Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Fiction

Feminism and literature



Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old December 10th, 2008, 8:26 pm
Melaszka's Avatar
Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
HighFunctioning Sociopath
 
Joined: 4989 days
Location: England
Age: 51
Posts: 3,294
Feminism and literature

I don't think there's a thread on this already, and as a lot of people (including me!) keep wandering off-topic onto it on other threads, I thought I'd start one.

Some starting questions (please feel free to diverge from this, though):

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?

Is there a book which you feel really creates a vision of an ideal feminist society and what is it about the society depicted that you like?

What are your favourite strong female characters in literature and why?

Are there any books which you feel promote a feminist message too strongly and/or unsubtly? Discuss.

Are there any books which you find unacceptably misogynist/patronising to women?

How would you define a feminist book?


Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old December 11th, 2008, 3:11 am
vampiricduck's Avatar
vampiricduck  Female.gif vampiricduck is offline
Qvack...
 
Joined: 5292 days
Location: Cork, Ireland
Age: 29
Posts: 3,271
Re: Feminism and literature

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?

I suppose the immediate one that shoots to mind is "A Doll's House", by Ibsen. I like the message that's brought across in it, the naturalist idea is there as opposed to overt feminism. Not being a feminist, I can't say that there are many books I like in the feminist area, but Ibsen made a good story and I paid strong attention to it.

Is there a book which you feel really creates a vision of an ideal feminist society and what is it about the society depicted that you like?

I don't think, for the purposes of this conversation, that a feminist society can actually exist. I think we've seen the gender inequality in the other direction throughout the ages and so all I desire is equality, which I think we have today, so the western society we see is the one that is likely closest to realistic and the best I can see. There are clearly other places where women are poorly pictured and badly treated, but in terms of literature, I can't choose anything specific due to the idealogical approach and lack of practicality shown in many of the books on the subject- the majority of which do not tell a story, but lecture instead on the topic.

What are your favourite strong female characters in literature and why?

If I can stray to talk of biography, I have the utmost respect for Waris Dirie, who established her autobiography and became a UN Ambassador to fight FGM. She never once stopped to think about the repercussions of what she was about to do, and how she would be shunned, possibly, in her homeland. She fought for women everywhere, simply because she saw an injustice. She's not a feminist, she just wants to set a wrong right, and that's the nest thing any person can do. She's particularly inspirational because her books aren't miserable, but very hopeful and proud. The other person I would place in this category is Maya Angelou, who did great things both for women in general and for Africa American women, who needed a voice to speak to them of their qualities and inherent brilliance. She's a voice for feminism without ever going overboard, and she broaches the subject with care and thought.

I would also put the American poet Adrienne Rich in here. Though full of polemical, lyrical sentiment, the poems she wrote tell their story for her, and she has always been a very strong lover of human rights and feminism.

In terms of fiction, I like Robert Jordan's depiction of women in The Wheel of Time, because there are so many women involved. They are variously strong, leaders, crude, ignorant, arrogant, inspirational and intelligent. I like the realism behind the mix, and I love the way he brings them each across.

Thursday Next, of Jasper Fforde novels, is one very cool lady. I'm impressed by her because she does what she has to do, she's smart and well able. She really carries the story through and beats back many forms of opposition- though the books are not really at all feminist.

I like Minervca McGonagall of Harry Potter for many of the same reasons I like Thursday Next, and if we were to go more into classical novels, Lizzy Bennett would be a favourite of mine, because of her independence and ferocity, well ahead of her time.

Are there any books which you feel promote a feminist message too strongly and/or unsubtly? Discuss.

I think that T"he Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan is a bit too militant for me, to be honest. She made assumptions and ideas that weren't always true, and though I appreciate what the book did for women's rights, I don't think it presents the full picture. Maybe that's just me though.

Are there any books which you find unacceptably misogynist/patronising to women?

To be honest, I'm sure there are many, but I never really look for those..

How would you define a feminist book?

I would define it as being one which focuses on the woman and how she deals with life, the challenges she faces and the people she meets- notably if she comes up against aggression or difficulty because she is a woman and that she overcomes that difficulty to the betterment of herself, proving her strength. That's a bit general, but it qualifies as a definition for me!


