 10 years ago--the celebrity defense. Eloquent articles and videos condemning it appeared at the time.

It looks like things still have not changed.

Me gusta
bottom of page