A new biography of Marilyn Monroe sheds new light on the starlet’s bedroom habits: In Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox, author Lois W. Banner writes that Monroe “desired women, had affairs with them, and worried that she might be lesbian by nature.”
In an excerpt published in the Guardian, Banner, a “feminist biographer” and gender-studies professor at the University of Southern California, writes that Monroe’s sexual identity was one of the questions that formed an inner monologue of unsureness and insecurity:
“How could she be the world’s heterosexual sex goddess and desire women? How could she have the world’s most perfect body on the outside and have such internal imperfections? Why was she unable to bear a child? The adult Marilyn was haunted by these questions.”
Banner goes on to hypothesize that the hypersexual Monroe might have been “a precursor of 1960s feminism,” citing her sexual freedom, her strides in the film industry and the fact that she spoke out about being sexually abused as a child. “She certainly took actions that could be called feminist,” writes Banner.
Word is still out on whether Monroe also had a secret collection of Birkenstocks in her closet.