__________________

THE DUCK.

Avatar comes from bluebison.net
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old December 11th, 2008, 8:26 am
Moriath's Avatar
Moriath  Female.gif Moriath is offline
MODLY CREW
 
Joined: 5337 days
Location: Neverwhere
Posts: 7,039
Re: Feminism and literature

Only have time for one question.

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?

I really, really enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin because he's a) an excellent writer and b) one of the few writers of high fantasy who actually manage to create a credible, seemingly historical world without making it all about men (unlike Tolkien). His female characters are great. I think if any fantasy writer pulls off gender neutrality in terms of character importance and development, it's Martin.


Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old December 11th, 2008, 7:56 pm
Yoana's Avatar
Yoana  Female.gif Yoana is offline
Assistant to Minister Granger
 
Joined: 5102 days
Location: Bulgaria
Age: 37
Posts: 6,435
Re: Feminism and literature

What a brilliant thread!

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?

In all honesty, I do find Jane Austen's works to carry very positive and tangible feminist messages, even if they were written and set in a time which seems to not allow even the notion of feminism. Like Anne Hathaway who played her in Becoming Jane, said: "The way she writes about women's emotions and mental health, [...] and the depth that woemn could have, and the way she made it... kind of accessible and non-confrontational [...] how clever she was... it was almost kind of subversive, it's lovely!" Her heroines come across (to me at least) as solid, of their own mind, mature, reasonable, free-thinking and capable of making a sound choice against various odds - and all this when operating within this extremely narrow, restrictive social system. I find this truly remarkable, and exceptionally effective, much more so than if the books had been filled with female revolutionaries who defy the norm of the day.

I also love Elfriede Jelinek who is the sharpest, most ruthless critic of the ugliness of a gender-hierarchized society that I have ever read. She is absolutely brilliant, and her prose is wonderfully harsh and memorable.

Anita Desai is another author who does a wonderful job of exposing the various humiliations of a gender-differentiated world in a remarkably soft, gentile way, without anger or activism, through mere observation.

Of course there are others, but these are the ones I think of immediately. I hope I may come back and add others later

Is there a book which you feel really creates a vision of an ideal feminist society and what is it about the society depicted that you like?

I can't think of any that I have read right now.

What are your favourite strong female characters in literature and why?

I like Caddy in The Sound and the Fury, even though she ends up estranged from her family and despised by them; a lot of attention and page time is given to her character to make it clear she is there as a subject, a someone, in addition to being the central key knot, and she does make her own choices and sets the course of her destiny.

The main character in my most favourite Bulgarian book is completely awesome... She starts out as a bored rich high-class foreigner in Spain, falls in love with a Jesuit monk and goes through all sorts of turbulent emotions and various phases of self-destruction, transforsm her whole lifestyle with the sole purpose of acquiring the monk for herself - she involves her friends, she invests all her money and influence in that - and the point of accent is, for me, that she does it actively, as a man would in chasing a woman, to own him - not in the far more widely used model of a woman in love seeking to be taken, accepted, loved, to be found a place in a man's life. In the end Fanny (that's her name) kills the monk because she sees it all leads her straight to hell (literally and metaphorically), which I find to be another unusual assertive act. Well, she ends up hooked on morphine, but the bulk of the book, which unravels and develops at a pace set by Fanny's actions, for me outweighs the effect of the otherwise quite unambiguous addiction which she ends up in.

But I think for a book to be feminist, a strong female character is not a crucial necessity. Actually the most poignantly feminist books I have read have used the existing social model, sometimes even in exageration, creating grotesque female characters walowing in their own dependence and insignificance, being tossed around by other's desires and steering, agonizing in their inability to stand as they are, to be subjects in any sense. The exposure of the humiliation and pathetic quality of "weak" women, especially when done with deliberate enhancement, works just as well as building strong, independent females, and sometimes I think even better.

Are there any books which you feel promote a feminist message too strongly and/or unsubtly? Discuss.

I don't believe a feminist message can be promoted too strongly, not in the current situation when much more needs to be achieved. I guess it can be misrepresenting or misguided though. But I can't think of any examples right now.

