Rachel Vorona Cote

  • culture November 30, 2021

    The Sound of Settling

    In the 1982 documentary All by Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story, an unseen male interviewer asks the late singer and actress whether she would “compromise” for love. Kitt’s brow furrows, and she faces the camera. “Compromise?” she demands, “Compromising for what reason? . . . What is compromise?” Surely Kitt knew the meaning of the word, but she’s not seeking definitions here. Rather, her question—“What is compromise?”—fastens a severe and distinctly skeptical beam of light on the concept. Such scrutiny might lead us to the word’s darker resonances: to spoil or imperil. After all, there is risk

  • culture February 11, 2020

    A Theory of Too Muchness

    A weeping woman is a monster. So too is a fat woman, a horny woman, a woman shrieking with laughter. Women who are one or more of these things have heard, or perhaps simply intuited, that we are repugnantly excessive, that we have taken illicit liberties to feel or fuck or eat with abandon. After bellowing like a barn animal in orgasm, hoovering a plate of mashed potatoes, or spraying out spit in the heat of expostulation, we’ve flinched in self-scorn—ugh, that was so gross. I am so gross. On rare occasions, we might revel in our excess—belting out anthems with our friends over karaoke,