Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The missing link.

Shulamith Firestone tells me that the real feminist revolution not only eradicates male privilege, but sex distinctions as well. I don't buy Firestone's theory just yet, which is why I'm still reading. The Dialectic of Sex purports to be the missing link between Freud and Marx, both of whom intrigue me, so I'm going to keep reading.

I've been exploring the idea of starting another book. It's been hard. I wondered if I should write about something completely foreign to me, like ... a Ukrainian emigre with a Georgian family living in Czech Republic. I definitely just threw a bunch of Eastern European countries together. I would have to do a lot of research on it, which would be cool because I don't dislike Eastern European culture. I just thought that if I wrote about something I already knew, I'd just be defaulting to my comfort zone, and no writer grows like that.

Then I thought about maybe writing about a man who made up his mind to commit suicide, and the novel would chronicle his life up to the moment. The bf asked why don't I make it a female character instead. Hmmm, I thought. And by hmmm I mean we had some discussion going on for a bit. I realized it was because I never read many books with female protagonists. Those that are written out there aren't my cup of tea. A quick run-through of my favorite books, and books in my to-read list, reveal none of them have female protagonists. Hmmm.

The bf says it's because the people in novels all act to change something, and the concept of change is very masculine. I pointed out several books I read that don't really change anything (in fact it almost becomes the focal point of the books) or just merely describe events, like In Cold Blood, which is a true crime genre. He states that a lot of these genres are just as male-dominated, making there no space for a woman's voice.

Which severely complicates my project. Any attempt to channel that woman's voice risks falling into the dreaded, ghettoized "woman's genre", or be dismissed as not being good enough. This is not a society that lets a woman's voice fly free. If it becomes too mopey, it's shunned. If it becomes at all awareness-raising, it's shunned. If it has any scent of woman, it's shunned. Is there any out for a woman's voice instead of recourse to the hysteria of Plath and the Victorian era?

Am I a feminist? Meh. You can quote me on that. I don't see the need to distinguish a feminist from a woman; I'm just a writer who happens to be a woman, who happens to want her voice out there for a change. It was this need for labels that got us knee-deep in this shit in the first place.

On a sidenote, isn't the bf awesome?! If this project goes through, it would be because he had stopped me in my tracks and made me think of using a female protagonist instead. Who else would have done that, and would have been able to give me intellectually grounded justifications for doing so? (Maybe a bunch of other people, but none of them I want to sleep with...) It may seem like I'm jerking off to his intelligence, which I am, but if intelligence is something I seek in most people (my leaders, my educators, my peers - this one sadly unmet) why not my partner? I've also scratched the idea of calling him D, because it makes him sound like a rapper, which he is not. Though he does like the Wu Tang Clan but I suspect it might be because they're all named after drugs.

I'm rambling. Goodbye.

PS - I've purchased The Bell Jar, deciding that I should read a book with a female protagonist for a change if I were to foray into that world. I hope I don't end up completely hating it. I don't hate good literature, so if it meets that we're good.


YY said...

Reminds me of Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

David said...

May Zhee,

Here are some other opinions on what feminism is doing for, or depending on your POV, to women and girls.

Sex, Lies, and Secularism.

Also: Kinsey Normalizes Promiscuity and Perversion

Excerpt: "“What makes hooking up unique is that its practitioners agree that there will be no commitment, no exclusivity, no feelings,” explains a Washington Post article.

Hookup partners are sometimes called “friends with benefits,” but they’re typically not even friends. The unwritten etiquette is that you never meet to talk or spend time together, says the New York Times. “You just keep it purely sexual, and that way people don’t have mixed expectations, and no one gets hurt.”

Except, of course, that people do get hurt. The article quotes a teenager named Melissa who was depressed because her hookup partner had dumped her/"

BTW are you aware 160 million girls are missing or kidnapped?



d00d said...

you got one freakin imaginary bf one'd say..

Anonymous said...

Aye to the first comment