Are there any books which you find unacceptably misogynist/patronising to women?

Too many to count... Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms comes to mind. I couldn't even finish it.

How would you define a feminist book?

That's tough... I suppose it needs to posit the issue of gender and specifically problematise women's place, roles, images, etc. in society. I bet there's much more to it, but I'm a very poor theoretician, I'm afraid


Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old December 13th, 2008, 12:07 am
Melaszka's Avatar
Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
HighFunctioning Sociopath
 
Joined: 4989 days
Location: England
Age: 51
Posts: 3,294
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
I really, really enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin because he's a) an excellent writer and b) one of the few writers of high fantasy who actually manage to create a credible, seemingly historical world without making it all about men (unlike Tolkien).
Ah, yes. Tolkien does my head in, in that respect. I know many people find Eowyn inspiring, but the "moral" ending, where she learns, both to know that her place, as a woman, is not on the battlefield, and that in love it is men who should do the choosing, not women, just made me want to vomit. And don't get me started on the spider...I love the LOTR, but half the male characters with whom the reader is supposed to identify are so smugly patriarchal that by about two-thirds of the way in, I was actually rooting for Sauron.

I'll have to check out George RR Martin. I'm not a great reader of fantasy, and one of the things that puts me off is that a lot of it does seem to be by men for men. But I've very much enjoyed books by Ursula le Guin, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Trudi Canavan, who seem to engage with gender issues in an interesting way, even though some of these writers are not "literary".


Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old December 13th, 2008, 10:19 am
Moriath's Avatar
Moriath  Female.gif Moriath is offline
MODLY CREW
 
Joined: 5337 days
Location: Neverwhere
Posts: 7,039
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Ah, yes. Tolkien does my head in, in that respect. I know many people find Eowyn inspiring, but the "moral" ending, where she learns, both to know that her place, as a woman, is not on the battlefield, and that in love it is men who should do the choosing, not women, just made me want to vomit. And don't get me started on the spider...I love the LOTR, but half the male characters with whom the reader is supposed to identify are so smugly patriarchal that by about two-thirds of the way in, I was actually rooting for Sauron.
Interesting reaction. I still love LotR but the feminism is not strong in this one, as Yoda would say. What I found particularly appalling was that Eowyn could only found true happiness in marriage, that she had to thaw and lose her grit to become a true woman. Moreover, she felt inferior all her married life because she was of lesser blood. But at least Tolkien never pretended to write a feminist fantasy novel. I can forgive him a lot because he was so rooted in Old English literature.

Quote:
I'll have to check out George RR Martin. I'm not a great reader of fantasy, and one of the things that puts me off is that a lot of it does seem to be by men for men. But I've very much enjoyed books by Ursula le Guin, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Trudi Canavan, who seem to engage with gender issues in an interesting way, even though some of these writers are not "literary".
You should really give this series a try. It plays with a lot of preconceptions without making it the main issue.


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old December 16th, 2008, 12:20 am
Melaszka's Avatar
Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
HighFunctioning Sociopath
 
Joined: 4989 days
Location: England
Age: 51
Posts: 3,294
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Posted by Yoana
In all honesty, I do find Jane Austen's works to carry very positive and tangible feminist messages, even if they were written and set in a time which seems to not allow even the notion of feminism. Like Anne Hathaway who played her in Becoming Jane, said: "The way she writes about women's emotions and mental health, [...] and the depth that woemn could have, and the way she made it... kind of accessible and non-confrontational [...] how clever she was... it was almost kind of subversive, it's lovely!" Her heroines come across (to me at least) as solid, of their own mind, mature, reasonable, free-thinking and capable of making a sound choice against various odds - and all this when operating within this extremely narrow, restrictive social system. I find this truly remarkable, and exceptionally effective, much more so than if the books had been filled with female revolutionaries who defy the norm of the day
I share your admiration of the way in which Austen depicts with such precision the social and economic conditions under which women lived their lives and within which they made their choices, and the strength and will of her heroines within such limitations.

I have to say, I do find Sense and Sensibility quite disturbing, though. It deals well with the problems and double standards of contemporary sexual mores, but I found Brandon really creepy, and the way that Marianne meekly submits to his paternalistic guidance at the end just freaks me out.


Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old December 16th, 2008, 6:55 pm
Yoana's Avatar
Yoana  Female.gif Yoana is offline
Assistant to Minister Granger
 
Joined: 5102 days
Location: Bulgaria
Age: 37
Posts: 6,435
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I have to say, I do find Sense and Sensibility quite disturbing, though. It deals well with the problems and double standards of contemporary sexual mores, but I found Brandon really creepy, and the way that Marianne meekly submits to his paternalistic guidance at the end just freaks me out.
I agree, this relationship wasn't to my liking either. Though the other purpose it served - to counter the idealistic, overly romantic idea of love Marianne used to have (and which led to such a disaster) was important in my opinion. Many women even in our age are still led by charming men and beautiful words, all facilitated by a widely entertained unrealistic idea about love and relationships in which men sweep women off their feet, take their breath away and it all lasts forever. The exposure of Willoughby and the harsh destruction of this naive view was something I admit I enjoyed.


Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old December 18th, 2008, 9:24 pm
eliza101  Female.gif eliza101 is offline
Banned
 
Joined: 4557 days
Location: Bag End
Posts: 1,605
Re: Feminism and literature

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?
God this really makes you think. I really like a romance novelist called Nora Roberts, she writes futuristic novels under the name of JD Robb and the heroine is Lt Eve Dallas, and she is just one kick *** girl. Smart, tough and married to Roarke who has more money than God and is gorgeous to boot. What I like about Dallas is she is not impressed by his money or position and she is absolutely incorruptable.

Is there a book which you feel really creates a vision of an ideal feminist society and what is it about the society depicted that you like?
Not really. I think the definative feminist novel has yet to be written. I sometimes think that it is always going to be out of our grasp mainly because the human condition is always morphing and by the time something is written the conditions have changed and any book that tries to write that is out of date by the time it gets published. I much more admire the books that don't even try somehow.
What are your favourite strong female characters in literature and why?
I like Yoana admire Jane Austin and her heroines. Among those I like Lizzie Bennett, I just love how she does not allow herself to sell out and how she won't let anyone else sell her out either. I like Jane Eyre because she has so much in common with Lizzie and I like Fanny Hill because she beat the system.

Are there any books which you feel promote a feminist message too strongly and/or unsubtly? Discuss.
I am sure there is but at this moment I can't think of any.

Are there any books which you find unacceptably misogynist/patronising to women?
I love Dahiell Hammet for his style and dislike his books for how they portray women, It's funny because I love film noir as films but dislike for the most part the books they are derived from. Go figure.

How would you define a feminist book?
A book that has respect for women as charactors, that also does not downplay the interaction between male and female charactors. I like two short stories about women, 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and 'Trifles'. Both of these do a good job of why I started to study 'feminism' back in the 70's.


Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old December 21st, 2008, 7:28 am
Beatifically's Avatar
Beatifically  Female.gif Beatifically is offline
Elvendork
 
Joined: 4626 days
Location: Central Perk
Age: 27
Posts: 2,183
Re: Feminism and literature

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?
The Gemma Doyle Trilogy is a historical fantasy that carries feminist messages. It does not depict a society in which men and women are equal because it's set in the Victorian era. It is feminist in the way the main characters think and feel about society's standards. Some quotes:

A Great and Terrible Beauty (book 1 in the trilogy)Felicity ignores us. She walks out to them, an apparition in white and blue velvet, her head held high as they stare in awe at her, the goddess. I don't yet know what power feels like. But this is surely what it looks like, and I think I'm beginning to understand why those ancient women had to hide in caves. Why our parents and teachers and suitors want us to behave properly and predictably. It's not that they want to protect us; it's that they fear us.


The Sweet Far Thing (book 3 in the trilogy)"They should have husbands to look after them."

"What if they don't?" Felicity asks, her voice harsh. "What if they are alone? What if they have children to feed and wood to buy for the fire? What if they have only themselves to rely upon? Or . . . or what if they have no wish to be married? Do they have no merit on their own?"


