First few paragraphs of Virginie Despentes' King Kong Theory (2006), probably too French for most here - irrespective of gender - but nevertheless and perhaps for this very reason, highly recommended:
"I am writing as
an ugly one for
the ugly ones: the old hags, the dykes, the frigid, the unfucked, the unfuckables, the neurotics, the psychos, for all those girls that don't get a look-in in the universal market of the consumable chick. I'm making no excuses for myself. I'm not complaining. I would never swap places, because it seems to me that being Virginie Despentes is a more interesting business than anything else going on out there.
I think it's wonderful that there are also women who love to seduce, who know how to seduce, others who know how to get a husband, women whose perfume is sex and others who smell of home-baked cakes for the children's tea. Wonderful that there are very gentle women, women completely at home in their feminity, young, exquisite women, flirtatious women, radiant women. I am delighted, really, for all those women who are happy with the way things are. I'm saying this without the slightest irony. It's just that I am not one of them. Of course I wouldn't write what I write if I were beautiful, so beautiful that I turned the head of every man I met. It's as a member of the lower working class of womanhood that I speak, that I spoke yesterday and am speaking again today. When I was on the dole I was not ashamed of being a social outcast. Just furious. It's the same thing for being a woman: I am not remotely ashamed of not being a hot sexy number. But I am livid that as a girl who doesn't atract men, I am constantly made to feel as if I shouldn't even be around. We have always existed. We just never feature in novels written by men, who only create women they want to have sex with. We have always existed, and never spoken. Even today, when women publish lots of novels, you rarely get female characters that are unattractive or plain, unsuited to loving men or to being loved by them. On the contrary, contemporary heroines adore men, meet them easily, sleep with them after just a couple of chapters, come in four lines and they all enjoy sex. The character of the loser in the feminity stakes doesn't just appeal to me, she's essential to me. In the same way as is the social, economic or political loser. I prefer the guys who don't make the cut for the simple reason that I myself often don't make it. And because generally speaking humour and invention are to be found on our side: when you don't have what it takes to think highly of yourself, you tend to be more creative. As a girl, I am more King Kong than Kate Moss. I'm the kind of girl you don't get married to, the kind you don't have babies with. I am writing as a woman who is always too much of everything - too aggressive, too noisy, too fat, too rough, too hairy, always too masculine, I am told. And yet it's my virile, masculine qualities that make me more than just any old social misfit. I owe to my very masculinity everything I like about my life, everything that has saved me. I am writing therefore as a woman incapable of attracting male attention, satisfying male desire, or being satisfied with a place in the shade. It's from here that I write, as an unacttractive but ambitious woman, drawn to money I make myself, drawn to power, the power to do and to say no, drawn to the city rather than the home, excited by experience and not content with just hearing about it from others. I'm not into giving a hard-on to men that don't make me dream. It has never seemed obvious to me that good lookers are having all that great a time. I have always felt ugly, I put up with it and now I'm starting to appreciate it for having saved me from a crap life in the company of nice, dull, small-town guys who would have taken me nowhere fast. I like myself, as I am, more desiring than desirable.