How would you define a feminist book?
Ooh, toughie. It's hard to say what defines a feminist book because the term feminism is different for each person. My best definition is: A novel that challenges misogynistic aspects of society and portrays female characters as significant and capable as male characters.

I wouldn't say something has to be feminist by having a society in which men and women are equal because, while it would be feminist, it would be unrealistic, for both fantasy and realistic fiction. This would also apply to having all races equal. It's unlikely that there will ever be a time in which all people are judged by their character rather than traits they cannot handle (e.g. race, disabilities, sex).


__________________

CoS and Pottermore sorted
You will never do anything in this world without courage.
It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

- Aristotle

Specialises in awesome picspams.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old January 14th, 2009, 4:44 pm
Yoana's Avatar
Yoana  Female.gif Yoana is offline
Assistant to Minister Granger
 
Joined: 5102 days
Location: Bulgaria
Age: 37
Posts: 6,435
Re: Feminism and literature

Re: Jane Austen and feminism. I was watching an old version of Sense and Sensibility, the scene where Willoughby pours out his misery and regret, and I thought it extraordinary that that didn't get him the girl, like it would have in a modern Hollywood flick, I think. When I said that Austen women were independent and strong, I meant this - they do not leave themselves at the mercy of the men's wishes, and do not sit around and wait for men to have had their share of frivolity and foolishness, to have done a bunch of stupid things which hurt them (the women), and then welcome them back with forgiveness and their love unchanged. In this case, Marianne, even before she fell for the colonel, when she learnt of Willoughby's past deeds, saw him for what he was and got over him. It seems to me that in modern popular culture, by contrast, men csrew up time after time, and all it takes for them to get the girl anyway is to do some visually impressive stunt and admit he'd been an *******. And she's back to him. The Austen women, in my opinion, differ from this unflattering pattern of behaviour because they make their own judgments and decisions with their own happiness as their major concern, instead of being there as a trophy or as an angle-saviour for the prodigal male protagonist, like it so often happens in Hollywood films (ok,not books, but hopefully not horribly off-topic).


Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old January 14th, 2009, 7:58 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4692 days
Location: Berlin
Age: 39
Posts: 134
Re: Feminism and literature

Are there any books which you feel carry good feminist messages and what is it you like about them?

the tenant of wildfell hall by anne bronte. i like it when the main character points out the different evaluation of the same behaviour according to the gender. (Was that a logical sentence)

The pellinor-books by Alison Croggon. Here women and men were traditionally equal but part of the evil that befell the world in the story was the disturbance of that ballance. She wrote an essay on her website about LotR and Tolkien, how much she loved his books but that he was a sexist and an imperialist (if i remember correctly)

John Fletcher`s : The tamer tamed
Itīs a sequel to taming of the shrew by Shakespeare
I guess written in the 17thcentury.....

Katharina is dead and petruccio has to marry again, hehehe...


Are there any books which you find unacceptably misogynist/patronising to women?
Hannibal (the second book in the hannibal lecter series) itīs not only that it is sexistic but also full of other prejudices like people who donīt drink coffee have a bad character.

taming of the shrew, of course

Pride and Prejudice, I read it once, but every time I trie to read it again I get really depressed by the first page already. All the daughters try to live up to their fatherīs standards and the daughter who succeeds is the heroine of the story. (What is the difference between beauty and intelligence as an ideal?)


I hate the way Non-British women are described in Jane Eyre (the same thing I hate about Joīs use of Cho Chang)


__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old January 15th, 2009, 3:04 pm
Yoana's Avatar
Yoana  Female.gif Yoana is offline
Assistant to Minister Granger
 
Joined: 5102 days
Location: Bulgaria
Age: 37
Posts: 6,435
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by secunda View Post
[Pride and Prejudice, I read it once, but every time I trie to read it again I get really depressed by the first page already. All the daughters try to live up to their fatherīs standards and the daughter who succeeds is the heroine of the story.
I don't think any of the other four (minus Elizabeth) tried to live up to their father's standards at all, and even for Elizabeth it's very debatable whether she did. Lydia and Kitty didn't sem to care at all about their father's ideals or opinions. And Jane's most prominent trait was her kindness, not her intelligence, in my opinion - a trait her father didn't seem to value as much as wit and a specific sort of dry sarcastic humour he exhibited and favoured.

Quote:
(What is the difference between beauty and intelligence as an ideal?)
The difference is that intelligence is not a stereotypical female characteristic, and in the early 18th century, to accentuate the leading and all-around positive heroine's intelligence rather than her beauty or tenderness or other typical refinements was I think quite progressive, gender-wise.


Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old January 15th, 2009, 7:24 pm
Annielogic's Avatar
Annielogic  Female.gif Annielogic is offline
P.A. to Lucius Malfoy
 
Joined: 4537 days
Location: Studying in a library
Posts: 996
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
And Jane's most prominent trait was her kindness, not her intelligence, in my opinion - a trait her father didn't seem to value as much as wit and a specific sort of dry sarcastic humour he exhibited and favoured.

The difference is that intelligence is not a stereotypical female characteristic, and in the early 18th century, to accentuate the leading and all-around positive heroine's intelligence rather than her beauty or tenderness or other typical refinements was I think quite progressive, gender-wise.
It's been a while since I read the book, so sorry in advance if I'm misremembering any details :

It seemed to promote intelligence, thoughtfulness, thinking situations through, intelligent wit, with Elizabeth. Of course, she has her flaws, but who doesn't. I thought it was a very progressive stance to take.

Jane promotes a kind heart and always tries to see the good in every person and situation. Although, she does learn it's not always the case, I think. Again, need to think rather than blindly believe.

Lydia, who onlys seems interested in looks and unthinking actions, is left with Wickham. Which isn't shown as a good thing, once the truth of Wickham is revealed, and in the brief glimpse we get into their lives at the end.



Last edited by Annielogic; January 15th, 2009 at 7:27 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old January 16th, 2009, 10:49 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4692 days
Location: Berlin
Age: 39
Posts: 134
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I don't think any of the other four (minus Elizabeth) tried to live up to their father's standards at all, and even for Elizabeth it's very debatable whether she did. Lydia and Kitty didn't sem to care at all about their father's ideals or opinions. And Jane's most prominent trait was her kindness, not her intelligence, in my opinion - a trait her father didn't seem to value as much as wit and a specific sort of dry sarcastic humour he exhibited and favoured.



The difference is that intelligence is not a stereotypical female characteristic, and in the early 18th century, to accentuate the leading and all-around positive heroine's intelligence rather than her beauty or tenderness or other typical refinements was I think quite progressive, gender-wise.
yes, it was not a stereotypical/is still no... female characteristic. Yet, intelligence was something valued highly within a man and donīt forget men were regarded as the "better" gender, so all in all intelligence was above beauty, and in pride and prejudice intelligence seems a bit like jumping on that train. maybe i have to read the book again to change my opinion. Her sister whose name I forgot ( the one who reads all those grand books and writes excerpts she is most obviously trying to live up to her fatherīs standards. I always thought he was teasing her, because he knew that.
It was a major step in the right direction to portrait a woman as intelligent, but today it would be no use to change spotless beauty against a super brain. Itīs still the demand to be perfect (sorry for my bad english)


__________________

Last edited by secunda; January 16th, 2009 at 10:52 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old January 17th, 2009, 1:24 pm
Annielogic's Avatar
Annielogic  Female.gif Annielogic is offline
P.A. to Lucius Malfoy
 
Joined: 4537 days
Location: Studying in a library
Posts: 996
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by secunda View Post
Her sister whose name I forgot ( the one who reads all those grand books and writes excerpts she is most obviously trying to live up to her fatherīs standards. I always thought he was teasing her, because he knew that.
Mary. Yes, I kind of see her as warning not to go too far the other way, she is like the extreme opposite of Lydia. Due to living completely in the book world, she seems to have lost the ability to interact with other people.

Quote:
It was a major step in the right direction to portrait a woman as intelligent, but today it would be no use to change spotless beauty against a super brain. Itīs still the demand to be perfect (sorry for my bad english)
I see what you are saying about the demand to be perfect. At least, intelligence or learning is something you work at and develop. Beauty you're either born with it or not.



Last edited by Annielogic; January 17th, 2009 at 9:39 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old January 17th, 2009, 8:49 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4692 days
Location: Berlin
Age: 39
Posts: 134
Re: Feminism and literature

i confess iīm stupid, but my sister is really intelligent. We are both born that way, i do what i can but i donīt get any smarter.


__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old January 17th, 2009, 9:34 pm
Annielogic's Avatar
Annielogic  Female.gif Annielogic is offline
P.A. to Lucius Malfoy
 
Joined: 4537 days
Location: Studying in a library
Posts: 996
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by secunda View Post
i confess iīm stupid, but my sister is really intelligent. We are both born that way, i do what i can but i donīt get any smarter.
But, you're learning all the time and developing skills. Sometimes it takes hard work, but that is what a lot of people value in someone, the determination. I doubt you are stupid, I've enjoyed reading your thoughts on feminism.

I'm really liking Granny Weatherwax from the Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Whatever she does or how she lives it's her choice. She also believes in "headology" -- thinking. Weatherwax has flaws like stubborness. But, I wouldn't want a flawless character. They need their good points and flaws, I don't find it possible to relate to them otherwise.



Last edited by Annielogic; January 17th, 2009 at 9:54 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old January 17th, 2009, 9:50 pm
secunda  Female.gif secunda is offline
Second Year
 
Joined: 4692 days
Location: Berlin
Age: 39
Posts: 134
Re: Feminism and literature

you make me blush. I was thinking about my own thoughts and realised they were a bit illogical.
Yet, today everyone can work on their beauty - unfortunately, because an ideal can be upheld with all those possibilities to improve your looks and itīs even not fate anymore but becomes your own responsibility what you look like - at least a bit more than before plastical surgery ( i was too lazy to consult my dictionary).
I sometimes have the feeling that for many people (I have to include myself so Iīm a bit ashamed for it) looks is almost equal with character.


__________________
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old March 8th, 2009, 9:15 pm
Melaszka's Avatar
Melaszka  Female.gif Melaszka is offline
HighFunctioning Sociopath
 
Joined: 4989 days
Location: England
Age: 51
Posts: 3,294
Re: Feminism and literature

Quote:
Originally Posted by vampiricduck View Post
Thursday Next, of Jasper Fforde novels, is one very cool lady. I'm impressed by her because she does what she has to do, she's smart and well able. She really carries the story through and beats back many forms of opposition- though the books are not really at all feminist.
Sorry about the "better late than never" response, but I only started reading Fforde recently, and I totally agree. I'd also say the same of DS Mary Mary in his Nursery Crime series. I think Fforde really gives the lie to the assumption you sometimes come across (and which I hate) that male characters are "more universal" than female, and that a female hero cannot appeal to a male or mixed sex audience as well as a male hero can (unless she's there for her sex appeal).

I find this particularly impressive as Fforde is a male writer, writing the kind of heavily ironic, post-modern fiction, far more dependent on on plot and form than character or sentiment, which is often assumed to appeal more to male taste than female.

This reminds me of one of my main beefs with detective fiction (my favourite genre) - the faux feminism that seems rife in the genre these days, as represented by the male-female-male hierarchical sandwich. It seems that virtually every detective novel I pick up these days has a male constable, a female sergeant and a male inspector (this is true of Rebus, Inspector Lynley and at least a dozen other series which have slipped my mind).

Intended as a sop to feminists, the female sergeant is sassy, has authority over male constables, has had to face male prejudice to get to her position, is crucial to the success of the investigation, often supplying the inspector with the crucial piece of evidence or the insight that cacks the case. However, she is also expected to be his surrogate mother/emotional bottom-wiper, and there's never any doubt that he is the centre of the novel - the maverick, flawed genius, who both commands the reader's interest and has the intellectual superiority to solve the case.

I just feel that this pattern, while apparently supporting feminism and showing women achieving more than many men, actually reinforces the sense that it is "natural" that real genius and leadership will come from men.

The Harry-Hermione-Ron relationship has always uncomfortably reminded me of the DI-DS-DC male/female sandwich.


Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > The Writing on the Wall > Fiction

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:51 pm.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright Đ MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright Đ its respective owners.